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Lehigh Pub Bethlehem news item

This is in the news all over the USA! I worked once for a jerk who would confront customers over small issues. He's tried to open other restaurants and all have flopped. An arrest record is no small issue. I hope they sue and get a big settlement. The manager needs to get a job in a non-service industry.

Nov 20, 2009
llindac in Food Media & News

Santi (Geyserville) moving. Diavola is great addition!

Just back from 6th trip to CA wine country. Santi has been a fav for us, but they are moving to Santa Rosa. Terrible for the locals. However, we had simply awesome pizza and warm Caesar salad at Diavolo's. Best pizza I've had in the US, no kidding. So good, we changed our plans and went back there 2 days later. New tasting room in town, Terroirs with some good wines and some nice jewelry/art as well.

Apr 02, 2009
llindac in San Francisco Bay Area

Broadway Oyster Bar-St. Louis

Just had dinner here. Very, very good creole style cooking! Not the over the top spice, but excellent flavors and good for the price. The sampler platter was huge! Mussels are excellent as well. Like so many St Louis restaurants, smoking going on everywhere so I got carryout. It would be a fun place to visit and hang out with others and listen to music.

Aug 24, 2008
llindac in General Midwest Archive

Favorite Mexican Restaurant?/ Frontera Grill

I made a crazy typo! I meant to say "nothing was cold" . The meals came out piping hot.

Nov 05, 2007
llindac in Chicago Area

Cafe Spaggia, Bistro 110, Frontera and Riva this weekend

Just got back from a major wine/dine weekend. We take clients for a nice meal and try new places frequently. Bistro 110 was lunch and a second visit for the best onion soup around. Yum! Great service, too. We had Saturday brunch at Frontera and loved it...hubby had the pork tamale special , I had the vegetarian tamale Azteca. Loved all of it, the guacamole was yummy as well. Caramel flan was excellent as well. Loved the atmosphere here.

Our dinner at Cafe Spiaggia was a bit disappointing. 2 appetizers wer good....the mozzarella and the wood roasted ricotta with figs..all fresh homemade style cheeses. However, it 30 minutes for them to arrive and we were already on bottle #2 of wine and out of bread. Entrees were mixed. One diner enjoyed the mushroom ravioli, but I had the daily special ravioli with butternut squash which was bland. The pasta was not so much 'al dente' as it was undercooked and tough. The parmesan sauce was nonexistant and there was not much flavor to the dish. My husband had the sea bass which he usually loves. This was the tiniest piece of fish. It had skin on one side. It was dry and was salty. The accompanying potato puree was bland. Tiramisu was good.

Riva was a surprise. After reading "tourist trap" etc I was skeptical. However, our group of 6 just raved about the dinner! Calimari was gently breaded and tender. A second sauce might have been nice. The thai mussels were fantastic...the broth was good enough to eat as a soup. I don't eat red meat, but the others loved the beef tenderloin stacks on skewers. Entrees pleased everyone from the sole eaters to the Lobster Diavolo and one of the most delicious pieces of marinated ahi tuna I've ever tasted. It came with a side of Asian salad. The only negative was that smoking in the bar carries over to the restaurant. That will end this January, though. Loved Riva's food, service and view. It was a bit loud in there, but that was fine.

Nov 05, 2007
llindac in Chicago Area

Favorite Mexican Restaurant?/ Frontera Grill

We just had Saturday brunch there this past weekend. I thought it was fantastic and the service was great. We arrived at 10:30 (skipped breakfast) and were seated immediately. They had lots of egg dishes, but plenty other lunch type items. My husband had a special pork tamale which he loved. I had a vegetarian tamale stack with veggies....slightly sweet. Nothingwas bold but the drinks. Guacamole excellent. I liked it a lot and definitely will go back.

Nov 05, 2007
llindac in Chicago Area

Breakfast..Olympic Diner near Lincoln center...fun!

During a visit to Fordham , my daughter and I stumbled into the Olympic Diner for a quick bite. It was so good that we returned the next day. I highly recommend the breakfast wraps, the Mexican in particular. The wraps are very thin and crispy, stuffed with fluffy eggs, cheese, fresh peppers and a hint of yummy salsa. I ordered mine without sausage. The dish came with homemade potatoes which were delicious and not greasy. They served a robust coffee in large cups and the service was cheerful and attentive with water constantly replenished. We were staying at the nearby Holiday Inn Midtown where I do NOT recommend having breakfast. The Olympic Diner is actually cheaper and VERY good!

