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Let's Eat - Best Restaurant Recommendations

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Let's Eat - Best Restaurant Recommendations [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2010, 21:11
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Do you have a favorite restaurant? A hidden Gem you found or perhaps one you have heard about and wanted to try in out? Let's put together a list of Best Restaurants by City and next time we are traveling there, we can just pull up the list. (Please keep chain restaurants off the list. If you can, please include the specific items you can recommend)

I travel quite a bit (and I am sure there are plenty of consultants or marketing gurus who travel a lot for business too). One thing I try to do is find a good place to eat in a new city - not necessarily super expensive (though expense account helps with that) but something that stands out. I will share my recommendations that I hope you can enjoy and very much looking forward to yours! I will try to post only those restaurants that I have actually experienced.

Austin

Uchi Sushi
recommended by IndigoIntentions


Atlanta

Nan Thai Fine Dining - can't make any recommendations for the specific items - everything was very good and probably the best Thai food I ever had (including what I had on the streets of Bangkok); service was very good as well - this is a high end Thai restaurant; overdressing recommended.


Boston


  • Giacomo's - Italian seafood. Homey, delicious and great house wine! Cash only, made expensing more of a pain...
  • Atlantic Fish Company - Awesome sea bass and lobster ravioli. Amazing chowder!
    For what it is (a food court restaurant), Boston Chowda Co. had delicious lobster rolls and chowder as well.
  • Legal sea foods is big in the northeast, but it is a chain. That being said, it was only mediocre to me and I would highly recommend Atlantic over it, if you are looking for seafood.
  • AFC had the best clam chowder, if that is your thing, I was hunting for it during me time there, do try a lobster roll at BCC if you have the time.

All are Recommendations by Humphy



Chicago

  • Blackbird - one of my all time favorite restaurants. Very small on East Randolph street. The same owner also owns the restaurant next door (AVEC) but I never made it there. (Blog with pictures of the food: http://blackbirdrestaurant.blogspot.com/). Recommendations are Octopus for appetizer and Sturgeon and Tri Tip for main. Never had a bad meal here. Small servings, which makes it nice to try a few things.
  • Usmania - Indian/Pakistani food, has some of the best biryani I've eaten anywhere in the world, by Staind
  • Double Li - in China Town, they put a stove on your table with a boiling broth prepared to your desired level of spice and give you unlimited raw meats n veggies that you cook in the broth and eat hot n fresh.. absolutely love it by Staind

Houston

See this post with very specific suggestions of Indian, Chinese, Sushi, and Tex-Mex. Thank you Missxmelon!
let-s-eat-best-restaurant-recommendations-104039-60.html#p1310258

Las Vegas

Panevino. Italian, Just south of the airport and absolutely fabulous. I've gone a few times with my family, and we've always sampled each other's dishes - they're all excellent. I was particularly impressed with their seafood. And this is a place where you definitely can't skip dessert! The desserts are drool-worthy. I loved the white chocolate cheesecake and the cannoli. Service is top-notch and the place has panoramic views of the strip. It's a bit expensive for being off the strip, but definitely worth the money. Recommended by Obsessively

La Scarola has been recommended to me by someone who has a very good taste in food. Can't vouch for it myself, though. Recommended by BigRedEnvEng


Los Angeles Area

Al Gelato - a hole in the wall cash-onlly italian restaurant in Beverly Hills - off the beaten track has the best meatballs in the world. Home cooked and with a great selection of gelato. Deserts are really good too. Bread and olive appetizer they bring are to die for.

The Ivy in Beverly Hills - the place to see and be seen. Always bustling and always scandalous. I have never actually eaten here but you don't go here for food.

Malibu Seafood - food is probably not the draw of this hole in the wall but the bleacher seating on the Pacific Coast Highway are quite hard to beat. Fish and Chips are the thing to get. Don't make a trip just for this though.

For Steakhouses:
- Mastros steak house in beverly hills
- Arroyo Chop House in Pasadena
Recommended by Humphy for a full (super extensive) list of restaurants worthy of visit in LA per Sir Concierge Humphy see here: let-s-eat-best-restaurant-recommendations-104039-20.html#p877416

Recommendations by AlexMBAApply:
Golden State: across from Canter's Deli on Fairfax
Father's Office: in the Helm's Bakery complex off Venice blvd
Umami Burger: on La Brea (this is a fav of many, although I prefer the above 2)

Orlando

Not a single good restaurant in town but there are a few that stand out:

Ravenous Pig - a Gastro Pub, and probably the best restaurant in town. It is in the Winter Park and is a good half hour drive from the resorts. Duck is the thing to get. Appetizers are fantastic but mains are only Ok'ish. However, by Orlando standards, it is fantastic

Luma on Park - very nice wine room and a private dining room downstairs in the wine cellar - a few blocks from Ravenous Pig. Appetizers were great. The best item on the menu is the Delmonico steak.


