USA Restaurants

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Our favorite restaurants in the US

Zaytinya, Washington, D.C.

After spending a fun, informative morning at the Newseum, I headed to José Andrés Zaytinya Mediterranean small plates restaurant to meet a friend for lunch. That interactive museum promotes free expression and our five freedoms — religion, speech, press, assembly and petition — given us by our First Amendment. Each morning, the museum posts that day's front pages from our 50 states and from around the world. I stopped by to see that each day I was there. We each ordered the lunch special — a choice from one of three section ($25), which was a bit too much food. To start, we shared the puree of chickpeas and tahini ("hommus') and [...]

By | August 6th, 2017|USA Restaurants|0 Comments

Taqueria del Barrio, Petworth, Washington, DC

Taqueria del Barrio, a modern Mexican eatery, opened the Petworth area of DC in late March after a successful run as both a DC food truck and stall at Union Market. On a recent trip to the city, I was invited to sample its Latin American fare. The menu offers flavors from Mexico and chef-owner Anna Bran-Leis’s native Guatemala. I wished I had I tripped over Tom Sietsema's lackluster review of all the food other than the empanadas before dining, as oddly neither the publicist who set up my tasting nor our server suggested the filled pastry turnovers he was enthused about. What I'd rave about is Taqueria del Barrio's [...]

By | August 1st, 2017|USA Restaurants|0 Comments

Sixth Engine, Mount Vernon Triangle, Washington, DC

The American bistro Sixth Engine occupies the space of the Engine Co. No. 6, which I was told is the oldest firehouse in the District. The owners kept much of the feel of the original firehouse with brick walls, high ceiling and a bank of windows. Before heading to sample their brunch (served weekends from 11 am til 3 pm), I learned from the publicist that Sixth Engine was nominated in the Best Causal Brunch category for the RAMMY Awards Gala. That's a DC group celebrating restaurant excellence in Metropolitan Washington. We began with their bottomless ($15 for up to 2 hours) Bloody Mary's made with Sixth Engine's own spicy [...]

By | July 13th, 2017|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Roofers Union, Adams Morgan, Washington, DC

Roofers Union in the heart of DC’s Adams Morgan neighborhood offers classic American fare with great friendly service. I stopped into their main dining room (up one level from the street) during a visit to DC, as their guest. Conversation is easy at this spacious, comfortable place with high ceilings and one wall of glass windows. We started by selecting the beers for our flight of four ($12). We each tried four different ones from their extensive menus of beers on tap. My favorites were from the "malty to dark to brooding" section of the ever-changing beer menu — the rich barrel-aged (in bourbon casks) barleywine "st. seditious" first and [...]

By | July 5th, 2017|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

The Dubliner, Capital Hill, Washington, DC

For those coming to DC on the train and in need of a bite, head across the street over to the right to The Dubliner, the red brick building visible when you exit Union Station. It's a hospitable and lively pub serving Irish favorites with live music nightly. The Dubliner's been open since 1974. I started with an "Irish Catholic," a Moscow Mule with instead of the traditional vodka, The Dubliner Irish Whiskey, a smooth-drinking blended whiskey aged in American Oak bourbon casks. A must try ($11)! With my meal, I had their Auld Dubliner Amber Ale, a brew made exclusively for them ($7).  I'd recommend both. For apps, we [...]

By | June 6th, 2017|USA Restaurants|0 Comments

Olamaie, Downtown, Austin, TX

When heading to Austin recently, I emailed my friend Cathy Cochran-Lewis asking for suggestions of where to eat. One of her suggestions was Olamaie, near the UT campus. "Really amazing food with Southern flair. This is where we hosted an Emeril dinner last fall and he loved the restaurant. The two chefs have been named Top 10 Best New Chefs and the restaurant also has made the James Beard list. People kill for their biscuits." How could I resist? I knew we were in for a treat as I looked over the menu and discussed it with our server. While trying to decide what to order, we sipped on a [...]

