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High End Dining with Great Wine

Oh wow. If you want a really special meal with a great wine list, you could go to R'evolution, spend a fortune, and eat with tourists. Or you could venture out of the French Quarter just a bit and go to either Gautreau's or Lilette. Both places have great food and good wine lists. The menus are seasonal but not very Asian influenced. Both have modern creole food. Both are rather social scenes in the city and are dressy. I do love Clancy's and it is one of my favorite restaurants in town but it is extraordinarily loud. Usually tables are filled with big boozy groups and it gets louder by the cocktail. Still, it's an institution.

Aug 24, 2014
mikey in New Orleans

Tomas Bistro

The restaurant is nice. I Have only been once. I liked it but I prefer Tommy's across the street. I had no idea they had a restaurant with a space that big.

Aug 24, 2014
mikey in New Orleans

First Time Visit in October

Romantic in the French Quarter? I would suggest Sylvain (Dark and candlelight), Marti's (old style and recently opened with good creole food) or Irene's (New Orleans style italian food in the FQ)

Aug 24, 2014
mikey in New Orleans

Milano Late night

Quick question. I have seen a lot of really amazing clothes from Milan. HIgh style. Very fancy stuff. If I were to go to La Scala and see a concert, where would the beautiful people go on a Saturday night following the concert? Of course it would be nice to have good food along the way. Thanks all.

Mikey

Aug 24, 2014
mikey in Italy

Fancy in Sestri

I will be spending two nights in Sestri Levante in September. If we wanted to have one really elegant dinner overlooking the sea, what would be the best place? The Castelli looked fantastic online but sometimes the places with the best views have the worst food. Also, a casual meal with excellent food would be nice too.

Jul 24, 2014
mikey in Italy

A New Orleans native visits Seattle for the first time

Thanks. WOW! Leave it to Seattleites to come up with some great suggestions. As it turns out, lunch is included in this conference but tomorrow I will hit one of the good spots. SO….how depressing is this? When I arrived, I followed a group to Pike St. Market. The choices were overwhelming. I adore Greek food and saw some place called Athenian Grill or something like that. HORRIBLE FOOD! Ugh. I was so dejected. Then, I had dinner at Sitka and Spruce which I desperately wanted to love. It was very good needless to say. Fantastic wines too. Last night all conferences. So tonight is the client night but tomorrow night I will be solo. What is the best place for bar dining? I want LIVELY! Thanks again to you all. Cannot wait to try these places out.

Apr 10, 2014
mikey in Greater Seattle

A New Orleans native visits Seattle for the first time

These are great. Okay, I think I am used to being just 15 to 20 minutes away from everything. I live in a bubble where nothing is too far. I know that a lot of the day I will be in a conference but there is nothing more depressing than a Sheraton turkey sandwich from some coffee bar that tastes like cardboard. I appreciate the recommendations. This is fantastic. That gives me a lot to go by. One last question. Since you know New Orleans Kaleokahu, what would be the equivalent of Galatoire's in Seattle. That place where people might dress up but it's not formal. It's packed with people and not quiet. Food is great and the people watching is even better. I need to impress one client who loves a good cocktail or two, gets a little loud, chats with other tables, dresses quite smartly, wants really high end food and wine yet nothing too formal. I am going to write down all of those other choices. I am so glad I posted this message. Thanks to you both.
Mikeyh

Apr 07, 2014
mikey in Greater Seattle

Near the Balmoral Hotel Edinburgh

Traveling to Edinburgh in June. What are some good lunch recommendations within 10 or 15 minutes walking distance? Best Asian or Thai or best for quality sandwiches?
Thanks to all.

