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



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  • pinitbutton Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco   Hotel Feature
golden gate view mandarin oriental sf 500x343 Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco   Hotel Feature

View of the Golden Gate Bridge from the Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco at sunset

Located in the heart of San Francisco’s bustling financial district, this posh property is more than just a high-end business hotel. Occupying the top eleven floors of the city’s third-tallest building, the Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco provides incomparable sweeping views that stretch from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Bay Bridge. The hotel caters to a sophisticated traveler clientele, whether it’s those who like to call it home while on business, or visitors who prefer a luxurious and comfortable resting place while touring “The City by the Bay.”

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Brunch & Bubbly

on March 30th, 2011
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  • pinitbutton Brunch & Bubbly
silks1 300x225 Brunch & Bubbly

Israeli couscous at Silks restaurant in San Francisco

by Tiffany Maleshefski

What’s the best thing about brunch? Mimosas. And the best thing about mimosas? Champagne. So thanks be to the brilliant minds at Silks, the stunning dining room inside the Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco, which has given the world the build-your-own Champagne cocktail bar. For $20, guests can enjoy endless Champagne cocktails they’ve designed themselves at the restaurant’s Sunday brunch. Guests can create their cocktails from a rather lengthy list of recommended recipes or go rogue and put together their own bubbly concoctions with an impressive spread of accoutrements.

We took the bar for a spin and started out with the more traditional: a sugar cube, a few dashes of bitters, and a lemon twist.

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  • pinitbutton News from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
mandarinorientalgroupnewhotels 300x165 News from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

Left to right: Chad Belisario, Corporate Public Relations Manager; Alyssa Bushey, Director of Communications, Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas. Back row, obstructed: Paul Jones, General Manager, Mandarin Oriental Singapore; Kathleen Shea, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, The Americas. Back row, obstructed: Rudy Tauscher, Area Vice President & General Manager, Mandarin Oriental New York; Cliff Atkinson, General Manager, Mandarin Oriental San Francisco. Alexandra Wensley, Director of Communications, Mandarin Oriental Miami; Richard Baker, Executive Vice President, Southern Region, The Americas; Susanne Hatje, General Manager, Mandarin Oriental Boston; Sophie Gayot; Rajesh Jhingon, General Manager, Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas; Christian Hassing, General Manager, Mandarin Oriental Tokyo; Amanda Hyndman, General Manager, Mandarin Oriental Washington, D.C.; Tammy Peters, Director of Communications, Mandarin Oriental New York. Back row, partially obstructed: Kurt Wachtveitl, Special Ambassador, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. Danielle DeVoe, Vice President of Communications, The Americas.

by Sophie Gayot

The story starts in 1974 with two very prestigious hotels: The Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong and The Oriental in Bangkok. The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has since grown to 42 hotels in 27 countries with 10,000 rooms. Synonymous with extreme luxury and legendary service, the Mandarin Oriental properties are located in prestigious locations, each of them imbued with a distinct personality. Representatives from as far as Singapore and Prague made a recent trip to Los Angeles to present us their hotels over lunch at the new private club Soho House on Sunset Boulevard.

Before enjoying dessert, I was already fantasizing about visiting the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona on the Paseo de Gracia (the city’s most prestigious address), featuring interiors by renowned Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola; or the Mandarin Oriental Jnan Rahma in Marrakech, due to open at the end of this year. The 161 rooms all in riad-style are set in 53 acres, of which a whopping 38,000 square feet are devoted to the spa. Remember the “Abu Dhabi” hotel in Sex & the City 2? It was actually shot at the Mandarin Oriental Marrakech; a great starring role for a hotel not open yet.

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  • pinitbutton Pierre Gagnaire in Las Vegas
Chef Pierre Gagnaire 199x300 Pierre Gagnaire in Las Vegas

Chef Pierre Gagnaire

by Sophie Gayot

The first time I met chef Pierre Gagnaire was on a cruise ship crossing from Dakar, Senegal to San Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. A “Croisière Gourmande” had been organized with chefs including Jacques Chibois. Alain Dutournier, Michel Bras, and many more. It must have been some time ago, as I think I was still under the legal drinking age!
At the time, I gave Pierre Gagnaire the nickname “The Salvador Dali of Gastronomy,” and it still holds true today. His renderings are creative, dramatic, somewhat crazy, unexpected, phantasmagoric, with a genius touch. But the catch is you either love it or hate it; and always at a high price, just like Dali. A 2005 menu from his eponymous restaurant in Paris I keep in my office offers a perfect illustration: a casserole of chestnuts and topinambour (Jerusalem artichoke), with a crème chocolatée de panais (carrots’ cousin) served with a gâteau de foie blond and truffle, at a staggering € 143!

A Room with a View

on June 07th, 2010
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  • pinitbutton A Room with a View
sanfranciscobay 300x182 A Room with a View

A view of San Francisco Bay from the Mandarin Oriental hotel


Since the Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco is located in the third tallest commercial building in the City by the Bay, guests are sure to be getting a view—if the fog is gone. The day I went, the fog was obviously not there. And, I have to admit, I stayed in my room much longer to tour the city from my bed instead of from the streets.
At lunchtime, I arose to experience the cuisine of chef Rick Bartram at the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, Silks. There is no view from there, so diners can concentrate all of their attention on his cuisine: modern, light and elegantly spiced, blending local organic ingredients with flavors of the East where Bartram has worked in the past. Discover it below in pictures, before heading there yourselves.