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






  • 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.

Continue reading “Riesling on the Rise!” »

  • 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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  • pinitbutton 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards
james beard awards 300x237 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards

2012 James Beard Foundation Awards

25 Years of Food at its Best

by Alain Gayot and David Farley

The first week of May is often dominated by thoughts of where to go for the long Memorial Day weekend at the end of the month. Or about summer travel, in general. For foodies, though, it’s about one thing: the James Beard Awards. As per usual, the awards took place this week at Lincoln Center and were a glorious gala of the country’s best of the best in the food industry.

Chefs and attendees flew in from across the country, but the home team did very well. New York was well represented in the winner’s circle with Eleven Madison Park’s chef, Daniel Humm, taking the cake, or, rather the top award for Best Chef while Momofuku Bakery & Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi took home honors for Rising Chef. In the Best Chef NYC category, Gramercy Tavern’s Michael Anthony was the big winner. Other Big Apple restaurants and individuals that received awards included Terroir’s Paul Grieco for Outstanding Beer, Wine, and Spirits Professional and La Grenouille for Outstanding Service.

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  • pinitbutton 2012 Top 40 US Restaurants

by Sophie Gayot

Thomas Keller is the only chef to have two restaurants on’s list of Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S.: The French Laundry in Napa Valley in the city of Yountville, CA; and Per Se in New York City. Congratulations! Watch my exclusive video with one of America’s top chefs, filmed at the temple of gastronomy that is The French Laundry, and find out how he does it.

Yesterday, we just published the 2012 list of the Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S., along with

Top 10 New Restaurants in the U.S. – great places that opened recently
5 Rising Chefs – American chefs 30 and under who are making their mark
Top 10 Steakhouses in the U.S. – which chefs serve the best steak?
Top 10 Romantic Restaurants in the U.S. – appearing in the Restaurant Issue for the very first time
Top 10 Insider Picks in the U.S. – reveals where to dine for a taste of local flavor, good food and good times
and the U.S. Best Restaurateur of the Year.

Foodie Fun for Everyone

on January 20th, 2012
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  • pinitbutton Foodie Fun for Everyone
jehangir mehta 249x300 Foodie Fun for Everyone

Jehangir Mehta

by Meryl Pearlstein

With New York City Restaurant Week (January 16-February 10) already underway, foodies have hundreds of great restaurants from which to choose. But there are other food events and celebrations well worth checking out in the next few days, including the Kids Food Festival and the start of Mehtaphor’s Global New Year dinner series.

At this weekend’s Kids Food Festival at Citi Pond in Bryant Park, chef Jehangir Mehta continues his mission to educate children about the role of nutrition in combating obesity. Chef Mehta will be joining food personalities and chefs such as David Burke (David Burke Townhouse, Fishtail by David BurkeDavid Burke Kitchen), Ben Pollinger (Oceana) and Jackie Newgent, RD, to present culinary demonstrations and offer healthy samples. The festival provides plenty of fun activities, including the “Balanced Plate Scavenger Hunt,” a puppet show and the “Silly Workout,” but also aims to educate parents and kids about the importance of making balanced food choices. General admission is free from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on January 21 and 22; tickets are required for cooking demos and other chef events. Festival partners are the James Beard Foundation and Share Our Strength. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit

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  • pinitbutton Chanukah Restaurants in New York City
hanukkah Chanukah Restaurants in New York City

Chanukah, Festival of Lights

by Meryl Pearlstein

For those of us who don’t feel like scraping our fingers raw grating potatoes to make latkes, or cooking up a beef brisket as big as a telephone book, there are wonderful restaurants in New York City that take the traditional Chanukah feast and turn it deliciously on its head. Here are some restaurants ideal for family gatherings to celebrate the Festival of Lights, held this year from December 20 through 28.

Why visit the Brooklyn Diner? Two words: Free latkes! At this Manhattan favorite for upscale comfort and diner food, complimentary potato pancakes will be served throughout the eight days of Chanukah, with your choice of sour cream or applesauce, along with many other Jewish-American classic dishes. From the smoked fish platter of Nova Scotia salmon and sturgeon to the hand-carved hot pastrami, you’ll find plenty of choices for a holiday feast. For more information, visit

Continue reading “Chanukah Restaurants in New York City” »

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