Gabriel Kreuther

Pasta
Pasta

***** (5 stars)

Gabriel Kreuther is wonderful in all respects, from ambiance to food to service. For me, it is the successor to Eleven Madison for the crown of Best Restaurant in New York, and one of the best in the US.

The dining room, with its dramatic arc of salvaged wood beams, is both open and intimate, with the tables spaced far apart to make each one cozy, and the ceiling high enough to afford a pleasant sound level. A glass wall affords a view of the kitchen, which is a busy hive of about twenty chefs and cooks under the supervision of Chef Kreuther. The atmosphere seemed more convivial than in many of the Michelin kitchens I've encountered.

The restaurant's recommendation for first-time guests is the Six Course Tasting menu. This is not only a great recommendation but a great bargain. At $215 (as of this writing) it is, in short, a steal. I don't know how they came up with the number six, but including amuse bouche and ending sweets, there were at least 15 different dishes over a three-hour period.

Speaking of dishes, these were some of the most beautiful serving pieces I've ever encountered, and the glassware is stellar as well.

As for the food, it is almost pointless to describe it, as everything was wonderful, and it was impossible to pick favorites. It changes regularly, but I will mention a few that rank among the best dishes I've ever had: pate de foie gras (best flavor/texture I've encountered), smoked heirloom tomato consume (more of a gelatin, and endlessly intriguing), sturgeon tart (delicate flavorful and complex), and all the breads (there were at least four, accompanying various dishes).

As mentioned earlier, service was near perfect, with two dozen wait staff performing an intricate (and high speed) choreography to synchronize each course at each table.

Compared to the food prices, the wine bottle prices seem like less of a deal, but are certainly not unreasonable for Manhattan. The wines by the glass are an interesting assortment of styles and places of origin.

This is my new favorite restaurant in New York.

Gabriel Kreuther
41 W 42nd St
New York, NY 10036

https://www.yelp.com/biz/gabriel-kreuther-new-york

Sisi Kay Thai Eatery & Bar

Menu
Menu
Interior
Interior
Menu 4
Menu 4
Menu 2,3
Menu 2,3
Interior
Interior
Exterior
Exterior
Panama Panang Curry
Panama Panang Curry
Black Pepper Fried Rice
Black Pepper Fried Rice
Yum Neau
Yum Neau

***** (5 stars)

Great spot for Thai food! We loved everything we had, and the decor is great, with the interior imported from an old school house in Thailand.

The Panang Curry is the best I have had anywhere, with incredibly complex flavors and just the right spiciness (at level 3 of 5). We had it with shrimp, but it would be great vegetarian or with chicken, too.

Black Pepper Fried Rice was also excellent. It came with its own protein on the side (chicken in our case) but it also made a great base for the panang curry.

The Yum Neau grilled flat iron steak was a great Thai salad, with all the vegetables served in a tasting style so you could make your own combination. Perfect char on the tender steak.

Excellent service and great authentic ambiance. Highly recommended.

Sisi Kay Thai Eatery & Bar
1612 N 45th St
Seattle, WA 98103

https://www.yelp.com/biz/sisi-kay-thai-eatery-and-bar-seattle-5

The Loupe Lounge

cocktail mixology
cocktail mixology
final course
final course
whiskey tasting
whiskey tasting
cocktail mixology
cocktail mixology
cocktail mixology
cocktail mixology
wagu
wagu
cocktail mixology
cocktail mixology
cocktail mixology
cocktail mixology
bar
bar

***** (5 stars)

Wow! What an experience! Not inexpensive, but worth every cent. Two hours of astonishing cocktail mixology, and an amazing view as you sit on a glass floor and revolve your way around Seattle for two hours. Includes VIP access to the Space Needle and valet parking right in front.

Three of us visited, so we were able to try all three experiences, from a beautiful Rose Champagne (poured endlessly), a sublime whiskey tasting, and the best cocktail mixology we've ever experienced (and with us coming from Chicago, a real cocktail town, that's saying something).

Often the use of liquid nitrogen is more for show than purpose, but here it was put to wonderful use, creating ice cold cocktails, rich slushies, and, yes, a spectacular show.

The food was also very good, with top notch ingredients including Wagu beef, truffles, caviar, and raw oysters.

Despite all of that wow factor, it was the service that made it particularly special. Our servers were incredibly friendly, talented, gracious, and informative, and we truly felt welcome to this special experience. I could happily go here very day of our stay in Seattle. Truly memorable for even this jaded foodie!

