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




SoCal $avings

on September 30th, 2010
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oc restaurant week 300x136 SoCal $avings

Harborside Restaurant & Grand Ballroom in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA

by Jeff Hoyt


Don’t we all have restaurants we’d like to try, but are a little out of our price range? In Southern California, now’s the time to go out to eat. This is Orange County Restaurant Week, which features more than 100 participating restaurants. Eateries will offer special three-course menus. Depending on where you dine, lunch will cost just $10, $15 or $20 while dinners are $20, $30 or $40. Some of this year’s participants include Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails, Bluewater Grill, Geisha House, Harborside Restaurant & Grand Ballroom, Kimera Restaurant & Lounge, Mozambique Steakhouse, Palm Terrace, Sage, Stonehill Tavern and Tradition by Pascal. For a full restaurant list, menus, locations and reservation information, visit

Continue reading “SoCal $avings” »

Decades of Helping Others

on September 29th, 2010
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  • pinitbutton Decades of Helping Others

by Sophie Gayot       

As we say: “Ladies, first!” Sorry, Master Puck, but in the video above, Barbara Lazaroff is the first to present the 28th Annual American Wine & Food Festival that the two of you created 28 years ago in a parking lot below the original Spago on Sunset Boulevard. Some chefs, like Piero Selvaggio of Valentino, have attended all of these great charitable events since. Continue reading “Decades of Helping Others” »

  • pinitbutton Introduction to Food Halls, Pt. 2: Eataly
eataly 300x192 Introduction to Food Halls, Pt. 2: Eataly

Eataly Food Hall in the Flatiron District of NYC

by Meryl Pearlstein
Yesterday we profiled The Plaza Food Hall in NYC. Another food hall, Eataly (get it?), opened last month in the Flatiron District, offering culinary classes and fine foods and drinks from throughout Italy all under one enormous roof. Owned by Mario Batali, Joe and Lidia Bastianich and Eataly founder Oscar Farinetti, Eataly adheres to a philosophy of creating a bona fide Italian experience for each guest, whether they consume the food presented by the resident chefs or buy the ingredients to create a feast themselves.

Introducing Food Halls

on September 27th, 2010
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plaza food hall Introducing Food Halls

The expansive bakery at the Plaza Food Hall

by Meryl Pearlstein

While food trucks continue to proliferate across the country, New Yorkers are already enjoying the latest culinary trend: food halls. At these new culinary destinations, foodies can eat, buy ingredients, and learn how to prepare and cook them all in one place.

Conceived by Todd English, The Plaza Food Hall features a European-style market inside The Plaza Hotel offering an extensive array of dishes. The 5,400 square-foot, 80-seat space offers dine-in and take-away options from more than eight culinary stations, as well as fresh flowers, a range of international specialty foods, cookware and home goods like coffee, tea, jams, spices and sauces. The open kitchens throughout the space allow for interactive events including cooking demonstrations with the star of PBS’s Food Trip with Todd English and other visiting chefs as well as wine tastings.

Continue reading “Introducing Food Halls” »

A Concluding Test

on September 24th, 2010
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  • pinitbutton A Concluding Test

by Sophie Gayot

A week after my first visit to Test Kitchen, I returned there to try dinner. Chef Brian Redzikowski of BondSt at the Thompson hotel in Beverly Hills was cooking, and the place was absolutely packed. I had an 8:15 reservation, but arrived late, and had to wait for my table for quite a while. My repeated requests to start my dinner at the bar were rejected. I kept being told, “No, Chef does not want anybody to be served at the bar. He wants everybody to be seated at a table.” Continue reading “A Concluding Test” »

  • pinitbutton “Top Chef” Contestant Takes On Home Turf
DFRES100801 “Top Chef” Contestant Takes On Home Turf

"Top Chef" contestant Casey Thompson's Brownstone restaurant in Forth Worth, TX

by Becky Sauer 

Texas native and “Top Chef” Season 3 contestant Casey Thompson is back on her home turf with her first signature restaurant, Brownstone, in Fort Worth. She’s crafted a menu of modern (but still stick-to-your-ribs) Southern-inspired fare like mini chicken pot pies, barbecue pork rib-lets with house-made sauce and sweet relish, and a bone-in buffalo skillet rib-eye with potato dumplings and cumin-butter.

