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31st Union Restaurant- San Mateo- Great Neighborhood Restaurant

31st Union Restaurant
We always enjoy dining on the Peninsula and normally go to Redwood City, Palo Alto or Half Moon Bay. We learned that a new restaurant, 31st Union, had just opened in San Mateo which featured ingredients and wines from California.It is a stylish cozy restaurant in Downtown San Mateo which celebrates the bounty of California, the 31st State in the Union.

Atlantis Steakhouse- Reno’s Finest Dining
We rarely have the opportunity to go to Reno but are always pleasantly surprised by how well we can dine and how much fun we can have! The Atlantis Casino & Resort is only a few miles from Downtown and has a superb Steakhouse which has been open for five years and draws both locals and tourists alike.
anaheim
Anaheim Restaurants 2013… Better than Ever
There is always a good reason to visit Anaheim. Most go to Disneyland, a convention or to see the Angels play baseball. For years the dining scene was quite limited. Of course there was Mr. Stox , which unfortunately will be closing soon, but there was never much else that we were aware of.
Aubergine
Aubergine Restaurant
We love staying in Carmel-By-The-Sea on weekdays when it is a bit quieter and especially on rainy days. The town looks quite quaint and the ocean is rougher and even more beautiful. We had heard that the cuisine at Aubergine which is in the classic L’Auberge Carmel Hotel was exceptional and decided that we had to see for ourselves.
bardot
Bardot Brasserie
French Bistro Cuisine at the Aria Resort in Las Vegas
We love Las Vegas, French Bistros and Michael Mina restaurants, so the odds were 100 to 1 that we would dine at Bardot Brasserie, while we were staying at The Aria.
Baume
Baume Restaurant
We dined at and reviewed Baume in Palo Alto about a year ago and predicted that they would get a Michelin Star. We are pleased to report that we were correct. Restaurateur and Executive Chef Bruno Chemel, who has now received stars and accolades from Michelin, The New York Times

Bentley’s Restaurant on 27
Charlotte North Carolina is known as the Queen City. It was named after Queen Charlotte who was a Patroness of the Arts and wife of England ’s King George 111. It is a new Southern city with quite a few skyscrapers. With big buildings, comes the dream of opening a restaurant where the cuisine is as good as the panoramic skyline views.

Blue Restaurant & Bar
We were in Charlotte, NC. for the first time and asked friends to recommend a restaurant with great food and a vibrant bar scene where we could both dine and soak up the local color. Blue Restaurant & Bar was their first choice! On the night that we dined, the restaurant and bar were packed.

Brio
Brio Tuscan Grille
Brio Tuscan Grille Italian Cuisine www.BrioItalian.com is another good choice especially since you can dine outdoors on their patio. We were there on an evening when they had a Salsa band which made it even more fun as many people got up and danced. Once again the drink of choice was a Classic Mojito. They are so refreshing on warm nights.
Café Pinot
We asked the concierge at our hotel, The Westin Bonaventure, where to have dinner in walking distance? He recommended Café Pinot. It is located in the heart of downtown adjacent to the historic L.A. Central Library overlooking Maguire Gardens.
Carmine’s Family Style Italian Restaurant
Just off Times Square you’ll find a great Italian restaurant called Carmine’s. Places like this are why we love New York ! They serve Classic Italian cuisine, family style with generous portions that are perfect for sharing. Founded in 1992 by Restaurateur Artie Cutler to be similar to an Italian wedding feast
Capo
Capo’s Italian Steakhouse & Speakeasy
We love Las Vegas and were quite pleased to find great drinks and cuisine on a recent visit both on and off the Strip. We had a fun and truly unique dining experience with one of our best pals off the Strip on W. Sahara at Capo’s Italian Steakhouse & Speakeasy.

The Capital Grille-Charlotte NC
We’ve dined at The Capital Grille which has locations around the country and always found it to be consistently enjoyable. Each location has been a little different, as the local flavor always comes through. We started with cocktails and enjoyed chatting with our friendly servers about the menu.

Chandlers Prime Steaks & Seafood
We always enjoy going out to dinner on Sunday Night as it is generally not as crowded, gives you something to look forward to and lengthens your weekend. We had heard that Chandlers Prime Steaks & Seafood in Downtown Boise was offering a Prix Fixe three course Prime Rib Dinner for only $27.00 and knew we’d better check it out.
Circa 59 Restaurant-Palm Springs
We love our short trips to The Desert where we always enjoy the heat, great food and poolside living. We normally stay at small B&Bs but this time decided to stay in the heart of old Palm Springs at The Riviera Resort. It can only be described as an Ultra Chic, glamorous 1960’s inspired Rat Pack swanky Hollywood glam Resort and Hotel.

