Le Bilboquet Is A Magnificent New Addition To Dallas Dining

New Yorkers have long enjoyed the always crowded but exquisite French bistro Le Bilboquet on East 63rd Street near Madison, on the Upper East Side. Now it has come to Dallas, not just in name but accompanied by its wonderfully gifted chef and some of its New York staff. It occupies that venerable space on Travis in the Knox/Henderson area that has long been dedicated to excellent French cuisine, the departed and much-missed L’Ancestral.

When I first saw the glitzy announcement of Le Bilboquet’s new opening in North Texas in the 2013 Restaurant Issue of Modern Luxury Dallas (which rated it second of the “Five Most Exciting New Restaurants” in Dallas and gave it a breathless review), I didn’t make the New York connection and read it by mistake as “Le Bibliothèque” French for “library” or sometimes even “bookcase,” or more memorably in Le Bibliothèque nationale de France” which is France’s equivalent of our National Archives in Washington.

No, this lovely new gem of a Dallas restaurant, Le Bilboquet, is named for that charming French game of childhood where you try to flip a ball on a string into a cup on a stick — a stick that has one end of the string attached to it. There is an American version of the game where the string is replaced with a sturdy rubber band, making the moving ball that much harder to catch in the cup. So that is the meaning of bilboquet.

How the restaurant space has changed! And for the better! Anyone who remembers L’Ancestral will find the interior of Le Bilboquet unrecognizable. Gone are the dreadful pictures of ancient ancestors on the walls. The walls themselves, in fact, are gone. They have been opened up, replaced with large crystal-clear glass windows admitting a wonderful natural north Texas light. The tables are smaller (and perhaps too closely packed together), and the average age of the diners has fallen from about 70 to 30. In short, everything about the venue on Travis you may remember has been transformed, and much for the better.

The interior is as wonderfully classic as the food, and I was pleased to find glossy white tablecloths, freshly picked flowers at every table, and of course an unexpected bath of natural light. The chef at New York’s Le Bilbouquet, “Momo” Sow, has moved with a few of his key associates to Dallas, and the results are spectacular. The food is solid Parisian bistro fare, with a soupçon of Momo’s keen appreciation for cuisine novelle and his own distinctive multinational style, yet always with a strong French accent.

My partner and I both started with a light appetizer, salade de crabe et avocat, that was delectable and flavorful without being filling. The fresh lump crabmeat was right out of the ocean, mixed with thinly sliced young onions, a hint of lemon in the whipped mayonnaise, and of course avocado and some greens — minced lettuce and celery. It was out of this world.…

Hawaiian Cruise Aboard Norwegian’s Pride Of America

I recently spent some time visiting most of the major islands that make up Hawaii. This was my first trip to the 50th State, and I had a hard time making a decision about where to stay when I got there. I spent countless hours scouring the internet and various forums to get an inside scoop as to what island I would enjoy the most. What I found is that each island has a great deal to offer, and my ideal vacation would be spent seeing them all. That’s where Norwegian’s Pride of America came to the rescue.

THE SHIP

Norwegian Cruise Lines -Pride of America set sail in 2005, and she is the first US flagged ship built in nearly 50 years. One look at this glorious vessel; and you can tell that the name “Pride of America” goes further than just the lettering on the outside. Everywhere on this boat you are reminded of what a great country the United States is, and most of the lounges, restaurants etc… have an American theme. Some reviewers have commented that they felt this was too tacky, however, I beg to differ, to an extent, these ships are all tacky, and this one seemed to fit

the bill, however, the décor was tastefully done, and the layout of the ship itself was very functional.

One major difference on this ship is that the majority of the staff are American Citizens. The online forums are filled with mixed reviews on the level of customer service they received while onboard. Many attribute this to the staff being American; however, I find this to be much too narrow of a thought process. I did find certain instances where the service was lacking, however, you’re on vacation, try to ignore these limited instances and enjoy yourself. For the price you’re paying for what you experience, it can be overlooked.

Here’s a breakdown of the Cruise from the flight into Honolulu to disembarkation day.

TAKE WITH YOU

· Sunscreen

· GPS

· Beach Towels

· iPhone (sorry I’m impartial)

·USB Cable and charger (USB can be used with iPhone on many rental cars)

· Check to see if your Auto Insurance Policy covers Rental Liability (this will save you about $20 each time your rent a car)

RECOMMENDED APPS

· Urbanspoon – Find Places to Eat based on Users Who have gone before you

· TripAdvisor – Find things to do near you, Read User Reviews etc…

· Orbitz.Com – Use this book your Rental Cars ahead of time,and if you book your flight via Orbitz, it will send you text messages for flight status etc…

· GPS Drive – Paid app that can replace your need for a GPS

· Trip Deck – App that you can store all of your itineraries, flight numbers, confirmation #’s etc… into one app.