Phoenix

Chelsea's Kitchen - absolutely delicious American bistro food, steaks, seafood etc and in a nicer part of Phoenix, close to the Biltmore hotel and shopping center, lots of bars, great views. If you go when the weather is not too hot, make sure to sit on the patio under hundreds of white lights and twinkilng stars. Classy place with great service by Michmax3


New York


I'd highly recommend Hearth in the East Village (restauranthearth.com). Excellent Italian influenced American food and a great wine list. The menu changes daily and is completely overhauled seasonally, so specific recommendations are tough, but the snapper crudo appetizer, gnocchi side dish, and apple cider donuts dessert seem to be relatively consistent on the menu and are all outstanding.
recommended by Jerz

Also Macao Trading Company in Tribeca (macaonyc.com). Chinese-Portuguese fusion, which sounds a little strange but works incredibly well. Plus there's a pretty cool lounge in the downstairs. Specific recommendations are tough on this because the steady stream of very tasty mojitos plus dinner that consisted of a variety of small plates makes it hard to remember what all was ordered. I do remember the chicken dumplings, grilled lamb chops and peking style pork ribs as being very tasty though.
recommended by Jerz

Locanda Verde - They have the most delicious authentic Italian food. Every course was absolutely ravishing! I would particularly suggest the brussel sprouts and the apple crisp. Truly unforgetable food! There is nothing on the menu that you can order and not enjoy!
recommended by haute

Lowcountry http://www.lowcountrynewyork.com/
For a skirt steak (rare) and a Good Times Specials (a can of PBR & a shot of bourbon). Never disappoints, highly recommended.
recommended by brainhurt

More Recommendations by Jerz:
  • Spice Market (spicemarketnewyork.com). Great Southeast Asian food and cool decor in the Meatpacking District. A little more on the pricier side but not too bad for NYC. Went there a lot in the good old days when I had an expense account.
  • And of course, Peter Luger steakhouse (peterluger.com). Worth the trip to Brooklyn - hands down the best steakhouse in a city full of great steakhouses. Be warned: only cash is accepted (ie no credit cards) so hit up the ATM if you go.
  • And speaking of expense accounts: if you've got a big one or a lot of money to burn, you can't go wrong with Per Se (perseny.com) - Thomas Keller's three Michelin starred restaurant in NYC. Probably best saved for very, very special occasions, since reservations are hard to come by and the 9 course tasting menu (the only dining option available) checks in at a hefty $295 per person.



San Francisco

Yank Sing - absolutely my favorite Dim Sum place. Pekings Duck and Chicken feet are fantastic. Mango pudding is usually very good but not always. You need to research/know what you are doing before coming otherwise you will not enjoy.

The Boulevard - solid dinner restaurant. I have friends who swear by it but I think my expectations were overset for it and I did not enjoy it as much as I hoped after hearing about it for a few years...

Osha Cafe. Amazing, amazing Thai food! And it's literally two blocks from Union Square so that's even better! Recommended by Whiplash2411

Berkley Area - Thai Basil and Pasta Bene. Thai Basil gets my vote for being the best and affordable restaurant. And Pasta Bene has AMAZING tiramisu! Recommended by Whiplash2411


Seattle

  • Canlis - An old school restaurant in Seattle - it's been around for 60+ years and for a long time has been the gold standard in Seattle and though it is no longer the one and only, it is because other restaurants rose up rather than Canlis' decline. We had the Steak Tartar and it was magnificent. The Hallibut was great - completely not what I expected but a lot of flavor. The wagyu steak was great too! But the place is expensive. They had a wine list that was 100+ pages long and they recommended to arrive an hour early if you were planning to read it or discuss with the sommelier
  • The Herb Farm - They change their menu every week and grow all/most food locally. It is a Prix Fix menu with a 7-course meal that lasts for 3-4 hrs and comes out at $200/person with wine pairing. Having gone and paid, i am not sure I would do it again. the food was not amazing even though this place regularly gets on the top 20 list for restaurants in the nation. I think it is an experience/package that count but food alone was not strong enough for me.