Dickie Brennan's Steakhouse
New Orleans’s is definitely back as we could see from the crowds around the French Quarter on the Tuesday night before Fat Tuesday. We decided to dine at Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse where we were in good company as there was a full house in both the restaurant and bar area including some local celebrities like Mayor Ray Nagin.

Dining in The O.C.
We had the opportunity to be in Orange County just south of Los Angeles for a day and made the most of our dining and shopping opportunities. We shopped at the ultra-upscale South Coast Plaza and had some excellent Italian Cuisine at Quattro Q4 Caffe, which is located between Emporio Armani and Jimmy Choo.
The Dish
The Boise area is truly becoming “Boomtown” as more and more people find out how nice it is the live here in the Treasure Valley. Over the past few years, new restaurants have been opening to accommodate the tastes of both newcomers who are relocating from both the West & East Coast, as well as those who have lived here for their entire lives.
Ditka’s Restaurant-Chicago
It is impossible to think of the Chicago sports scene without hearing the named Ditka. Mike Ditka, NFL Hall of Famer, feared tight end and Da Coach of Da 1985 World Champion Bears is a Chicago hero and legend. His popular downtown restaurant and bar was packed on the Thursday night that we dined there.
Donato
There is no better way to spend the afternoon than to enjoy lunch while dining al fresco in a lovely setting on a warm summer day. Downtown Redwood City has seen a renaissance over the past decade and has turned into an upscale dining and shopping area.
Eatz
We had a fabulous seared Diver Scallop appetizer which had a lovely presentation, arrived piping hot and was fresh and tender. Next, we had the Grilled Chateau Steak au poivre served with sautéed spinach and garlic pomme frites with sea salt and aioli which was prepared medium rare as ordered and was quite delicious. Sorbet was the perfect light dessert.
eagle
The Eagle Food & Wine Festival
We were pleased to attend the Ninth Annual Eagle Food & Wine Festival which was held at the scenic Banbury Golf Club. The evening event flowed both inside and outside the Clubhouse overlooking the stunning golf course. The weather was absolutely perfect and the colorful sunset provided a beautiful view of nature.
Empire
Empire Steak House
The Empire Steak House which seats 200 was able to offer us a reservation at 8:00 PM. The reviews were good so we took cabs to Midtown and were ready to dine. The Restaurateurs are the Sinanag Brothers who had worked at Peter Luger SteakHouse in Brooklyn for twenty years before being able to realize their dream of opening their own steakhouse.
Espetus Churrascaria San Mateo
Dining on the Peninsula just got better with the addition of the new stylish Brazilian Steakhouse called Espetus Churrascaria San Mateo. It was recently opened by Grill Master/ Owner Paulo Kleinwho is a native of Novo Humburgo, Brazil, his wife Maris Klein and their partners Eli and Val Nascimento.
Faith & Flower-Upscale Dining in Los Angeles
We Love L.A. and were pleased to spend a few nights recently downtown at the Omni Hotel. Los Angeles has truly transformed over recent years to become more vibrant than ever. The economy is booming again and the streets were filled with happy people stylishly dressed out for the evening.
The French Poodle-Restaurant Francais in Carmel by the Sea

The French Poodle
We are very fortunate to live in the Bay Area and be able to easily visit Carmel by the Sea as it is only about a two hour drive. The upscale town is great for Shopping and Dining and the views of the Pacific Ocean are fantastic.

havana
Havana 57
We dined at Havana 57 www.Havana1957.com where we enjoyed Cuban Cuisine. Kiwi Mojitos made with  Bacardi Rum, muddled fresh lime, sugar , soda and fresh mint got us started out just right as they were quite refreshing. The Mariquitas which were crispy green Plantains with mojito garlic sauce was a worthy appetizer.
The BLVD
We love our trips to L.A especially dining and shopping in Beverly Hills. There is nothing like a late lunch at The BLVD in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel for excellent cuisine and of course people watching.
La Bicyclette
We always enjoy our trips to Carmel to dine, shop and walk on the beach. Our favorite lunch spot has always been Casanova Restaurant which serves country French & Italian Cuisine, has a World Class Wine Cellar including 10 vintages of Opus One and serves the most fantastic Spinach Gnocchi which we crave!
L.A. Prime
We have roots in both Los Angeles and New York so the logical place to dine in Los Angeles would be a New York Steakhouse. Add to that, we were staying at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel downtown there was no better choice then go up the enclosed glass elevator from our comfortable 29 th floor room to L.A. Prime on the 35 th floor.
LB
LB Steak
We were pleased to hear that Restaurateur Roland Passot had recently opened LB Steak MenloPark to serve the Peninsula, as we had enjoyed many fabulous meals at his LB Steak SantanaRow in San Jose. Opening a restaurant these days is generally considered risky business. Even the best business people know that they must be on their game with the right location, menu, execution and chef to be successful.
Left Bank
There are several quaint towns on the Peninsula that are perfect for shopping and dining. Menlo Park is one such town that has both upscale shops and some excellent restaurants. Left Bank Brasserie is a perfect restaurant for this stylish, yet non pretentious town. They recently brought in Executive Chef Brendy Monsada
Ling
Ling & Louie’s
We enjoy Asian Cuisine and are especially fond of Sushi and Sashimi. We had driven by Ling and Louie’s numerous times and decided that we’d better check it out. The décor is very attractive with a Full Bar area to the right, and a Sushi Bar with a unique glass wall waterfall to the rear.
Louis’ Basque Corner-Family Style Dining in Reno
Family Style Dining is always intriguing as you dine with people that you don’t know. Tables are filled up, and then the multicourse dinner begins. Louis’ BasqueCorner in Downtown Reno is almost 50 years old and if the walls could talk one would hear how appreciative everyone was with the plentiful food and the random chance to make new friends!
Moss Beach Distillery
The Moss Beach Distillery is located a short drive down the coast from San Francisco, just north of Half Moon Bay off of Highway One. Built in the 1920’s the restaurant is rich in history and folklore, as it was supposedly a Speakeasy during prohibition and some contend that it is haunted as well.