Mikey

Apr 06, 2014
mikey in U.K./Ireland

A New Orleans native visits Seattle for the first time

I won't have a car and will be staying at the Sheraton on 6th street in I guess what is considered downtown. Anything noteworthy within walking distance? And, what is the best Thai/Asian restaurant. Chinese food in my city is pretty horrid. I am assuming it is infinitely better in Seattle. As for the best high end places nearby what would that be? Also, good lunch spots with REAL sandwiches rather than Jimmy Johns or some chain. If I were to take a taxi within 15 minutes, what would be your top two dressy places and top two casual but food dominated places? Thanks. These are a lot of questions so please don't feel obligated to answer them all. Many thanks to all the Chowhound readers.
Mikey

Apr 06, 2014
mikey in Greater Seattle

What are your favorite dining along spots in New Orleans

Best dining alone options for me include the bars at Coquette, La Petite Grocery, Marti's, and Herbsaint. Also, for lower end, there is Acme Oyster, Camelia Grill, and Butcher.

Nov 29, 2013
mikey in New Orleans
1

Get me out of that San Juan Caribe Hilton

I will be in San Juan for three nights this weekend. Most of my events are all planned out but I always find when staying at some big resort that the food is strikingly expensive and completely mediocre. I am wondering if there is a place to get a nice evening snack nearby as I will be dining late. Also is there a place off campus for lunch. I usually like a fancy meal here and there but I want non-fancy. I don't want the 20 dollar hotel lunch but would love a Cuban sandwich or some plate lunch. Is anything within walking distance or at least a quick taxi ride away? And, if I wanted to skip the breakfast buffet one morning and just get coffee and a pastry, is there anything close to the hotel? I hate to be totally stuck there.

Orlando bar dining

That sounds really good. I always seem to prefer a local place rather than a hotel bar. Sounds a bit more intimate. Perhaps I can have a drink at the hotel and just eat dinner at the Rusty Spoon. Thanks again for the suggestions.

Jan 22, 2013
mikey in Florida

Orlando bar dining

What a great idea! Thanks so much. That seems right up my alley! I appreciate the suggestion.

Jan 15, 2013
mikey in Florida

April visit with NOLA virgin.. I love bistros and/or sitting at the bar

Make sure to get all dressed up for Friday Galatoire's. It's a lot of fun and very boozy but can get loud. It's much easier to snag a table for two then for more. You have to wait in line like all the rest. The bar upstairs is fun too. Ask to have Shannon as your server and split the grand goute' sampler which has crab, shrimp, and oysters. Perfect for a taste of creole food.

Jan 14, 2013
mikey in New Orleans

Orlando bar dining

Looking for an upscale restaurant with a nice bar where I can dine alone while traveling for business. I would prefer to be near downtown. Dressy but not too formal, good food, nice wine, good people watching so crowds are not a problem but certainly no chains if I can help it. Thanks.

Jan 14, 2013
mikey in Florida

Help with Restaurant Choices in Istanbul - Check my list please

I am also going in September. I have reservations at Ulus 29, Park Samdan, and X.
These are three recommended places by locals but I think they are on the over fashionable side. I am hoping to try some traditional places as well so your list looks great. Please do post and I will do the same.

Sep 07, 2012
mikey in Europe

Help with Restaurant Choices in Istanbul - Check my list please

I am going in September. Will you plase report back? Dying to hear about your culinary experiences. Thanks.

Aug 20, 2012
mikey in Europe

Souffles?

I agree with jazzyB. Emeril's has the best souffle in town.

Jan 22, 2012
mikey in New Orleans

Vizards?

Don't listen to them. I love this restaurant. It is one of my top 10 in New Orleans. Also, please be aware that they have gone back to doing full dinners rather than small plates. Kevin Vizard makes the best creme brulee in the city. Also, his appetizer of eggplant with fresh lump crabmeat is one of my favorite dishes in New Orleans. Now, be prepared for a very small, intimate restaurant. It is also rather dressy. Located in uptown New Orleans, an area known for being a bit snooty, this place caters mostly to local swells. The fact that half of the people all know each other might turn others off as it is kind of clubby. Still, the owners could not be nicer and the waiters are excellent. Food is prepared to order so it can get just a bit slow. Just order a few appetizers and have some wine. I really love Vizards and would certainly choose it any day over a burger place like Cowbell which is very good but in comparison, I would pick creole food like that served at Vizards rather than hamburgers. Good luck. if you do end up going to Vizards, do write back. I hope you enjoy it.

