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






The Fifty Great Portuguese Wines Tasting

The Fifty Great Portuguese Wines Tasting at the New York Public Library

A Tour of Portugal’s Wine Regions

by Michelle Kwan

Portugal, surrounded by its venerable neighbors of wine making, has long been overshadowed by France and Spain when it comes to the ubiquity and prominence of its wines. Even paella and tapas (or petisco as it is known in Portugal) was until recently thought of as primarily a Spanish tradition with a Spanish heritage. But like Portuguese cuisine, Portuguese wines have a distinct character and quality that is worthy of discovery. Moreover, as the Fifty Great Portuguese Wines Tasting held at the New York Public Library recently demonstrated, there is no better complement to Portuguese fare than Portuguese wines. The diversity of flavors in its 250 grape varietals also make them good candidates for pairing with other cuisines; an array of cheeses, tapas and fruits at the tasting paired well with the vinho verdes, whites and reds on offer.

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The exterior of Hotel Giraffe in New York City

The exterior of Hotel Giraffe in New York City

When it comes to choosing a great hotel, it isn’t always about “location, location, location.” But a convenient space in one of Manhattan’s trendiest neighborhoods sure doesn’t hurt. Named after owner/entrepreneur Henry Kallan’s favorite animal, Hotel Giraffe enjoys an opportune spot on the corner of Park Avenue South and 26th Street in NoMad, or north of Madison Square Park, which is also home to a creative business community made up of architecture, Internet and design firms. The building was purpose-built in the late 1990s to house the Library Hotel Collection’s Giraffe Hotel, which opened in 1999.

Continue reading “Hotel Giraffe, New York City – Review” »

The Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges

The Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges

What’s Old Is New Again

by John W. Boland

It’s taken over twenty years for the colonial homestead that once housed the venerable Emily Shaw’s Inn restaurant in Westchester County, New York, to be reborn as a fine dining destination. The building spent over 40 years as Emily Shaw’s Inn, then a decade as The Inn at Pound Ridge, a short chapter as Emily Shaw’s Inn at Pound Ridge, and several periods in between where it sat uninhabited, waiting for someone like chef-restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten to restore it to its former glory. With a farm-to-table theme and an ambiance that is somehow elegant and rustic, modern and colonial, open and cozy all at the same time, it appears he has done that… and then some.

  Continue reading “The Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges” »


Kohler chocolates

Kohler chocolates at the Fancy Food Show (Credit: Kristan Lawson)


Batali, Fieri and Delmonico’s Exhibit Gourmet Foods

The Winter Fancy Food Show, which was recently held in San Francisco, featured thousands of booths representing food and drink companies. It was a great place to check out the next big culinary trends: Put your money on coconut, chia and gluten-free.

One interesting trend, visible in full-force at the Fancy Food Show, finds famous chefs branching out into retail and otherwise expanding their public platforms. Living in the era of the celebrity chef gives us easy access to their genius, even right at home.

Continue reading “The Winter Fancy Food Show Spotlights Culinary Trends” »

Move The Passion

on January 28th, 2014
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A sampling of Soave at Risotteria Melotti

A sampling of Soave at Risotteria Melotti

by Michelle Kwan

Move the Passion is a special wine event because it takes place in multiple locales, in one night, in New York City. It was like a scavenger hunt of sorts with oenophiles and wine connoisseurs from media and industry alike working their way uptown, downtown and across town with map in hand to restaurants, a special events venue, even an Italian design shop to taste DOCG and DOC wines from the Veneto region in Italy.

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by Sophie Gayot


Now that we know who will be playing at Super Bowl XLVIII in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on February 2nd, it’s time to make plans: where will we watch the game?


If you’re not throwing or attending a Super Bowl party, we recommend visiting one of GAYOT’s Top 10 Sports Bars in the U.S. If you’re in New York City, you’re just a short ride from MetLife Stadium at the Meadowlands Sports Complex. But if it’s too tough to get a ticket, why not cheer on the Seahawks or the Broncos at one of GAYOT’s  Top 10 Sports Bars in New York City?


Continue reading “Super Bowl, Sochi & Sports Bars” »

Bordeaux Under One Roof

on January 16th, 2014
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Guests enjoy a variety of wines from France's Bordeaux region


by Michelle Kwan


Bordeaux, France, stands at the pinnacle of wine production. This region comprises more than 45,000 acres of Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) vines with over fifty appellations that yield Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots, Cabernet Francs, Sauvignon Blancs and Semillions. Blends of these varietals have produced some of the finest wines in the world, making Bordeaux synonymous with superior wines. However, that doesn’t mean that all quality Bordeaux wines are unaffordable.

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Where to Dine in 2014

on January 03rd, 2014
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How to find the best restaurants

Clockwise from upper left: The Church Key, Hakkasan (Beverly Hills), Lazare (Paris), Hôtel Plaza Athénée (Paris)

by Sophie Gayot
As 2013 has ended, aren’t you looking forward to know where to dine in 2014?
We have a few things that can help.
Listen to my latest interview on chef Jamie Gwen’s radio show, which is now syndicated throughout America, where we discussed (listen to show here):
– chef Michel Richard’s new restaurant in New York, Villard at The New York Palace;
chef Jeff Mahin’s new additions to the Chicago scene, Summer House Santa Monica and Stella Barra Pizzeria;
Michael Mina’s PUB 1842 at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, and Sam Marvin’s Echo & Rig Butcher and Steakhouse in Las Vegas;
– then we went to Paris to talk about the major renovation going on at the Dorchester Collection’s Hôtel Plaza Athénée, and chef Eric Frechon‘s new gourmet bistro Lazare;
– we finished the journey in Los Angeles at Hakkasan, the new Chinese restaurant in Beverly Hills, and chef Steven Fretz’s The Church Key in West Hollywood, which is already so popular, it’s hard to get a table.

Continue reading “Where to Dine in 2014” »

Diwali In Times Square

on November 05th, 2013
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Chaat made with smashed samosas

Chaat made with smashed samosas

by David Farley

“This is what it’s like every day in Bombay,” an Indian man said to a wide-eyed red-headed woman in her thirties who looked perplexed and intimidated by the crush of people.

We weren’t in Mumbai, as the Indian metropolis formerly known as Bombay is now officially called. We were in Times Square in the heart of Manhattan. The Disney-fied space was taken over by Indians and Indian-Americans on September 22 to celebrate Diwali, a popular holiday in India known as the “festival of lights.” Diwali wasn’t actually celebrated in India until November 3 this year but that didn’t stop several hundred people from coming out on a Sunday afternoon to be entertained and eat good food.

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Villard Michel Richard dining room

Villard Michel Richard dining room

by David Farley

The Henry Villard Mansion, attached to the New York Palace Hotel, was buzzing like the days of yore on Wednesday, October 9. In the space that once housed esteemed eateries like Le Cirque 2000 and Gilt, the gilded-aged rooms of the mansion were packed with revelers to welcome chef Michel Richard.

Continue reading “Villard Michel Richard Opening in New York” »

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