Sacramento

Bangkok at 12 - My personal favorite Thai restaurant in the city. Their coconut milk soup and curry are really good. Recommended by BigRedEnvEng

OneSpeed - Their pizzas are amazing. Last time I went there, I got the eggplant parmesan pizza. Yes, seriously.
Ginger Elizabeth's Chocolates - OK, so it's not a restaurant, but her hot chocolate, macaroons, and chocolates are the absolute best I've ever had anywhere. Do not miss this if you make a visit to Sacramento. Recommended by BigRedEnvEng



Toronto

Lunch Box
recommended by brainhurt

A few more in Toronto:

Fressen Restaurant - mouth watering vegetarian entrees, excellent lunch and dinner options
Pulp Kitchen - also vegetarian, hidden gem known mainly to locals. They only use local fresh ingredients, all their sauces, spreads, etc are made in-house recommended by Ariel

Bravi Ristorante - another gem featuring mainly Italian dishes, a bit pricier than the two above. What is really cool about this place is that it has an elevator shaft, which you can book (goes quick so plan ahead) and eat dinner in. They send you to the top floor and you have all the privacy in the world. Sounds a bit bizarre but I promise it is a great experience. People celebrate special occasions there and I've had a few friends who proposed to their girlfriends at Bravi. A must go if you're in Toronto. It's an EXCELLENT choice for a date or if you just want to go somewhere quiet and have a good conversation accompanied with savory food and quality wine recommended by Ariel

Panorama - this is a bar but an honorable mention here - it's on top of one of the tallest towers in Toronto and you get to look at pretty lights, etc (think Beekman Tower in NYC). Highly recommended for before- or after-dinner cocktails, not suitable as a dinner option. recommended by Ariel

Washington DC

  • Komi - great but very small place that is hard to find. It is a prix fix menu of about $120 per person with another $50-70 for wine pairings. It is about 7 courses with small servings (as expected) It is really good! Figs were the best, however.
  • I hear the Zaytinya is a very nice place (Mediterranean). It is partially owned by one of the prominent GC members. A shameful plug.
  • Sushi Damo in Rockville, MD and Kaz Sushi in DC recommended by GMATvit

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Last edited by bb on 26 Dec 2013, 12:01, edited 26 times in total.
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Re: Let's Eat - Best Restaurant Recommendations [#permalink] New post 26 Dec 2013, 11:37
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I have a TON of recommendations for Houston! Here are some picks that spring to mind, but I'll update this later once I'm back home from vacation.

In general, you can't go wrong with any Pappa's restaurants (I've listed a few below). Some that are missing from my list include Pappadeaux (cajun), Pappa's Seafood, Pappa's Steakhouse, Pappa's BBQ (I'm not a fan of BBQ though, and I certainly don't think Houston has the best), Pappa's Burgers (haven't personally been), etc.

Shabu House
Location: Chinatown (Bellaire)
I've tried shabu shabu in NYC, Chicago, Dallas, and Honolulu, but Shabu House is literally the best I've ever had. I'll be in Japan in March, so I'll have another point of comparison then!

Pondicheri
Location: Upper Kirby (Kirby & Westheimer)
Seriously awesome fusion Indian cuisine, and I love the daily specials (Meatless Mondays, Fried Chicken Tuesdays, Burger Wednesdays, Vindaloo Rib Fri & Sat, etc.). Definitely try the breakfast, which is served until 3 pm - breakfast for lunch anyone? Cappuccinos here happen to be the best I've ever drank. Also, the owner / chef started out as a pastry chef, so there are some amazing and unique desserts. I recommend her other restaurant Indika as well. If you have a lot of money to splurge, try out Kiran's, too.

Breakfast Klub
Location: Midtown
If you've never had soul food, well...and even if you have, you must try the Breakfast Klub. The fried chicken and waffle is the most popular dish, but the grits are also delicious. Try the étouffée on Wednesdays! The food is worth the wait, as there is usually a long line. Don't tell your cardiologist you went here, though.

Miyagi
Location: Chinatown (Bellaire)
Hands down my favorite sushi joint in Houston, though all the non-sushi dishes are also spectacular. It's run by a lovely old Japanese couple, and I swear they are the only employees (besides one guy who washes the dishes). The husband is the sushi chef, and the wife makes all the other dishes, takes orders, brings out drinks, etc. Definitely don't come here if you're in a rush, as service is obviously slower. It also gets packed, and there are no reservations, so hopefully you're lucky enough to snag a table.
Uchi and Kata Robata offer delicious sushi as well, but at a much higher price. For super cheap and average quality sushi, head over to Oishii.

Xiong's Cafe
Location: Chinatown (Bellaire)
If you want a $4 bowl of savory noodles, check out Xiong's. The spicy sichuan noodles with pork are the best. You'll feel like you're in a hole-in-the-wall noodle house in China.

