Celebrating My Birthday Marchesi Style

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A table at Patisserie Marchesi.

Happy Birthday to me!  Mr. B and I will be celebrating my birthday today in Milan, Italy. Mr. B has a very special dinner planned for us but I can’t help but want to celebrate the entire day! As part of the festivities, I plan on buying myself some birthday gifts and stopping into Patisserie Marchesi to enjoy a piece of birthday cake.

Marchesi Pasticceria is one of the oldest bakeries in Milan, Italy. They are not only known for their fine pastries but also their stylish decor. Marchesi was first established in 1824, but in 2014 an 80% share of the company was purchased by the Italian luxury brand Prada. Even though the company has gone corporate, the Marchesi family is still very much involved in its operation. There is now a total of three locations in Milan, with the newest locations opening as recent as September 2015 and September 2016. I’ve been to the original location so this time I plan to visit the newest location in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. This particular location is actually situated on the mezzanine level over the Prada boutique. Based on the picture below, I can already tell that this will not only be a great place for a fine pastry but a perfect location for great people watching. And while I am at it, I plan to pick up some of their pastel-colored boxes for sweet treats to bring back home as souvenirs. Pasticceria-Marchesi-Galleria-Vittorio-Emanuele- Reviving charm 3Pasticceria-Marchesi-Galleria-Vittorio-Emanuele- Reviving charm 6Pasticceria-Marchesi-Galleria-Vittorio-Emanuele- Reviving charm 5Pasticceria-Marchesi-Galleria-Vittorio-Emanuele- Reviving charmmarchesi milan 4marchesi milan 1marchesi milan 2marchesi milan 3

Photos via Pasticceria Marchesi.

Kalabasa Elevates Dessert into an Artform

I have never had a desire to learn to cook primarily because I think it’s too stressful. For some reason, the responsibility of prepping and timing an entire meal gives me pure and utter anxiety. However, that doesn’t automatically mean that I’ve always wanted to stay out of the kitchen because I would actually love to spend more time baking. Focusing on just one item is something I can handle and making that one thing beautiful, unique and delicious is something I would strive for.
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I’ve seen and heard about the latest craze of “brushstroke cakes”, particularly those seen here from the Russian bakery, “Kalabasa”. The bakery creates chocolate “brushstrokes” by airbrushing on color to create a more artistic look. If you feel like attempting this yourself you can try using colored chocolate. It’s inexpensive but very poor quality chocolate. However, if all you care about is capturing the look and feel of the Kalabasa cake then the cheap stuff should get the job done. Just note that you won’t get the same depth of colors as the airbrush technique. With the airbrush technique, you can tell that color is layered on and blended subtly, as real painting often is. kalabasa bakery feather brushstroke case

I first learned of Kalabasa after stumbling onto their Instagram account and I would describe Kalabasa as a bakery that has elevated dessert into an artform. Their cakes are so creatively distinctive and look just too amazing to eat. I think I would feel guilty taking that first bite!
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I never got into the whole cupcake craze that was going on a while back, but if I ever do need to make cupcakes then this is something I would try myself. Kalabasa via Reviving Charm 1

While the brushstroke cake has elevated Kalabasa in the baking world, we can’t overlook their other beautifully executed baked goods. Maybe they will inspire you to put your baker’s cap on. I know they have definitely inspired me. Their use of florals, sugar coating, airbrush techniques and use of gold dust are baking techniques worth testing out in my own kitchen.

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Mastro’s Ocean Club: Las Vegas

I previously mentioned that I was in Las Vegas last week for work. While my days were filled with meetings, my evenings were free to enjoy with Mr. B. It’s my opinion that good food and fabulous company in a unique environment makes for a wonderful experience so we made sure to make dinner reservations for each night we were in town. Our last evening was spent dining at Mastro’s Ocean Club situated inside the Crystals at CityCenter Mall on the Las Vegas strip, shown below. Whether you like modern design or not, you can’t deny that it’s an impressive looking building. Particularly for a shopping center. citycenter mall las vegasIf you are looking for a great steak this is a great place for one. Mastro’s has restaurants around the country but most of them are located in California. Mr. B and I enjoy dining out and we are both architecture buffs so when we learned of the Las Vegas location, we knew we had to make a reservation.mastros ocean club las vegasThe restaurant itself is a key focal point in the mall. The restaurant is housed in what is described as an 80 foot tall “sculptural treehouse”. You forget that you are dining high above in a structure actually located inside a mall. mastros las vegas architecture Reviving Charm 1mastros las vegas architecture Reviving Charm 3mastros las vegas architecture Reviving Charm 2amastros las vegasmastros las vegas 1mastros las vegas 2mastros las vegas bar Reviving Charmmastros las vegas architecture Reviving CharmI have to apologize in advance for some of the not so great photos of the food. I normally don’t do foodie posts and this wasn’t something I was planning on writing about. I took numerous quick snapshots just for the heck of it and it wasn’t until I got home that I realized that this was such a unique dining experience that others may want to experience it for themselves the next time they visit Las Vegas. Afterall, sharing is caring…mastros ocean clue table las vegasOnce we sat down we were immediately provided with a basket of fresh, warm bread. I also I started my experience with a drink called “Ruby Slippers”. It was a combination of Nolet’s Silver Gin, Deep Eddy Ruby Red Grapefruit Vodka, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, fresh lime and agave nectar served in a wine glass with a splash of Fever-Tree Ginger Beer. It was delicious and I’m ready for another…
mastros ruby slippers drinkWhen talking with people about food and the things people crave I will always make them guess what one thing I enjoy and crave on occasion. Before you read any further, do you have any guesses of your own? Well, if you guessed escargot then you are right! I ordered the escargot and it was accompanied by the most flakey puff pastry ever. It definitely hit the spot!mastros ocean club escargotMr. B ordered shrimp cocktail as an appetizer. Three of the largest shrimp I have ever seen arrived chilled in a bowl of dry ice which makes for quite the fun presentation. Again, not the best picture, but you get the point…mastros ocean club shrimp cocktailEntrees are served a la carte. We both ordered a 6-ounce steak, the smallest they offer, with a side of lobster mashed potatoes, a specialty of theirs. Once the food arrived we laughed at the fact that we didn’t order any greens. We both had enjoyed a  big salad for lunch so we figured we were covered in the veggie department for the day. dinner at mastros las vegasIt might not look like a lot of food but it was definitely filling. And unfortunately, we didn’t save “room for dessert”. I guess we just might have to plan another next trip. Afterall, I need to order myself another “Ruby Slippers”. Care to pull up a seat at the bar with me?

All photos by Reviving Charm via iPhone 6s, except photos #6, 7 and 8.