· My Radar– Weather App that gives you nearly real-time weather maps

· Open Table – Reservations for busy restaurants

THE PORTS OF CALL

How To Be A Lady Killer – 10 Surefire Tips For Every Guy On How To Be A Lady Killer

Whether you are a guy who needs a serious relationship or one that just wants a date, there exist some basic dating rules you must follow to be a dashing lady killer. This article will show you ten surefire tips you need to know in order to be a lady killer.

1: LOOK GOOD: Obviously, even before you are told, you definitely should know you need to look good to attract a lady to yourself! You need to get yourself some decent clothes and shoes. Ladies love guys that have nice shoes and clothes on. They necessarily do not need to be expensive. Get clothes that will make you look good, presentable and attractive.

2: HAVE YOUR HAIR AND BEARDS DONE: No lady wants a guy that looks shabby. You should never leave your hair or beards unkempt. If you do this, you are jettisoning your chances of getting a lady for yourself! Get your hair well barbed, have a clean shave or a well trimmed shave and look presentable. Smell nice and you will attract beautiful ladies!

3: GET A JOB: I am not saying you must get a job at a multinational before you can be a lady killer. But no lady wants a guy that is jobless or that will be a liability. If you do not have a job, how do you intend to take care of her? Just get a job that pays you and go for that lady you want!

4: BE CURRENT ABOUT HAPPENINGS AROUND YOU: Ladies like guys that are of the know how in the society and world at large. Update your knowledge about current affairs; watch the news regularly, read newspapers and current affairs magazines regularly. You need to show your lady that you very familiar with happenings around your society and world at large! Ladies like men that posses this quality.

5: Reduce your bad drinking habit: Why on earth should you spend five nights in a bar? You will never get a lady of your choice this way. Okay, you need to drink to get the body going, but must it be regularly and must it be at the bar always? If you are of the habit of drinking your heart out with your folks, it is time to get rid or reduce the habit!

6: Do not be a fanatical sports fan: No one says you should not love soccer, basketball, golf, tennis or whatever sport you love, but it should not take all your time for crying out loud! Do you need to tattoo your favorite players name on your arm, chest or back because you are fan? Reduce your fanatical level of loving sports and get that lady of your choice!

7: Fine tune your manners: Courtesy and manners are attributes ladies notice in guys. When entering the car, open the door for her and allow her in first, things like these get ladies fall for guys easily. Treat that lady with respect and tender …

Factors to Consider When Buying Catering Equipment

For those in catering trade, it is important to have stylish and quality equipment. Food served in designer, light weight crockery or a cocktail in an innovative glass looks far more tempting. Here are a few tips that will help you in searching for the right catering equipment supplier and stocking your restaurant with highest quality products.

For catering trade, whether it is a food truck, restaurant, or an occasion catering, the value or quality of the equipment used guarantee the quality of the food produced. Therefore kitchen catering equipment is the most vital investment you should make in your home or business.

Finding a reputable supplier can make a difference in how efficiently your kitchen runs. Carry out some research in advance and look at all your options. There is a common believe that cheaper things are of low quality and expensive things are worth. This is not true; you can find a supplier who supplies quality goods at low price and one supplying poor products at a higher price. Before making a decision on what to buy consider the following factors.

1. Look for reputable suppliers:

You should be careful when looking for suppliers. It is important to check the quality of the products offered. Nowadays the brand or company name is not very important. When looking for suppliers you need to consider some background check about product reviews, company achievement and market feedback so as to assess well the quality of the goods and services offered.

2. Cost of the equipment you are buying:

You should be practical on cost of the equipment. Purchasing catering product right away is not very necessary when you have many business matters to settle. Instead of purchasing, you can consider rental options so as to save money and verify the quality of the item at the same time. Also make sure to compare current market prices among different suppliers effectively. Take your time to look for the best deals that meet your budget. It is advisable to ask for product catalogue from suppliers to make comparison easier.

3. Buy energy efficient equipment:

Saving money on your catering items will not help if you are likely to spend more money on usage and maintenance of the equipment in the end. Ensure you get supplies that have high energy saving ratings so as to use the equipment continuously without incurring high expense on electricity. Compare energy ratings so as to have an idea about products that are energy efficient. You can ask your relatives or friends for more advice concerning to energy efficient products.

