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




Women in Film & Champagne

on February 28th, 2011
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Actress Halle Berry & Sophie Gayot

Actress Halle Berry & Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

Bubbles of Perrier-Jouët Champagne were floating in glasses during the 4th Annual Women in Film pre-Oscar reception hosted by Academy Award® Winners Halle Berry and Cathy Schulman. The star-studded event was held at the Soho House’s garden rooftop in West Hollywood on Friday, February 25th.

The few men who attended the party, including Halle’s new flame Olivier Martinez, were happy to mingle with Amy Adams, Kate Walsh, Gillian Jacobs, Melissa Leo, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Jennifer Morrison, Hailee Steinfeld and Malika Sherawat, among others.

WIF President Cathy Schulman reiterated the night’s theme when she said, “This organization is about women supporting women.” Halle also briefly greeted the crowd, speaking about how, as women, it is important to support each other and lift each other up.

Continue reading “Women in Film & Champagne” »

by Sophie Gayot

Our steakhouse lists are some of the most read ones on, so it made sense that we would dedicate a section in our Annual Restaurant Issue to honor ten of the best steakhouse restaurants in the U.S. There are many—so this was not an easy choice. Congratulations to the winners!

Check out my exclusive video interview above with executive chef Ari Rosenson at CUT Beverly Hills at the Beverly Wilshire hotel (he is also Regional Culinary Director, Los Angeles Restaurants & CUT Concepts), to see why CUT made the list. And to complete the tour of Wolfgang Puck’s steakhouse, watch my videos with general manager Mishel LeDoux and beverage director Dana Farner.

Continue reading “ 2011 Top 10 Steakhouses in the US” »

Paris, Produce & Purple

on February 23rd, 2011
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by Sophie Gayot

Fresh off the plane from Los Angeles, I headed to Le 114 Faubourg in Paris with an American friend of mine to show her how a chef can bring brasserie cuisine to a luxurious level. The restaurant is located in the Hôtel Le Bristol and is overseen by chef Eric Frechon, so I was pretty sure that the demonstration would be good. My assumption was confirmed.

At Le 114, produce is king. The cuisine, prepared by chef de cuisine Eric Desbordes, is simple, one you can have (almost) every day. Watch my exclusive video interview above with chef Frechon to learn more and see the luxury brasserie.


Continue reading “Paris, Produce & Purple” »



Dry Creek Kitchen is one of many excellent establishments participating in this year's Sonoma County Restaurant Week

Dry Creek Kitchen is one of many excellent establishments participating in this year's Sonoma County Restaurant Week

by Jeff Hoyt

It’s not all about wine in Sonoma County. They’re holding their 2nd Annual Restaurant Week right now until Sunday, February 27. During this seven-day celebration of Sonoma County’s farm-fresh food, with an emphasis on local ingredients, guests can enjoy three-course dinner menus at $19, $29, or $39, depending on the restaurant. This promotion includes appetizer, entrée, and dessert; tips, beverages, and tax are not included in pricing.

Each participating restaurant will offer their own unique menu and select restaurants will feature a bottle of — you guessed it — Sonoma County wine. Reservations are strongly recommended. Selections include Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg, Hana Japanese Restaurant in Rohnert Park, Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar in Sonoma, and many, many more. Visit for additional details.

Keep coming back to for the latest in Napa and Sonoma restaurant reviews and wine events.

A Sweet Angel out of Hell

on February 18th, 2011
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by Sophie Gayot

Two days ago, I finally got to spend quality time Nona Sivley, the winner of season 8 of Hell’s Kitchen, in person. The funny thing is that when I was on the show judging a challenge on episode 8, I had to compare her to another chef. And she won!

Sivley is as sweet as a person can be. She has such positive energy, you just want to be around her; her husband Curtis and son Jackson are very lucky. She has now arrived at Kerry Simon’s LA Market at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live to work as the chef de cuisine. She’s always pleasant, even though she gets in at 6 a.m. and leaves around 10 p.m. If you thought being a chef was an easy job, you are mistaken.

Continue reading “A Sweet Angel out of Hell” »

And the LA Winners Are…!

on February 16th, 2011
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by Sophie Gayot

On Valentine’s Day, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Frank Mottek of KNX1070 about our 2011 Restaurant Issue.

Since his daily show, the KNX Business Hour, airs locally, we discussed the Los Angeles winners in the following categories:

Top 40 Restaurants in the US — there were five local winners: Mélisse, Patina, Providence, Spago Beverly Hills, Urasawa
Top 10 New Restaurants in the USThe Royce was our choice
Top 10 Steakhouses in the USCUT at the Beverly Wilshire
Top 10 Insider Picks in the USThe Bazaar by José Andrés at SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills
Top 5 Rising Chefs in the USChef Jordan Kahn at Red Medicine.

If you missed the show, you can listen to it here.

I also mentioned Cleo and Savory, two new restaurants, for their very reasonable prices. For more about new restaurants in Los Angeles, visit’s New & Notable list.

A Savory Experience

on February 15th, 2011
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by: Sophie Gayot

Chef Paul Shoemaker had a Chumash Indian blessing ceremony when Savory, his Malibu restaurant, opened. We’d like to believe that the sacred vibe of the Chumash permeates the California bistro, and that Savory will be a success.

Many elements are there for the beach town residents: an elegant, yet casual and welcoming décor; very fresh local produce; tasty cuisine; low prices (the most expensive dish is $16); a quality wine list; and very good service.

Continue reading “A Savory Experience” »



The Bristol is one of 200-plus Windy City restaurants participating in Chicago Restaurant Week (photo courtesy of Neil Burger.)

by Jennifer Olvera

Just in time for a much-needed winter relief, Chicago Restaurant Week hits February 18-27 — yes, it’s longer than seven days — giving diners access to over 200 prix-fixe menus priced at $22 during lunch and usually $33 or $44 during dinner, plus drinks, tax and gratuity. We think it’s a pretty sweet deal.

Continue reading “Chicago Restaurant Week Starts Friday” »

Los Originales, the most popular radio show in South America, airs daily on La X 103.9 FM in Colombia

Los Originales, the most popular radio show in South America, airs daily on La X 103.9 FM in Colombia

by: Sophie Gayot

Parece que los EE.UU. no es el único país interesado en el 10 mejores nuevos restaurantes en los EE.UU. que nos aparece en la edición 2011 Restaurante. Miércoles por la tarde, tuve el placer de discutir nuestras selecciones con el famoso periodista colombiano Jaime Sánchez Cristo en su programa dario de radio “Los Originales”, que se transmite de Colombia en La X 103.9 FM. Usted puede escuchar la entrevista, tanto en Inglés y Español, y escuchar los nombres de los ganadores.

It seems that the US is not the only country interested in the Top 10 New Restaurants in the US that we published in the 2011 Restaurant Issue. Wednesday afternoon, I had the pleasure of discussing our selections with famous Colombian journalist Jaime Sánchez Cristo on his daily radio show Los Originales that airs from Colombia on La X 103.9 FM. You may listen to the interview, both in English and Spanish, and hear the names of the winners.

Continue reading “ 2011 10 Mejores Nuevos Restaurantes de Los Estados Unidos” »

by: Sophie Gayot

To make our annual list of the Top 5 Rising Chefs in the US, there are two rules: the chefs have to be under 30, and have to be quite talented, with expectation of a bright future in the highest echelon of the culinary world.

Watch my exclusive video interview above with chef Jordan Kahn of Red Medicine in Beverly Hills, and see why we made him one of our selections.

Continue reading “ 2011 Top 5 Rising Chefs in the US” »

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