By | February 17th, 2017|USA Restaurants|0 Comments

Kisco River Eatery, Mount Kisco, NY

I'm a mom first. So when my friend asked me to come try her son's latest restaurant, I headed north to Mount Kisco to dine at Bobby Epstein’s newest restaurant, Kisco River Eatery. I was so glad I did. (Bobby is also the owner of Muscoot Tavern in Katonah.) I began with an icy cosmo ($10), served up in a martini glass along with their fabulous appetizers. I'm a big fan of apps, often preferring to have only those and skip the entree as the starters are so much more creative. Kisco River's didn't disappoint. They included a white truffle flatbread topped with spinach, provolone and ricotta ($9); a stack [...]

By | February 2nd, 2017|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Burgers & Bourbon, Park City, UT

After a stop at Park City's new Escape Room, we were in the mood for a burger and fries, so we headed up the mountain to Montage Deer Valley resort's newest restaurant, Burgers & Bourbon. We were quite hungry after working together to figure out how to get out of the ingenious room where we were locked in! Think Indiana Jones meets the games on Survivor and you'll begin to understand this fun way to spend time with friends in Park City. Once we got to Montage, I couldn't resist a bourbon cocktail. The double barreled cocktail ($17) hit the spot with its blend of High West Double Rye, High [...]

By | January 29th, 2017|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Guero’s Taco Bar, Austin, Texas

We had a very early reservation at Emmer & Rye — which I later learned was mentioned in Kate Krader's "The 19 Very Best Dishes of 2016" — but had just arrived at South Congress Street in Austin. Wanting to continue to wander in and out of the funky stores, we decided not to rush off to dinner. We stopped in at Blackmail (1202 S Congress), a shop that warmed this New Yorker's heart as they sold only black. Once the shops closed, we opted for Mexican food at Guero's taco bar. I head heard from locals that it was a down and dirty touristy Tex-Mex place with good margies. [...]

By | January 19th, 2017|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Franklin’s Barbecue, Austin, TX

Our first day in Austin we headed to the famous BBQ joint where the lines are legendary. Word has it that Obama was the only person to ever cut the long lines at Franklin's where the wait is often 3 to 4 hours. We lucked out and only waited 1 1/2 — sort of like waiting for New Haven's Pepe's Pizza — you do it once just for the experience, while getting to know the stories of your fellow line-waiters. As you're waiting, one of the staff warns you of what offerings might be gone by the time you get to the front of the line. That staff person promised [...]

By | December 31st, 2016|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|1 Comment

Halifax at the W, Hoboken, New Jersey

I had planned to visit Halifax at the W hotel in Hoboken for brunch recently when I learned that the PATH train had suspended service on weekends until sometime in December. Plan B moved into action on a Friday night when I headed there for their riverside views Manhattan's skyline instead. Executive Chef Seadon Shouse handed us a special tasting menu he had created that included his latest fall offerings. This is one passionate chef, who explained how he house-made most all of the ingredients in the dishes he had selected. We started with a glass of Lambrusco Reggiano, Donelli, Emilia-Romagna Italy, NV ($56, per bottle) to accompany chef's signature [...]

By | October 30th, 2016|USA Restaurants|0 Comments

XIX Nineteen – Hyatt At The Bellevue, Philadelphia

I knew I'd be in Philadelphia attending my friends' wedding at the Atrium of the Curtis Center, so I checked around with the food publicists to see who handled Philly and whether there was a place I could review. Bingo! That's how I ended up on the nineteenth floor of the Hyatt At The Bellevue for lunch the day after the amazing nuptials celebration. The dome-shaped room with magnificent views of the city of brotherly love is pretty much as it was when built in 1904, although it was renovated with warm tones in 2006. We were told to be careful about what we discussed as the dome effect allows [...]

By | June 29th, 2016|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Shell & Bones, New Haven, CT

I returned to New Haven for a bridal shower, and wanted to stop in at the new Shell & Bones that opened after I moved away. We had a 7 pm reservation, arrived 15 minutes early - and weren't seated until about quarter to 8 and that's with knowing both the owner and the chef. An auspicious beginning. We started with a couple of things from the bar menu that the Dan the owner, had described to us while we were waiting for our table. I'd recommend the smoked trout spread with chopped fennel, radishes and cucumbers served ($8) with toast points. Instead of the dried fruit and nuts that [...]