4. Assess product warranties and contract terms:

Whether you are renting or purchasing catering equipment, ensure that you check contract terms and product warranties and other conditions carefully. Cautiously check the vital contract clause on product polices, as well as maintenance and repair services. Reputable companies that provide rental options often offer customers with maintenance and onsite inspection free of charge on the product they are leasing. The exchange …

Reasons For Starting a Restaurant Business Within the Next Five Years

Restaurant business is productive and a very worthwhile business option. If you have a business plan for starting a restaurant business or are planning to buy a decently run restaurant then get started with it now. This write up will give you enough reasons of why and how you should start a restaurant business. The first strong reason for starting a restaurant business is that you can earn a lot through it. Initially like every business this will also need some good amounts of inputs but in the longer run you will only enrich the profits. Starting a restaurant business is thus regarded to be rewarding.

The market analysis of the this particular business shows good figures which instills confidence for starting a restaurant business. In the next five years as the life style of almost every individual will change the need of a good food service provider will tend to increase many folds. For fulfilling this rising demand, starting a restaurant business can be considered as a smart move. If you love to socialize and build contacts then for you business will be the most ideal career option. Many people believe that doing a business in the restaurant industry offers many benefits to its owner. It allows him to meet a number of new people everyday and allows him to build strong contacts.

No time was more suitable than the present for starting a restaurant business because the changing life style brings people to restaurants more often. As more and more families are becoming nuclear now the transforming demographics supports the growth and success of every business. Your restaurant business can also earn great profits if you choose the location of your restaurants smartly and invest in good amount of money. People prefer to go to a restaurant which is affordable, has nice ambiance and offers good food. If your restaurant can offer a middle class individual some good quality services at price he can easily afford then you can see your business multiply in a very short span of time.

Target the middle class individual but provide services that are of good quality. This will obviously attract the middle class but the richer class will also use your services because you are good. If you are starting a restaurant business then do not commit a mistake of targeting the richer class initially because in this way you will not be able to earn much profit. So target the mass for running your business successfully. This is the perfect way to make good profits.

So get started with it, make a business plan, and look out for a perfect location. Buy that spot or take it on rent and ask a builder to build a perfect restaurant for you. All this will take time to fall into place. Have patience and let your restaurant establish. You will soon see it grow and earn good amount of profits for you. Starting your restaurant business at the right time and right …

Durability Difference Between Beech Wood And Rubber Wood For Restaurant Chairs

Durability is the ability of any product or thing to survive for longer period of time and not to wear out quickly. When we think of buying wooden chairs for restaurants, we need to get serious on the durability factor. These days, there are lots of cheap restaurant chairs being influx into the market. Their construction and style are similar; however, the quality of raw material is different. Historically, European Beech Wood is the industry standard and has been for the past 30 years. Beech wood offers numerous benefits for wood workers: it’s a heavier and dense wood, it’s easier to work with and it’s color and stain are relatively consistent. Only in the recent few years, rubber wood has made its way into the commercial market. Primarily used in economical home furniture, rubber wood has become increasingly common in the commercial furniture industry because of its lower pricing.

However, rubber wood restaurant chairs fall apart. This is not baloney. Once taken out of its native sub-tropical environment and exported to the US, the wood expands and contracts because of its innate absorption properties, thereby causing the frame to swell and contract and eventually break. Also, much like pine, rubber wood likes to move quite a bit. By moving, it refers to the way the wood likes to bend and twist. Chairs joints are susceptible to this problem.

The way you can tell the difference between rubber wood and beech wood is by its wood grain. Rubber wood has a complete absence of any grain whereas beech wood will have some wood grain. Rubber wood is not a very clear color wood and attempts to color it will result in some yellowish tints. Most of the time you will see rubber wood in some dark color that can mask the coloring. Lastly, wood rubber is lighter than beech wood. On a standard chair, it is about 2 lbs lighter. When you knock on wood, it sounds like your knocking on rubber.

If you are going into the furniture market, you need to give your special attention on the durability factor and should not forget to the furniture seller about the about the materials used to make the chair before purchasing. It is nothing but the material used in making furniture that always matters the most.

Many large restaurant chains use laminate tables because they are cheaper and more durable than solid wood tables. Solid wood tends to warp or level water rings, and will wear down after continuous chemical wears down the top coat.…

Packing For Your Sanibel Island Vacation

So you’re going to Sanibel Island, Florida on vacation! Congratulations! It will be a fun and relaxing vacation with many happy memories. But first, you need to pack all your stuff so you are prepared for your journey to paradise.

