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Dining by the Pier

on September 01st, 2012
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01

Sep

  • pinitbutton Dining by the Pier

by Sophie Gayot


Michael Zislis’s latest achievement is The Strand House, the beautiful restaurant overlooking the pier in Manhattan Beach, CA. Before that, he put his energy, and he has quite a lot, into restaurants ROCK’N FISH, Rock & Brews, and Mucho Ultima Mexicana, as well as the Shade Hotel.


Not only does he like to invite guests to his restaurants and hotel, but Michael, who is obviously in the hospitality business, also has created a Guest Chef Series at The Strand House where chef Greg Hozinsky cooks and creative exec chef Neal Fraser comes by a few times a month.

Continue reading “Dining by the Pier” »



Cocktails at Sunset

on August 28th, 2012
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28

Aug

  • pinitbutton Cocktails at Sunset
sophie gayot 300x286 Cocktails at Sunset

Sophie Gayot pointing to the American white oak barrels in which cocktails are aged for 2 to 3-weeks


by Sophie Gayot


There are other reasons to head to Santa Monica’s Casa del Mar hotel besides needing a room for the night: the cocktails and cuisine.


Casa del Mar now offers unique cocktail options inspired by pre-Prohibition. Two debut cocktails, The Brooklyn and The Negroni, are aged in white oak barrels for two to three weeks. These small barrels add depth to the cocktails with hints of spice, caramel and smokiness. The Negroni follows the classic recipe with gin, sweet vermouth and Campari; The Brooklyn is a mixture of corn whiskey, Maraschino, orange bitters and sweet vermouth. In the coming weeks, more new cocktails will be added to the menu. The cocktails are available in The Veranda and Lobby Lounge every Tuesday through Saturday.

Continue reading “Cocktails at Sunset” »



  • pinitbutton Columbia Restaurant in Tampa, Florida

by Sophie Gayot


There are many, many reasons to visit Columbia Restaurant, located in the historical area of Ybor City in Tampa, Florida. The best way to discover them — outside of dining there yourself — is to watch my exclusive video interview with partner/owner Casey Gonzmart and read the just updated review of the restaurant.


Over the storied 107-year history of the restaurant, its food and ambience have attracted a long list of celebrities from Marilyn Monroe, Babe Ruth and Liberace to Bruce Springsteen and George Clooney — why wasn’t I there the day he came in?
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Sauerkraut in Tampa

on August 17th, 2012
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17

Aug

  • pinitbutton Sauerkraut in Tampa

by Sophie Gayot


I did not think that when I was heading to Tampa last week that I was going to find one of the best sauerkrauts I have ever had, especially at that hot and humid time of the year. But find it I did at Datz restaurant, where it is made in-house by chef Jason Dame. I was hoping I would get some to take home with me. Maybe I should call them so they can ship it over!

Continue reading “Sauerkraut in Tampa” »



06

Aug

  • pinitbutton Sunday in the Park With Jazz

by Sophie Gayot


Yesterday marked the debut of the seventh edition of Jazz on the Lawn, a free concert series presented by Santa Monica Cultural Affairs in Stewart Park on Sundays in August from 5 p.m. to 7 pm. It was my first time attending the event; I had never made it in prior years, when the concerts were held on the lawn in front of Santa Monica City Hall. The new location was just perfect: we were surrounded by huge and gorgeous trees and a playground for the children.

Continue reading “Sunday in the Park With Jazz” »



  • pinitbutton Chef Nobu Matsuhisa Comes to Caesars Palace Las Vegas

by Sophie Gayot


Chef Nobu Matsuhisa and his partners Robert De Niro and Meir Teper like to keep themselves busy. So after opening two dozen signature Nobu restaurants around the world, they have partnered with Caesars Palace to open the first Nobu Hotel along with their twenty-fifth restaurant.


Since the trio has had a long history with designer David Rockwell and his firm Rockwell Group, Rockwell is in charge of both Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace and Nobu Restaurant Caesars Palace.

Continue reading “Chef Nobu Matsuhisa Comes to Caesars Palace Las Vegas” »



  • pinitbutton It is Now Official: No More Foie Gras in California

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” »



13

Jun

  • pinitbutton Long Live Hôtel de Crillon

by Sophie Gayot


The historic Hôtel de Crillon, located right on the Place de la Concorde in Paris, will be closing its doors around autumn 2012. But there is a happy ending, as it will reopen about two years later completely renovated from top to bottom, every corner and space. It will also include the addition of a new spa.


The façade just recently received a facelift. To hide the scaffolding — and help preserve the grandeur of the Place de la Concorde — the outside of the building was covered for a year with a tarpaulin printed with a reproduction of the exterior. (The recycled cloth has since been turned into hand bags, each one-of-a-kind, which are available at the hotel gift shop.)


Now we must talk about one very important part of the hotel: the restaurant Les Ambassadeurs, orchestrated by 30-year-old chef Christopher Hache. This former ballroom, with views of the Place de la Concorde, was restored a few years ago making it an even more stunning setting for an unforgettable lunch or dinner.

Continue reading “Long Live Hôtel de Crillon” »



08

Jun

  • 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.)

Continue reading “Celebrate Father’s Day” »



  • pinitbutton Say “No” to the Foie Gras Ban in California

by Sophie Gayot


Frédéric Lefebvre, a former minister in the French government under Nicolas Sarkozy, is coming to the aid of the people opposed to the foie gras ban in California by organizing a petition. Effective July 1, 2012, it will be illegal to sell to produce and to sell the delicacy in the Golden State.


Here is what California Senate bill No. 1520, signed on September 29, 2004, by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, says (extracts):
CHAPTER 13.4. FORCE FED BIRDS
25980. For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
A bird includes, but is not limited to, a duck or goose.
(b) Force feeding a bird means a process that causes the bird to consume more food than a typical bird of the same species would consume voluntarily. Force feeding methods include, but are not limited to, delivering feed through a tube or other device inserted into the bird’s esophagus.
25981. A person may not force feed a bird for the purpose of enlarging the bird’s liver beyond normal size, or hire another person to do so.
25982. A product may not be sold in California if it is the result of force feeding a bird for the purpose of enlarging the bird’s liver beyond normal size.

Continue reading “Say “No” to the Foie Gras Ban in California” »



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