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Bardessono – Yountville

November 12, 2012

I just went to a little birthday shindig in Napa Valley at an incredible hotel…Bardessono.  Very high end, very luxurious, very cool.  It’s like having your own swanky apartment for R&R in between tastings.  Earthy, modern, with your own fireplace and patio.  Be sure to book an in- suite massage.   It also has a cool bar scene where you can finally order a vodka or a beer (you can only drink so much wine, no?)  And a rooftop pool and heated whirlpool.  Most dreamy hotel I’ve been to in ages.

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Hiltl – Zurich

October 4, 2012

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Just back from Zurich, and what I wouldn’t do to have a restaurant like Hiltl here at home.  It is the oldest all vegetarian restaurant in Europe, and features a by-the-pound food bar of all sorts of incredible vegetarian offerings.  I could not get enough of the hummus, spring rolls, and fried rice, but there were a lot of other more sophisticated options.  It is a very kid-friendly restaurant, but also has an adult-friendly bar/nightclub on one side.  Yes, they somehow do it all, and it is all good.  So good I went three times in four days.


The Chandelier – Vegas

May 21, 2012

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The Chandelier bar in Las Vegas is one the coolest bars I’ve ever seen, and it’s now solidly in my top five favorite bars of all time.  Engulfed in 2 million crystals, you can sip specialty drinks (although champagne seems most appropriate) above, inside or below an enormous “chandelier” that spans three floors.  It’s exactly what I love about Vegas–a totally unique and creative experience so over the top that it’s hard to imagine it existing anywhere except Vegas.  A must-see.  Located in The Cosmopolitan hotel.


The Ranch – Las Colinas

May 10, 2012

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Sometimes driving outside your usual 10 mile radius turns out to be a good thing.  The Ranch in Las Colinas is my new favorite concept in the ‘burbs.  Good menu (loved the kobe tacos) and drinks (sipped Texas tea and then champagne).  Lots of indoor and outdoor seating.  Live music on the patio.  Great wait staff.  Kid-friendly.  Happy hour-friendly.  Can accommodate big groups.  Wine and cigar room.  Everyone’s happy here, all around.  Check it out.

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The Foundry and Chicken Scratch – Oak Cliff, Dallas

April 26, 2012

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Here’s where I spent Saturday night.  The Foundry, a hip bar and outdoor concert venue, which is also part of Chicken Scratch, a super casual new restaurant concept by the guys who created one of my other Oak Cliff favorites, Bolsa.  I pretty much loved everything about this dual concept.  It’s a particularly awesome place to enjoy live music when the weather is good: outdoor courtyard with cafe lights and a cool stage, a great indoor/outdoor bar scene, and food available from the accompanying Chicken Scratch.  Chicken (of course) and comfort food sides are the main items on the menu, but they also offer a great quinoa/vegetable salad and hummus.  Read about it here and here.  And go see for yourself.  It’s kid-friendly too!

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The Four Seasons Restaurant – Manhattan

November 14, 2011

My friend Brooke just told me a great story about a recent trip to NYC during which she went in search of The Four Seasons Restaurant, because she had heard it is an amazing (and historic) space designed by Phillip Johnson and Mies van der Rohe.  Like a lot of people, she assumed it was in the Four Seasons Hotel and went there with a friend for lunch at the allegedly famous bar.  Halfway into her appetizer, she decided things didn’t add up.  The place just wasn’t like the “one of the most beautiful restaurants in the world” descriptions she had heard.  Luckily a concierge explained there is another Four Seasons Restaurant, not related to the hotel, nearby.  So they headed there for the main course and found the gawk-worthy design destination they were searching for.

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Soho House – West Hollywood

September 22, 2011

Remember when I posted about Soho House West Hollywood back in June?  Well, I finally made it there last weekend.  And just as my LA people have been saying, it is pretty amazing.  A glassed-in wrap-around terrance overlooking the city, with cozy seating throughout perfect for hosting gatherings and sipping cocktails.  A cool bar area, where you can also order dinner, and a restaurant with gorgeous ambiance and retractable roof–like dining in a rooftop garden.  It was the perfect mix of age groups and types, and of course we had the requisite celebrity sightings that make LA so fun: Chris Rock, David Arquette, David Spade, Jane Fonda, Minnie Driver, and Rod Stewart with wife Penny and daughter Kimberly.  This is a members-only club, so you have to either join or get on someone’s guest list!  This is definitely my new favorite spot in Hollywood.

For some great photos of the interiors click here.

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Jacala Beach Restaurant – Anguilla

August 2, 2011

The summer of travel discoveries continues.  Here’s another find in Anguilla from Bart.  Jacala Beach Restaurant is open from 10am-9pm Wednesday through Sunday.  The owners are very involved in their customers’ dining experiences, and supposedly not shy to suggest alternatives if they don’t like which salad you pick to accompany your main course.  The food is inventive and delicious (if I ever make it there I am definitely ordering the watermelon goat cheese salad), the atmosphere casual and, most importantly, right on the beach.

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The Backyard Restaurant – Montauk

July 26, 2011

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This find is from my friend Piper, who recently lunched here (with kids) and loved it.  The Backyard Restaurant is located mostly outside in the gardens of Solé East Resort in Montauk, with a fire pit, tiki torches, day beds, and occasional live music (Thursday night is reggae night and Sunday brunch brings Brazilian tunes).  The menu offers fresh seafood from local fisherman, organic meats, and vegetables from local farms.  It’s also known for it’s five specialty cocktails, named after the owner’s children.   Tell me the Myles doesn’t sound heavenly: Cruzan silver, peach puree, nectarines, mint and lime.

Photo from Hamptons magazine.


The Surf Lodge – Montauk

July 25, 2011

One of the best places to drop in for a sunset drink (overlooking Fort Pond) in Montauk.  And don’t miss the boutique.  The Surf Lodge is also a 32-room hotel that offers a summer concert series, outdoor surf movies, surf lessons, and a popular restaurant.  This is its fourth summer and it’s still going strong.

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