Most likely you are staying in a resort, cottage or condo which will be larger than a regular hotel room. Most of these units have a small kitchen area for your use. So let’s start with meals and snacks and what to bring regarding food and drinks.

I like to bring snacks and drinks with me so I don’t have to make a visit to the grocery store. Nothing says drudgery more than having to go to the grocery store while on vacation. So, I pack a box with breakfast items such as Pop-Tarts and Rice Krispie Treats! I also bring small individually wrapped snacks to munch on during the week. Examples are bring potato chips, cookies, peanuts etc. I like the food to be individually wrapped because it makes it easier to put the snacks in your beach bag. Also, south Florida is well known for having small black ants that like your food! Keeping your food sealed (I recommend zip-lock bags) will prevent food loss after an ant invasion!

I also bring a large quantity of water, juices and diet drinks. Place the drinks in the refrigerator as soon as you arrive and then you are set for the week.

Next, you need to think of what you need for the beach! Items to remember are your favorite chair, lounger, umbrella, sand digger and straw mats. Most of the hotels, condos and resorts provide chairs for you (some do not, so check beforehand). So many are not comfortable thus I prefer to bring my own chair with me. Remember to bring your beach bag with all the essentials, such as beach towels, visor, suntan lotion, water spray bottle, sunglasses, cover-up and a book or a magazine.

Next, what do to you pack to wear for a week on Sanibel Island? The best thing to remember is that the temperature will be comfortable most of the year, so heavy clothing is not needed. In the summer it can be hot, so think cool cottons. Shorts and short sleeve shirts are a must. Shorts and tops are fine for every restaurant. The restaurants are all casual (but no cut offs, flip flops or tee-shirts for the nicer places). Leave your suit, tie and dress at home. You probably will wear your swim suit most of the day. And I have gone to many restaurants wearing my swim suit under a cover-up for lunch (but don’t do it for dinner). It’s a resort-like atmosphere all over the island. Be comfortable and enjoy your vacation!

I would bring a light jacket for when it rains. It will help keep you dry as you dash to the vehicle. During the summer months, be prepared for monsoon-like rains during the afternoon and early evening …

Simple Considerations In Restaurant Design

Great food and outstanding customer service are the most frequently cited keys to restaurant success. While quality food and service are two foundations of a successful restaurant, good restaurant design is vital to customer gratification and long term success. Good interior design creates a beautiful and functional dining space that enhances customer’s enjoyment of meals and entices guests to return.

Creating an excellent dining experience for customers requires a balance of design, technical considerations and function. While planning the restaurant interior, consider the architecture and infrastructure of the building. Create a harmonious design by combining existing aspects of the structure with attention to detail in several key areas.

Clientele

Begin by identifying the expectations of the restaurant’s target clientele. For example, fine dining customers may expect more space and privacy when dining than guests of more casual establishments. Families with children may prefer a relaxed environment that appeals to children. Understanding the needs of guests allows owners to develop a design that pleases customers.

Dining Room

When planning the dining room, consider the number of guests expected at peak meal hours. A good restaurant design will accommodate this number while maintaining customer comfort. Customers should be able to move around easily and dine without feeling crowded.

Create the right atmosphere by choosing furnishings, colors and lighting suited to the restaurant’s theme and clientele. An owner of a family friendly restaurant, for example, may choose bright colors and lighting to create an environment suited to children. Restaurants that cater to adults and fine dining often choose more subdued lighting and furnishings that create a more intimate environment.

Bar

Owners of restaurants that serve alcohol may benefit from creating a separate bar area. A bar serves as a place for guests to order a drink and relax while waiting to be seated. This area also allows single customers to sit for a meal without waiting for a table. In restaurants with heavy weekend traffic, the bar area should be as large as space allows.

Kitchen

A restaurant serving high quality meals requires a well-designed kitchen. The kitchen should be able to accommodate all necessary equipment along with all needed kitchen staff. Include areas for food preparation, storage and handling. Areas for handling shipments and washing dishes are also necessary. A well planned kitchen allows the restaurant to operate efficiently, ensuring customer satisfaction.

Restrooms

When space allows, a restaurant’s public restrooms should be able to accommodate several guests. Tables should be located away from restrooms or separated from them by partitions. If possible, employee restrooms should be located away from public restrooms.