Nov 13, 2011
mikey in New Orleans

Las Vegas Food Report. Good and Bad.

I have to say I was a bit mislead on some things while others were spot on. I posted a simple request for a really fun, chic, happening, see and be seen place with good food, well dressed people, not stuffy but also no shorts either. Sadly, I did not get many responses. I really wanted to impress some clients. Well, I luckily found the place on my own and it fit the description. More on that one later.
First stop was lunch at Central. TOTAL disappointment! First of all, the place is not cheap. I read about it in countless food reviews that it was the hot place to go. Don't even think about ordering lunch until 11:30, it's breakfast only. The wait staff was surly, service slow, and food mediorcre. My croque madame did not come with the fried egg, it was topped with cold and thick bechamel sauce that looked more like country white gravy than anything else. Plus, it was not broiled with cheese on top. I am not kidding when I saw that La Madeleine makes a better one for half the price. I was really looking forward to it but have to admit that I was not overwhelmed.
Dinner at Jaleo was incredibly good. Quite the opposite; excellent service and extraordinarily good tapas. True authentic Spanish food right in the heart of Las Vegas. This operation is top notch. Loved the bartenders and the fantastic wait staff. Had dates with bacon, tortilla espanola, fresh toasted bread with jamon serrano and fresh tomatos, shrimp with garlic sauce. Honestly, each plate had one good dish after the other. We ordered and I swear our first plate came out in 5 minutes. We were a big group and the server was patient and overwhelmingly kind and helpful. Big success
Lunch at Dos Caminos at the Palazzo was quite good. The poor place was almost empty at 1:00 on a Friday which was a bit sad. Still food was nice. Nothing incredible but good. Nice waiter, good tacos, and absolutely excellent guacamole and sauces. Margaritas were wonderful too. I would certainly go back if I wanted Mexican food but it would have to be to satisfy a Margarita craving.
Lunch alfresco at Mon Ami Gabi was also loads of fun. My salad with tuna was mouth wateringly good. The chicken sandwich was fantastic and so was the "tuna melt". It was so good that I really think they need to rename the dish. Service was a bit on the slow side as there was a huge wait. It is a popular place and it is one of the only places with such large outdoor seating on the strip. Loads of fun too. This was my third time going and I still love it every time.
Dinner at Yellowtail was incredibly good. I read good things about the restaurant on this web site and it was all spot on correct. Probably some of the best Japanese food I have had in a long time. Appetizers were amazingly inventive and the rolls delicious. Also, desserts were glorious; chocolate cake with orange foam etc. That kind of stuff. Brilliant and good. It's dark inside so best go for dinner. The bar is fun and the place was crowded so my guess is that it is a popular place.
I am sorry to say that the Atelier de Joel Robichon was kind of a disappointment. I should have just splurged and gone to the beautiful dining room at the signature restaurant next door. I love bar dining too but this was kind of depressing. Everything seemed red and black. The interior was rather unimpressive and institutional looking. Next door, everything was gorgeous and elegant. Prices are wickedly expensive. Painful in fact. I bit the bullet and ordered a bunch of small plates which were definitely small. Don't get me wrong. Food was very good but a little appetizer of eggplant and sardines was about 20 dollars. The "Le Burger" (excellent) was up there too. The onion tart was totally humdrum. I just could not match price with quality. Wine list was sensational. My advice would be to just go to the main place. It is not that much more in price and the atmospthere is so much nicer. I liked 'Atelier but I would probably not go back.
Olives continues to impress me with excellent service and perfectly wonderful, American food. I had a salad with chicken that was absolutely wonderful. This was also my third time going and I would go back every time. Really fun, bustling, and great. Big portions too.
So, my favorite place now in all of Las Vegas and my big gold star and Academy Award goes to STK. What a blast! Now, let me just start by saying that this place is NOT for everyone. It is so popular and so crowded that you have to really be ready for something like this. A friend whom I trust told me that it would be my favorite place and she was right. It was just what I wanted. I had 9;30 reservations and when I walked in the place was overflowing with well dressed and glam people. Everyone was smiling, happy, enjoying good cocktails and swaying the the music. The DJ is the best in Vegas. 80s tunes, 70s tunes, 90s tunes, and stuff from today. All hip, fun, and energized. The place was so fun that people were getting up from their tables to dance with people from other tables. A post-disco dance party seems to form when a good song comes on. Food? Sublime! The best fois gras I have had in a long time. I am still dreaming of the truffled fois gras. My steak with bernaise was exceptionally good and the mushroom tart was exquisite. We did not leave until well after mindnight and the place was still bustling with people. LOADS of fun! People were well dressed and ready for a good party. I highly recommend STK but definitely NOT if you can't take loud, pop music or big crowds. You need patience. Also, STK gets big awards for buying us drinks because the table was not ready. Restaurants never seem to do that anymore. The wait staff must be hand picked because they seemed beautifully equipped to meet the demands of the rich and famous with a smile too. The night I was there, a prince from Dubai was at the other table. I can tell that the place caters to a demanding crowd and the staff accomodates. Plus, they're fun as hell and a joy to chat with. Anyway, I could keep raving but won't. Don't blame me though if you have a miserable time because of the noise and drunk factor. If someone is dancing at your table, just join in with them. Why fight it? Live it up.

