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




  • pinitbutton Domenico Selections and Ice Bucket Selections Tasting at Park Avenue Autumn
wine tasting 300x225 Domenico Selections and Ice Bucket Selections Tasting at Park Avenue Autumn

Domenico Selections and Ice Bucket Selections Tasting at Park Avenue Autumn

by Michelle Kwan

There is a wine for every season, so it made perfect sense that this year’s Domenico and Ice Bucket Selections Tasting was hosted at the seasonal Park Avenue Autumn where the menu changes four times a year to highlight the flavors of Winter, Spring, Summer and now Fall. The Domenico Selections portfolio is centered on local Italian wines derived from regional grapes produced in family owned vineyards. The results are balanced, versatile vintages with good acidity and fruit. Their versatility makes them great candidates for pairing with a variety of cuisines and culinary flavors.

Ice Bucket Selections, established in 2008 by wine writer Todd M. Wernstrom, imports worthy vintages predominantly from California, Oregon, France and the still often-overlooked Hudson Valley region. The focus revolves around local, family owned and operated wineries that employ the purest and most authentic wine production methods.

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  • pinitbutton St. Regis New York Introduces Bentley Suite   Travel News
The Bentley Suite at The St. Regis New York entryway 300x205 St. Regis New York Introduces Bentley Suite   Travel News

The entryway of the Bentley Suite at the St. Regis New York

Following collaborations with Tiffany and Dior, the St. Regis New York has turned to the automotive industry for inspiration in designing its latest signature suite — and found an ideal partner in Bentley Motors. The Bentley Suite, which debuted September 19, 2012, showcases a stylish synthesis of the iconic British badge’s unique aesthetics with the luxury hotel’s discerning eye for quality and comfort. Featuring one bedroom, one-and-a-half bathrooms, an entryway foyer, a spacious dining room and a living room replete with floor-to-ceiling windows on the fifteenth floor, the suite isn’t cheap at $9,500 a night; however, the fees also include access the St. Regis’ opulent array of amenities. Guests staying in the Bentley Suite are treated to an in-suite Champagne bar, butler service, and complimentary chauffeur service within a ten-block radius of the hotel.

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  • pinitbutton New York Fashion Week   W118 by Walter Baker
2012 09 07 14.24.22 300x225 New York Fashion Week   W118 by Walter Baker

Models show off Walter Baker’s W118 collection during New York Fashion Week

by Michelle Kwan

Walter Baker’s eye for creative versatility has kept him among the forefront of fashion design for over two decades. Trading in his finance career for the spotlight in fashion, he launched his first line, “WALTER,” in 1991. His designs seek to uphold the principles of “confidence and style” that he believes define the interconnectivity between women all over the world. Dresses with soft lines and intricate feminine prints as well as constructed jackets with an industrial look are signature styles in the WALTER collection. The 2012 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week held at the Lincoln Center in New York City featured Walter Baker’s W118 Spring 2013 Collection at “The Box.” Baker’s latest line consists of an eclectic blend of colors, styles and cuts ranging from energetic island, urban, tribal and psychedelic-inspired prints to bold color block patterns. Soft, flowing fabrics that drape dominate along with form-fitting but relaxed cuts. The overall style? Versatility with flair.

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  • pinitbutton NICO Kitchen + Bar Rolls out the Red Carpet for America’s Got Talent
depersio in the kitchen 300x158 NICO Kitchen + Bar Rolls out the Red Carpet for America’s Got Talent

Chef Ryan DePersio in the kitchen

by Patricia Mack

Now that the Olympics are over, the popular NBC series “America’s Got Talent” returns to airing live shows from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. That puts the pressure on chef Ryan DePersio of NICO Kitchen + Bar; the stage where AGT broadcasts live every Tuesday and Wednesday nights through September 13 is under the same roof and just steps away from the restaurant’s doors.

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  • pinitbutton Dining Out for Bastille Day
bastille day place de la concorde 300x172 Dining Out for Bastille Day

Place de la Concorde, in Paris, getting ready for Bastille Day

by Sophie Gayot

You have just realized that today, July 14th, is Bastille Day, and want to celebrate the French national holiday? We have put together for you a list of restaurants, in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, that are commemorating what the French call “La Fête Nationale.”

