Tuesday, September 28, 2010


This same time last year, I was in the wonderful Canadian city of Toronto! When many people think of Canada destinations, they often think of Montreal, Niagara Falls, Quebec, or Vancouver. But, I have to tell all you jet setters, while Toronto is low on the radar, it's pretty awesome and it's waiting to be discovered! I loved it so much that I am itching to go there again for my Toronto- Take Two trip.

Toronto has so many cool neighborhoods, shops, restaurants, museums, galleries, etc. Out of most big cities I have been to, it most closely reminds me of Chicago. Situated right on Lake Ontario, it has the water and Harbourfront (that's how they spell it), a downtown with big buildings, and all that a big city has to offer.

Toronto is also a good walking city. In addition, it's extremely ethnically and culturally diverse. You can check out Chinatown, Korea Town, Greek Town, Little Indian and Little Portugal all in one day! Toronto is definitely a great weekend getaway. I would say that you only need about 3-4 days to get a good feel for the city. Plus, for all you East Coasters, it's such a short flight...so why not go?

Click the link below to read more about some of the restaurants I checked out last year:
Tasty Toronto
Click the link below to read more about some of the great shops I checked out last year:
Toronto Home Stores

Monday, September 27, 2010


For a long time now, I have been wanting to check out the Ironbound Section of Newark, New Jersey. The area is often referred to as "Little Portugal" or "New Jersey's Portugal" due to its large Portuguese community. Some New Yorkers may be a little skeptical about leaving the city to venture into Jersey, but it's only a twenty minute train ride from Penn Station on New Jersey Transit, and it will only set you back a measly $10 for a round trip ticket. (Cheaper than most cab rides in and around New York City)! So, what are you waiting for?!?

The main "heart" of the town can be found on Ferry Street, which is also called Portugal Avenue by many of the locals. Here you can find a lot of Portuguese-owned businesses— restaurants, cafes, bakeries, jewelers, sports clubs, grocery stores, and more. The other main street to walk around is Broad Street which has more restaurants and shops. Additionally, the Ironbound has a pretty big night life, with an increasing number of bars and lounges. Speaking of restuarants, these are a few I would love to try that get great Zagat and Yelp ratings.
1- Adega Grill:
*130-132 Ferry Street, Newark, NJ 07103
* Telephone: (973) 589-8830
* Type of Establishment: Spanish / Portuguese
* Price Range: Moderate
* Hours: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; until 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Dinner noon-10 p.m. Sunday.
* Payments Accepted: Visa, Master Card, Discover, Amex
Adega means wine cellar in Portuguese, and at Adega you can chose from a wine list with over 180 different selections. The food is Portuguese/Spanish, and the portions are huge- so go hungry or willing to share. Adega also has a lounge which is supposed to have a great night scene. The lounge is open Wednesday-Sunday from 9pm-3am.

2- Fernandes Steak House:
*158 Fleming Avenue, Newark, NJ 07105
* Telephone: (973) 589-4344

* Type of Establishment: Portuguese
* Price Range: Moderate
* Hours: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; until 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Dinner noon-10 p.m. Sunday.

* Payments Accepted: Visa, Master Card, Discover, Amex Fernandes is a bit off the Ironbound trak, but from what I've read, it's worth venturing to it to check out. This is the place to go for steak and for Rodizio (Brazilian meat-on-skewers).

3- Tony Da Caneca:
* 72 Elm Road, Newark, NJ 07105
* Telephone: (973) 589-6882
* Type of Establishment: European/Portuguese
* Price Range: Moderate
* Hours: 11:00 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday; Sunday Noon-10 p.m.
*Payments Accepted: Visa, Master Card, Discover, Amex

There is a lot to chose from at Tony Da Caneca's, which is considered to be one of the area's best restuarants. The place has been around since 1965, and is considered a staple in Newark's Ironbound section!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I love to buy local jewelry when I jet set to different locations. It's fun to have something that you don't often see at home and it's a great way to remember where you've been. Well, I just heard about a jewelry designer named Vanessa Arizaga who shares the same passion I do for jet setting and jewelry, but takes it a step further by designing necklaces and bracelets with pieces that she buys when she travels around the world. Vanessa Arizaga will find different and interesting charms on her travels (from Peru to Mexico) and will then weave them with colorful threads and chains to create her one-of-a-kind jewelry line. Her prices range from $55 to $395. Happy shopping!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