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Mon Ami Gabi
3655 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Dos Caminos
3325 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Jaleo
3708 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Nov 13, 2011
mikey in Las Vegas

The hot spot

I just made a reservation at Barrymore. I mean, the descriptions could not be more perfect; old school, dressy, small and intimate, good food, etc. Looks like fun. Thanks.

Oct 11, 2011
mikey in Las Vegas

The hot spot

Wow. Excellent. Thanks for your reply. It definitely seems like the Cosmo is the place to see right now so I have a reservation set. It says something if the time I wanted was taken a month in advance. Thanks for mentioning Bartolotta and Lotus and The Barrymore. I will take a look. That was just what I wanted. I also want to at least walk inside the Mandarin. It sounds amazing.

Oct 11, 2011
mikey in Las Vegas

The hot spot

Sorry. I guess I was too wordy or too narrow on this one. I did make a reservation at Jaleo. Hoping for the best. Thanks.

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Jaleo
3708 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Oct 06, 2011
mikey in Las Vegas

The hot spot

Have two clients and will be in town in early November. Clients love to dress up, drink good wine, eat fancy food, stay up late, get loud and bawdy, people watch, and hit the latest "see and be seen" place on the strip. What do you suggest? What is the latest hot spot in Vegas? I want to impress. Not quiet and romantic but please no buffet or too casual. I am thinking small, intimate, lively, but not a t-shirt type of place. Any ideas? I am leaning towards Jaleo as I have been to the one in DC and it was loads of fun.

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Jaleo
3708 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Sep 29, 2011
mikey in Las Vegas

Recent spectacular meals and one truly awful experience

Thanks Littleman. Got carried away!

Jan 09, 2011
mikey in New Orleans

Recent spectacular meals and one truly awful experience

Maybe so. I could not help thinking to myself, what a great location. Exactly the opposite of what you said; CBD, FQ, and Sheraton/Marriott hotel guests attending conferences. What a perfect location. But you must be right. Just too far out of the way. Take that other place on Magazine for example that was some latin place with bad food and now it is going to be something called "Ruby Slipper Cafe" . It is just down the street. To be honest, I find it easier to park around there then near Cochon and Rio Mar. Cowbell!! That is the name. I must give it a try. Apparently, it is in that old gas station on the corner of Oak and River Road.

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Cochon
930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans, LA 70130

Rio Mar Restaurant
800 South Peters, New Orleans, LA 70130

Dec 23, 2010
mikey in New Orleans

Recent spectacular meals and one truly awful experience

i also forgot to mention this complete gem. The chef one night served sturgeon that was one of the best things I have put in my mouth all year. This woman really knows how to cook. Plus, the restaurant is beautiful, elegant, refined, and so smooth. Everything seems to run with perfection.

