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





Goetze's selection of Cow Tales, which come in various flavors and sizes

Goetze’s selection of Cow Tales, which come in various flavors and sizes


Caramelly ’til the Cows Come Home

The thought of chomping on a cow tail would typically sound disgusting, but when you’re talking about Goetze’s unique Cow Tale candies, it’s quite a different story. These confections, made with chewy caramel and a cream center, are a classic American treat with a history. The candy company started production over a hundred years ago, while Grover Cleveland was in office and shortly after the telephone was just starting to be used in American homes.

Continue reading “Goetze’s Cow Tales Candy – Review” »



Fresh black truffles

Fresh black truffles

by Barb Rybicki

While Napa Valley farmers can earn $5,000 a ton or more for wine grapes, there’s another crop that puts that figure to shame. Truffles can fetch a whopping $1,200 dollars per pound which is the equivalent of $2.4 million per ton. It’s the most expensive crop in the world, even though truffles are actually 83 per cent water.

The 3rd annual Napa Truffle Festival took place recently to celebrate the revered fungus – specifically the prized Périgord black winter truffle – through a series of ethereal meals and fascinating educational seminars. Ground zero was Napa’s Westin Verasa and its La Toque restaurant – though actual ground played a role as well during truffle orchard and wild mushroom forays.

Continue reading “2013 Napa Truffle Festival Recap” »



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?” »

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” »

The Food Event

on October 26th, 2012
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Camechana from Public School

Camechana from Public School

by Jeff Hoyt

The heavens were threatening, but blue sky prevailed over clouds high above the hills of Malibu where The Food Event by Los Angeles Magazine was held this past Sunday. At Saddlerock Ranch — home to Malibu Family Wines and producers of Saddlerock and Semler Wines — thousands of diners queued up to try the latest creations from more than forty LA-area restaurants washed down by wine, beer, vodka, Veev, and even Sri Lankan spirits!

We certainly didn’t get a chance to try every dish, but our favorite was David LeFevre’s sword squid from Manhattan Beach Post (M. B. Post) served over fava beans. We also enjoyed smoky fried chicken from Plan Check Kitchen + Bar, live prawn from The Royce at the Langham, lamb chops from The Strand House, squash blossom tamales with mole from Malo and Más Malo and adobo short rib tacos and smoked camechana — a spicy Mexican seafood cocktail made with shrimp, scallops and halibut — from Public School, which will be opening soon in Culver City after a successful downtown launch.

Continue reading “The Food Event” »

Fruits de Mer in Paris

on October 20th, 2012
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by Sophie Gayot

The InterContinental Paris Le Grand is celebrating its 150th birthday. Famous for its shellfish platter, the hotel’s restaurant Le Café de la Paix is offering its monster “le plateau de fruits de mer” at a price of €150 for two until the end of November.

Brush up on your culinary French or start practicing it by watching my exclusive video interview with executive chef Christophe Raoux. You will discover the wonders of the sea that will come to your table, and even get a lesson on how to open clams!

Continue reading “Fruits de Mer in Paris” »



Chef Bobby Flay at the opening of the Princeton Bobby's Burger Palace

Chef Bobby Flay at the opening of the Princeton Bobby’s Burger Palace

by Patricia Mack

Don’t over-think a burger.

That was Bobby Flay’s philosophy when he decided to open a burger joint. And he decided to open a burger joint after years of seeking great burgers with other chefs late at night after service was over at their fine food restaurants.

“We may have been offering foie gras and caviar on our menus, but fine food isn’t what chefs are looking for after work,” said Flay, who owns well-regarded restaurants such as Bar Americain in New York City and Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT and Bobby Flay Steak in Atlantic City.

Continue reading “Bobby Flay’s Burger Secrets” »

Grand Market at the Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival

Grand Market at the Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival

by Patricia Mack

Atlantic City knows a thing or two about summer, and what would summer be without celebrating food and wine?

Its showy casinos, sandy beaches, appealing restaurants and dazzling theaters set the stage for the 4th Annual Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival that runs from July 26 through 29.

The event, the largest food and wine festival of its kind in the Northeast, takes place across Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City casinos and resorts — Caesars, Harrah’s, Showboat and Bally’s. The program offers cooking demonstrations, panel discussions and wine seminars, dinners, tastings and entertainments hosted by some of the country’s most lauded chefs and culinary personalities. This year the lineup includes Anne Burrell, Paula Deen, Tyler Florence, Nadia G., Robert Irvine, Buddy Valastro and recent James Beard award winner Andrew Zimmern.

Continue reading “The 4th Annual Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival” »

by Sophie Gayot

The California foie gras ban that went into effect yesterday has crossed over the boundaries of the Golden State and the Atlantic Ocean. French Correspondent Caroline Connan of Bloomberg TV in Paris had read the two previous pieces I wrote about the subject, and invited me to visit the studio so Parisians could hear what I had to say. Just watch the video above.

Then, after I made a phone call to chef/owner Gilles Epié of the restaurant Citrus Étoile in Paris, and another to Josiah Citrin’s Melisse restaurant in Santa Monica, CA, the Bloomberg TV crews were invited in to speak with the chefs about the new law. Bloomberg TV has titled its piece: “Chef’s Fury at California Foie Gras Ban.”

Continue reading “It is Now Official: No More Foie Gras in California” »

Fresh-picked garden peas

Fresh-picked garden peas

by Jeff Hoyt

We are very pleased with our international team of reviewers who write about restaurants, hotels and more from Sydney to the Galapagos. We are especially proud of one of our Paris correspondents, Jean-Claude Ribaut, who is the food critic for the French newspaper Le Monde.

Mr. Ribaut recently worked with Elaine Sciolino, a Paris correspondent for The New York Times, for an article on eating fresh peas. The two of them traveled to L’Oustau de Baumanière, a top restaurant in Provence where Queen Elizabeth has dined, to eat peas picked fresh that morning from the restaurant’s own vegetable garden.

Continue reading “From Gayot to The New York Times” »

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