By | May 27th, 2016|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Bidwell, Union Market, Washington DC

When I mentioned to a New York City restaurant publicist that I was heading to DC for the weekend, she said I must try Bidwell, Chef John Mooney’s responsibly sourced restaurant at Union Market. Bidwell's actually offers roof to table cuisine, as much of the produce served at the restaurant comes their own crop of fruit and vegetables grown in planters on the roof. They also butcher own meat. As their guest, we were able to sample many of their offerings, starting with their most unusual sushi-grade tuna nachos. That contained chunks of tuna nestled into guacamole atop tempura battered kale chips with a soupçon of spicy chipotle mayo. Not [...]

By | May 18th, 2016|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Big City Tavern, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

While visiting a friend in the Fl Lauderdale area, I accepted an invite to try the new menu at Big City Tavern. I am so glad I did. With our cocktails, we indulged in their a few starters. Do try the unusual Asian honey-glazed chicken wings ($12.50). What's not to like about truffle parmesan hand-cut French fries? ($10.50)   And, so that we could sample more than one pizza variety, we asked for half Margherita (San Marzano sauce, fresh basil, mozzarella $15) and half Salsicce (with sausage, $16) all covered in fresh arugula (+$3.75). Not NY pizza, but still good. Even better are the entrees we sampled. The rich and [...]

By | April 21st, 2016|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Driftwood, Nautilus Hotel, Miami Beach

When I arrived at the Driftwood Room inside the new Nautilus South Beach Hotel, the chef — Alex Guarnaschelli — was actually there at a table with some business associates. That wasn't surprising as  the day I was invited to stop by for lunch was during the South Beach Food and Wine Festival where Alex was a participant. Her menu is described as "cuisine of South France with a Miami palate;" her offerings though were pretty ordinary. What was lovely was sitting outside on the patio by the pool and the friendly service. We started with a couple of the restaurant's "for the table" offerings along with our cocktails ($15). [...]

By | April 7th, 2016|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Talde, Miami Beach, FL

While in Miami Beach for the South Beach food and wine festival (#SOBEWFF), I stayed at the Thomson Miami Beach and was invited to sample their new restaurant Talde operated by the same team that has Talde Brooklyn, Talde Jersey City, Thistle Hill Tavern, and Pork Slope. Lucky us, creative chef Dale Talde was in house that day. I liked this high-energy tavern-like restaurant with innovative twists on Asian food so much better than my Brooklyn experience. I'd suggest starting with the not-too-sweet plum basil margarita, made with house-made plum-basil syrup, El Jimador silver and Triple Sec, garnished with Thai basil ($12). Do try the nod to the NYC pretzel [...]

By | March 20th, 2016|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

The Continental, Miami Beach, FL

Stephen Starr's The Continental, on Miami Beach, has a vintage-feel with a brunch menu not to be missed. It's also a fun place to just grab a drink. I had both recently when at the SOBE Food & Wine Festival (#SOBEWFF). As a Moscow mule fan, I had to start with the bright red dragonfruit one containing a smidgen of that fruit puree in a regular drink. Refreshing for sure ($14). Before our eggs — with our cocktails — we sampled their light and flavorful Vietnamese summer roll filled with shrimp, "crab" sticks, broken rice noodles and herbs and accompanied by a peanut sauce ($14). I'd recommend that over their [...]

By | March 18th, 2016|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

The Cookery, Dobbs Ferry, NY

The publicist had been after me for a long time to take a train ride north to Dobbs Ferry to try David DiBari's cooking. I finally made the trip. Sadly Dave wasn’t there, as he was at his year-old wood-fired pizza restaurant The Parlor, nearby. His staff, though, took great care of us helping to navigate the menu to be sure we sampled Dave's specialties. I had learned that the chef was the youngest Westchester to earn an “Excellent" rating in the New York Times. From my research, I learned The Cookery had become synonymous for the osso buco and the meatballs, voted the best in the area by Westchester [...]

By | February 24th, 2016|USA Restaurants|0 Comments

The Cottage, Westport, CT

Brian Lewis recently opened The Cottage, a 44-seat restaurant (formerly The Farm), across the Boston Post Road from The Westport Country Playhouse. Like his former place The Elm, Brian considers the restaurant a modern American one, featuring changing seasonal menus that spotlight regional local farmers and artisans. His creative dishes show off his skill at highlighting the flavors and textures of individual ingredients adding a soupçon of the culture of Italy, Spain, France, Japan and/or New England. I was invited to sample his cooking recently. Brian made us small plates of practically the entire menu! (If you'd also like to have a tasting menu, all you need to do is [...]

By | February 9th, 2016|USA Restaurants|0 Comments

Molly Bloom’s, Park City, UT

While holiday shopping, I was craving a burger and fries. I noticed Molly Bloom's, an Irish gastro pub in the Kimball Junction shopping center. My mouth watered at the menu description of their 1/3-pound burger — made with Niman Ranch beef — that would come topped with pepper Jack cheese, grilled jalapeños, lettuce, tomato, red onion and a pickle with hand-cut fries ($12). I ordered it. Good thing I wasn't in a rush! With the restaurant half empty I was surprised it took 30 minutes to get me my burger. At lest it was cooked medium rare as I had requested. The jalapeno's weren't grilled at all, just sliced as [...]

By | January 22nd, 2016|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Vinto, Park City, UT

Consider taking a day off of the slopes when in the Park City (UT) area to learn some the history of Main Street while tasting the fare of several restaurants. Local resident Shirin Spangenberg hosts Park City Food Tours where you’ll hear how the town has gone from mining to dining — of course, sampling some goodies — while walking down the picturesque historic Main Street. If you’re tired from your day’s activities, there is a free trolley to take you back up the street..... Vinto was our fourth stop.... Luckily Vinto was our last stop as we were getting full. There we had a crisp  flatbread fontina pizza topped [...]

By | January 15th, 2016|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Wasatch Brew Pub, Park City, UT

Consider taking a day off of the slopes when in the Park City (UT) area to learn some the history of Main Street while tasting the fare of several restaurants. Local resident Shirin Spangenberg hosts Park City Food Tours where you’ll hear how the town has gone from mining to dining — of course, sampling some goodies — while walking down the picturesque historic Main Street. If you’re tired from your day’s activities, there is a free trolley to take you back up the street. Our first stop... Owner Greg Schirf, owner of Utah’s first microbrewery and brewpub, brought the business of brewing beer to Utah. At the Wasatch Brew [...]

By | January 12th, 2016|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Full House Asian Bistro, Kimball Junction, Park City, UT

Families skiing in the Park City area often look for reasonably priced places to take the kids. Full House Asian Bistro in the Kimball Junction shopping area is just that. This decent kid-friendly restaurant offers Chinese, Asian and Japanese selections. We started with the spicy wonton soup for two ($8) with steamed wontons in a sweet both made spicy with some chile oil. Warmed the soul from inside out. I'd recommend. Next we ordered Buddha’s feast with broccoli, carrots, black mushrooms and tofu ($11) made spicy, as asked them to make to do so. I was wanted a spicy dish like Buddha's with lots of veggies. Was fine, nothing special. I [...]

By | January 9th, 2016|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

High West Distillery & Saloon in Park City, Park City, UT

The warm fire outside of High West Distillery & Saloon in Park City invited us in to check it out. High West — located in Old Town — is Utah’s first distillery since the 1870’s, and the only ski-in gastro-distillery in the world. It's located at the bottom of Quittin’ Time ski run and next to the Town Lift. We weren't skiing but were in the mood for a drink. Instead of indulging in their small-batch, mountain-crafted, award-winning whiskeys, we opted for a beer. I had a Leffe Blonde ($7). Along with that libation, we ordered the warm, large house-made pretzel accompanied by whiskey whipped cheddar beer cheese,  a Dijon mustard [...]

By | January 4th, 2016|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments