Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Restaurants’ Category


As most parents know, taking your youngster out to eat can be a challenge. At this age, toddlers aren’t programmed to sit still, but in my opinion there are simple steps to a happy and stress-free meal.

This post has been moved to our website. To view the full post go to: http://blog.letop-usa.com/?p=18778

Read Full Post »

It’s summer and ripe, juicy strawberries are in season.  My mom and dad are die hard fans of Chef Daniel Humm who heads up the kitchen at Eleven Madison Park restaurant in New York City.  He is kinda like the James Beard of NYC for all of you foodies out there.  He gave this recipe to New York Magazine and I thought I would share it with you too – kids will love it, and they can even drink this gazpacho recipe dish with a straw!  Now let’s get started…

Strawberry Gazpacho
Serves 4 to 6

FOR THE TOAST:

  • 2 slices country white bread
  • 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic – crushed
  • 1 sprig thyme

FOR THE GAZPACHO:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. strawberries, plus 8 pieces for garnish
  • 1 red bell pepper – seeded
  • 1/2 green bell pepper – seeded
  • 2 cucumbers peeled and seeded
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 oz. tomato juice
  • 3 tbs. red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Tabasco to taste

 GARNISH:

  • 1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 4 basil leaves

FOR THE TOAST:
In a small pan over medium-low heat, toast the bread in the olive oil with the crushed garlic and thyme until golden brown. Reserve.

FOR THE GAZPACHO:
(1) Hull the strawberries by inserting a straw at the bottom of the berry and ,(2) pushing it through the cap.

(3) Dice the berries, peppers, cucumbers, and garlic, and combine with tomato juice, vinegar, and olive oil. Let marinate for 3 hours at room temperature.

(4) Combine all ingredients, including the toasted bread, in a blender, and blend until smooth.

(5) Season with salt and Tabasco (for little ones that hate spicy, omit the Tabasco).

(6) Finish with olive oil, black pepper, and basil. 

Read Full Post »

I just returned home from a fun wedding celebration weekend in New Orleans, Louisiana  – otherwise known as NOLA by the locals.  I was amazed by the amount of great seafood available in the city and what a big part it and the fishing industry play in the local economy.  Every menu in every restaurant I looked at had oysters, shrimp (in every which way you could imagine, including famous “shrimp po boy sandwiches”) and crawfish.  A common question asked by tourists in NOLA is: what looks, tastes, and smells like seafood, but doesn’t come from the sea? Crawfish! It is a freshwater shellfish that is considered a Louisiana delicacy.  With the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, I was very inquisitive as to how it was affecting the locals in NOLA.  Though the long-term affects remain to be seen, the immediate concerns are surrounding the inherently dangerous consumption of contaminated sea life. On a positive note – I learned that Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said crawfish are freshwater seafood and will not be affected by the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill.

Nothing else symbolizes the Cajun (A person of French Canadian descent born or living along the bayous, marshes, and prairies of southern Louisiana) culture of Louisiana like crawfish.

Crawfish (or crayfish) look like tiny lobsters. They are also known in the south as mudbugs because they live in the mud of freshwater bayous. They are more tender than lobsters and have a unique flavor. Today crawfish are an important part of the Louisiana industry.

The local Indians were known for harvesting and consuming crawfish before the Cajuns arrived. In 1983, Louisiana’s governor approved a law designating the crawfish as the state crustacean. Louisiana thus became the first state to adopt an official crustacean. That’s how serious Louisiana is about their crawfish!

Read Full Post »

Table-Side Guacamole Maker

Table-Side Guacamole Maker

A few weeks ago we had a successful and exciting start to our Spring 2010 season at the Children’s Club Show in New York!  The le•top team, exhausted but happy, was rewarded each evening by the wonderful restaurants that populate New York – we do have a reward besides the satisfaction of happy customers!

Eating is always one of the highlights of our trip, since we LOVE good food!  We have our favorite places, including Gotham Bar and Grill (beautiful, and just FEELS like New York,) Il Cantinori (great Italian with lots of ‘celebrity spotting’) and  Parma (a REALLY OLD favorite – in every way!)  By the way…New York has FABULOUS Italian food, and always seems different than what is available here in California (because New York is closer to Italy than we are???)

