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Bring on the Bubbly!

on October 05th, 2012
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05

Oct

  • pinitbutton Bring on the Bubbly!

by Sophie Gayot


My sabraging of a bottle of sparkling wine last night was even more fun than usual, as the person whose name was on the bottle was next to me. It was chef Michael Mina, GAYOT’s 2011 Restaurateur of the Year, in person at his restaurant Stonehill Tavern at The St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Orange County, CA. I had the honor of kicking off the evening’s festivities by opening a bottle of Iron Horse 2004 Cuvée Michael Mina.

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  • pinitbutton A Perfect Brasserie Style Restaurant

by Sophie Gayot


In our latest Annual Restaurant Issue, we introduced a new award category: our Top 10 Insider Picks in the U.S. For ten different cities, we recommend one restaurant where readers should go if they only have one night to pick a place for dinner.


For San Francisco, Michael Mina’s RN74 was our choice. People may argue that there are some classic fine dining establishments in SF that should be the destination for that one special night, and some of them are on our Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. list. But people already know about those places, while I think RN74 is somewhat of a hidden gem.

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  • pinitbutton GAYOT.com 2011 Best Restaurateur in the U.S.

by Sophie Gayot


Every year we pick the best of the best when it comes to restaurants, and compile them in our Annual Restaurant Issue.


The categories include the Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S., Top 10 New Restaurants in the U.S., Top 10 Steakhouses in the U.S., and Top 40 Cheap Eats in the U.S. But there’s only one category where we pick a single winner, and that’s for the Best Restaurateur of the Year in the U.S.


For 2011, we have chosen chef Michael Mina. Read Mina’s profile to find out why we selected him, and watch my exclusive video interview with him shot during my recent visit to his new flagship restaurant Michael Mina in San Francisco.

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Dear Kitchen: Thank You!

on October 22nd, 2010
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22

Oct

  • pinitbutton Dear Kitchen: Thank You!

by Sophie Gayot 


Most times I dine at a restaurant, no matter where, I pop into the kitchen at the end of the meal. I do it to say hello, to get a tour, to shoot a video, to compliment the chef, or, on the contrary, tell him or her what did not work. Even if I didn’t enjoy the experience, there is always one thing I do: I have to acknowledge the very hard work that the kitchen team puts together trying to please our palates. They work under lots of pressure, standing up during the entire service, in a noisy environment (due to the air extraction devices), most of the time in artificial light with no fresh air, and under intense heat from the stoves.
 

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30

Apr

  • pinitbutton A Delicious New Start at XIV
sophiegayotmichaelmina 300x270 A Delicious New Start at XIV
Chef Michael Mina and Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

 

When I went to XIV in November, I was not totally convinced by Michael Mina’s first restaurant in Los Angeles. When the names Mina and Sam Nazarian (SBE Group) are on the door, you have high expectations.

Did the team sense  it? What I am sure of is that they have worked very hard to create a totally new dining experience which, I feel, now works. From Michael Mina, whose eponymous restaurant in San Francisco has been one of our Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. for four years in a row, to executive chef Steven Fretz, pastry chef Jordan Kahn and to general manger Ryan Cole, they had all realized that they could make things better, and they succeeded.

 

Note that on Mondays, a three-course market menu is offered for $49, and that you can enjoy the restaurant’s best wines, including Château Cheval Blanc and Domaine de la Romanée Conti, at half price, for any bottle over $100.

You can read our review of XIV restaurant and add your comments in our restaurant section.

minilogo A Delicious New Start at XIV

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