Staff and Office Space

The restaurant layout should include a space for staff to store their personal belongings. A restaurant’s office should be a secure area suitable for storing money and important items or documents. Ideally, office space should be located in the back of the layout.

At all stages of restaurant planning, keep the customer’s needs and expectations in mind. Thoughtful attention to these details allows the restaurateur to create …

How To Plan A Retirement Party

A retirement party is an event to celebrate a person’s career and achievements and is a great opportunity to show appreciation in a fun and respectful way. Similarly to any other party, a lot is involved in planning a party to present an individuals accomplishments. Whether it be a party for your spouse, parent, friend or colleague, a tip to make your life easier is to plan the retirement party online. Having a website dedicated to the retirement party will keep you organized and keep guests informed and involved in all the details of the event.

Here are a some good ideas on how to plan a great retirement party that the retiree will remember forever:

  • Establish a budget

Establishing a budget for retirement party should be one of the first planning steps. It should take into account venue, food, decor, entertainment and a nice gift. Your budget will determine the number of guests you can invite and the price per ticket if you are selling tickets to the party. Your retirement party website will help you keep track of all your expenses, when to make bookings and when payments are due.

  • Select a location

The party can be held at the office, at someone’s home, in a restaurant, hotel, club, art gallery, or casino. Your budget, how many guests, when the event will take place (day or evening,) and what time of year all need to be taken into account. You should also consider the preferences of the retiree whether they want a big or small or traditional event. To choose the best location, you should ask co-workers for their suggestions by having an online poll.

  • Create a guest list

You have to decide who and how many people to invite to the party. Do you want an employee only event or one that includes close friends and family? Your budget will help determine the number of guests you can have.

  • Choose a theme

Themed parties are always a lot of fun and should reflect the retirees character, career, interests or hobbies. The type of theme can be determined by co-workers using an online poll. A theme will establish the decor, invitation design, dress code, music and entertainment at the retirement party.

  • Send out invitation online

Inviting guests to retirement party by email is simple and saves you time and money. The invitation should specify the location, time, date, purpose of the event, and how to RSVP online. The invitation can direct guest to the party website where they can learn more about the details of the event including directions, parking instruction, travellers information and about any secret or special guests.

  • Ticket purchase online

If you choose to sell tickets to the retirement party, it will be more convenient for guests to be able to purchased them online, directly from the website, using their credit card. This is simpler then writing a cheque and mailing it in.

  • Selecting a gift

A gift registry can be set up on the …

Differences Between Fast Food Restaurants and Sit Down Restaurants

I would like to begin explaining the differences between fast food restaurants and sit down restaurants. Fast food restaurants are designed for individuals who have to get up early in the morning for work. Some people have to get up say around 5 o’clock in order to be at work at say 6:45am or 7 am.

It’s kind of hard to fix breakfast this early in the morning especially when you have to get dressed and that takes time. So in order to get to your job on time, it’s a lot quicker, and easier to just stop at a fast food restaurant such as, Mcdonald’s, or Burger king, to pick up breakfast on your way to the job. It also depends on your shift. If you have do to a second shift then most likely you would be able to fix breakfast at home and get dressed on time as well, but you may have to stop for lunch on your way in.

Some people like to wait until they go in and purchase their food at their job. Now sometimes it may be costly to buy food at McDonald’s or Burger king, but it may also be costly to buy food at your place of work so you may want to do some pricing before you decide where to purchase your food.

Now I would like to talk about sit down restaurants. Sit down restaurants are designed for a group of people such as, family, friends, co-workers, and so forth. People who work a lot may not have the option of going to a sit down restaurant as much as they do fast food restaurants because of their jobs.

Some people have to do overnight jobs and hardly ever see their families. A lot of times people who have to work quite a bit only have the option of going to fast food restaurants rather then going to places to eat where they are spending time with their family, friends, co-workers and so forth. There are advantages and disadvantages for people who have to work and for people who don’t have to work.

The advantages for people who have to work even though they may not have enough time to for recreation with their families as far as going to a sit down restaurant is they can arrange time for this with their families and even their friends when they have time off work. The disadvantages are having to spend money for bills and so forth and not having enough money to take their families out for recreation.

The advantages for people who don’t have to work is they have enough time to spend with their families and friends for recreation and so forth. The disadvantages are they are limited on how much they can spend for recreation with their families and friends. A lot of people have limited incomes and the restaurants are a bit expensive these days. Restaurants such as, Burger king, McDonald’s, and so forth …