: Dishes at Bank were expertly prepared and delightful. Though no one is perfect all the time, Bank’s ability to consistently serve outstanding food on a regular basis was noteworthy. The décor was eclectic, warm and elegant with an exotic dash. The dining room, housed in a former bank lobby, was an inviting place to linger and savor our meal. Service staff were attentive and eager to please and the ambiance provided privacy including a relaxed and quiet atmosphere where meaningful conversation was inspired.
: A bustling restaurant with a happening crowd, 17 offered well presented, well served, and well prepared gourmet American food in an attractive setting. The Sam Houston Hotel’s enthusiastic young chef, Jeff Amstrong, combined adventurous flavors and old favorites for a rewarding and tasty meal. He successfully emphasized local seafood with spicy accents. He also offered continental options like rich foi gras (goose or duck liver) with roast pineapple and a pink peppercorn sauce and hearty American short ribs.
Dinner at this long famous Houston restaurant was full of eclectic culinary surprises, satisfying and savory at once. In spite of a busy full house the Tuesday night we were there, the servers were attentive, circumspect and efficient. Many in the crowded restaurant appeared to be regulars. Our meal was a crescendo of flavors from mild crab to zesty red fish, concluding with a tasty and perfectly prepared lamb and later a lemon themed dessert.
: Carnivore, a large yet welcoming restaurant able to seat more than 500 diners, was a must-stop for the game and meat lovers among us. During our visits, we enjoyed some of the greatest selection of game meats we have found in an urban restaurant anywhere. T he centerpiece of the restaurant was a large circular fire area with 52 spits and a 5.3 meter diameter extractor fan. It was there that expert cooks charcoal grilled our food to perfection.
We told our foodie friends about this up and coming restaurant and chef we found worth visiting. Relying on the reputation of the hotel and prestigious location, we had dined at the famed Les Ambassadeurs (French for the ambassadors) on a previous occasion and had been somewhat disappointed. When we heard things were changing, we jumped at the opportunity to sample the “new” cuisine.
If Sides Restaurant was near our home, we would be regular diners. Set in a cozy hotel in a desirable residential area of Johannesburg , Sides was the kind of restaurant we return to regularly. It offered attentive and accommodating staff, delicious home style food, an attractive setting with a large fireplace in one corner of the room and a view to the hotel’s garden, a huge selection of fine South African wines and a comfortable dining room.
On the heels of a long transatlantic flight, lunch at Menuett Restaurant was a welcome pleasure. Located in the lobby of the historic and attractive Steigenberger Park Hotel, Menuett’s classic décor was inviting. We, like almost everyone else that afternoon, chose to enjoy lunch outdoors on the terrace, which faced the Steigenberger Park Hotel entrance and a nearby park. To match the prominent setting and delicious meal, the service could have been more attentive and customer oriented. Overall, our spring meal was refined and satisfying.
Arriving in Johannesburg after a long international flight, we preferred to remain within the Caesar’s complex (where the Emperor Hotel and Aurelia’s are located) near the airport. While there, we enjoyed the excellent and friendly service and food at Aurellia’s , named in honor of Julius Caesar’s mother. The high quality food was served hot and freshly made. Waiters were attentive and eager to please. The glass enclosed dining room was comfortable with an outdoor feel. Dining selections included South African, Asian and continental dishes.
: Dinner at Alain Ducasse’s New York restaurant was well prepared and well served. It was as close to authentic gourmet French food as we have had in the U.S. For those able to appreciate the nuances of an elaborate gourmet meal; and willing to spend the time and resources – dinner could easily exceed $300 per person – to enjoy it, ADNY would be an obvious choice.
In a city where several seatings a night are the norm, ADNY stood out for its one seating policy. It allowed diners to savor and stretch out the multiple course dinner over several hours. The professional, discreet, and customer oriented staff combined with the delicious food and ambiance provided the setting for a wonderful evening. The intimate ambiance and details like handbag stools, an after dinner sweets and candy trolley, a discreet and knowledgeable wine steward, and a souvenir brioche upon departure can make ADNY ideal for a special occasion or important meeting.
Dining at Drouant was like visiting an old friend in a beautiful old home. We felt welcome, in familiar surroundings and an always memorable meal. We found it noteworthy that the meal was as delectable as in past occasions although the assistant chef and assistant sommelier where in charge during our visit.
We were disappointed. The food left us uninspired and wanting more. Expecting to enjoy delicate, creative and delicious food, we found these qualities elusive at best. Perhaps a long-standing reputation has made them lazy. Many of the dishes were mediocre and lacked harmony. The wine selection was fabulous, and seems to be the strongest point of this restaurant, although the sommelier did not seem adequate for the cellars. The dining room, china and glassware were more beautiful than the food. The service was mostly professional but at times inattentive, smug and even surly.
The inventive dishes designed by the world renowned Alain Ducasse are only one reason to visit the Plaza
Flora Danica Copenhagueoffereda combination of fresh seafood worthy of fine sushi, served in classic French style withasubtle Danish influence. In addition to well prepared seafood, we were pleasantly surprised by the efficient service, fair prices and wonderful view of the Champs Elysees. With the trees decorated and the crowds out strolling and shopping for the holidays,Copenhague’slocation was stunning. We foresee continued success for this French restaurant with a Danish flair with an attentive and experienced team.
Though master chef Alain Passard appeared understated and perhaps even shy, his creations are anything but. Our meal shattered our preconceived ideas of French food and gourmet cuisine in general. Some of his flavors were unconventional (maple and egg), while other dishes presented us with amazing contrasts of delicate flavors in counterpoint with spicy or bitter ones. Like a great symphony, the chef composed a menu that moved our spirits.
We managed to arrive on the terrace just as the full moon rose over the hotels across the street. Between the moon, the variety of music, the watershow and the beautiful evening, it was a great experience! The menu degustation was excellent, I particularly enjoyed the foie gras.