Dining & Nightlife
Lobster, fresh lemon juice, and the taste of clarified butter: foods for me that conjure up summertime memories of when I was 7 or 8, and our family used to make yearly car-ride pilgrimages to Arcadia, Maine, for a taste of the outdoors that suburban New Jersey couldn’t provide. Rather then playing the “Am I There Yet” game with my brother, I spent the 8-10 hour drive to Maine sleeping. But I always knew when we were getting close to our destination when my dad pulled into the nearest, decent open-air, roadside seafood joint advertising LOBSTERS in capital letters.
Our whole family would sit down to a fresh lunch (or dinner) of a few, simply steamed lobsters with sides of lemon and melted butter, as we dug into their nooks and crannies, seeking out the fresh, sweet meat. My dad was always the best and fastest at digging, always offering us the choicest, largest morsels, something he still does today whenever we eat shellfish. I was always amazed when he could crack a lobster claw, and remove the entire thing intact, like extracting a puzzle piece.
Coming to Mary’s Fish Camp, made me feel like I wasn’t on Charles Street anymore, but exiting onto the highway off a family trip from Maine into one of those roadside seafood joints. Perched on the corner, Mary’s Fish Camp is a small open-window corner restaurant with walls lined with faded old-time nautical ads and ’70s rock playing overhead (when I was there, it seemed like the entire Virgin Suicides Soundtrack was on rotation). One of their famed Lobster Rolls can be seen on practically every one of their ten tables and along the smooth metal counter. (more…)
Earlier this year I went on a press trip to Park City, Utah where I was introduced to the magical world of Talisker. Located in Deer Valley, Talisker in Tuhaye is an amazingly beautiful private community which they describe as “an exclusive oasis dedicated to the finer things in life.” We were treated to a divine spa and fitness session at the gorgeous Club Park (see above) which is open only to members of the community. (more…)
Who: Innovative Dining Group (IDG), Executive Chef Sascha Lyon
Where: W Hollywood, 6250 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, Calif. 90028 (323) 798-1355
When: Monday-Wednesday; Sunday: 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; 5 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday: 5 p.m.-12 a.m.
It’s about time I wrote about Delphine, the delightful brasserie, or “eatery and bar,” in the new W Hollywood Hotel and Residences, helmed by Executive Chef Sascha Lyon (Balthazar, Pastis, Sascha). I’ve stopped there for brunch and cocktails several times now, and it’s proven to be a delightful, relaxing culinary experience — not to mention a good ol’ time. (more…)
What: Westend Bistro
Who: Owner Eric Ripert, Chef Joe Palma
Where: The Ritz-Carlton Washington DC, 1190 22nd Street Northwest Washington, DC 20037, (202) 974-4900
When: Dinner: Sunday-Thursday 5:30-10:00PM, Friday – Saturday 5:30-11:00PM
Open 7 nights a week (Cocktails and Full Menu) Lunch: Monday-Friday 11:30-2:30PM
This past Friday I was chatting with a friend of mine over a couple glasses of wine discussing summer trip options. The thing about living in New York is, once the weather gets warm, there is just an indescribable desire to get out of the city on the weekends. Having just taken a mini trip to Washington DC a couple weeks ago, I threw out the idea of DC as an easy, accessible and fun place to get away to for a few days. My friend, a self proclaimed foodie, immediately asked about the dining scene in the nation’s capital. (more…)
What: Chaya Brasserie
Who: Executive Chef Shigefumi Tachibe
Where: 132 Embarcadero in San Francisco
When: For lunch, M-F: 11:30am-2pm. For dinner, M-W: 5:30pm-10pm, Th-S: 5:30pm-10:30pm, Sun: 5:30pm-9pm. For happy hour, begins at 4pm M-F, at 5pm on weekends.
Why: Located on the Embarcadero, Chaya Brasserie will give you a delectable dining French-Japanese experience with unobstructed views of the Bay Bridge. (more…)
One of the best things about Chicago is its amazing restaurant scene. There are so many fantastic chefs here and not nearly enough time to explore! A La Card Chicago makes it a lot easier by making decks of $10 gift certificates to 52 different chef-driven, owner-operated restaurants. The participating restaurants are awesome and even include some of my personal favorites, like Floriole, Hot Chocolate, Salpicon, and Takashi, and a whole bunch that I can’t wait to try. The $520 worth of gift certificates are handily packaged like a deck of cards… and will only cost you $30! So the next time that you’re thinking of a new place to eat, take out your A La Card Chicago deck, draw a card, and save $10 every time. For the full list of restaurants or to purchase, visit alacardchicago.com.
The absolute best week for Chicago foodies just kicked off today–it’s Chicago Restaurant Week! Starting today through the 28th, you can have a 3-course lunch for only $22 and a 3-course dinner for only $32 at over 170 participating restaurants in Chicago (all prix fixe). This is quite the deal for a 3-course meal, especially at some of Chicago’s top restaurants. I’m so excited to see that some of my favorite restaurants are participating and I’ve got some great recommendations for you:
- Blackbird counts Anthony Bourdain as one of its biggest fans and offers amazing contemporary dishes from executive chef Paul Kahan, a James Beard nominee and winner.
- Definitely check out Perennial, named one of Travel & Leisure’s Top 50 New Restaurants in America. Their most delicious black truffle gnocchi appetizer is available for Restaurant Week!
- I’ve had the best tapas and even a whole roast pig at Mercat a la Planxa, and they are participating with a special lunch menu.
- Through Top Chef Masters, the rest of the country discovered the talent of Chicago’s Rick Bayless. His Frontera Grill and Topolobampo restaurants will have special lunch menus.
- The Chicago location of Miami’s famous Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab will have those delicious stone crab claws on the menu for Restaurant Week.
Visit eatitupchicago.com for a complete list of participating restaurants, as well as featured recipes from some of the restaurants so you can make the deliciousness at home! You can make reservations very easily online at opentable.com. Enjoy, and eat it up!
With Valentine’s Day in such close proximity to Presidents Day, why not celebrate love, life and happiness with a luxury getaway that’s fit for a president — or in this case, fit for 14 presidents? My husband and I were fortunate enough to check out a Signature Suite recently at the Old World French- and American Indian-inspired U.S. Grant Hotel — voted one of the 100 best hotels in the world — in downtown San Diego, Calif. And let me tell you, whether alone or with a sweetheart, this is one romantic place for glamour-lovers to steal away this weekend. Here’s why:
One week ago from today, I was navigating the snow filled streets in the wintry wonderland that is Berlin in January. Not a usual winter tourist destination (and for good reason), Berlin in January is prone to gray days, mounds of unshoveled snow and a bitter wind that makes even the toughest nose run. With conditions like that, warmth takes precedence over style. Luckily, the city of Berlin has its own style to distract from your lack!
I traveled to Berlin on a NYU sponsored trip to study the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall. With this theme in mind I visited the legendary Checkpoint Charlie, A Stasi prison facility, the East Berlin Wall Gallery, Berlin’s Underground bunker system, and Livadia Palace in Potsdam where the Yalta Convention was held. Obviously, the history buff would not be hurting for hot spots to visit in Berlin, and I highly recommend all of the above mentioned sights. However, for those less interested in the Cold War here are my recommendations. With a city as fascinating culturally, historically, and artistically, you really can’t go wrong! (more…)