A quick history: July 14, 1789 was the storming of the Bastille fortress-prison which led to La Révolution Française. Now, on the morning of the 14th, the Champs-Élysées is taken over by the French army for the oldest and largest regular military parade in Europe. (Ironic as in 1789, the day was a pure demonstration against power.)



  • pinitbutton Summer Wines of Italy Tasting
summer wines italy 300x211 Summer Wines of Italy Tasting

Tasting the summer wines of Italy

by Michelle Kwan

The varietals that encompass the wines of Italy are as diverse as the regions from which they are produced. It seems that there is an Italian wine for every occasion, cuisine and season. This year’s Summer Wines of Italy tasting, held at New York’s Italian Trade Commission on June 26, emphasized all that is indicative of summer, namely wines that were fruity, refreshing, light and effervescent.

The event, co-sponsored by the Italian Wine & Food Institute, featured 30 wines. Moscatos, Chardonnays, Proseccos and sparkling rosés dominated, although a number of reds, including Pinot Noir, Merlot blends and Chianti, were also represented.

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  • pinitbutton Wines of Chile Tasting Event
wines of chile3 225x300 Wines of Chile Tasting Event

Award-winning wines of Chile

by Michelle Kwan

The diverse terroir of Chile makes the region ideal for winemaking, producing varietals such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Malbec and Carmenère. The “Tapestry of Terroir” comprised the theme of this year’s Wines of Chile Tasting Event held recently at the New York City Metropolitan Pavilion and refers to the natural adaptability of the Chilean landscape towards wine production. Yet, Chile has only recently seen a proliferation of wineries; the necessary investment of considerable time, capital and effort has impeded the development of winemaking in Chile in the past.

But the growing interest in New World wines has placed the country on the map among the world’s wine producers and drinkers alike. Many of Chile’s wineries are only a few decades old, but their present vintages attest to the quality of their wine production methods.

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  • pinitbutton Celebrate Father’s Day

by Sophie Gayot

Throughout 2012, restaurateur Piero Selvaggio will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of Valentino, one of Los Angeles’ first fine dining restaurants, featuring Italian cuisine. Watch my exclusive video interview above with Selvaggio to learn some culinary history. You can also watch another video with Valentino chef Nico Chessa
. Valentino will celebrate Father’s Day by offering three “No Corkage Nights” on Thursday, June 14, Friday, June 15, and Saturday, June 16, so diners can bring in their own wine for no additional charge. (Valentino is closed on Sundays.)

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  • pinitbutton Riesling on the Rise!
riesling tasting invite 199x300 Riesling on the Rise!

Riesling & Co. Tasting invitation

Riesling & Co. 2011 Vintage Tasting in Tribeca

by Michelle Kwan

German engineering, bratwurst, beer. These three things come to mind when thinking of Germany. But wine? Not so much. Flanked by France and Italy, Europe’s powerhouses of winemaking, Germany has long existed under the shadow of these two regions — despite the fact that Germans began making wine more than eight centuries ago.

The German Winegrowers’ Association has been taking its vintages on tour in parts of Europe and the United States for several years now in an attempt to introduce German wines to the industry and public alike. Germany’s 2011 vintage has proven to be “the best in recent years,” according to Norbert Weber, president of the Association. Germany’s soil works together with the climate to produce primarily Rieslings and Pinot Blancs, with the former most recognized in the industry. Rieslings range from very dry to very fruity depending on the sugar alcohol level at processing, and the versatility of this wine makes it equally ideal for both pairing with food and drinking on its own.

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  • pinitbutton 2012 French Open on Tennis Channel
roland garros 2012 tennis channel 300x75 2012 French Open on Tennis Channel

Follow Roland Garros 2012 on Tennis Channel

by Sophie Gayot

If you cannot make it to Paris for Roland Garros, also known as the French Open, you can still follow the action on live television. Those in the U.S. can tune in to the Tennis Channel, which will offer round-the-clock coverage of the two-week French Open starting on May 27. Their high definition broadcast of tennis’ largest and most prestigious clay-court competition begins at 10 a.m. EST on weekdays and 5 a.m. EST on the weekend. A nightly recap will run from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST on weekdays, 3 p.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday and 4 p.m.-7 p.m. on Sunday.

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