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Gautreau's Restaurant
1728 Soniat St, New Orleans, LA 70115

Dec 22, 2010
mikey in New Orleans

Recent spectacular meals and one truly awful experience

New Orleans food is always good. I am lucky to live in a city where one rarely has a bad meal. It is usually a question of how excellent the food is. Due to holidays, friends in from out of town, and general dining out, I managed to have some of the most excellent meals I have had in a long time. It just does not get any better. First, one of the most superior meals recently took place at Mat and Naddie's. I have always enjoyed this restaurant; funky, laid back, friendly, and usually great food. This time the place was so spot on I could not get over it. I don't know who is doing the cooking over there but it gets a big bravo from me. My second most memorable took place at Meauxbar in the French Quarter. It is basically in tourist central and 90 percent of the patrons are locals. Dim lighting, convivial atmosphere, an owner tending to everyone's needs, and magnificent food. First of all, this is the best macaroni and cheese I have ever put in my mouth. The roasted curried fish is sublime as is the trout grenobloise. My friend had roasted pork which was perfection and also, Meauxbar serves some of the best coconut sorbet I have ever put in my mouth. I don't even like sorbet that much. Usually Italian food takes a back seat in New Orleans compared to creole but the big exception is A Mano. I can now say that we have a restaurant that knows how to serve pasta. Light, fresh, and buttery. Excellent. I was treated one night to a big meal at Tommy's-a restaurant I always enjoy for the atmosphere as much as for the food. Prices are extraordinarily reasonable considering the quantity of fresh crabmeat, oysters, shrimp, and fish. It is really one of our best creole restaurants around. For the bargain of the city, go straight to Boucherie. How do they manage to put out such incredibly good food at such reasonable prices? Small plates and large plates alike. I know people who have closets as big as this restaurant (admittedly wealthy, over the top folks) but the good food just does not stop. It is not easy to get in due to the size but reservations are accepted. Now for the bad news. My friend and I walked toward Canal Street one day. Weather was nice and that good sandwich and salad place Wilty's on Camp was closed. So we passed up Rambla in order to try that new place with the odd name "Red Gravy". Good LORD! The interior was a bit dirty, the ceiling is has stained tiles that look straight out of the year 1985 and the tables are small and uncomfortable. You order at the counter with someone who has no clue what she is selling. Meat ball poboy with red gravy looked cold and grey. My ham sandwich was served on what tasted like mediocre grocery store bakery french bread and deli ham. I will say that the desserts looked rather tasty as did the bakery items, however, muffins were just sitting on plates uncovered. I could not get out of there fast enough. How sad considering the location is incredible. If I want a ham sandwich I just stand in line at Mahoney's where that sugary crusted ham is served on proper Leidenheimer's crispy bread. Happy eating everyone. I still have not tried Sylvain which is high on my list. I heard of another place at the end of Oak Street with great food. Is it called Cowpoke?

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Rambla
217 Camp Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

Meauxbar
942 N Rampart St, New Orleans, LA 70116

Boucherie
8115 Jeannette St, New Orleans, LA 70118

Dec 22, 2010
mikey in New Orleans

Columbia Cafe - Shreveport

it is always a favorite of mine when I go to Shreveport. Food is good and the molten chocolate cake is excellent.

Dec 22, 2010
mikey in New Orleans

No car, no fun, need help

Hey! Thanks everyone. What great replies. This gives me all KINDS of ideas and just what I wanted; cool bars, good dinner food, a good burger place, and something Mexican. I will certainly report back. Okay, one more possible thing I forgot to mention. Is there a breakfast place nearby? I am sure ANYTHING beats some standard Hilton buffet. All I want is a scrambled egg and not pay 20 dollars for it. The other suggestions are fantastic. Will let you all know how it goes. Thanks!
Mikey

Nov 05, 2010
mikey in San Diego