The appetizers and small plates were all quite fresh and tasty. We enjoyed the Little Moroccan Cigars Phyllo stuffed with chicken and Crispy Flatbread Zattar and roasted garlic hummus.

Mantra Restaurant and Lounge
The Dal, which is a seasonal lentil dish, was a perfect compliment with the Naan. Next we enjoyed the Large Day Boat Scallops marinated with mustard, coriander and fennel sautéed and served with melted leeks and a light onion soup and salmon caviar.

The hearty portion of Steak Frites was very tender. This Grilled hangar steak was topped with herb salsa verde, a side of crisp frites and fronds of fresh Sausalito watercress. We saved room for dessert which was called Chocolate Milk and cookies. 

Nobhill - Las Vegas
The Roast Filet of Beef Rossini with seared Foie Gras and mushroom potato cake and red wine reduction was so tender you would have not believed that it was beef. The Foie Gras melted in your mouth. I can’t remember a better Filet Mignon period.
Noe Restaurant - Los Angeles
We took a short trip to Los Angeles and decided to stay at The Omni Hotel on Bunker Hill, as it is in the heart of Downtown. We were also interested in dining at their restaurant, Noe which features California Cuisine with French techniques and Japanese influences. We like to dine where we stay as it adds to our enjoyment of the hotel and is also very convenient and extremely relaxing.
palo
Palo Alto Grill- Modern Steakhouse Cuisine
We always have fun strolling down University Avenue in Palo Alto and popping in the interesting upscale shops and enjoying the diverse dining scene. We were pleased to hear that accomplished Executive Chef Ryan Shelton is now working with popular Restaurateur Bruce Schmidt at the his new restaurant on University Avenue, the Palo Alto Grill.
Pappas Bros. Steakhouse
A recent business trip brought me to Houston where I had only one night to dine on my own. I asked a friend who travels constantly and is very knowledgeable about restaurants where I should dine in Houston ? He quickly said you MUST go to Pappas Bros. which is a Classic Steakhouse that has been open for over 60 years serving excellent steaks.
park city
Dining in Park City, Utah
We love to take short weekend get-a-ways and had never been to Park City, Utah and decided it was time to go. The winter snow had receded and the spring weather was just perfect. Park City is a resort destination nestled in the mountains just outside of Salt Lake and the scenery is truly spectacular reminding us of the Alps!
Pastis Restaurant- New York City
We love to dine out in New York City especially late at night in the Summer time. The streets are filled with happy locals and tourists who really enjoy the great weather and by 9:00 PM it is usually just perfect. Located in Manhattan’s Meat Packing District Restaurateur Keith McNally’s Pastis is a hot spot which features hearty Provencal dishes that you can enjoy while dining either indoors or outdoors.
Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2013
One of our favorite annual Food Events now in its sixth year is Pebble Beach Food & Wine which was held April 4-7, 2013. This year featured 300+ Wineries, 75+ Celebrity Chefs, Cooking Demonstrations, Dinners, Celebrity Golf as well as Wine and Spirits Tastings. The weather is always spectacular in April and the coastal views are magnificent at Pebble Beach as well as on our drive from San Francisco.
puerto

Puerto 27 Peruvian Kitchen &Pisco Bar
Pacifica is just south of San Francisco on Highway One. It boasts beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and the San Bruno Mountains but we have never found great dining over the years and just kept driving to other beach towns to eat. The décor is fabulous with an exhibition kitchen, a Peruvian Amazon themed mural created by Michael Brennen, an Inca Head Sculpture, a large communal table.

rasushi

RA Sushi
They serve fresh Modern Japanese Cuisine in a fun, hip atmosphere. The drink of choice was the Sake Bomb which is a beer and Sake. Pour some beer, put your chop sticks across the top of your beer, place a shot of Sake on the chopsticks then tap the table until your Sake shot falls into the beer. Then of course you drink it down and start over!! This was very entertaining and quite potent.

