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




  • pinitbutton 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show   Car News
mb sls amg 300x180 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show   Car News

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series making its debut at the 2012 LA Auto Show

World-Class Car Convention

From PCH to the Sunset Strip, Southern California was made for cruising, and there’s no bigger celebration of the Southland’s car culture than the annual Los Angeles Auto Show. Open to the public November 30 through December 9, the 2012 LA Auto Show promises to rev SoCal car fans into a frenzy, with nearly 50 vehicle debuts including both concept cars and soon-to-be-available production models. Among the anticipated unveilings at this year’s show is the world debut of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series, as well as the North American debuts of the Jaguar F-TYPE and the BMW i8 Spyder plug-in hybrid concept.

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The Balvenie Fifty

on November 28th, 2012
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  • pinitbutton The Balvenie Fifty

A Limited-Edition $32,000 Scotch

balvenie fifty bottle 163x300 The Balvenie Fifty

The Balvenie Aged 50 Years with its special packaging

Two important events took place at the Scottish firm William Grant & Sons in 1962. David Stewart was hired as an apprentice, and cask #5576 was filled with newly distilled whisky from The Balvenie Distillery. Although Scotland and its namesake spirit have a long and glorious history, the country hadn’t even begun exporting single malt Scotch at the time. Stewart rose through the ranks and became a Malt Master for the company (which owns distilleries including The Balvenie and Glenfiddich), nosing more than 400,000 casks of whisky through the years, while that single barrel matured. Many of Stewart’s techniques working with single malt whisky, such as aging the spirit in two different types of barrels, became industry standards, and he earned numerous accolades while that oh-so-special European oak sherry hogshead continued to age, mellow and evaporate.

Fifty years later, Stewart has become a consultant to the company, and that cask was finally bottled. We were lucky enough to attend an event at Mastro’s Steakhouse in Beverly Hills honoring Stewart’s fifty years of contributions to the Scotch whisky industry as well as taste the whisky that was five decades in the making.

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  • pinitbutton Go Whale Watching in Maui with Kaanapali Beach Hotel   Travel Special
kaanapali beach hotel cour 300x177 Go Whale Watching in Maui with Kaanapali Beach Hotel   Travel Special

Kaanapali Beach Hotel courtyard

If the pristine beaches of Maui aren’t enough to get you on a plane, then perhaps being up close and personal with the largest creatures in the world is a good reason to go. Thanks to Kaanapali Beach Hotel, you’ll get all that, plus more, in an offer you most certainly won’t want to throw back.

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Terrace with a View

on November 26th, 2012
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  • pinitbutton Terrace with a View

by Sophie Gayot

The Las Vegas Strip has two ends, and there is a restaurant with amazing views at each end. A few weeks ago I profiled Top of the World at the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower. Today let’s move south and head to mega chef Alain Ducasse‘s restaurant Mix IN LAS VEGAS. Located on the 64th floor of THEHotel at Mandalay Bay, its views of Sin City are just grand.

Watch my exclusive video interview with executive chef Bruno Riou. Since the elevator is made of clear glass, that could be the only way to enjoy the restaurant if you have vertigo. For everyone else, admire the décor inside, then book a table on the terrace. I recommend heading there just before sunset for the best views possible.

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  • pinitbutton The Mark Hotel in New York Offers Airport Concierge   Travel News

the mark exterior 201x300 The Mark Hotel in New York Offers Airport Concierge   Travel News

The Mark hotel in New York

After a long flight to The Big Apple, who wants the stress of figuring out how to get into the city? Not us. Luckily, The Mark hotel in the Upper East Side of Manhattan is offering the relief we’ve all waited for: airport concierge.

Upon landing, a concierge will meet you at the gate, whisk you through customs and passport control, grab your bags and direct you to the car, which will be sitting curbside. Following a smooth ride to The Mark, you’re practically taken by the hand and led to the comfort of your hotel room.

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  • pinitbutton Celebrate Thanksgiving at a Top Restaurant

by Sophie Gayot

For those dining out on America’s harvest holiday, we’ve put together a selection of the best restaurants near you. Simply visit’s main Thanksgiving page and select your city.

If you happen to be in the San Diego area during this time and want a luxurious Thanksgiving, head to Addison at The Grand Del Mar hotel.

Given Addison’s distinction as one of’s Top 40 Restaurants in the US since 2010, you can be sure that chef William Bradley has prepared an award-winning dinner. The six-course menu, priced at $180 per person (or $290 with wine pairings), will of course include turkey. The salt-roasted bird will be served with butternut squash, brioche and Brussels sprouts — and you can add white truffle for $65.

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  • pinitbutton Cognac One Tasting at Corkbuzz Wine Studio
Bar Drinks 300x248 Cognac One Tasting at Corkbuzz Wine Studio

The bar at Corkbuzz Wine Studio

by Michelle Kwan

The recent Cognac One Champagne and Wine Portfolio Tasting held at Corkbuzz Wine Studio showcased some of the best vintages from both internationally recognized and lesser known but equally noteworthy vineyards alike. Venerable houses like Bollinger-owned Champagne maker Ayala, the only French Champagne producer with Latin provenance and one of the founding members of the Syndicat des Grandes Marques de Champagne, presented a delightful Brut Majeur in which hints of citrus prevailed consisting of 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Meunier. They also presented a Rosé Majeur consisting of 51% Chardonnay, 39% Pinot Noir and 10% Pinot Meunier.

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  • pinitbutton High Rolling Dining Experience

by Sophie Gayot

While there are many restaurants in Las Vegas, some offer dramatic views that can make your dining experience even more exciting. Top of the World at the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel & Tower is one of them. Perched on the 108th floor of a tower from which you can jump (don’t worry, the SkyJump is safe, as guests are tethered) on a 180-degree revolving platform, the view is just breathtaking.

Even better, Top of World is not what we call a “tourist trap” as the food is quite good. The chef, Claude Gaty, is French and has traveled around the world. He has brought back flavors from all over that he combines well in his dishes, such as his roasted pork belly with chimichurri. To discover more, watch my exclusive video interview with Gaty and hotel executive chef Rick Giffen.

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  • pinitbutton How I Do A.C.   My Atlantic City Experience
atlantic city view from water 300x174 How I Do A.C.   My Atlantic City Experience

A view of Atlantic City from the water

by Cara Trump

Everything I know about Atlantic City I learned from TV and movies — “Boardwalk Empire,” “Atlantic City,” “Rounders.” In short: mobsters and gambling. But as I learned on a recent pre-Sandy trip to the “Vegas of the East Coast,” there is much more on offer than just slot machines, card games and a history of unsavory characters. Atlantic City is quickly becoming a destination for luxury accommodations, fine dining, shopping and entertainment.

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  • pinitbutton Ski for Free at Canyons Resort with Waldorf Astoria Park City   Travel Special
canyons resort ski 300x200 Ski for Free at Canyons Resort with Waldorf Astoria Park City   Travel Special

Park City, Utah ski lifts (courtesy of Canyons Resort, by Justin Olsen)

There are often advantages to booking hotel rooms early: cheaper rates and choicer rooms are two. For the holidays, Waldorf Astoria Park City is offering yet another — book two nights at this posh snowy mountain retreat and you’ll get two free lift tickets to Canyons Resort. Which is why you’d probably want to go this time of year anyway, right? That’s what we thought.

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