In and Out Burger

I decided to try some California heath food. This is my first time at an In and Out burger so I did some research and ordered off menu items. I had the Double-Double Animal burger and Animal fries. The burger was excellent nice combination of toppings, condiments and meat. Crunchy and delicious. Fries were fresh and hot , I wouldn’t recommend the Animal fries it’s a bit much.

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Union Square Cafe , NYC

 

Our first visit to the “New” Union Square Cafe…I wish it were still the old USC !! It has a very corporate vibe to it unlike the warmer local cafe of days past. They have insituted a non-tipping policy which has some advantges to the employees but certainly the extra wages are pasted along to the consumer in the pricing. We sat at the bar on a very slow afternoon and service was just OK, friendly but not very professional.

We had an excellent: Fritto Misto at 24 dollars:
Calamari, Oysters, Asparagus, Peppers.

We also tried 3 Pastas:(prices are for full orders, half and mid course sizes available):

Pappardelle 37 dollars
Cacciatore Ragu, Castelvetrano Olives, Pecorino Romano

Ricotta Gnocchi 33 dollars
Tomato Basil Passatina, Pecorino Daniel Romano

Tagliatelle 35 dollars
Snow Peas, Pea Leaves, Lemon Ricotta

All the pastas dishes were good but not nothing worthy of returning for. These are not Marea or Babbo level pastas.

Dessert: Stores Pavlova was sick in the best way !!!

Beverage Program is huge: they have a great selection of local beers and creative cocktail program as well. The house wine list is poor to say the least I couldn’t find a wine that I would drink at the 25 dollar a glass and below level. The wines and cocktails are designed to max out the profits per square foot. Certainly nice for a special occasion but the pricing would wear on you if you frequented the place.

The scores are Service 7/10, Food 7.5/10 and value 7/10.

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Somtum Der LES NYC

Very authenic Northeastern Thai food on the LES in NYC. I was delighted by the flavors as well as the moderate prices of both food and wine….I would highly reccomend SOMTUM DER to anyone that enjoys Thai food.

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Morini Ristorante , UES NYC

We are big fans of Marea so we decided to try the Chef’s other retaraunt during restraint week.  Once we got the food we really enjoyed our meal. The pasta was classic MW excellence ! The only problem with Morini is the hostess and coat check people. They seem to want to turn customers away at the door. We had a reservation and were greeted by a hostess throwing down a bar menu and say this is all we have now.  When I was given a chance to speak and explained we have a reservation. She huffed off and returned several minutes later to seat us upstairs.  Once seated the service was average however the food was very good. The appetizer: calamari alla piastra, creamy fregola, manila clams, spiced mollica was very unique and tasted excellent, we both wanted more. Our pasta course was riccioli: handmade pasta curls, carbonara, rock shrimp, pancetta, pecorino this was a typical Michael White fresh pasta dish we enjoyed the dishes however didn’t enjoy the pancetta.  Dessert was a beautiful TORTA DI CIOCCOLATA;
chocolate cake, espresso mascarpone mousse, milk chocolate ganache. It tasted as good as it looks.  We were both generally happy with the food and after being contacted by the management about the service issues, we will give it another try soon.

 

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Lavo NYC

We had a fun night at Lavo !! It’s a large and loud room. Food is average with a few fun items to share like the Basket Ball sized Meatball and huge 20 Layer Cake. Eggplant part was not bad. The vegetable sides had so much sodium my blood pressure spited just short of a stroke…..LOL  Drink and food prices aren’t not bad for NYC it’s not Kansas…Service was actually pretty good for such an active place.

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Le Bernardin NYC

Le Bernardin has been around the NYC dining scene for decades. It’s a seafood based restaurant with a meat and vegetable dish thrown in for those guest that come with the seafood lovers. If your not a seafood fan there are much better options at other resteraunts.  Proper attire is required in the dining room (jackets for gentlemen).  We had the Chef’s tasting menu at $225 dollars per head with the wine pairings for an additional $145 each.  This does not include coffee which is $5 per cup, rather petty after ordering a $740 dollar meal.

Each and every course was plated beautifully and was of the highest quality available for the season. The salmon was farmed this time of year, personally I would rather have skip it and had something else wild had I noticed beforehand. The preparation was excellent however it was not flawless; the Dove Sole was overcooked. The wine pairings where very nice with familiar quality labels.

Le Bernardin is a special place that I would recomend to any seafood lover. The dining room is elegant and pace of service very relaxed so it’s perfect for couples.

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Tanoshi Sushi NYC

Very authenic casual Japanese sushi bar, Omakase only seatings at 6.730 and 9pm. you get only 90 mins to eat and BYOB. We have eaten here several times and quality is always great.

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Daniel, NYC


We celebrated our 15th anniversary at Daniel. After consulting my friend and fellow food Blogger Michael T, we decided on Daniel.
We both ordered the Mayfair Tasting menu which was actually supplemented by a surprise extra course.
The food and service were all outstanding. The uni served with the oysters was my favorite dish if it’s possible to choose a favorite almost like choosing your favorite child.
The wines were expertly paired by a very professional sommelier.
After dinner we had the honor to be invited into the kitchen to meet Chef Eddy Leroux.
We both enjoyed the evening and can’t wait to return.
Do put Daniel on your “to do” list, you won’t be disappointed.

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Café Constant , Paris

Walking down rue Saint-Dominique from the Eiffel Tower the  first of the three Christian Constant restaurants you reach is Cafe Constant. This is a local cafe were you may find Christian himself (see photo) dining. The specials change daily and come to you on the good old fashion black board. This is one of my regular stops in Paris because it is open all day. They have several different menus according to the time of day. I really can say that I’ve never had a meal I did not like here!

High Quality ingredients, prepared to perfection and reasonable prices!!

 

 

Café Constant
139, rue Saint-Dominique
75007 Paris
FRANCE
Tél.: 01 47 53 73 34
contact@cafeconstant.com

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L’Avent Comptoir, Paris

Is a small standing room only wine bar that serves outstanding French hors d’oeuvres and crepes. WARNING: if you are interested in eating something healthy don’t come here! It’s one of my favorites!

They serve the most delicious grilled pork fat(lard) that I have eaten and the beef carpaccio is excellent . The menu hangs from the ceiling with pictures for those that don’t speak French. This is a great place to hang out relax and enjoy several small plates of food. It’s great for a” light” LOL and inexpensive lunch.

 

9 Carrefour de l’Odéon, 75006 Paris, France

+33 1 44 27 07 97‎ · hotel-paris-relais-saint-germain.com
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Les 101 de Taillevent, Paris

I ventured over to the First District and Enjoyed a nice lunch and some fine wines at Les 101 de Taillevent. This is a casual wine bar/bistro by the owner of the landmark Talievent. It retained 3 Michelin stars for 34 years but finally was demoted to two stars in the 2007 Michelin France guide. The star system is so strict and important to chefs that they have been know to commit suicide over a demotion. It is the highest honor to hold a 3 star rating for even one year. There are only 50, 3 star restaurants in the world. The Sommelier is the same for Les 101 as Taillivent and is among the best in the world. Les 101 is named for the 101 wines available by the glass. The food and wine pairings are world class and I highly recommend a stopping in for lucnh or dinner. You can enjoy the Taillevent experience without the Taillivent price.

Les 101 de Taillevent

75008 Paris
Tél : +33(0)1.40.74.20.20
Fax : +33(0)1.40.74.20.21

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Ristorante Walter Redaelli, Bettolle, Tuscany, Italy

Back home on the ranch in the Cortona area of Tuscany, we decided to try some new places.  We had a conversation with Alessandra the owner of Villa di Piazzano inquiring about any new and exciting restaurants in the area.  She recommended Walter Redaelli.  Coincidentally, we ran into her and her family two days later having dinner at Walter Redaelli.  We had dinner and lunch at Walter the same day.  We liked it so much at lunch we had to try a dinner. Walter uses only the finest locally sourced in season products.  Once the bread basket arrived we knew we were in for something special.  The wine list was excellent with many of my favorite local wines including a reasonably priced Brunello by the glass.  They had the largest Brunello glass we have ever seen.  The pasta course consisted of the most wonderful fluffy mushroom and truffle gnocchi topped with a Gorgonzola sauce.  We also had the Pici which is a hand rolled pasta served in southern Tuscany. The Pici was prepared with artichokes and a tiny bits of Cinta Sense bacon (local bacon).  It was delicately flavored to perfection with parsley from the garden and pecorino cheese.  The Primi was the most amazing Beef Carpaccio with a bit of arugula and cheese dressed with a balsamic reduction.  We also had a wonderful Salmon Carpiccio with artichokes. In the evening we had a special stewed neck of beef that cut with a fork and melted in your mouth.  Deserts were amazing !!  Prior to desert we had a tasting of several local chocolates.  Of course we finished with a bit of local desert wine… This is truly a fine dining experience in Tuscany!!  You cannot go wrong with anything on the menu.  We can’t wait to return in the Spring and try the seasonal specials.

 

Walter Redaelli

53040 Bettolle –
Sinalunga (Siena)
Via XXI Aprile, 10
Tel. / Fax 0577 623447
cell: 335 397648

 

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Castle Terrace, Edinburgh

This was an absolutely perfect meal….This was truly world class. Chef Jack is brilliant !

A little bit about the Chef Dominic Jack:”Legendary chef Alain Solivérès recognized his talent and took him to three-star Michelin restaurant, Taillevent, where Dominic then held the position of sous chef-de cuisine for over four years.”

The Sea Trout Cannelloni was life changing, an amazing filling rolled in a pasta that had the most spectacular texture…I’m ruined for life…..few will measure up!….The main was Plaice on cauliflower or as my chef friend called it precision on a plate, prefect in every detail.  The cheese cart was a mind boggling assortment of wonderful local cheese….All the wine pairings were excellent on par with the finest French restaurants of Paris.

I can go on for hours describing this sensual experience. ..Just don’t miss this place when in Edinburgh

Castle Terrace Restaurant

33/35 Castle Terrace
Edinburgh
EH1 2EL

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Villa di Piazzano

When I asked Lori what she wanted for her birthday this year she said she’d like to go to Tuscany and visit our friends at the Villa di Piazzano. We’ve been to the Villa many times and always return because to leave the Villa is like leaving relatives behind in Tuscany. Many places can offer a nice room but few can make you feel like family. The Villa itself is a virtual landmark with a long and rich history. The Wimpole family has managed to upgrade and modernize the Villa in tasteful manner adding all the modern amenities you would expect but still maintaining the “Old World” charm. They have recently added a new Sommelier and do wine tastings in the afternoon. We always are sure to dine at least one evening at the Villa with our friend the bubbly Chef Gabriella. Well I can go on forever with our pauses for the Villa but as they say “TRY IT YOU”LL LIKE IT”.

 

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Pizzarium, Rome Italy

Owner/Chef Gabreile Bonci wrote the book on Pizza. They use only the finest ingredients for his creative toppings. This is a small local take-out pizza shop that you may eat in standing up. The pizza is great and the assortment is very special.

Located in a neighborhood that is about a 1/2 mile from the Vatican which is rarely traveled by tourists you will have to go a bit out of your way but it’s worth it.

Pizzarium

via della Meloria 43, 00136 Rome, Italy
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El Almacén, Avila, Spain

On a rather cold day when sightseeing around Avila, Spain we decided to have lunch at El Almacen.  One advantage to going in the winter is that you can go any place you want and not have to deal with crowds.  The staff at most places is a lot friendlier due to the fact they are not so stressed by many tourists. El Almacen has great food and amazing views of the walled city of Avila.  We were lucky enough to meet the Chef that came out personally to say hello to us. The food was all great especially the deserts.  This is a place that should not be passed by when in Avila.

El Almacén
Carretera de Salamanca, 6
05002 Avila, Spain
920 21 10 26

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PHO 14, Washington DC

This is a great spot for an authentic Vietnamese Pho. They have many options including vegetarian and of course several different meaty ones with meaty sides as well… The broth is good and the portion huge. Try the Spring rolls they are great!   That being said this is a great stop for an expensive and hearty meal.

Pho 14
1436 Park Rd NW
(between N 14th St & N Kenyon St)
Washington, DC 20010
Neighborhood: Columbia Heights

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Le Reminet, Paris

Lori found this wonderful place a few years ago. Unfortunately it got lost in the backlog of photos to be blogged. The food was wonderful and its great for a romantic evening.  The presentations and food were executed with the French flair you’d expect at a high end establishment yet Le Reminet was very reasonably priced…..It’s on the list for a blog update!

Le Reminet, Paris
Cuisine:Inventive Cuisine
Address:3 rue des grands degres,
75005 Paris (See map)
Telephone:01 44 07 04 24
Metro:Maubert-Mutualité

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Max’s Harvest, Delray Beach, Florida

We had high hopes for Max’s Harvest but it really failed to deliver the goods.  The Pork Belly appetizer was outstanding however the rest of the meal was downhill from there…..The Mac and Cheese failed the “Kraft Test” being that Kraft from the box would have tasted better….The Lobster Shepard’s Pie was very rich, lacked any distinctive flavor and really just wasted a good Lobster.  The deserts were adequate but nothing really outstanding. I must say that the concept of “farm to table” is great it just need a little more refinement.  They are really tiring hard but there is a lack of professionalism in the food and the service.

Max’s Harvest
169 NE 2nd Avenue
Delray Beach, FL 33444
561-381-9970

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PHO DC, Washinton DC

Locate in the heart of Chinatown, Pho DC produces a very high quality PHO and some great appetizers. The Shrimp wrapped in bacon are a great starter to warm up with prior to the PHO.  This is an attractive clean restaurant to enjoy your traditional PHO with many fresh ingredients. I highly recommend PHO DC.

608 H street NW Washington DC 20001
Tel : 202-506-2888, 202-506-2889
Fax : 202-506-2893
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