The Loupe Lounge
400 Broad St
Seattle, WA 98109

https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-loupe-lounge-seattle-4

The Nook on Robinson

Exterior
Exterior
Interior
Interior

***** (5 stars)

Definitely well named, The Nook is a cozy little spot that specializes in mostly locally sourced beers. You can find the menu here: thenookonrobinson.square… but there are many, many more selections in the cooler. Knowledgeable, friendly staff make it a great place to hangout at one of the few bar seats, a table for two, or a sitting area.

The Nook on Robinson
2432 E Robinson St
Orlando, FL 32803

https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-nook-on-robinson-orlando-2

Acacia House by Chris Cosentino

Exterior
Brunch salmon
Brunch chilaquiles
Interior

**** (4 stars)

Nice modern space inside a venerable old house. Friendly and accommodating staff. We went for Saturday brunch. The smoked salmon was served with all the possible accompaniments, including a nice dill cream cheese. Chilaquiles were also very good. The highlight was the best margarita I’ve ever had, served chilled, with a salty foam.

Acacia House by Chris Cosentino
1915 Main St
Saint Helena, CA
94574
(707) 963-9004
https://www.yelp.com/biz/acacia-house-by-chris-cosentino-saint-helena

Petrossian Bar

Caviar sampler

Interior

**** (4 stars)

This is a delightful piano bar just off the Bellagio lobby, and next to the casino. Despite its location, it is neither noisy nor smoky.

Many creative cocktails are one offer. One of the most interesting items is the caviar sampler, which includes a taste of three grades of caviar, and a glass of Champagne. I suggest ordering it with the creme fraiche on the side, though, as the way it’s served it’s almost impossible to keep it from getting mixed into the caviar, which makes them all taste the same.

Petrossian Bar
3600 S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV
89109
(702) 693-7111
https://www.yelp.com/biz/petrossian-bar-las-vegas

Taix French Restaurant

Interior

Ceasar salad

Escolar

***** (5 stars)

It’s sad that so few of the old school restaurants are left in Los Angeles. Taix is one of those great holdouts that harken back to the days of traditional French recipes in comfortably posh surroundings.

The restaurant is divided into a number of rooms, from a dark, clubby bar to an elegant high-ceilinged dining room.

Recipes are traditional and represent excellent examples of classic French cuisine: country style pate, escargot, tarragon cream sauce on your fish.

The highlight for me is the wine list, which offers a nice selection of domestic and international wines at the lowest prices in town. Most are at or near retail. What other restaurant offers a half bottle for $14? That’s less than the price of a glass at most places. If for nothing else this is a great reason to visit Taix!

Taix French Restaurant
1911 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 484-1265
https://www.yelp.com/biz/taix-french-country-cuisine-los-angeles

Perch

Patio

Steak frites

Provencal plate

***** (5 stars)

This is a delightful spot to sit outside downtown, with no noise and a great view. There are heaters and a fireplace to keep warm in winter, and clear glass windbreaks all around.

The menu offers a nice combination of small plates and main dishes. We really liked both the tuna tartare and mussel starters, and my Provencal vegetable plate was excellent.

There is a medium sized list of wines, with about a fourth available by the glass. There is also an extensive spirits list.

Service is friendly and efficient, and pricing is reasonable.

Perch
448 S Hill St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 802-1770
https://www.yelp.com/biz/perch-los-angeles

Pyrmont Bridge Hotel

Caesar salad

Interior

*** (3 stars)

This is a classic pub with good food located conveniently to the Lyric Theatre. If you don’t want to get into the mad crush in the food court before the show, eat hear and then walk two blocks to the theatre.

The salads we had were fresh, with tasty ingredients and excellent dressing. Service was friendly and efficient.

Pyrmont Bridge Hotel
96 Union St
Pyrmont, New South Wales 2009
+61 2 9660 6996
https://www.yelp.com/biz/pyrmont-bridge-hotel-pyrmont-2

Boca Kitchen Bar Market

Exterior

Interior

**** (4 stars)

I used to think this space was cursed, because of the long succession of unsuccessful restaurants that occupied it. But it turns out it wasn’t the space, it was the restaurants that were the problem. Boca is packed every day, and with good reason.

The food and service are both top notch. We had the day’s lunch special, a blackened amberjack sandwich. The amberjack was a thick piece, perfectly cooked. The accompanying mango slaw was a bit sweet for my taste, but with just a little on the sandwich it was perfect.

Rather than fries we asked for the mixed vegetables which had been sauteed and had a delightful smokey flavor.

Boca is one of the best bets for lunch on Park Avenue.

Boca Kitchen Bar Market
358 North Park Ave
Winter Park, FL 32789
(407) 636-7022
http://www.yelp.com/biz/boca-kitchen-bar-market-winter-park