Tag: Table CrashingView All Tags
We liked Sanctum Soho when we looked around it back in April (a lot more than the New York Times did, as it turned out). We said at the time that, as long as the clientele were up to scratch, it held a lot of potential.
Last night we found ourselves back there, eating at No. 20, the restaurant. We had high hopes – it looked pretty fine when we saw it pre-opening, what with its sexy booths and scarlet bar – and we were looking forward to the puddings described in the Sunday Times as ”the sort of thing that could make all the difference on a first date”.
FIG bars, it's what's for dessert.
One of Santa Monica’s most famous landmarks is the 128-year-old Moreton Bay fig tree that sits in the driveway to the Fairmont Miramar Hotel, so it’s no wonder that the hotel’s new restaurant is named FIG.
Around 90 percent of Chef Ray Garcia's menu is locally and organically sourced, and the dishes will change according to season. If you have any doubts about that, just check out the calendar of crops at the bottom of the menu to see what will be “coming soon” to a plate near you.
There are even “food scouts” who apparently are scouring the local farmer’s markets and nearby ranches for the raw ingredients for Chef Garcia’s menus, which he says are “nothing experimental or overworked. Just pure, flavorful ingredients expertly prepared and delivered to your table.” He must have picked up that philosophy while working at Thomas Keller's famous French Laundry in Napa.
Even though Bertha's has become a tourist magnet in the heart of Baltimore's yuppified Fells Point neighborhood, it's still got enough junk hanging from the rafters and no-nonsense waitresses to call it, at best, a down-home spot. And we mean that as the highest compliment.
Without a doubt, heading to the Santa Monica Pier is one of the top tourist attractions in Santa Monica. Made famous in countless films, the pier was originally built in 1909 which is defined as the pre-historic age for Los Angeles.
It's considered the final stop along Route 66, as anyone who saw the movie Forest Gump knows, and it houses a historic carousel ride, a ferris wheel *, a small aquarium, carnival games, tourist trap souvenir shops, a pub and a few restaurants.
Now, dining on the pier is not something we would ever do unless it was like on a triple dog dare or something, but if we had to dine in the vicinity of the pier the only place to do so is The Lobster.
Nello on Madison Avenue is a storied restaurant for the rich and famous. It's one of those places that always pops up in gossip columns and, when the weather's nice and celebs are chewing away on the sidewalk, the paparazzi-driven tabloid magazines.
In fact, its restaurateur, Nello Balan, is perhaps just as well-known in Manhattan as some of his customers. First, there was the incident about an alleged bribe to Page Six (hence the gossip column presence.) Then there was the incident with the model who took his limited edition $1,000 umbrella and didn't return it, thus prompting Balan to publicize it in Page Six. (Full circle?)
With all this sort of superficial, lives of rich people in Manhattan type of drama, does anyone even know what the food is like? We table-crashed the place to find out.
Confession: We first heard about Angelini Osteria on Giada's Weekend Getaways on the Food Network about a year ago. Then it popped up again on our radar when it hit the Best 75 Restaurants in Los Angeles list at number 17.
So we decided to make an early reservation at 6:30 pm on a Friday night. The restaurant is on a unassuming block of Beverly Boulevard just east of Fairfax Avenue and close to The Grove shopping center.
We got a table towards the back but it turned out to be the second best table in the house. Why's that? Because it was next to the best table in the house and guess who showed up for a 7 pm reservation? Big-time movie producer Brian Grazer and Paramount honcho Sumner Redstone. They were dining with two ladies and didn't do much of interest. Except Grazer carries around a Volcom backpack. Weird.
But on to the menu.
What the world looks like when you get off the Palazzo tasting tour.
We were fortunate enough to get invited to the Palazzo Las Vegas last week to check-out the hotel scene. But as with most hotels these days and especially in Las Vegas, the hotel is often not about the hotel. It's about what else is at the hotel.
And aside from the gambling, the Palazzo has a ton of other distractions and ways for you to spend your cash, whether you won it at the blackjack tables or whether you're just burning your paycheck.
While the Shoppes at the Palazzo definitely caught our eye (hello, massive Barneys department store!), there are 12 restaurants to indulge in. We tested a few of them out. Be prepared to leave your calorie-counting ways behind.
A friend of Jaunted just got back from an oh-so-trendy "destination wedding" down in Aruba. While the whole traveling-for-a-wedding thing wasn't his favorite, he did manage to scare up some good eats.