The le•top crew (Californians all!) decided to break it up a little and sample some cuisine native to our area at Rosa Mexicano, an energetic and happening restaurant with 3 locations in Manhattan.  We hit the location at Union Square that features architectural accents inspired by the late, famed Mexican architect, Luis Barragan, including an illuminated electric-blue tiled water wall featuring cliff diver figurines and candles within the cascading water – very cool!  We jumped at experiencing the table-side guacamole, both spicy and mild …then just had to order a third bowl!  Honestly, this is the best guacamole!  We enjoyed all Rosa’s menu items, including enchilada suisas, chicken flautas and tortilla soup – and of course treated ourselves to some fabulous Margaritas!  After indulging we were spiced up and eager for another great day at the Children’s Club Show!

NYIf you are ever in Manhattan and want a taste of Mexico, be sure to visit any of Rosa Mexicano’s three locations, you won’t be disappointed!  Ole’!

Read Full Post »

le•top

le•top's booth in Las Vegas. L-R: Paul, Sarah Kaufman (San Francisco sales rep), Renee Navarre (Los Angeles sales rep) and me!

One of the venues we use for presenting our collections to the store buyers is at trade shows, and one of the first shows of the fall season happens in Las Vegas. We set up our booths – for le•top and for rabbitmoon – and registered buyers from retail stores come to see what we have created for the new season. We present all the samples to them, and they write up orders to be shipped starting in June – just in time for the new fall and winter seasons.

Of course, one of the ‘perks’ of working hard in Las Vegas by day is that, by night, we are able to have dinner at some really great restaurants once the show closes down for the day. We visited some great ones this time around – one, an old favorite from previous visits and one, a new “find!”

nobtavnWe went to dinner the first night of the show at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino: Nob Hill Tavern. The executive ‘celebrity’ chef there is Michael Mina – a star here in the San Francisco Bay Area and a James Beard award winner. The food is divine – we tried (and shared) great short ribs of beef, wonderful sea bass, and I can’t even tell you how great the Truffle Mac and Cheese can be! Plus, we did a great cheese fondue as a shared appetizer for all. On a previous visit we’d tried their ‘Seafood Tower’ appetizer – but had trouble finishing our dinner, since it was a very generous portion. The great thing about Nob Hill Tavern, for me, is that it somehow evokes a nice, calm atmosphere – a relaxing change from the frenzy of Las Vegas.

The second night (what? you thought I was going to write about clothes? Food and martinis, baby! Food and martinis!!)), we tried a new restaurant at Caesars Palace – Rao’s. Karen (our CEO – “Chief Everything Officer”, National Sales Manager, and mother of the “grandsons of my heart – Nicholas and Dylan) was chatting with a guy on the airplane on the way to Las Vegas, and he recommended the restaurant – and even arranged a reservation for us! (I guess it is difficult to secure a reservation – and almost IMPOSSIBLE at their original New York location. This is a very ‘authentic’ kind of New York vibe – complete with the big, scary-looking Italian guy yelling at a busboy as we came in! The décor is casual and takes you on a trip to Sicily – complete with the gaudy Christmas wreaths and lights, in place all year long. The service was great. Extending the feeling of a family style Italian experience, the waitress pulled up a chair and ‘discussed’ what would be good for us to order. The portions are huge. On her recommendation we did family style – appetizers, pastas and entrées. Great food – and we were absolutely stuffed! By the way, they make a great martini!

The Las Vegas KidShow was a great success – the buyers loved the new fall collections – and we enjoyed some great food along the way. The next show was in the Big Apple – question is, will I write about our fabulous clothes or the food (and martinis)!?

Editor’s Note: Sorry for the delay in publishing Chris’ post (Vegas was a couple weeks ago)…I kept getting hungry and had to go eat something every time I tried to edit it…

Read Full Post »

No, I did NOT say that!

No, I did NOT say that!

While having lunch at a restaurant, I ordered a green salad with blue cheese dressing. When my salad arrived, my daughter said…

Hmm… I think they forgot to put the BLUE TREES in your salad.”

– Miranda (age 3)

Read Full Post »

No, I did NOT say that!

No, I did NOT say that!

I’m going to have the GIRL-cheese sandwich and Noah can have the BOY-cheese sandwich.

– Miranda (age 3)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »