USA Restaurants

///USA Restaurants

Our favorite restaurants in the US

Brunch in the Rain at the Veranda, The Breakers, Spring Lake, NJ

One rainy day while visiting Spring Lake (NJ) area at the shore, we met a high-school friend for breakfast at The Breakers on the ocean. When sticker shock hit me, I realized that I had gotten used to NYC's ridiculously high prices. I couldn't believe how inexpensive everything was! One friend's tasty scrambled eggs with tomato, spinach, onion & cheese breakfast wrap served with fresh fruit cost a mere $9. Two of us each had 3-egg omelets, having chosen three fillings, with home fries and toast tipped the bank at $10! I enjoyed mine, more scrambled than an omelet but not complaining with chevre, spinach and bacon. That price included $1 [...]

By |2018-09-22T09:16:09+00:00October 9th, 2018|USA Restaurants|0 Comments

Mountain Brauhaus Restaurant, Gardiner, Hudson Valley

I shouldn't have waited so long to write about the delectable meal we had at Mountain Brauhaus in Gardiner (NY) when celebrating my birthday in the Hudson Valley with some girlfriends. I'm remiss, as I've forgotten many details. What I do recall is how impressed we were with the quality of what we were served and the friendly service! This family-owned neighborhood restaurant offers authentic German food with some inventive locally inspired vegetable-focused dishes served by waitstaff in traditional garb. I do recall the housemade vegetable flammkuchen (caraway flatbread topped with local baby beets, garlic scapes and goat cheese all drizzled with balsamic, $12) and the smørrebrød (Danish open-faced sandwich with [...]

By |2018-10-10T10:11:40+00:00September 29th, 2018|Bites from the Road, USA Restaurants|0 Comments

West Street Grill, Litchfield, CT

After wandering around the stores of Litchfield, we started looking for a place to get a bite. With my friend on a very restricted diet, we stopped in a couple of places prior to ending up at West Street Grill owned by James O'Shea, one of the most caring restaurateurs I've met. The allergy restrictions included no dairy, bread, pasta, pickled items, beans, corn, soy sauce, dried fruit and more. James — who has family members with various dietary restrictions — listened attentively before having his chef make an omelet filled with such flavorful ingredients my friend begged for the recipe!  A simple mesclun salad came with her eggs.  The black [...]

Fairfax Coffee Shop, Berkeley Springs, WV

While in Berkeley Springs (WV) to judge an international water competition, I stopped into the local Fairfax Coffee Shop for breakfast. I was glad I did. I sampled the Joey Special for breakfast, a housemade biscuit topped with a farm-fresh egg, melted sharp Cheddar cheese and tomato 🍅 (my special request) in lieu of their pickle chips. My breakfast buddy indulged in one of the good morning muffins ($3). Both were fabulous to the last crumb. We happened to meet and chat with proprietress Trey Johanson, who re-opened this coffee shop as a town hospitable gathering place, while she and her husband hold down other jobs. Fairfax Coffee Shop is worth the side trip. [...]

Lot 12 Public House, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia

When I decide to accept the invitation to judge the Berkeley Springs (WV) International Water Tasting, the friend who invited me mentioned that we'd be dining together that weekend at Lot 12 Public House. It's chef Damian Heath had been selected as a semifinalist in the James Beard Foundation Awards for the southeast region many times. I looked forward to experiencing his cooking. Lot 12 Public House is in a beautifully restored 1913 house, where dining on the Victorian porch is an option, weather permitting. We dined inside in the homey atmosphere one rainy evening and noticed the artwork of Damian's folks lining the walls. Our group of eleven was too [...]

Billy Joe’s Ribworks, Newburgh, Hudson Valley

When visiting a friend near the Hudson Valley, we chose BBQ for lunch and headed to Billy Joe's Ribworks in Newburgh. We started with their hearty portion of nachos. The enthusiastic manager shared that the cheese they use drizzled over the nachos is a blend of many types. That dish ($13.99) had a pile of tortillas topped with smoky beans, shredded lettuce, onions, jalapeño peppers, pulled pork, sour cream and the cheese blend. Silly us, not realizing how huge the starter was we ordered Backyard BBQ ($16.99) better known as The Legend -- a burger topped with smoked brisket, pulled pork, smoked andouille, Cheddar cheese, coleslaw and crisp onion rings [...]

By |2018-01-14T11:39:11+00:00February 3rd, 2018|USA, USA Restaurants|0 Comments

Powder, Waldorf Astoria, Park City Utah: A Children’s Tasting Menu

We stopped into Powder, the restaurant at the Waldorf Astoria in Park City (UT), for dinner on my last night visiting. Our meal started with an amuse bouche of a tartlet filled with goat cheese and herbed brie for the adults, and ants on a log (celery filled with peanut butter and topped with Craisins) for my 2-year-old grandson who was dining with us. Two of us ordered the tasting menu. Me ($40/person) and my grandson, as Powder has an amazing children's tasting menu ($21) with a choice for the main course choice of fried chicken or Tasmanian salmon.   For the table, we shared the wood-grilled cauliflower accompanied by [...]

By |2017-11-23T13:36:39+00:00November 27th, 2017|Bites from the Road, USA Restaurants|0 Comments

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 |2017-10-23T15:54:05+00:00August 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 |2017-08-31T13:48:53+00:00August 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 |2017-08-31T16:18:57+00:00July 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 |2017-08-31T16:18:57+00:00July 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 |2017-09-01T17:09:10+00:00June 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 |2017-09-01T17:13:23+00:00February 17th, 2017|USA Restaurants|1 Comment

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 |2017-08-31T16:18:59+00:00February 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 |2017-08-31T16:18:59+00:00January 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 |2017-08-31T16:19:00+00:00January 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 |2017-08-31T16:19:00+00:00December 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 |2017-09-01T16:56:08+00:00October 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 |2017-08-31T15:05:47+00:00June 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 |2017-08-31T15:40:18+00:00May 27th, 2016|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments