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

Estia’s Little Kitchen, Sag Harbor, NY

One beautiful fall day when visiting friends in the Hamptons, we stopped at Estia's Little Kitchen for a bite. I had high hopes for this cute little out of the way place, as it reminded me of the original Kitchen Little just out side of Mystic Seaport before that restaurant relocated to a larger and less inviting location. You know that type of place, one that attracts regulars with its fresh good food, reasonable prices and friendly service. That's exactly what we found at Estia's. Our server offered up both the lunch and breakfast menus as it was just midday. We each settled on a breakfast platter. Those included a [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:19:03-04:00November 28th, 2015|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Yvonne’s, Downtown Crossing, Boston

Walking into Yvonne’s, you are first struck by the plain lobby with odd shampoo and conditioner bottles lining a corner shelf and a white plywood door. The restaurant is no where to be seen. The hostess halts you and she calls someone to alert of your arrival, then opens the door and you're propelled into another world of gorgeous damask rose wallpaper, tear-dropped chandeliers, carved paneled walls, velvet nooks for whispering and high gloss mahogany bars. This isn’t Locke Obers, the space that formerly hosted Brahmin powerbrokers, but a captivating dark speakeasy packed with the city’s who’s who. We started with a light and delicious 1989 cocktail of Ketel One, [...]

By |2017-10-28T07:55:36-04:00November 26th, 2015|USA Restaurants|0 Comments

NYC Thanksgiving Offerings

Hey New Yorkers — whether you're ordering a turkey or making reservations, we've compiled some options for you. If you're planning to cook for the upcoming holiday, be sure to pre-order your Thanksgiving bird. Here are some suggestions: Fleisher’s Grass-Fed and Organic Meats (Many locations): Order your fresh bird from this  well-known butcher shop. The Meat Hook: This Brooklyn butcher shop gets its broad-breasted white turkeys from Interlaken, New York. They also can provide you with bacon or sausage for stuffing or sides. DiPaola Turkey Farm:  Order your free-range and antibiotic-free turkey at one of almost 20 Greenmarket locations throughout the city. Dickson’s Farmstand Meats: This  Chelsea Market butcher shop [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:19:03-04:00November 11th, 2015|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

South of Nick’s, San Clemente, California

I seem to find casual Mexican food fresher and tastier when eaten on the West Coast. Take South of Nick's in San Clemente as proof. While looking over the menu we ordered some guacamole ($9) for the table — freshly made with roma tomatoes, jalapeño, cilantro and some red onion — to go with table-offered warm corn tortilla chips and freshly made salsa. The salsa was so fresh and tasty, I could almost drink it! With that we of course had margies. The traditional margarita was ($9) made with Milagro silver tequila and housemade sweet ‘n sour mix; the spicy version — with their housemade jalapeño infused tequila — was [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:19:03-04:00November 10th, 2015|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Eating Establishment, Park City, UT

One day while walking down Main Street, I got a hankering (my Western-speak!) for some huevos rancheros. I notice that the Eating Establishment — the oldest full service restaurant in Park City — served breakfast all day and offered that dish of eggs served on a tortilla with a spicy tomato sauce. I ordered it. The Eating Establishment's version ($11.50) was okay, nothing special served with a side of breakfast potatoes and — oddly — another flour tortilla. The eggs were lightly basted atop some black beans smothered in their homemade salsa. I had asked for chili (an extra $1.50), but the kitchen forgot to add it. I did like [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:19:03-04:00November 2nd, 2015|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Muscoot Tavern, Katonah, NY

In Katonah — at the intersection of route 100 and 35 — is the Muscoot Tavern, a small, oddly shaped, red structure established before 1925. It has had many owners and as many names — Muscoot Inn, the Muscoot Diner, the Muscoot Restaurant, Little Brauhaus. What remains constant is the “Cheers-like” atmosphere of this local hangout. I was invited recently to sample their extensive menu. While perusing the menu, we sipped our cocktails (Their margies are good!) and nibbled their garlicky bread ($5), both the regular one sprinkled with cheese and a rich pesto-topped version. There were six of us, so we had many mouths to share all the goodies. Our [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:19:04-04:00October 27th, 2015|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Harbor Bistro, East Hampton, Long Island

Before I became middle aged, I laughed at the white-haired elders heading for the early bird specials. But now — even though I'm not silver-headed — I often do the same as I enjoy eating early and then lingering over a glass or two of wine! And so I'm suggesting the early bird special at Harbor Bistro available from 5 to 6 pm. For only $29 you get two courses, a glass of wine or if you have a sweet tooth, three courses including dessert. An added bonus are the spectacular views of the marina and sunset. Just be sure to request a seat on the outdoor covered porch. I [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:19:04-04:00October 25th, 2015|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments

Red Rock Brewing Company, Park City, UT

One night while visiting in Park City, we decided to go out for a quick light meal at Red Rock Brewing Company, just off I-80 at the Kimball Junction exit in the Redstone Center. If you're in the area skiing, it's a good place to take the kids that won't break the bank and — with something for everyone — will satiate and satisfy. We tried the unusual crab stack ($14) with layers of avocado mango, baby pea shoots, tomato, red onions and peanuts all topped with jumbo lump crap. We tossed the entire amalgam in the cucumber lime ginger dressing. We also tried the fresh salad with "superfood" ingredients,  baby [...]

By |2017-08-31T16:19:04-04:00October 23rd, 2015|USA Restaurants, xyz misc|0 Comments