USA Restaurants

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Our favorite restaurants in the US

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 |2017-08-31T15:05:47-04:00June 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 |2017-08-31T15:40:18-04:00May 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 |2017-08-31T16:19:00-04:00May 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 |2017-08-31T15:42:28-04:00April 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 |2017-08-31T15:42:28-04:00April 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 |2017-08-31T15:42:28-04:00March 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 |2017-08-31T15:42:29-04:00March 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 |2017-09-01T16:55:34-04:00February 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 |2017-09-01T16:55:27-04:00February 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 |2017-08-31T16:19:01-04:00January 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 |2017-08-31T16:19:02-04:00January 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 |2017-08-31T16:19:02-04:00January 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 |2017-08-31T16:19:02-04:00January 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 |2017-08-31T16:19:02-04:00January 4th, 2016|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Park City Food Tours

Consider taking a day off of the slopes when in the Park City (UT) area to learn some of 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. When I took the tour this fall (prices vary seasonally),  we stopped at the below mentioned places for a nibble. The locations change often [...]

By |2017-09-01T14:46:47-04:00January 2nd, 2016|USA Restaurants, USA Travel, xyz misc|0 Comments

Maxwell’s East Coast Eatery, Kimball Junction, Park City, UT

Maxwell's is an Italian sports bar in Kimball Junction — a section of Park City — serving East Coast style preparations for reasonable prices, including pizza by the slice. We sampled the meaty jumbo wings ($12) in a choice of sauces. My nephews had the original spicy Buffalo sauce, with carrots. Celery and bleu cheese sauce are also options, as is ordering the wings boneless. One of my grand-nephews ordered a slice of cheese pizza ($3 ) with his wings; the other ordered their "famous" Philly cheesesteak ($10) on an Amoroso's hearth-baked roll topped with onions, green peppers, cherry peppers and a side of French fries ($.99). I tried the [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:19:02-04:00December 29th, 2015|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

The Lift Grill & Lounge at Jupiter Bowl, Park City, UT

For my grand nephew's twelve birthday, the family in town gathered at the Jupiter Bowl for some bowling and then at the Lift Grill & Lounge dining room to eat. I was told that the food was quite good there, but we learned the management had changed. Would the offerings be as good? We shared lots of appetizers for the table. The guacamole with chips ($8) was greatly in need of some seasoning even a soupçon of salt or the addition of jalapeños. The tortilla on the quesadilla ($9) needed more cooking; the filling again needed seasoning. The vegetarian samosas ($10), filled with potatoes, peas and lentils drizzled in a [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:19:02-04:00December 26th, 2015|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Sammy’s Bistro, Park City, UT

While visiting in Park City, I heard that Sammy's Bistro had decided to offer breakfast. I had to try it as there are very few places offering breakfast fare in this busting ski resort. One of us ordered a simple scrambled egg, bacon and hash browns with a side of toast ($8.50). Although they mentioned that they made they make their own hash browns, the kitchen forgot to add any seasoning. Salt and pepper would have been an acceptable addition. Another had the two Scotch eggs — Italian sausage wrapped around a soft boiled egg, then rolled in bread crumbs and fried ($12). Sadly the cook fried it way too [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:19:03-04:00December 21st, 2015|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Tupelo, Park City, UT

Tupelo's chef-owner Matt Harris had worked in — and opened — restaurants around the country before he settled in Park City to open this — his first — one. He worked with Jean George at Spice both in Atlanta and NYC, With Nancy Oakes at Boulevard in San Francisco and with many other chefs. Matt describes his new Main Street establishment as "a globally inspired fine dining restaurant that honors artisanal ingredients and food terroir."  I got to sample his cuisine just before the official opening, the day after the menu had rolled out. For beverages they offer Mexican sugar cane bottled sodas in addition to a full bar. I [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:19:03-04:00December 14th, 2015|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Boston Public Market, Government Center, Boston

The new Boston Public Market is the pride of the city, captures the fresh and local flavors of New England agriculture and requires no reservation. The market is a year-round permanent indoor 28,000 square foot structure that opened in August at 100 Hanover Street,  273 years after Faneuil Hall, Boston’s first market opened a block away. The market is wonderful for finding locally sourced farm-fresh products with 38 vendors selling produce, meat and poultry, ice cream, hops, juice, milk, chocolate, coffee and cheese, baked goods, pasta, wine and flowers, including Taza chocolate and George Howell coffee, It’s perfect for grazing! There are plenty of attractions to wet the palette including hands-on-cooking [...]

By |2017-10-28T07:51:24-04:00December 3rd, 2015|USA Restaurants|0 Comments