Yia Yia Mary's
Location: Galleria (San Felipe & 610)
As with most Papa's restaurants, Yia Yia Mary's is a tad pricey for what it is (by Houston standards), but the Greek food here is awesome. I recommend the scallops ionian. On a random note, the best chocolate cake I've ever had was at Yia Yia Mary's.

Tau Bay
Location: Chinatown (Bellaire)
Don't be fooled by the hip, fusion-y Vietnamese restaurants like Les Givral's, unless you're stuck in midtown and need a quick fix. Tau Bay is my go to Vietnamese restaurant. They have a ton of traditional dishes that you won't get at Les G's, but the usual Vietnamese fare (vermicelli, pho, etc.) is also fantastic.

Cafe Brasil
Location: Montrose
Another awesome coffee joint, but the brunch and lunch fare is delicious. Service leaves much to be desired. If your feelings aren't easily hurt, eat here!

Antone's
Location: Galleria (San Felipe & 610)
Mmm, the po boys here are amazing! It looks like a fast food Cajun kind of place, but it's seriously good. If you have time, also try Ragin Cajun and BB's.

Churrasco's
Location: Westheimer
Latin American food that is as good as what I had in Chile, if not better, but at a premium!

Pappasito's
Location: All over Houston
If you're in the mood for Tex Mex, Pappasito's is the best (though as previously mentioned, pricier as it's a Pappa's restaurant). A lot of locals prefer Chuy's, which is cheaper, but in my opinion Pappasito's tastes better.

Spicy Sichuan
Location: Chinatown (Bellaire)
Of all the Chinatowns I've been to, I personally think Houston has the most and best Sichuan food to offer. Definitely try the twice cooked pork, shredded pork, eggplant in fish sauce, spicy fried chicken, ma po tofu, fuqi feipian, etc. here

If you have the misfortune of being in Dallas, then I recommend:

Si Tapas
Mon-Thurs from 5-7 pm is happy hour; super cheap and delicious sangrias and $3 tapas! (limited list)

Yun Tan Gil
My absolute favorite Korean BBQ in Dallas, though all of K-town (Royal Lane) is good. Definitely get the miso pork belly and marinated kalbi! And I'll admit this is the one area that Dallas beats Houston. If you are craving Korean BBQ in Houston, though, go to Jang Guem Tofu & BBQ House (Chinatown/Bellaire).

Sushi Sake
Dallas sushi has nothing on Houston. However, if you need a fix, go to this restaurant in Richardson.

Sweet Mix
Overpriced, as are all things in Dallas, but I love the waffles here.

Maple & Motor
Best burger joint. Twisted Root comes in at a close second for more non-traditional burgers. Also don't let your cardiologist know you came here.

Tanoshii Ramen
I'm not sure why everyone has been hating on this place. They serve up some seriously good ramen and appetizers (steamed buns, Vietnamese crepes). Although...you guessed it, it's a bit overpriced.
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Re: Let's Eat - Best Restaurant Recommendations [#permalink] New post 26 Dec 2013, 11:54
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Wow. I want to go to Houston now. Hopefully I will get stuck on one of my layovers (most of the time I have to sprint through the terminal, however - thanks United for keeping me in shape)
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Re: Let's Eat - Best Restaurant Recommendations [#permalink] New post 26 Dec 2013, 12:10
bb wrote:
Wow. I want to go to Houston now. Hopefully I will get stuck on one of my layovers (most of the time I have to sprint through the terminal, however - thanks United for keeping me in shape)


Houston is definitely the best foodie city, IMO, and it's vastly underrated. When you take cost into account, I think it's better than Chicago, NYC, SF, LA, etc. even. There's just a huge variety of ethnic food.

Unfortunately, Houston is pretty spread out, so you'll need a long layover to be able to check out some of the places I mentioned!
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Re: Let's Eat - Best Restaurant Recommendations [#permalink] New post 27 Dec 2013, 13:16
I want to recommend Mastro`s Steak house in Beverly Hills ...it is absolutely spectacular ... great food, great service, amazing location (2-3 blocks from Rodeo Dr.)
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Re: Let's Eat - Best Restaurant Recommendations [#permalink] New post 17 Apr 2014, 04:05
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Ivan91 wrote:
Mastro`s Steak house in Beverly Hills ...it is absolutely spectacular


That's true! :)
Re: Let's Eat - Best Restaurant Recommendations   [#permalink] 17 Apr 2014, 04:05
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