Roy ’s - Rancho Mirage
We’ve always enjoyed our trips to the Palm Springs area for rest, relaxation and of course the excellent dining. We know Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine Restaurants well, as we have met Roy and dined at his restaurants in other cities. We even own one of Roy ’s beautiful cookbooks and have recreated the cuisine fairly successfully but only after several hours of preparation.
saffron

Saffron Indian Bistro
We are big fans of authentic Northern Indian Cuisine and also enjoy local neighborhood restaurants, so we ventured to the cute hamlet of San Carlos on the Peninsula, where we found Saffron Indian Bistro. We were told that they had just hired a new Executive Chef, ParveenSharma, who is an acclaimed Indian Chef from New Delhi.

Savor Idaho-2015
We were pleased to attend the Seventh Annual Savor Idaho at the Idaho Botanical Garden in Boise where we sampled some of the best wines from Idaho and some tasty local cuisine! It was a spectacular June day as the weather was 82, sunny and there was a slight breeze which made it perfect for this outdoor event. 
thesea
The Sea
We have dined at Alexander’s Steakhouse in San Francisco many times and always enjoyed the steaks and prime rib. They recently opened a seafood restaurant called The Sea by Alexander’sSteakhouse in Palo Alto which features fresh sustainable seafood and wild fish with seasonal, quality ingredients prepared with a Japanese flair.
Shokolaat
Palo Alto now has a new restaurant to serve the discerning diners on the Penninsula called Shokolaat. It was recently opened by Executive Chef/ Owner Shekoh Moossavi and Pastry Chef/ Owner Mark Ainsworth and serves Contemporary European Cuisine in a modern, sleek and inviting atmosphere.
sippin
Sippin’ In The City
Sippin’ In The City is the type of Wine and Food event that we really like! You get to mingle with just the right amount of people while tasting a limited number of wines and dining on a limited food selection. We particularly enjoyed the Crossing Winery’s 2013 Bubbles SRV and the Williamson Vineyards 2011 Homestead Red SRV.
Sparks Steak House
We always love to dine at classic Steak Houses. The concept is simple, a great steak and a bottle of Cabernet. Sparks Steak House in New YorkCity was established almost fifty year ago and has been pleasing steak lovers at the current location since 1977.
Dining Around Sun Valley
We always enjoy our short vacations in Sun Valley where we find some fun and interesting things to do, as well as excellent shopping and dining. A great excuse to go in October is The Trailing of the Sheep with events in Sun Valley, Ketchum and Hailey. We didn’t stay to see the sheep being herded through town on Sunday (we saw it on YouTube)
Taste
Restaurateur Tracey Berkner and her husband Executive Chef Mark Berkner have a passion for food,feature fresh, seasonal local ingredients and offer a memorable dining experience. The décor is very inviting with red interior, pendant lighting, hardwood floors and nicely spaced tables where you can choose to visit or not.
The Plumed Horse
The new Plumed Horse is open once again in the quaint and Historic Village of Downtown Saratoga. Their Contemporary California cuisine is prepared using locally sourced, sustainable, seasonal fresh and luxury ingredients along with French techniques.
Whitehall 10014 Bar and Ktichen
We sat at the bar, ordered some Fanny Bay Oysters on the half shell and enjoyed a few House Concoctions. We enjoyed an Old Speckled Hen Draught Beer and our favorite cocktail which was the classic Vesper made with Cocchi Americano, Plymouth Gin, Vodka, and Lemon Bitters. It’s fun to note, we were told that this classic cocktail was James Bond’s favorite “Martini” which should be shaken, not stirred.
Wolfdale's Tahoe City
Lake Tahoe is beautiful year round and a great getaway from the Bay Area. Hikers and boaters love it in the spring, summer and fall and skiers love it, as it affords them a spectacular winter wonderland. All visitors and locals have one thing in common and that’s right, they appreciate excellent cuisine. Wolfdale’s in Tahoe City has been open since 1978 serving East-West Fusion Cuisine created by Restaurateur/ Executive Chef Douglas Dale using fresh, seasonal, local ingredients
Zoom Roadhouse Grill
Zoom Roadhouse Grillis located in the Union Pacific Depot that was originally built in 1886 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Zoom was opened in 1995 by Robert Redford and the décor features posters of Sundance Film Festivals, as well as photos of actors.
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