There are sooooooooooooo many great places in Rome, but here are just a few of my favorites from my last trip there.
Al Moro: This is classic Italy to me. The place is filled with locals and the food is to die for, especially the spaghetti with vongole (clams)...you will want to lick the bowl- I promise! Tre Scalini: You must try their world famous tartufo- an Italian ice-cream dessert. It's made with vanilla and chocolate ice cream with a cherry in the middle and then it's coated in a chocolate shell...AMAZING! Tre Scalini is located in Piazza Navona- a great place to sit and people watch.Ciampini: Go here for the best gelato. You must try their cappuccino with cornetti and gianduja flavors. Ciampini is located in Piazza San Lorenzo- another great place to sit and people watch and to shop. Caffe Greco: This is the oldest cafe in Rome. It's close to the Spanish steps, so go there in the morning when they open, stand at the bar and sip a cappuccino and have some of the delicious pastries.Forno: This is the best pizza Rome has to offer! The place is located in Campo di Fiori. You can watch through the window as they whip up their delicious dough and create the pies, then head inside and try their slices. WHERE TO STAY:
Hotel Raphael: I think this is the best place to stay, when you are looking to travel the Jet Set Smart way. The hotel isn't cheap, but it's certainly reasonably prices and more importantly it's located in a great neighborhood- right near Piazza Navona. If you are looking for something more upscale and more luxurious try Boscolo Hotel Exedra (also a great place to go to the rooftop for cocktails, snacks and amazing views of Rome).Other nice hotels include Hotel Eden (Their dining room has a spectacular view of the city. La Terrazza dell’Eden (restaurant) or they have a rooftop bar.) Hotel de Russie- this is total luxury! Or Grand Hotel de la Minerve- traditional, but not overly decorated.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Whether it's a favorite restaurant, favorite hotel, or favorite site to see, I want to start documenting some of JSS' "favorites" for our destinations. I'm kicking it off with Capri, Italy- an island off the southern coast of Italy near Naples. It's one of the most spectacular islands I have ever been to! Some of my favorites include:
Da Paolino Restaurant: This restaurant is a beautiful dinner spot and really represents what Capri is about to me...lemons! In fact, the tables are set within their beautiful lemon garden and there is an open kitchen so you can watch the chefs at work. Sitting in the lemon garden while you eat just makes the food tastes fresher and the overall experience more incredible. You must try their lemon profiteroles for dessert and wash it down with a glass of their delicious homemade limoncello.

Ristorante La Capannina: This restaurant is located pretty much in the heart and downtown of Capri. The food is amazing- it's one of the best spots to try all different sorts of Capri-style cuisine. I would head here for dinner. I highly recommend their Ravioli Alla Caprese, which is ravioli stuffed with ricotta and mozzarella and topped with tomatoes and fresh basil...to die for! I also think you should try their gnocci with shellfish in tomato sauce. Torres Saracena Restaurant: This is a great spot for lunch. The restaurant is completely hidden, and unless you ask you will most likely not stumble upon it, and that would be an absolute mistake. The restaurant is set right on the water, so after your incredible meal, you can head right to the private little beach and take a dip in the Mediterranean. You must try their Rigatoni with squash and shrimp, but all of their seafood is great!La Palette: A wonderful little restaurant with good food and great views!Tavola Calda: This is a little pastry shop located in downtown Capri. Make sure to stop in and try their lemon cookies! The Grand Hotel Quisisana: This is a very pretty hotel with a patio right on the Piazza- so you can go, have a drink and people watch. I recommend trying one of their Princessas which is prosecco with wild berries.Lemon Granita Stand: You will see them all around the island- make sure to try one, it's so good and refreshing!WHERE TO SHOP: There is so much great shopping in Capri, but two of my favorite shops are Carthusian Perfumery: A very pretty perfume shop where you can buy a lovely fragrance reminiscent of Capri. I bought a bottle of their Fiori di Capri which smells like lemons. And, Antonio Viva: He is the oldest and best sandal maker in Anacapri. They measure your feet, you chose your style, and the next day your tailored sandals are ready...it's so cool!WHAT TO SEE:
Monte Solara: Take a chair lift ride from Anacapri to the top of Monte Solara for some of the most incredible views in your life! The ride is quite scary, but it's a lot of fun! Anacapri Churches: There are many of them, and they are all so beautiful! Stay tuned for more JSS favorites from different destinations!