Find out what else is cooking in the Metroplex with Dallas/Fort Worth Restaurant News, Restaurant Reviews, Culinary Events and Dallas/Fort Worth Wine Dinners.

A Toast to Fall

on September 22nd, 2010
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Check out the Top 10 Fall Beers in our Quarterly Wine Newsletter for autumn

by Jeff Hoyt


Sure, it’s great to knock down an ice-cold beer on a hot summer day, but there are certain beers that really shine as the days go brisk. Check out our top 10 fall beers list and learn about pumpkin ales and an amber lager named after crime-fighter Eliot Ness! Our Quarterly Wine Newsletter, published today, also profiles the best Oktoberfest celebrations for next month, and the top 10 Thanksgiving wines for the following month. For those looking to fall in love this fall, we’ve even got the top 10 bars for a first date. The issue also contains information you can use year-round, including the restaurants near you with top wine lists, the best wine bars in your area, and an inexpensive tequila that’s 100% blue agave. Skoal!

Saved by the Décor?

on September 21st, 2010
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tequila tunnel 228x300 Saved by the Décor?

The tequila tunnel at chef Rick Bayless’ Red O restaurant in Los Angeles

by Sophie Gayot

youtube5 Saved by the Décor? Watch our exclusive video interview with Rick Bayless talking about his book Fiesta at Rick’s.


Red O is currently the hot place to see and be seen in Los Angeles. It’s celebrity chef Rick Bayless’ first restaurant outside of Chicago. There he operates Frontera Grill which has become a mecca for food lovers in the Windy City, and next-door neighbor Topolobampo, which some rate as one of the best Mexican restaurants in the country. I cannot say all these good things about his restaurant on Melrose.


Last night, I headed to Red O for dinner, and tried 25 (yes, twenty-five) dishes plus two desserts. I had a rather disappointing meal, especially since I had high expectations. The best dish of all was the pescado Zarandeado, a wood-grilled striped bass basted with red chili and served with three salsas, Veracruz-style white rice with sweet plantains and arugula salad. On the other side of the scale, avoid the creamy goat cheese cheesecake accompanied by Mexican “root beer” sauce and caramel popcorn.

  Continue reading “Saved by the Décor?” »

  • pinitbutton Eat, Drink, and Be Merry and Charitable!
american wine and food fest Eat, Drink, and Be Merry and Charitable!

The American Wine & Food Festival

by Jeff Hoyt

If the start of fall is bringing you down this week, perk up by attending the 28th American Wine & Food Festival which supports the Meals On Wheels Programs of Los Angeles. If Saturday night in LA is chilly, warm up with fine food from chefs from around the globe, including Thomas Keller (Bouchon), Paul Bartolotta (Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare), Tetsu Yahagi (Spago Beverly Hills), David McIntyre & Sally Camacho (WP24), Mark Peel (Campanile, The Tar Pit), Julian Serrano (Picasso), François Payard (Payard Patisserie & Bistro), Cameron Lewark (Spago Maui), Dean Fearing (Fearing’s) and Paul Prudhomme (K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen). There will also be plenty of wine and spirit purveyors pouring their warming wares on the backlot at Universal Studios, including Duckhorn Vineyards, J Vineyards, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Beam Global Spirits & Wine and Ultimat Vodka. You can also dance to stay warm, as we did last year until security made us stop, but that’s another story!
Continue reading “Eat, Drink, and Be Merry and Charitable!” »



  • pinitbutton Chicago Gourmet Ushers in Fall

esissonphotoIRA 1121 300x200 Chicago Gourmet Ushers in Fall
by Jennifer Olvera  

Chicago is gearing up for one of its biggest—and, arguably, tastiest—galas: Chicago Gourmet, courtesy of the Illinois Restaurant Association in conjunction with Bon Appetit magazine. The third-annual event will be held in Millennium Park on September 25 from noon until 6 p.m. and September 26 from noon until 5 p.m. and will feature hundreds of the city’s leading chefs, sommeliers, brewers, winemakers and distillers—as well as famed ones beyond Chicago city limits.

From beer tastings to chef demos, seminars to book signings, its attendees will have no shortage of edible opportunities throughout. Plus, Bon Appetit editor Barbara Fairchild and Executive Chef Cat Cora will be present (see them in the Marketplace Tent). Additionally, the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) will feature the Specialty Food Pavillion, where over 60 food and beverage purveyors will be offering samples. Continue reading “Chicago Gourmet Ushers in Fall” »

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