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Country music in Santa Fe?

Thanks for those suggestions, finlero. I looked at them and I think I'm going in the wrong direction trying to re-create Austin in SF. So, moving on, if we're having dinner at Restaurant Martin around 8, any other ideas for a fun spot for a pre-dinner cocktail? La Casa Sena looks interesting, though I'm not big on show tunes. Just thought it would be fun to make a stop someplace with local color before dinner.

La Casa Sena
125 East Palace Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 87501

Restaurant Martin
526 Galisteo, Santa Fe, NM 87501

Nov 18, 2010
UpgradeQueen in Southwest

Country music in Santa Fe?

We will be driving up from ABQ for dinner next week (Nov 21) and are wondering if there's anything in Santa Fe like those drop-in country music/cowboy roadhouse bars in Austin. We love the music. We could either go to a place that also serves dinner, or eat someplace else, and I'm scoping these boards for restaurants. A friend has suggested El Farol, though they are doing blues that night. Thanks!

El Farol
808 Canyon Rd, Santa Fe, NM 87501

Nov 18, 2010
UpgradeQueen in Southwest

Lux to Paris via Champagne - Chateau Monthairons and red wine?

We have two nights to spend between Luxembourg and Paris at the end of September and would like to find a lovely place to stay with dinner at or nearby the hotel. One that caught my eye is Chateau des Monthairons. I prefer an authentic castle in a pretty location to a Relais in town, but I can't get much info on the place, especially the restaurant. Also, while I love Champagne, it does not love me so is there any chance for red wine tasting anywhere in the area?

Jul 16, 2010
UpgradeQueen in France

Your pick for Lunch in Carmel Valley

try Cafe Rustica. been there many times. patio. very local, in the village.

Cafe Rustica
10 Del Fino Pl, Carmel Valley, CA 93924

Apr 18, 2010
UpgradeQueen in California

A week in Normandy - recs please!

Merci for your offer to help in Normandy! We are going overnight from Paris in a few weeks, just a one-day tour (Battlebus) of the D-Day beaches, overnighting at Hotel Tardif in Bayeux. Would love to walk to a lovely place for dinner. The inn recommends La Rapiere, do you agree? We are mid-50s, love food and wine, budget flexible. Don't care about fancy, but prefer adult, not family/tourist atmosphere (don't we all?!) Thanks.

Sep 13, 2009
UpgradeQueen in France

restaurant near Dijon Ville station for dinner?

Good evening. Can anyone recommend a nice place to eat near the train station (walkable) in Dijon? We're returning our rental car and would love a nice dinner before we get on the night train to Venice. Thank you!

Sep 02, 2008
UpgradeQueen in France

anyone heard of Fief du Chateau in Orschwiller (Alsace)?

This looks like exactly what we are looking for for two nights in the Alsace region - a cute, small hotel with a decent dining room in a tiny village off the Route des Vins, but I can't find a word about it other than its website:

Any intelligence? Merci beaucoup!

(Any other suggestions in this category would be appreciated.)

Aug 28, 2008
UpgradeQueen in France

Inexpensive restaurants for dinner

We're going to the Lakes in Sept. 09 and were thinking of Bellagio. I had the impression it was the least touristy/most charming of the towns... not the case? We do not do well with crowds lined up for sightseeing, etc.

Also one comment: in Florence, don't miss the Bargello Museum. It is quiet, uncrowded and lovely, with a beautiful courtyard. I go back every visit. Grazie.

Jul 31, 2008
UpgradeQueen in Italy

Restaurant Recommendations

A few suggestions. We've been to Venice the past two Octobers to visit friends who live there part time and are Wash DC foodies. Their (and our) favorites are Alle Testiere, Trattoria Antiche Carampane and Il Nuovo Galeon. We also liked Osteria Boccadero on Campo Widmann, and for a nice, casual dinner we've gone back to Taverna San Lio on Salizada San Lio in the Castello. Casual, contemporary, and I loved the bolognese. Very nice, friendly service. Unlike Florence, where I found it hard to get a bad meal, there is plenty of bad food in Venice. When you're ready to grab a breakfast or lunch, I recommend turning off the main streets and looking on the quiet side streets. Have a great time, avoid San Marco as much as possible once you've seen it. I love Venice!

Jul 31, 2008
UpgradeQueen in Italy

Le Tournesol in the 16th?

Thanks, oakglen, I will do that! We can go a little higher in price if there's something wonderful, but happy not to spend more than we need to!

Jul 13, 2008
UpgradeQueen in France

Le Tournesol in the 16th?

My search for an authentic, non-touristy bistro near Trocadero that's open for dinner on Sunday has brought me to Le Tournesol. Any intelligence on this place? I'm encouraged by the fact that it does not have an English website and I can hardly find any information on the internet. Could this be good news? Pudlowski gives it an okay review, and it's on the Seine overlooking the Tour Eiffel. How bad can it be? Also, if somebody could take a look at the wine list and recommend a good red, I'd be grateful. I'm good in California (love the Dry Creek zins and pinots), but still studying the French. Thank you!

