Saturday, October 27, 2012

Kickstarter: The Porthole

Last month I made an investment in something truly innovative and pretty darn cool. Martin Kastner of Crucial Details (the guy who designs the cool tableware for Alinea and Next), set up a campaign on Kickstarter to bring his latest design, the Porthole, to the masses. He needed an initial investment of $28, 500 and ended up with $736,113! 4,270 backers made an investment and we're all patiently waiting to receive our very own infusion vessel.

Below is a short video that describes the story behind the Porthole.

I don't normally do product reviews but as soon as I get this sucker at the end of November, I will definitely write a blog post on it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Countdown: 2.5 weeks to Tokyo

Wow, it's been a LONG time since I updated this blog. I couldn't book reservations until the first of October so work occupied most of my time. I'm happy to report that I booked reservations at all of the restaurants that I wanted to dine at while in Tokyo. I also want to mention that Visa Signature Concierge is awesome. Some reservations I had to "call" during local hours. I didn't want to go through the hassle of calling a foreign country and screwing up the reservation so I had Visa Signature Concierge book the reservations for me. It took them mere minutes. For example, RyuGin seems to be one of the elusive bookings but one email through the concierge website and 38 minutes later I got my confirmation. It was that easy. I'm not sure why I never used them before.

Here's our dining line up:

Sanyo Akasaka Bld. 2F 3-5-2 Akasaka Minatoku Tokyo, Japan
Reservations: Book two months in advance via website.
L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
** Michelin stars
6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Reservations: Phone reservations only or book through credit card concierge service.

Ranked #28 on the World's 50 Best Restaurants, *** Michelin stars
Roppongi Bldg. 1F, 7-17-24 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo
Reservations: Phone reservations only or book through credit card concierge service.

Ranked #27 on the World's 50 Best Restaurants, ** Michelin stars
Minami Aoyama 2-6-15, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0062
Reservations: Book one month in advance via website.
Other notable places we plan to visit:
  • Hidemi Sugino - Famous pastry shop in Ginza, Tokyo
  • Laduree - Parisian macarons
  • La Boutique de Joel Robuchon - Robuchon's bakery shop
  • Tsukiji Fish Market - Biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world
Prior to our trip, I have a quick business trip to Chicago. I'm arriving there on a Sunday and only staying for a few days. It will be my first trip there without a dinner reservation to Alinea. I don't feel too bad since I look forward to our dining adventures in Tokyo.