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




It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere

Margaritaville Frozen-Concoction Maker

Margaritaville Frozen-Concoction Maker

Summer time is here and that means pool parties, BBQ and, of course, margaritas. Part of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville line, the DM0500 Bahamas Frozen-Concoction Maker has what it takes to get any shindig started.  It features dual motors for shaving ice and blending beverages and manual shave and blending options for customized drinks. This product even comes with a shot glass and delicious margarita recipes to help you host the perfect get-together. The 450-watt maker blends up to 36 ounces and measures 14 by 8 by 18 inches. The blender also features an ice reservoir big enough to make one full pitcher of margaritas. With easy instructions and dishwasher-safe parts, this Bahamas Frozen-Concoction Maker will have you shouting “Fiesta!” in no time.

Reviewed by Bridget Johnson

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Donelan 2011 "Two Brothers" Pinot Noir

Donelan 2011 “Two Brothers” Pinot Noir

Price: $55

Rating: 16/20

Region: North Coast, California

Varietal: 100 percent Pinot Noir

Production: 900 cases

Alcohol: 14.4 percent

Tasting Notes: Made with Sonoma and Mendocino County grapes, the 2011 “Two Brothers” Pinot Noir is an elegant, medium-bodied wine. It boasts fruit-forward black cherry and raspberry flavors, notes of brown sugar and spice and silky tannins.

Food Pairings: Roast turkey, grilled chicken, duck, fresh salmon

For more information, visit

Continue reading “Donelan 2011 “Two Brothers” Pinot Noir – Wine of the Week Review” »

The Celebrity Solstice at sea

The Celebrity Solstice at sea

Gastronomy at Sea

Sometimes cruising is less about the destination and more about the journey itself. Cruise ships have evolved into giant floating resort complexes, getting bigger and better as years go by. Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice Class is a prime example with thirteen decks of luxurious staterooms and facilities, including a state-of-the-art spa and fitness center with breathtaking views, indoor and outdoor pools, a theater, a glass-blowing workshop, a shopping galleria, the first Lawn Club at sea and a running track. But the star of the Solstice Class is the dining and beverage program.

Continue reading “Cruising and Dining on the Celebrity Solstice” »

Bourbon aging in the barrel at Buffalo Trace Distillery

Bourbon aging in the barrel at Buffalo Trace Distillery

by Barnaby Hughes

Is the American whiskey industry becoming the victim of its own success? According to distillers like Buffalo Trace, producer of brands such as Blanton’s and Pappy Van Winkle, bourbon is currently in such high demand that shortages seem inevitable, despite an increase in production. Part of the problem, they say, is the many years of aging required to make a quality product. This means that production can’t be suddenly ramped up to satisfy demand.

Continue reading “Bourbon Shortage – Spirits News” »

The outdoor lounge at Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails

The outdoor lounge at Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails

As the flagship of Red Lion Hotels’ chain makeover, Red Lion Hotel on Fifth Avenue in Seattle is undergoing a major overhaul. Starting with the common areas, they’ve upped the ante in terms of décor, with vibrant, contemporary colors, new furniture and modern art in what was once a Red Lion Inn. The new restaurant, Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails, sports a gorgeous interior and inviting outdoor patio (weather permitting, that is). There is a fitness room, as well as plans to add a spa.

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"Man of Steel" official movie poster

“Man of Steel” official movie poster

Two and a half stars

Genre: Action, Superhero
Rated: PG-13
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Starring: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Russell Crowe
Released by: Warner Bros.
Run time: 143 minutes
Year: 2013

Buy Man of Steel on   Fandango  - We've Got Your Movie Tickets!


View the Trailer Visit Official Site





It’s a puzzling paradox that has plagued comic book lovers, rabid film buffs and observers of pop culture alike: why has Hollywood been unable to create a truly great portrayal of Superman, the international icon and perhaps America’s first transcendent superhero? While the last attempt, 2006’s “Superman Returns,” debuted to healthy box office returns and generally decent reviews, it has been largely forgotten and consigned to the dustbin of cinematic history.

Continue reading ““Man of Steel” – Movie Review” »

Actor David Arquette with Sophie Gayot

Actor David Arquette with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

We can all thank actor David Arquette for welcoming us to his beautiful Beverly Hills house for the 2013 Vintage Hollywood 12th Annual Wine & Food Tasting Event.

Some Los Angeles chefs offered delicious tasting bites like the scallop ceviche by littlefork, an array of grilled cheese sandwiches by chef Eric Greenspan, tuna tartare tacos by soon-to-open Del Frisco’s Grille in Santa Monica, and burgers by probably the best burger chain The Counter. Let’s not forget the oysters by Christophe Happillon‘s The Oyster Gourmet, and the savory finale of cheeses from the celebrated Cheese Store of Beverly Hills.


Continue reading “Assembling Around the Pool for Charity” »

Jericho Canyon 2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Jericho Canyon 2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Price: $90

Rating: 15.5/20

Region: Napa Valley (Calistoga), California

Varietals: 95 percent Cabernet Sauvignon & 5 percent Merlot

Production: 420 cases

Alcohol: 14.5 percent

Tasting Notes: Drinkable now, yet capable of aging well for another decade or two, the Jericho Canyon 2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon boasts an excellent balance of fruit, tannins and acidity. Offering orange zest and toffee on the nose, it reveals intense, concentrated black fruit flavors in the mouth with a hint of coffee.

Food Pairings: Lamb shank, filet mignon, venison, goat cheese

Continue reading “Jericho Canyon 2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – Wine of the Week Review” »



Tents await lunch and bidding at Auction Napa Valley 2013 at the Meadowood resort

Tents await lunch and bidding at Auction Napa Valley 2013 at the Meadowood resort

The American Wine Classic – 33rd Annual Wine Auction

2013: The Marvels & Miracles

Event Chairs: Garen and Shari Staglin of Staglin Family Vineyard

Beneficiaries: Programs benefiting healthcare and child development in Napa County

***   Raised: $16.9 million   ***


–  Saturday May 26, 2013: E-Auction

Opens for online bids on 170 lots. Raised $430,000.

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Vino at Valentino

on June 06th, 2013
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Le Corti dei Farfensi "S. Joseph" Rosso Piceno Superiore DOC 2009 and Pileum "Massitium" 2009

Le Corti dei Farfensi “S. Joseph” Rosso Piceno Superiore DOC 2009 and Pileum “Massitium” 2009

by Jeff Hoyt

Italian cuisine restaurants have been popular in the U.S. for decades. And what better way to enjoy Italian food than accompanied by fine Italian vino? We recently enjoyed an evening of Italian wines at Valentino, Piero Selvaggio‘s Santa Monica restaurant that celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, as part of the Vino California celebration. Other events around town included dinners at Aventine Hollywood, Enoteca Drago and a Grand Tasting.

“In only its third year, Vino California has quickly become an iconic fixture on the national wine landscape,” said Letizia Miccoli, Executive Director of the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce West. “We are thrilled to bring such an extensive taste of Italy to Los Angeles which is filled with experienced wine consumers and professionals that are eager to learn more about old world wines.”

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