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

September, 2009

Dear Reader,

It’s hard to believe, but Fall is just around the corner. Along with the seasonal change, we have changed our look, making not only more pleasing to the eye but even easier to navigate and use. Let us know what you think!

With sweater weather comes a desire for cozy dinners and heartier meals, so we have rounded up the best steakhouses around the country. And since steak options are more plentiful than ever (should you order Kobe or Piedmontese, shell or flatiron?), we’ve assembled a simple primer to understanding steak: beef cuts 101. For the home cook, here are 5 top tips for a perfect steak and the latest cookbook from the famed Morton’s steakhouse, Morton's The Cookbook, proffering know-how needed to buy, prepare and cook steak like the pros.

To go with steaks, here are wine & meat pairing ideas as well as top 10 wine lists. And a guide to indulging in one of our favorite pastimes: top 10 wine bars. Foodies will want to consult our local food and wine events that attract celebrities and top chefs, as well as the latest restaurant news. Be sure to sign up for our annual restaurant issue, which contains all of our latest research, including our prestigious compilation of the top 40 restaurants of the year.

Planning a fall get-away? California’s climate is ideal in autumn with mild, sunny days and attractions of all flavors, from wine tasting in Napa Valley to exploring Los Angeles minus hype and hyperbole (sorry, Lindsay!), all in 72 hours. If it’s business that should take you there, our Sacramento and San Francisco Business Travel Guides might come handy. Also in California is The Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort near Santa Barbara, a working cattle ranch and one of our Top 10 Best Wild West Ranches in the U.S. and the rustically sophisticated Calistoga Ranch, among our selection of Top 10 U.S. Wine Country Inns.

On the other coast, our featured hotel this month is The Setai, Miami, because we just enjoyed a great stay there and can’t say enough about this elite and divine Zen creation. Spa lovers, on the other hand, will enjoy peace and pampering among the olive trees at The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Provence at Terre Blanche in France’s luscious “backcountry.” While fashionistas are getting in high gear (or high Louboutins) for the upcoming fashion shows in Milan, Paris, etc.

Ah, so much to recommend to our luxury-loving friends this month. Check out the all-new Mercedes-Benz E550, our car of the month and a powerful, tech-stuffed mid-size luxury sedan.

Last but not least, film aficionados will be tickled (let’s hear it! on our forum) by our Top 10 Westerns, where Clint Eastwood and John Wayne find themselves in a Mexican standoff with Javier Bardem.

There’s plenty more we have for you online, including our blog, but we also want to hear from you. Review a restaurant or hotel on our site for our millions of visitors to read. And don’t forget to visit us on and Twitter.

And remember, it’s “Fall back!”

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