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




Proud to be an American

on January 31st, 2013
Print This Post Print This Post



Flag design on tailfin

Flag design on tailfin

American Airlines Flies with new Logo and Livery

by Alain Gayot

Every so often an airline comes out with new features, and there is a lot brewing these days with new aircraft technology. American Airlines has reached such a milestone with the advent of light aircraft based on carbon fiber parts and other lightweight materials. For decades, the iconic airline flew with shiny aluminum skins only seen these days on vintage aircraft at shows and museums. A requirement had made it that AA needed to paint their planes. So starting today American Airlines Flight #963 from Dallas to Sao Paolo, Brazil, is the first commercial flight of the airline’s brand new 777-300ER plane to fly the new exterior scheme with silver mica paint to remind you of the earlier planes’ metallic look. A new modern logo with a stylized eagle sits next to the giant word “American” while on the tail waves a proud rendition of Old Glory.

Continue reading “Proud to be an American” »



by André Gayot

I wonder: is there a single best restaurant in the entire world? On what basis could such a global title be awarded? Yet some have made a business of an annual proclamation with great fanfare of “The best restaurant in the world.”

To place things in perspective, let me remind you of the old tale of the three eateries competing on Main Street, Trouduculville, a former Canadian trapper post in Northern Nebraska. Mac Adam Smith, descendant of a Scottish settler, opened the first restaurant there and dubbed it with some restraint, “The best in town.” Gregory Braun, whose grandfather emigrated from Hungary between the two world wars had a broader ambition and embellished his establishment with the nickname, “The best in the country.” As to the latest restaurateur, Arturo Martinez of Mexican descent, he placidly ended the debate when he posted a big sign on the façade that read, “The best on the street.” That confirms that all things are relative, n’est-ce pas?

Continue reading “Can Old Pots Make It To The Top?” »

The BMW 750i is available for chauffeur service at all Fairmont Hotels in the United States and Canada

The BMW 750i is available for chauffeur service at all Fairmont Hotels in the United States and Canada

BMW recently announced the expansion of its partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, offering complimentary local shuttle service at all U.S. properties. Already available at Canadian locations, the service will be available to all Fairmont President’s Club members, and will feature both the BMW 750i sedan and the X5 SUV. For those looking to experience their surroundings at a somewhat slower pace, Fairmont also offers complimentary usage of BMW Cruise Bikes. Designed for frequent Fairmont guests, the President’s Club is free to join, and includes additional benefits such as high-speed wireless internet, expedited check-in and check-out, and athletic apparel by Reebok.

Continue reading “BMW Expands Partnership with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts – Car and Travel News” »

Cal Jet Air debuts direct flights to Mazatlan with carrier XTRA Airways

Cal Jet Air debuts direct flights to Mazatlan with carrier XTRA Airways

There’s no better time than now to visit one of the hottest wintertime destinations south of the Mexican border. For the first time in years, an American airline is offering convenient and affordable non-stop flights to Mazatlán from five different U.S. locations: Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Oakland and San Antonio.

Continue reading “Cal Jet Air Offers Non-Stop Flights to Mazatlán – Travel Special” »

Joios! Rooftop Tasting

on January 22nd, 2013
Print This Post Print This Post



Joios! Rooftop Tasting

At the Joios! Rooftop Tasting, wines are brown-bagged and labeled so as not to reveal their identity.

by Michelle Kwan

Joios, as the name would suggest, celebrates the spirit of conviviality marked by fine wine, good company, and the idea that quality bottles should be accessible to all. Bringing together oenophiles of all stripes, Joios invites participants to partake in a blind tasting focusing on specific varietals or shared characteristics. With Joios’ unique “discover and uncover” approach, wines are brown-bagged and labeled so as not to reveal their identity; participants are then asked to taste pours of each and take notes according to their impression and preference. Afterwards, a tally is taken based upon tasters’ votes and notes. Finally, the wines are unveiled and background as to provenance, age, varietal, and vineyard are discussed.

