Restaurant Review: Brushstroke New York (Michelin-Rate Restaurant)

While I was in Manhattan this weekend with a friend, we wanted to go to a nice restaurant. Specifically one that was Michelin rated. We browsed through the 2012 Michelin restaurants and decided on Brushstroke, a Japanese fine dining restaurant located in the Tribeca/Financial District area.

The Setting

The restaurant is small, but comfortable. All parties of two pretty much sit at the bar area, which wraps around the kitchen. A short glass divider separates the diners from the cooks who you can see are meticulously preparing food. There are tables, but they are reserved for parties of 3 or more.

The Menu and Price

We chose the 6-course tasting menu, which was $85/person. It’s the cheapest option! For those who want a quick meal, they only offer prix-fixed menus and the minimum time it takes to eat is about 1.5 hours. We also ordered drinks, which is from $10-$25/drink. I ordered a warm sake that was topped off with what tasted like a strawberry smoothie.

The Service

The waiters were definitely very nice and took the time to explain to us all of the dishes. After our meal as we were heading out the door, the hostess even gave us a little small dessert to take home with us! What a nice surprise!

My friend and I! As you can see, the kitchen is open and everyone sits around in a bar-like setup.

The Food

The food is fantastic. It comes in small portions and you eat it in the course of 1.5 hours so some might still be hungry in the end.

First course: Salad. A great fusion of Asian and American. Tastes very fresh.

One of my favorites! This is a soupy dish with soft scrambled eggs at the bottom. I could eat this everyday.

I think this is the main course. It was pork belly. Very tender meat and flavorful.

Sushi! This was my friend’s favorite.

I loved the taste of this spongy glutenous dish. The soup was great and it was a healthy mix of carbs and vegetables.

The dessert! There were so many things in our dessert including a mint soup, sweet rice paper, red beans wrapped in a leaf…The most interesting dessert was the Soy Sauce ice cream. You must try this! It is such a crazy taste. It literally tastes like soy sauce and ice cream, which doesn’t sound appetizing. Trust me though, it’s worth it!

Berkeley Startup Competition Winner

Peter and I with the Berkeley Startup Competition Organizers

The Berkeley BPlan Competition is one of the most competitive competitions Nanoly has done. We were selected as 1 of 8 semi-finalists for the Life Sciences track. We thrilled to just make it to the semi-finals so when we won the Elevator Pitch award, it was really unexpected! The Elevator Pitch award is where audience members vote on their favorite startup pitch. Thank you to everyone for supporting us! Congratulations to Calcula, who won the grand prize!

Presenting Nanoly in front of a live audience

Pitching Nanoly

Standing with our Elevator Pitch Award

Standing with our certificate for making it into the Semi-Finals!

Duke University’s Start-Up Challenge Grand Prize Winner!

Our teammate Ting-Ting receiving our huge check! Photo Credit: Sophia Palenberg / The Chronicle

The Duke University Start-Up Challenge has truly been a rewarding experience for our team. Our team was shouting and hollering with excitement when we won the competition out of 118 teams! We gained not only a nice cash reward, but significant mentorship. Many of our advisers on our company were introduced to us through the Duke Challenge. We give infinite thanks to Duke University for hosting such a phenomenal event and helping our company reach our milestones!

National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance’s Award

Nanoly received the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance’s VentureLab award! Our team will be traveling to Los Angeles from June 25-29 for the BME VentureLab at the University of Southern California. During the lab, we will be learning from biotech experts on how to commercialize our product. Thank you NCIIA!

Cornell Venture Challenge: 3rd Place!

Peter Matheu, a research scientist in our Nanoly Biotech startup and a Cornell alum, and I spent this past week in Ithaca, New York, competing in Cornell’s Venture Challenge. The competition selected 5 finalist teams out of 70 entries. We were very excited to be in the top 5!

The competition was part of Entrepreneurship@Cornell’s 2-day celebration conference. Cornell alums, other college students, community members, and many others attended the event-packed conference. In addition to the competition, our Nanoly team also attended the judge’s feedback session, a networking reception, and award banquet. The final outcome of the competition:

1st place: Tadpoles

2nd place: Socratives

3rd place: Nanoly

We are so thrilled! We thank Cornell Venture Challenge’s organizing team and Cornell for this fantastic experience! Congratulations to Tadpoles and Socratives-your technologies are incredibly creative!

Book Review: The Art of the Sale

Thank you TLC for inviting me to be a book reviewer and sending me books to read before they’re published :)

The Art of the Sale by Philip Delves Broughton is a fantastic, fun, and easy read. For anyone that is involved in sales or interested in selling, this is a great book. The structure of the book consists mainly of anecdotes from famous and successful salesmen. The book is motivation even for those not in sales who would like to develop salesmanship and confidence in presentation.

One of the first sales stories that Broughton shares is a man from Morocco named Majid. Majod reveals his secrets to luring Moroccan tourists to buy his rugs and other goods. The author also interviews infomercial legends like Tony Sullivan and Japanese insurance sales queen Mrs. Shibata. Broughton recounts their upbringing and how they started in a sales role. We learn that those in sales must be resilient because rejection is inevitable. We learn that another one of the author’s case studies encourages self-reliance.

A favorite stories were about women entrepreneurs that have become household names today. One is about a woman named Sarah Breedlove, a black woman born on a Mississippi delta plantation in the 1860s. She went from cotton picker, cook, and washerwoman to owning her own factory and salon in Indianapolis. Ms. Breedlove used her eventual wealth to campaign against injustices done to African Americans and to promote jobs for woman. Broughton then proceeds to share a story about Estee Lauder who pioneered the “gifts with purchase” concept. Estee teaches readers to be have physical contact with women when selling beauty products by dabbing cream on their cheek or spritzing perfume on a customer’s wrist.

Reading The Art of the Sale is like getting a glimpse into the successes and main lessons taught by history’s most famous entrepreneurs and salespeople. It is almost like a collection of short stories that keeps you flipping the pages. It’s a book that is great to pick up whenever you have a free moment or need a distraction because each anecdote is short and easy to read. I actually annotated the book with stickers to remind me of quotes that I liked! I haven’t done that since I was required to do that for my English class in high school. Hope you enjoy the book as much as did!

Here are some great quotes from the book that I liked:

The best salespeople…are seductive in different ways with different clients, tapping a range of dramatic story lines in their pitch, eliciting one emotional response after another, much like an actor with an audience. -Page 63

Businesspeople often talk of the importance of humility, of serving your customers and acknowledging the fickleness of the markets. For salespeople, humility is not an option. but it is something can be turned to their advantage. -Page 25

The salesman envisions and creates value where previously there was none. because he is by nature an optimist, he can make the best of everything. -Page 253