Oct 20, 2007
llindac in Manhattan

Toloache ....last minute delight

We lost our directions to first restaurant....so, desperately in need of a bite before Broadway, stumbled into Toloache where we were quickly seated. We told our server about our 7:30 show and she gave us prompt, attentive service. Started with a daily special....a spicy crab dip and delicious homemade chips served in a mini pumpkin shell. My daughter enjoyed the Camarones (shrimp) served with a delicious sauce and I ravished the seven pepper tuna, perfectly prepared. Presentation was lovely. I don't know how she did it, but my daughter had a delicious warm chocolate cake with caramel for dessert. We finished our fabulous meal in plenty time to get to the show, but never felt rushed. Great dinner!

Oct 20, 2007
llindac in Manhattan

Overland Park, KS On a Budget

Thai Place is excellent either for dine in or carry out. We just stumbled in there 2 years ago when in KS for a wedding and were really pleasantly surprised.

Mar 25, 2007
llindac in General Midwest Archive

One Restaurant Cinci, OH Winemaker dinner review

We took part in the Meeker Vineyard Winemaker dinner on Thursday before the Cincinnati Wine Festival 2007. Meeker has always been a favorite stop for us in Sonoma Valley (Geyserville) and we have several varieties in our cellar. The event started at 6:30 with meeting the family, discussing the history of the business, etc. In between courses, the wines were explained and there were opportunities to comment and ask questions. We also met the manager and owner/chef of One. We were seated in a private room on the side of the restaurant. Great atmosphere here- a hip red lounge, a very stark art deco dining room..all housed in the old Municipal building in Mason. Lovely. It also has ample parking around and behind the building.

I quietly asked my waiter, David, to leave all meat off the plate. He asked me exactly what type of eater I was to which I answered "aquitarian" (fish only). He never batted an eye, and my courses came out beautifully prepared alongside the others, and in fact my husband thinks I got the better deal!

A bean soup was paired with the Meeker's non-oaky Chardonnay. I was served a delicious red pepper soup. Second course was a duck confit. I had a mouth watering tuna tartare which was one of the best I've ever had. Then they served a rich Osso Bucco with practically everyone's favorite, Barberian. This is a monster wine, but it maintains its fruit well. It's a blend of Barberra and 3 other wines; the story of the conception is a riot. It involved two employees smoking pot and mixing the wrong wines together. Charlie Meeker and his lovely wife Molly are great hosts and truly vibrant, funny people. The stories all were enjoyable, and their warmth and humor made the event more special. 30 years of marriage and they are still like two kids in love.

I get a little confused about what was served with what- we had the special Handprint Reserve Merlot and a wonderful Cabernet. I had a delicious sea bass with a balsamic reduction, followed by their signature vegetarian dish, a portobello stack. At this point, I was stuffed! The other diners enjoyed a surf and turf...a homemade lobster ravioli and a filet with a reduction of the handprint merlot. They make all the pasta here from scratch and will gladly adjust sauces and side items accordingly. Dessert was a light chocolate cake with creme and raspberries. It was paired with FroZin, a dessert wine made in the ice wine style.

The dinner was $125 per person, which included service. However, our waiter was so great we had to give him a bit extra. Service all around was perfect. A wrong step and a tray of wine covered both waiters- which ended up being laughable thanks to a great staff and hosts. We will definitely attend one of these special dinners again, and are definitely returning to One for an encore meal. The town of Mason is undergoing massive renovation and will be a draw as well.
http://www.onedining.com

Mar 25, 2007
llindac in General Midwest Archive

Seviche Latin Restaurant Louisville, KY mini-review

It is located at 1538 Bardstown Road....one of Louisville's "restaurant row" places.

Jan 06, 2007
llindac in General South Archive

Seviche Latin Restaurant Louisville, KY mini-review

Seviche restaurant has only been open for two years, but in that short time has been honored with the "Best New Restaurant" and "Best Restaurant in Louisville" awards by a popular independant poll. Chef Anthony Lamas has twice been invited to the prestigious James Beard House. Food critics and diners alike have difficulty faulting the atmosphere, service and food in any way. In fact, this may be my favorite restaurant in Louisville for several good reasons.
Twice we've enjoyed delicious meals here. Most recently, we took three friends with us so we could sample many dishes before writing a review. We've sampled many appetizers, but the ones that truly stand out have been the wild mushroom and goat cheese empanadas. Served with a tomato based sauce, the flavors explode in your mouth. Lamas uses locally produced products in this dish, as with all his creations. The server prepares a delicious fresh guacamole at tableside. The highlight of the appetizer course were mussels in a spicy cilantro broth, which is good enough to finish with a spoon. A great bargain at $8, there are easily enough for 2-3 people to share. Calamari were breaded in a tempura type coating with strips of peppers and a spicy dipping sauce.A recent addition to the menu is a grilled octopus appetizer, which we'll try on our next visit. There are many different types of seviches (ceviches) only a couple which are the lime marinated variety. You can order a sampler or even a spoonful. The entrees are varied and have many things which appeal to all diners. Flavors are from subtle to explosive! On this night, I chose the ahi tuna of the day which came with macademia nut rice and mussels in a very spicy sauce. Perfect. The roasted vegetable chimichanga with gouda and butternut squash sauce is simply the best veggie entree I've ever had. It is huge, but you'll devour every bite. The sea bass was also delicious. I eat no red meat and am not the best food reviewer because of that, but a signature dish that gets rave reviews is the Feijoda, a Brazilian dish with black beans cooked with smoked meats, sausages, served over rice with fresh salsa and greens.
The atmosphere is cozy, with dark mustard/bronze faux walls and dim lighting. Service is friendly and efficient. There is a large outdoor seating area available during good weather which is always popular. Prices are reasonable, especially for the portions and the quality of ingredients with most entrees in the 13-29 dollar range. A menu is available online, but it doesn't include many new items which have been added. The wine list is excellent, with a good variety from around the world and the US. There is also a small bar in the center of the restaurant and I noticed some interesting specialty drinks. The interior is smoke free.
Seviche may not appeal to a "steak and potatoes" diner. However, it will delight those who love flavor and relish great food prepared in different ways at a good price. Five stars!

Jan 05, 2007
llindac in General South Archive

Aria restaurant highlights Saturday night

We just returned from Chicago where we entertained clients at this incredible restaurant at the lovely Fairmount Hotel.. My husband and I both agree that the food, wine, service and atmosphere put this restaurant up there with the best we've ever experienced.

There were six of us and we ordered three appetizers and shared. The rock shrimp was my favorite. They were huge, seasoned gently and melted in the mouth. There were six of them each nestled in its own indentation, much like escargot. The huge seared scallops were large enought to split and enjoy as well. The veal ravioli was a hit, though I don't eat veal and did not sample it. I had to force myself to slow down on the flatbread with the 4 piquant spreads- the flavors were great.

My husband and I both enjoyed the tuna entree. Pan seared encrusted in a spice/wasabi coating, the flavor was exquisite. We are both tuna fans and enjoy it quite a bit, and this was the best I've ever tasted. It was served on an interesting two leveled plate with a side of a type of slaw in a delicious sauce. Very light..a perfect pairing with the spicy fish. Two others in our group raved about the halibut served over a lobster and crab cake. Another enjoyed the chicken and shrimp pad thai which was filled with huge succulent shrimp and was presented in a silver footed bowl. Another person had a pork dish which she enjoyed very much. They also gave us a platter of sweet potatoes with a creamy ginger topping, a white cheddar scalloped potato casserole and diced potatoes. That addition might seem odd with the Pacific rim food, but all the potato dishes were very, very good.

We decided to split desserts as well, which was fun. We all enjoyed a creme brulee with a tropical fruit flavor, a "death by chocolate" plate with several different selections including a delicious mousse and a "chocolate shot" in a glass. My favorite was the selection of four sorbets...the pear was outstanding. Each dessert was delicious and the presentation was amazing.

We enjoyed a bottle of Fife Old vine Zin and two Rombauer Carla's Vineyard as well. Our server was a good natured man named Henry who has obviously been at this job many years and is excellent with working with people and was spot on with recommendations. Our tab came to $ 593 which included three bottles of wine and a couple of after dinner drinks and coffees. I think that was a very good and fair price for a place like this in Chicago.

I liked the friendly, warm atmosphere in here. Not stuffy at all, soft music playing in the background and not any noise from other diners. We booked our reservation through opentable.com and we were seated immediately when we arrived even though we were a bit early. (It was a Saturday, and the holiday parade was that night so we anticipated a longer cab ride. ) Our clients were very impressed and had a great time. I just can't help but gush about our experience and highly recommend this restaurant.

Nov 20, 2006
llindac in Chicago Area

Healdsburg: Willi's et. al.

We've been to Willi's three times for dinner. With all the great restaurants in the area, that is saying something! We just keep having great experiences there. Plus, you can make a reservation on www.opentable.com (one of my favorite things to do!) The baby iceberg salad was yummy, also like the calamari. Clams on last visit were divine. Corkage fee 15 dollars, very fair. No, it's not cheap but few places are in the area. BTW, Center Street Cafe does a great breakfast..

Sep 25, 2006
llindac in San Francisco Bay Area

For SF visitors, take a look at Wine Spectator's Oct 15 issue!