Matt has a full report for us on the Flying Fishbone:
Unfortunately, downtown Oranjestad is littered with Taco Bells, Dunkin Donuts and cafes that don't even take the time to grill their grouper sandwiches. The high rises (like the Westin, Riu and Hyatt) have some decent food, but those restaurants are littered with pesky Boston Red Sox fans and tourists alike.
Only three restaurants in Los Angeles were awarded two Michelin Stars in the 2008 guide for the city and several were awarded one-star, including another Table Crashing fave, CUT.
So we decided to test out the one nearest to our abode--La Botte in Santa Monica which earned a one-star. The restaurant's location is a few blocks from the touristy Third Street Promenade, thankfully, as anything on the Promenade should be avoided.
Yet it's in the ground level of a modern-looking apartment/office building. This is both good and bad--good because you get a sort of tucked-away feeling but bad because who eats in the ground floor of an apartment/office building?
Nevertheless, La Botte has a cozy atmosphere once you step inside. Indeed the Michelin guide agreed:
It is difficult to imagine a warmer interior than in the homey yet fashionable place, which pays homage to Italian wine with its hardwood floors and walls crafted from the staves of oak wine barrels (a nod to the name, Italian for "wine barrel").
Sundance / Sundance Field Trip / Sundance Film Festival / Sundance-2008-Map / Table Crashing / Restaurants / Live Music / → All Tags
The Spur may have an address on Main Street, but the door is down this sinister alleyway, which we'd like to think keeps yuppies away. (As this is Park City, it probably doesn't work too well.) Still, this live music-and-cowboy cookin' bar is a nice place to warm up after walking up and down the main drag.
At the bar, a couple of TVs had college basketball on, though one was tuned to a Fuel TV show about skateboarding in Israel. When we stopped in, the music act hadn't yet taken the (small) stage, but judging by the number of banjos, fiddles and guitars, it promised to be a wild night.
We weren't feeling too famished, so we opted for a peppered beef quesadilla off the small plates menu. Not much later, an itsy plate appeared. Maybe we shouldn't have been surprised--they did say "small"--but most Tex Mex/cowboy places we've ever been to serve up enough food to feed a family. Portion disappointment aside, it was a really good quesadilla.
The Spur has live music on the schedule for every night of Sundance, so if you're looking for more cowbell, this is the place.
Sundance / Sundance Field Trip / Sundance Film Festival / Restaurants / Sundance-2008-Map / Table Crashing / → All Tags
Not a minute after we settled into a seat at the hotel bar, having dropped off our luggage and pulled out a bus map over a drink, did a friendly guy take us under his wing. Steve's been living in Park City for 23 years, and he'd walk out into the sub-zero Park City weather before letting you go to any Mexican place but El Chubasco.
So we took the plunge and headed over. The first thing we thought was, We've eaten in lots of places better than this, which of course isn't a good feeling. But eager to ride it out, we ordered up a steak torta and a tall glass of horchata.
We got a table tent and a free little basket of chips with our order, and hit up the salsa bar for condiments. A couple minutes later, a giant sandwich came out of the kitchen for us. The thing was almost as big as a super-baleada, and it was topped up with a healthy dollop of guacamole.
Though the bread was a little weird, the rest of the sandwich was killer. Turns out spending 23 years in a town does make you an expert.
Just how popular is this place? A couple of the guys that were on our shuttle from Salt Lake City International showed up as we were headed out. Make it your first stop upon arrival in Park City!
Amanda loves her spas... and Italian food.
When my sister Jenn, best friend Holly and I arrived at the JW Marriot Desert Ridge in Phoenix, Arizona at the end of 2007, we confessed that we hoped the getaway would jump start our New Year's resolutions to get healthy (read: stop inhaling Christmas cookies). After all, didn't spas serve the kind of bland, tasteless gruel that makes hospital fare seem like Jean Georges by comparison?
Lulled into a false sense of caloric security (and perhaps in an endorphin haze, thanks to multiple hours of kneading, buffing, steaming and soaking beforehand), we floated down out of the relaxation room and down the hall to Ristorante Tuscany. As three of the last patrons to arrive for dinner, we had the good fortune to meet the twentysomething chef du cuisine, Brian Archibald, who strongly encouraged us to try his tasting menu.