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




  • pinitbutton Dine Out for Less in Washington, DC, During Restaurant Week
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Bourbon Steak restaurant in Washington, DC

by Meryl Pearlstein

The 16th biannual Washington, DC Restaurant Week is taking place until August 22, and will feature over 200 of the area’s finest restaurants and a variety of cuisines. Top restaurants include Dino, Blue Duck Tavern and Bourbon Steak, which is located at the Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC. Guests can choose between 3-course lunch and dinner meals, priced $20.10 and $35.10, respectively. Beverages, tax and tip are not included. Online reservations are available. Visit for more information.

Keep up with the DC dining scene with Washington DC Restaurant Reviews, News, Culinary Events and Wine Dinners. We also feature reviews of top restaurants in the suburbs of our nation’s capital in Maryland and Virginia, including Chevy Chase and Bethesda, Maryland, and Alexandria and Arlington, Virginia.



  • pinitbutton Celebrate Restaurant Week Boston
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Bistro du Midi is one of the many restaurants that will be offering specials during Restaurant Week Boston

by Meryl Pearlstein

Restaurant Week Boston started yesterday, and runs through Friday, August 20, and then next Sunday through Friday August 22-27. The 10th annual Restaurant Week boasts more than 200 participating restaurants throughout Boston, Cambridge and neighboring suburbs. I’m delighted to see some of my all-time favorites on the list: Cambridge’s Rialto, B&G Oysters in the South End and the historic Ye Olde Union Oyster House.

Lunch and dinner options include 2-course lunches for $15.10, 3-course lunches for $20.10 and 3-course dinners for $33.10. Prices exclude beverages, tax and tip. Among the many cuisines that Boston’s Restaurant Week has to offer are fine French, Argentinean and Italian fare. The city is encouraging the use of locally grown ingredients and will be recognizing restaurants that use them in their menus. For more information, visit

Keep up with the Beantown dining scene with Boston Restaurant Reviews, News, Culinary Events and Wine Dinners.



  • pinitbutton Don’t Hide Why It Closed
citrine nyeshaarrington 300x203 Don’t Hide Why It Closed

Chefs Nyesha Arrington and Josiah Citrin

by Sophie Gayot

While I am traveling in France it came to my attention that Caché Restaurant & Lounge in Santa Monica, CA, has closed. The news did not really surprise me. A few weeks after it opened a little over a year ago, I had a rather unsatisfactory meal there, as did the other three guests at my table. Others I respected also did not recommend it, despite its fabulous pedigree on paper. Brothers Greg and Colin Strause and developers Steven Lee and Richard Chacker had partnered with chef Josiah Citrin, chef/owner of Mélisse, one of’s Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. since 2006, and chef Nyesha Arrington, Citrin’s protégée who had worked at Mélisse and Robuchon in Las Vegas. But the results on the plate were not what it should have been from such a top team.


  • pinitbutton Is Spago Beverly Hills Becoming Spago Bel Air?


Perhaps you’ve heard the same rumor I have: that that Spago Beverly Hills was going to relocate to the Hotel Bel-Air, which is currently closed for renovations. The rumor makes perfect sense, as the landmark hotel is part of The Dorchester Collection, famous for attracting top chefs. Don’t they have Alain Ducasse at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris and Yannick Alléno at Le Meurice restaurant (redecorated by Philippe Starck)? And, they could certainly afford it.

Continue reading “Is Spago Beverly Hills Becoming Spago Bel Air?” »



  • pinitbutton Cakes & Crowds at Magnolia
magnolia bakery cake 255x300 Cakes & Crowds at Magnolia

Vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream from Magnolia Bakery in Los Angeles


by Leslie Cotterman 

Who knew Angelenos had such affection for buttercream? Opening day crowds packed into the new Magnolia Bakery on Third Street on Saturday, July 17. Employees hustled to keep the pastry cases full of the famous pastel-colored cupcakes. Customers grabbed free samples from trays offered by cheery staff as they waited patiently in the line that snaked the entire length of the shop. But it wasn’t all about cupcakes. There were mini cheesecakes, bars and layer cakes, too.

Tightening Our Belts

on August 10th, 2010
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  • pinitbutton Tightening Our Belts
harris poll Tightening Our Belts

A recent nationwide survey showed that consumers are still cutting back

by Jeff Hoyt

Is the economy getting better? Consumers are still cutting back, according to a recent Harris poll. The nationwide survey, conducted in June, found that 48 percent of the 2,227 adult respondents said they are brown-bagging lunch instead of purchasing a meal. That’s an increase from the 45 percent of respondents polled in February. If you’re tired of takeout or delivery at the office, try some of our recipes to save some hard-earned cash.