I said this in a thread, but this deserves it's own heading. Wine Spectator's Oct 15 issue has over 50 pages dedicated to the best restaurants, hotels and wine bars in SF. Lots of great pictures, info on chefs, etc. A lot more in depth than articles in some food magazines. This is an issue to keep on the shelf!
They have a listing of the articles on their web site under "archive" but you must be a subscriber to access the info.

Sep 25, 2006
llindac in Food Media & News

Happily visiting SF (from SoCal) on Friday. What to eat?

Hi Mike. You'll be disappointed, cause there's really no good food in the area. wink wink. We usually head to Sonoma and have only spent a little time in SF and we like to eat in hole in the wall places in ethnic neighborhoods (Italian, Chinese) but never had a bad meal. Just wanted to heads up to you that the October 15 issue of Wine Spectator has over 50 pages devoted to the best restaurants, hotels and wine bars in SF. Definitely worth having for anyone visiting the area!

Sep 25, 2006
llindac in San Francisco Bay Area

4.5 hours at Zurich Airport...Any recs?

Do not underestimate your time at the airport. It took us two and a half hours to get through their double security system in June. First, you wait to go through regular security (xray, etc) Then you are sent to answer questions about your travel. Passport check, etc. Not a hassle, pretty smart in reality, but it was a tedious process. I don't think I would leave the airport at all. There were some great looking shops and plenty of cafes and food places that we saw. Unfortunately, we didn't get time for a meal because the security took so long. If you took a train or cab out, you would face this coming back.

Sep 25, 2006
llindac in International Archive

Calistoga weekend

We stayed at the Foothill House in April. Can't say enough good things about it, especially the breakfast! We loved Wappo's. Tried STOMP...it was okay, maybe a bit over the top. Had dinner at Brennan's one night and liked it as well- great atmosphere.

Sep 24, 2006
llindac in San Francisco Bay Area

Russian River Valley/Sonoma County Restaurants and Wineries? Also, sept 22-25 events?

Forgot to mention, Foppiano is a fun stop- they always have a dynamite Petite Syrah.

Sep 24, 2006
llindac in San Francisco Bay Area

Russian River Valley/Sonoma County Restaurants and Wineries? Also, sept 22-25 events?

Been 4 times in 5 years. If you love big reds, don't miss Meeker! Just sip and POUR. Eat a big breakfast, take snacks and cold water in your car. Ferrari is pretty touristy, but it's gorgeous. At least drive in there and see the grounds. Lake Sonoma is not open, but they have a tasting room in Healdsburg. Do NOT miss the Rosenblum tasting room in Healdsburg. Durcher was great, but one of the wineries making superb and HUGE award winning wines is Wilson. Diane Wilson is an incredible winemaker. Right across the parking lot from Papapietro -Perry (btw, I just finished their pinot..YUM) is Amphora. Rick's making some great wines, it's a fun stop, too. Chateau Souverain is gone- it's now Francis Ford Coppola Winery and his restaurant is serving pizza and light Italian fare from what I've read. We were there in April, it wasn't opemn yet. The restaurant at Souverain was not good last time we went. Bad service, food cold, management issues. I love the restaurant/deli at Hoffman House in Geyserville. They'll make you a fantastic picnic if you do that at a winery. Dry Creek kitchen was good when we ate there, haven't tried Cyrus because we keep going back (3 times) to Willi's Seafood. You can make a reservation there on www.opentable.com It's fun and the tapas style dining is great.

Sep 24, 2006
llindac in San Francisco Bay Area

Louisville, KY - long report

1.Bristol is very smoky at times. Most overrated place in Louisville. I've never had a good meal there.
2.Z's best in town for seafood.
3.Seviche just blew me away.
4.Nios ate there last night and did the small plate experience. Fantastic! Ask for a seat in the non smoking room, alas.
5.Napa River Grill is always a favorite and has gone smoke free.
6.Proof on Main- fun, pretty good didn't blow me away.
7. L and N Wine Bar is excellent. They have over 100 wines by the glass and you can order flights.
8.Club Grotto never disappoints.
9.Yang Kee Noodle. Looks sort of fast food, but I love this place! One overlooked place, probably cause it's in Oxmoor Mall
For Pacific rim,
10.Asiatique
11.August Moon.
12.Equus always good- entire place smoke free.
13. Melillo's for great bargain, good home style Italian
Tried lunch at Bloom's last week, din't like the red pepper soup, fruit salad too oily.
Avoid like the plague:
Tumbleweed
Captain's Quarters (fine for music and drinks, food no)
Kingfish
Rick's Ferrari Grill
Pat's Steak House
Lemongrass Cafe (how can you mess up pad thai?)
Chinatown

Sep 24, 2006
llindac in Kentucky & Tennessee