july dusk

When warm gold light spills out from inside the cafe, when we savour the warm air on our bare arms and legs, when we know the day’s nearly done because it’s turning indigo, that’s when we’re in heaven.


pra facade

How to get a client to go for your most adventurous design

When Melbourne’s Prahan Hotel was ready for expansion, they went back to Techné, a local architectural firm they’d worked with before and with whom they had a lot of trust equity.

The hotel’s creative brief called for a design that was more conventional than not, but something no other Australian pub had.

“We actually expected [them] to go with the most adventurous idea,” says project architect Justin Northrup.

Cue the mega-tonne standard drainage pipes … Read more…

Think Dove, but with food. Pasta in particular. But mostly, genuine love and respect. [Yeah, I know. That works for everyone.]


identity2day 20mar

Gastro Ghetto: Get there quick

Grégoire Jacquet opened his eponymous California restaurant in 2002, doing classical French dining, take-out and catering. He’s clearly doing something right, because he’s keeping two locations afloat. One is in Berkeley, in what he likes to call “the gastro ghetto,” because it’s down the road from Chez Panisse. Some ghetto. Reputation by location: is that a thing now? We’ll allow it. If you’re good enough to stand and hold your own next to a great, you get points for that. His second location is in Oakland.

Read more…


The Shishito Peppers at Stix Mediterranean Grill in NYC, a spot that favours healthy Mediterranean dishes, many involving meat on a stick, and yet, not in this case. Photo by Ramsay de Give for WSJ

crab mac'n'cheese

You can’t tell by looking at it, but blue crab is what makes this a dish worth stopping for at Pennsylvania 6, near Penn Station and Madison Square Garden, if you’ll happen to be in NYC some time soon. Photo by Byron Smith for the WSJ.

China Latina

China Latina is not just the name of chef Julieta Ballesteros’s new NYC restaurant at the Hotel Indigo. It’s a  descriptor that also nails her fusion cuisine. Say hello to her wonton tacos. Photo: Ramsay de Give for WSJ.


easy tiger 1easy tiger 2

Maybe, in the beginning, it was all about the yeast

Or, How a landing page delivers a brand

To my eyes, this establishment is a hipster couple. She’s the sweet, the cupcake, and he’s the beardy suds, the beer. That’s flagrantly sexist, but it was the only way I could “get” this business identity at first, because connecting the two, in terms of name stamp and food pairings, I wasn’t feeling it. … Read more…

Tom Fishburne is the Marketoonist.

He makes funny about all things marketing, with clever pieces like this one, plus solid marketing savvy besides. He’s a powerful influencer. He gave the keynote at Google’s marketing conference in September, and SXSW ranked his 2012 talk No. 3 among 500 speakers. Although he’s drawn a lot of great ones, what was timely for me about this cartoon in particular was that I’d just had two “I’ll-have-what-she’s-having” situations that week…. Read more…

How do you celebrate your second anniversary in business?

If you’re The One That Got Away, the fish ‘n’ chip joint on King West, you’ll give away free haddock and chips all day long. Nothing says “thanks for your business” better than this. Kudos.

via Toronto Life

A Margherita fresh out of the ovens at Via Tribunali in NYC.  Agaton Strom for The Wall Street Journal

Dave and Dave made some babies. It took them nine months. They called them Joulies. Here are a couple of Joulies doing what they do best: keeping hot beverages at 140ºF.

some joule devices floating on the bottom of the cup

Here’s how Joulies work:

Their stainless steel exterior holds a liquid that absorbs the heat from your just-poured, too-hot-to-drink coffee, until it reaches 140ºF. Then, as your coffee starts to cool down, the Joulies release their stored energy to keep your coffee hot. Which explains why the Daves named their babies after James Prescott Joule, the 19th century physicist whose work led to the discovery of the first law of thermodynamics.

Smarties in their own right

Dave Petrillo [lovingly holding Joulies above] and Dave Jackson are both mechanical engineers. They were motivated to make Joulies because they were fed up with having only that small window of opportunity to enjoy their coffee at the right temperature.

Coffee always seems to start out too hot and then quickly gets too cold, leaving you feeling you’ve missed the boat, coffee-temperature-flavour-wise. Speaking for myself, temperature is the most important flavour element in my coffee, which is why this story dug into me so deep.

Getting down to business

The Daves made the first 100 Joulies themselves. “It took about a couple of hours each,” one of them said in this video they made for Kickstarter, a site for startups to pitch ideas and crowd-source funding.

The Joulie Daddies asked for $9,500 — to match their half of the first mechanized run  — and offered pre-orders to individuals and coffee shops. But Kickstarter is such a great platform, and the Joulies are such a great idea, that the Daves came away with over 32 times that amount and 8,000 pre-orders. Read more…

This is who doesn’t have to:  Shout Advertising, Sweden.

Cream ceramics and leathers, blond corrugated wood, the Graffiti Cafe, Varna, Bulgaria by Studio Mode via The Contemporist.

The second course of the stinky cheese meal prepared by Chef Andy D’Amico, below, at Marseille on West 44th Street: a creamy polenta with Taleggio, porcini cream, sage and a sunny-side up pullet egg.

Photog Daniella Zalcman [gorgeous work]

via  WSJ

It sizzles, and that burger better, because they say it will.

Reminds me of the hidden arrow in the FedEx logo. It’s there, but not obviously so, but better for having been built in.

via ShareSomeCandy

Designer Yossi Belkin

Once again, delivery trumps content.

via The New Yorker

… who gave me my favourite marketing adage: “The product is the marketing.

These beauties say that even more eloquently.

Freshly shucked and ready to set down in front of the wise guest who ordered them.

John Dory Oyster Bar in Manhattan. (Philip Montgomery for via WSJ Photo Journal

Thanks Tumbleona

A paean by the Globe