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






by Sophie Gayot

This is not the first time that the endless creativity of chef José Andrés compelled me to my computer to write a piece after sitting at the table of one of his restaurants.

This time, it is about the second annual Truffle Season Dinner Series at SAAM, the chef’s private tasting room in The Bazaar at SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills. This series presents a great challenge as the key ingredient is what Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin called “the diamonds of the kitchen“. Using truffles reduces dramatically Andrés’ range of action and forces him to express himself in one direction.

Continue reading “Truffle Extraordinaire Part 1” »

Hooker 2010 "Blind Side" Zinfandel

Hooker 2010 “Blind Side” Zinfandel

Price: $18

Rating: 14.5/20

Region: California

Varietal: 79 percent Zinfandel, 20 percent Petite Sirah & 1 percent Merlot

Production: 1,040 cases

Alcohol: 14 percent

Tasting Notes: Betsy Lawer’s father played hooker on Stanford University’s rugby team; her husband David played hooker for Duke. To celebrate their love for the sport, David and Betsy Lawer of Lawer Family Wines created their Hooker label. Grapes are sourced from the winery’s estate in Knights Valley and from vineyards across California. The 2010 “Blind Side” Zinfandel is a nicely balanced Continue reading “Hooker 2010 “Blind Side” Zinfandel – Wine of the Week Review” »

Cooking with Scott Conant

on October 26th, 2013
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by Sophie Gayot





If you have experienced chef Scott Conant’s cooking at one of his Scarpetta restaurants (New YorkMiami, Las Vegas), chances are that you would like to enjoy some of his dishes in the comfort of your own house.

Continue reading “Cooking with Scott Conant” »

Trump Winery 2012 Chardonnay

Trump Winery 2012 Chardonnay

Price: $16

Rating: 14/20

Region: Monticello, Virginia

Varietal: 100 percent Chardonnay

Production: 2,505 cases

Alcohol: 12 percent

Tasting Notes: Billionaire Donald Trump purchased Kluge Vineyard and Estate in 2011, claiming that he was more interested in its property value than in making wine. Now owned and managed by his son Eric, Trump Winery comprises 1,300 acres near Thomas Jefferson’s historic home, of which some 200 acres are under vine. The 2012 Chardonnay is one of a growing number of wines that eschew the often overripe style made popular in Caliornia. Instead, it is lower in alcohol and mostly fermented Continue reading “Trump Winery 2012 Chardonnay – Wine of the Week Review” »

by Sophie Gayot

Recently, a gourmet friend of mine asked me to recommend a restaurant in Marina del Rey, which is on the water just outside of Los Angeles and where surprisingly there are not too many good options. Since I dine at so many restaurants, I rarely steer friends to places I haven’t been to myself. But having enjoyed Ricardo Zarate‘s cooking at Picca as well as Mo-Chica, I suggested she try his new restaurant Paiche even though I had yet to visit.

Continue reading “Peru in Marina del Rey, CA: A Great Trip” »

The pool at Alila Ubud in Bali

The pool at Alila Ubud in Bali

by Evelyn Chen

Just five kilometers north of Bali’s Ubud village, the Alila Ubud is hidden away in the Ayung Valley. With the lush landscape as its backdrop, a postcard-perfect infinity pool that seems suspended in midair symbolizes the retreat’s paradisiacal ambience, and the property thrives on its reputation as a place for communing with nature. This harmony begins with the hotel’s own construction. The bamboo-pillared lobby overlooks verdant fields from which alang-alang is harvested for the thatched roofs, while the banks of the Ayung River supply the river stones that stud the walls and pavements.

Continue reading “Alila Ubud, Bali, Indonesia – Hotel Review” »



by Sophie Gayot

When the Four Seasons Hotels take it to the streets, they take it in the form of a food truck! The Four Seasons Hotels Food Truck is an idea developed during a corporate meeting that was two years in the making. The truck is currently touring cities in the western United States which are home to Four Seasons Hotels, starting in Palo Alto and ending in Santa Fe.

Continue reading “The Four Seasons Hotels Food Truck?” »

Japan Airlines' First Class seats on the JAL SKY SUITE 777

Japan Airlines’ First Class seats on the JAL SKY SUITE 777

With an array of newcomers upping the ante for the quality of air travel, Japan Airlines is keeping up with the competition with its new JAL SKY SUITE 777.

After introducing its four redesigned classes earlier this year, Japan Airlines is set to complete modifications on all thirteen of its 777-300ER jets by 2014. The new classes on these aircraft are constructed to evoke a feeling of “one class higher.”

Continue reading “Japan Airlines JAL SKY SUITE 777 Soars “One Class Higher” – Travel News” »

Lincourt 2011 La Cuesta Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Lincourt 2011 La Cuesta Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Price: $40

Rating: 14.5/20

Region: Santa Ynez Valley, California

Varietal: 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon

Production: 836 cases

Alcohol: 13.9 percent

Tasting Notes: When Bill Foley founded Lincourt in 1996, little did he know that Foley Family Wines would expand to include a dozen wineries in Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles, Washington state and New Zealand. Named for his two daughters Lindsay and Courtney, Lincourt lies at the far southern end of the Central Coast wine region. The 2011 La Cuesta Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon is a complex, well-balanced wine. Boasting blackberry, blueberry and black tea aromas, a plush mouthfeel and Continue reading “Lincourt 2011 La Cuesta Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – Wine of the Week Review” »

The Good Housekeeping Christmas Cookbook

(Hearst Books, 2013)




Good Housekeeping Christmas Cookbook


The Good Housekeeping Christmas Cookbook is all you need to make the most wonderful time of the year a roaring success. The gorgeously illustrated tome is loaded with recipes for foods that you really want to make and eat, from “Showstopping Roasts” to “Sideshows” like whole-grain apple-fennel stuffing, and Brussels sprouts with pancetta and rosemary. Cocktail recipes are fantastic like Holiday Spritzers, Ruby Bellinis and Holiday Champagne Punch.

Continue reading “The Good Housekeeping Christmas Cookbook – Review” »

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