At a recent New York tasting that we attended, Grenaches from several countries were sampled, including one from Spain and a particularly noteworthy smooth and fruity French variety. To kick things off, participants’ palates were primed with a crisp, undisguised French rosé. Continue reading “Joios! Rooftop Tasting” »



by Sophie Gayot

There is sunny Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and there is the Champs-Élysées in Paris, which is buried under snow as I write this. Each of these prestigious streets has only a single hotel directly located on them: the Paris Marriott Hotel Champs-Élysées and Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel. While there are many restaurants with terraces on the most beautiful avenue in the world (“la plus belle avenue du monde”), there is only one on the walk of style: On Rodeo Bistro & Lounge.

Discover the restaurant with my exclusive video interview of hotel general manager Marcus Mueller and French executive chef Olivier Rousselle. Read the just published review of the restaurant to learn its rating and more.

Continue reading “French Restaurant on Rodeo Drive” »

The Great Wall of China, to the north of Beijing, is one of's Top 10 Must-See Travel Destinations of 2013

The Great Wall of China, to the north of Beijing, is one of’s Top 10 Must-See Travel Destinations of 2013

The doors to two of China’s hottest destination cities have just swung open a little wider. Now, travelers staying 72 hours (three days) or less are welcome to Beijing and Shanghai without the hassle of obtaining a Chinese visa — that’s an entire day more of sightseeing than the previous visa rule allowed.

For visitors to Beijing, this means an extended layover could include visits to the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China, without the stress of embassy bureaucracy.

Continue reading “Explore Beijing and Shanghai Visa Free – Travel News” »

by Barnaby Hughes

If you can’t find Tequila that you like, why not make your own? That’s what actor George Clooney and nightlife entrepreneur Rande Gerber decided to do. The two Tequila-lovers, who have built houses next to each other in Baja California, teamed up with a master distiller in Jalisco, Mexico, to craft a premium Tequila. They launched their joint venture, Casamigos, which translates loosely as “house of friends.”

The convivial nature of the partnership is on full display in Casamigos’ new video ad, which begins with Clooney in bed with Gerber’s supermodel wife Cindy Crawford and ends with Gerber in her place. (Stacy Keibler, Clooney’s girlfriend, also appears in the ad). The sobering message is: Please drink responsibly.

Continue reading “George Clooney and Rande Gerber Launch Casamigos Tequila” »

Ben Affleck at the 2013 Critics' Choice Movie Awards

Ben Affleck at the 2013 Critics’ Choice Movie Awards

by Barnaby Hughes

The 18th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, which takes place tonight at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, CA, will have Nicolas Feuillatte as its exclusive Champagne sponsor for the second year in a row. Broadcast live on the CW television network at 8 p.m., the annual awards ceremony will present the best films of 2012. The CCMA awards, hosted this year by KTLA-TV’s Sam Rubin, is thought to be an important influence on other award shows.

Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte should “bring an air of glamour and elegance [to the awards ceremony], and help elevate our function to a whole new level,” acknowledged Joe Berlin, President of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association and founder of the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards. The Champagne will be served during the ceremony as well as on the red carpet and at the after-party.

Continue reading “Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Sponsors Critics’ Choice Movie Awards” »


New Life Hiking Spa hotel

New Life Hiking Spa retreat

Who knew relaxation, diet and exercise could go so well together? Jimmy LeSage, the founder of New Life Hiking Spa in Killington, Vermont, put his money on the idea 35 years ago, and it’s still paying off — for his guests, that is.

To coincide with your New Year’s resolution to lose weight and get toned, New Life is offering celebratory rates for their 35 years of service for those wanting to shed pounds while on vacation.

Continue reading “New Life Hiking Spa Shares 35 Years of Weight Loss with Guests – Travel Special” »

Older Posts »
Page 1 of 212