Jul 12, 2008
UpgradeQueen in France

Anybody have an opinion of the most romantic restaurant in Sydney?

Haven't tried the others mentioned, but we ate at Guillame at Bennelong at the Opera House and had a fantastic time. Extremely romantic, exceptional service, warm and friendly welcome, great wine advice & food pairing. Large tables and booths are well spaced for privacy, and just walking up those steps with the breeze blowing starts the evening in such an elegant fashion. I thought it was worth every penny.

Never been to Australia and I'm confused...

For clarity, I would avoid the word entree altogether. In the U.S. it means the main dish, but in elsewhere it means appetizer.

Dinner on Sunday in/near the 16th?

Sorry to ask this same boring question for the 20 millionth time, but I've been searching this board and not finding much in that general vicinity. We'll be there in September and staying at Le Parc Trocadero (free Marriott points & Vendome not available, to answer your question). We are adept at the Metro as long as we can get back after dinner (some stop early on Sunday) and love to walk. What I'm looking for is a leisurely meal in a nice, friendly bistro, and we love the small neighborhood places like Le Timbre, Chez Giraud, Chez Georges (Rue de Mail) and also loved Les Bouquinistes, though it's outside the description. Flexible budget, mid-50s, care more about local ambiance than 3* meal, as long as the food's good.

So far Fontaine de Mars and Cafe de l'Homme have been recommended, but they look more touristy than what we're used to. Of course the view of the Eiffel Tower would be nice...

any other suggestions? We'll be there Saturday and Sunday and we MUST go back to Le Timbre on Saturday. It's our favorite.

Merci beaucoup!

Jul 03, 2008
UpgradeQueen in France

Trip report - Wanaka/Central Otago, NZ

It is the same place, and I'm sorry we didn't discover it the first time we went - also 10 years ago. I think the local innkeepers hesitate to recommend the place because Peter is perceived as irascible, but he couldn't have been friendlier or more accommodating to us, and we just loved the food and atmosphere. Closed on Sundays, or we would have gone back the next night.

Trip report - Wanaka/Central Otago, NZ

We just returned from our fifth trip to NZ, and it was another spectacular visit. This time, we only went to Wanaka (to our favorite lodge, Riverrun), and then headed over to spend some time in Oz - also fantastic.

We did some wine tasting on a rainy day in the Central Otago region. Tasting rooms are called "cellar doors" there, so look for signs as you're driving. We did like Amisfield, as mentioned on this board many times, although this is a very Napa-like experience (not that there's anything wrong with that!). Lovely winery, gift shop, beautiful patio restaurant with artwork on the lawn, lots of swells at the bar, etc. We particularly liked (and bought) their Pinot Gris, but preferred the pinot noir at a tiny place called Quartz Reef. It's a totally different experience, like pulling up to somebody's garage. The '06 is good, and they still have some of their reserve '05 in magnums, and that's really good. Also worth a stop for the award-winning architecture is Peregrine in Gibbstown, but I didn't love their wines.

Two other wines we drank and liked but didn't visit were Felton Road ('05 pinot) in Bannockburn, and Rockburn pinot in Cromwell. There is a good map of this region at

The only dinner we ate outside the excellent cooking at Riverrun was at the White House in Wanaka, which we loved and will always go back to when we're there. A very local experience run/owned by Peter Scott (a local character), and his two sons do the cooking. We were completely charmed by him, the food, the excellent wine list by the glass, and by the fact that he bolts the tables to the floor because he doesn't like to serve large parties. I would choose this over Missy's Kitchen and the new favorite, Botswana Butchery, any day.

There is nothing not to love about New Zealand.

Good eats near Marriott Desert Ridge?

Is there a fun place nearby (5-10 min drive from Pinnacle Peak near 56th) where 3 adults could have a civilized non-steakhouse dinner and good wine? Or are we better off just eating at one of the resort venues - Roy's, Tuscany's, Blue Sage. Not looking for club or music, just good food. Thanks!

Mar 10, 2008
UpgradeQueen in Southwest

where to eat near Rubin Museum 17th & 7th

We're going to see Nellie McKay there in May and I need to find someplace close by for dinner at 9:00. I've been to Da Umberto and liked it, but just wondering if there are any other suggestions. Looks like there's something called The House nearby, but it looks a little... I don't know... contrived...

Feb 04, 2008
UpgradeQueen in Manhattan

best take-out in Fort Lee?

I cannot thank you enough. I called the Poultry Place and they are sending a spread right over. (It doesn't have to be kosher.) Much appreciated.

best take-out in Fort Lee?

I hope someone can help - I need to send food for friends sitting shiva today or tomorrow in Fort Lee. I'm out here in CA but my friend has often taken me to a takeout place with fabulous roast chicken, veal sausages, brisket, vegetables - all delicious. It's somewhere in downtown Fort Lee, there's a long counter on the right when you walk in with tons of delicious hot food, and that's all I can remember. Failing that, any recommendations for a place that can deliver a wonderful platter would be much appreciated. Thank you!