For beverages, 22 percent said they have stopped buying their early morning coffee in order to save money. 39 percent of those polled, or nearly two in five, said they were using refillable water bottles instead of purchasing bottled water, compared with 34 percent who responded that way in February.

For ways to save money dining out, consult the Gayot Economic Stimulus Plan.

Houston Restaurant Week

on August 09th, 2010
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  • pinitbutton Houston Restaurant Week
HORES050508 02 Houston Restaurant Week
17 restaurant in Houston, TX

by Meryl Pearlstein

They say everything is bigger in Texas, which may explain why Houston Restaurant Week runs a whopping three weeks. Continuing until August 21, diners at about 130 area restaurants can enjoy three- and four-course dinners for $35 per person (not including beverages, tax or gratuity). Participating restaurants pledge to donate $5 from each special dinner sold to the Houston Food Bank, which feeds a total of 137,000 Texans each week. Select restaurants will also offer two-course lunch menus for $20, donating $3 of each lunch sold to the charity. Participating restaurants include RDG + Bar Annie, 17, Gravitas, and Haven.

Established in 2003, Houston Restaurant Week has already raised $356,000. Reservations are required. For more information, visit

Keep coming back to for Houston Restaurant News, Reviews, Culinary Events and Wine Dinners.

  • pinitbutton Ice Cream Memories Not Melting Away
mr softee ice cream 218x300 Ice Cream Memories Not Melting Away

Mister Softee Ice Cream

by Jeff Hoyt

While some kids marked the start of summer by the last day of school, my friends and I knew the season was here when we heard the familiar jingle-jangle of the ice cream truck as it started winding its way through our neighborhood. In suburban New York, we actually enjoyed two trucks: the Good Humor man made his rounds during the day, while my favorite, Mister Softee, showed up at dusk to provide a sweet end to our dinnertime. I’ll never forget when my older brother got his own ice cream truck route as a summer job, and I was the envy of the neighborhood as I rode shotgun.

Today, dessert food trucks offer a lot more varied fare, but Mister Softee still peddles his soft serve sweets. Good Humor sold off their truck fleet in 1976, but the 90-year-old company continues to sell their Chocolate Éclair Crunch and Toasted Almond bars at grocery stores and snack shacks. Continue reading “Ice Cream Memories Not Melting Away” »

  • pinitbutton Celebrate Baltimore Restaurant Week
baltimore restaurant week 242x300 Celebrate Baltimore Restaurant Week

Aldo's Ristorante Italiano in Baltimore, MD

by Meryl Pearlstein 


This year’s Baltimore Restaurant Week is set for August 13-22. The city uses this event as a way to encourage exploration of its dynamic neighborhoods, including Little Italy (where you’ll find Aldo’s Ristorante Italiano), Mount Vernon (b), Federal Hill (Tabrizi’s), Canton (Jack’s Bistro) and the Inner Harbor (Morton’s The Steakhouse).

Top chefs include Gertrude’s chef John Shields, who has written several cookbooks and has a TV show on PBS. The prix fixe rates are $20.10 and $35.10 for lunch and dinner, respectively. Discounted parking at city-owned parking garages is also available for restaurant week patrons. 
Start making your reservations now! For more information, visit 

Keep coming back to for Baltimore Restaurant Reviews, Wine Dinners and Baltimore Restaurant Top 10 Lists.



  • pinitbutton In N Out and Cabernet Sauvignon?
turning leaf takeout 167x300 In N Out and Cabernet Sauvignon?

Turning Leaf Cabernet Sauvignon

 by Jeff Hoyt 

A chocolate shake makes a wonderful complement to a fast-food burger, but I’m really enjoying this Turning Leaf Cabernet Sauvignon with my In-N-Out burger. “Wine doesn’t need to be reserved for fine dining,” says Turning Leaf winemaker Nicole Hitchcock, who also suggests pairing the Cab with pizza and a meatball hero. She hopes that more people will pair her very inexpensive line of wines with takeout food, and has even conducted a survey of America’s takeout habits, with some surprising results.

Have you ever pretended that takeout food was something you actually made? 34%, more than 1 in 3, pled guilty. I’ve never done that, but I do admit sneaking a bite of food before bringing it home, along with 61% of the respondents. Continue reading “In-N-Out and Cabernet Sauvignon?” »

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