Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.





on June 03rd, 2010
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  • pinitbutton Mangia!
sophiegayotpieroselvaggio 300x135 Mangia!

Sophie Gayot with from left: Davide Giova, pastry chef at Valentino; Giampiero Ceppaglia, chef at Caffè Roma; Roberto Maggioni, chef at Locanda del Lago; Salvatore Marino, owner/chef at Il Grano; Nicola Faganello, Consul General; Celestino Drago, owner/chef at Drago; Angelo Zarbo, chef at Il Moro; Brandon Weaver, chef at Peninsula Hotel Beverly Hills; Carlo Angelo Bocchi, Trade Commissioner, Italian Trade Commission; Elio de Santo, owner/chef at Il Moro. From left, below: West Hooker-Poletti, owner Locanda del Lago; Emilio Marchione, manager at Caffè Roma; Piero Selvaggio, owner, Valentino; Giuseppe Mollica, special events director at Valentino

by Sophie Gayot


I hope your Festa della Repubblica was as fun as mine was. What, you didn’t celebrate Festa della Repubblica yesterday? It’s the Italian national holiday held on the second day of June that commemorates the 1946 referendum when the people decided on their new form of government after the Second World War and the fall of Fascism.


The best way to spend the Festa della Repubblica in Los Angeles is to dine on true Italian cuisine, which I enjoyed en compagnie of the Consul General of Italy, Mr. Nicola Faganello. The wonderful meal, paired with Italian wines, was prepared by six talented Italian chefs who all work at Los Angeles area restaurants: Il Grano, Drago, Valentino, Il Moro, Locanda del Lago and Caffè Roma.

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  • pinitbutton Drink Up and Cool Down
scheid muscat 214x300 Drink Up and Cool Down

Scheid Vineyards 2008 Muscat Canelli is one of our Top 10 Summer Wines

by Jeff Hoyt 


If you’re invited to a pool party, and want to bring a bottle of wine, how do you pick the right bottle? Consult for our Top 10 Summer Wines. There you’ll find whites, reds, sparklers, and even a dessert wine that will make your host happy during warm weather.


For a barbecue, you can also check out our Top 10 Barbecue Wines. And for Father’s Day, you can make a selection from our Top Father’s Day Wines. So if you’re asked to attend a Father’s Day Barbecue, you’ll have lots of options!   

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  • pinitbutton Jazzing Up Saddle Peak Lodge
saddlepeak lodge 300x285 Jazzing Up Saddle Peak Lodge

The entrance to Saddle Peak Lodge restaurant in Calabasas, CA


by Jeff Hoyt 


There are many misconceptions about Saddle Peak Lodge: it’s not in Malibu, it’s not a lodge, and it’s not just for carnivores hunting for game. Rest assured that the rustic atmosphere belies the quality of ingredients, cooking and service at this unique destination restaurant, which happens to be in Calabasas. We enjoy the ocean views driving through Malibu on the Pacific Coast Highway around sunset to get there, although the food – game, seafood, and even vegetarian options – tastes just as good for Valley residents arriving via the 101. 


We recently added it to our Top 10 Outdoor Dining Restaurants around Los Angeles list. This romantic restaurant with multiple patios hosts many wedding parties, although I have to warn you: the two couples I know who celebrated their nuptials there have split up. The babbling brook that flows outside adds a melodious soundtrack to the bucolic atmosphere. 


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