LUXURY IS IN THE DETAILS.
OLIVIA’S LIST – GREAT DATE IDEAS
Weekend brunch on a sailboat enjoying oysters on the half shell at Grand Banks, An evening tour of European wines by the glass at Aldo Sohm or bourbon at Bemelman’s. Don’t forget, Sunday’s are for dim sum. Check out Golden Unicorn or Jing Fong Spring and Fall enjoying a bit of natural beauty at the botanical gardens. I love sports…are you a Rangers or Yankees fan? Epicureans in the city are like kids in a candy store… Mexican? Italian? Spanish? BBQ? Perhaps a night cap at the Rose Bar or Salon De Ning?
HOTTEST HOTEL ROOMS BASED ON THE SHOWERS
One of my favorite southern cities, Charleston. Low country charm, sophisticated cuisine. How about dinner at Wild Olive or The Ordinary? They have the best fried oyster. Let’s enjoy reggae, beer and ramen at Chico Feo. We could meet for lunch at Leon’s – listen to blues, They have a shrimp roll to die for, with potato chip crunch and the freshest salads with their southern famous chicken. The Shellmore also comes highly recommended with their daily changing menu and chef’s paradise.
Let’s get down in the low country.
The only reason to love California. The Carmel/Monterrey area, which technically is part of Big Sur, is a peaceful slice of heaven. We can start with fresh palates, a wine taste at Boekenoogen, a family owned winery dating back to the 1840s. Lets enjoy an intimate lazy lunch at La Balena or Roux after a fun day at Laguna Seca or hiking at Point Lobos. I feel the need…the need for speed! Wind down the day with dinner at Bernardus in the Valley, or Cafe Rustica.
HOTELS WITH A KILLER VIEWS.
The Carmel Valley Ranch is nestled in the valley, with vineyard views, bathtubs on decks of certain suites with two-sided fireplaces and gorgeous bathrooms. Their bath products are heavenly, made with lavender grown on site. Though I haven’t stayed there, the Quail Lodge is also recommended, especially for golfers. The Highlands Inn, has breathtaking views but the rooms are outdated.
Admittedly, its been about 4 years since I’ve visited the Windy City. However, it is on my list of places to visit post-pandemic. Let’s go Americana at the the RL Grill. The Manager’s special – steak tartare with jalepenos is to die for. Chi is a bit of foodie heaven. The best burger (topped with foie) is at Au Cheval. I love surprises. Let’s paint the town red, while you show me your city.
It is hard to believe that our sister city to the north is only a 45 minute flight from the big, juicy apple. When I am in Toronto, I am a creature of habit, so I only eat at two places…D Bar/Cafe Boulud and Sassafraz. I know there are many cool parts of this eclectic city but usually I am there for 24H so I stay in Yorkville. Since I am usually in town during CFB season, Real Sports is a good choice.
Help me break my habit. What restaurants do you love?
The city of brotherly love has come a long way. I lived here before moving to NYC 15 years ago. Many underestimate it but Stephen Starr, Jose Garcas, Greg Vernick and olds school South Philly, keep the love growing. When I am in town I head to Parc, A Kitchen and Bar, and if I can get in, Vernick. Haegele’s is a must stop, family -owned German bakery with amazingly fresh desserts. Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar and the Rooster are fun places to let your hair down. Craving a real taste of Europe? Monk’s Cafe is a Philly Institution.
The twin cities are worth a mention. I visit several times a year. I love its old school flavor mixed with modern cuisine. The St. Paul Grill is my go-to. The bartender gave me her secret recipe for curing a cold….and they have a fantastic chicken pot pie. Sadly, my favorite restaurant, Bachelor Farmer closed its doors as a result of the pandemic. We can sink our teeth into a Juicy Lucy…let’s head over to Matt’s! Im also down for a trip to Stillwater – the birth place of Minnesota!
Another city close to my heart. I have explored this gem of a city a little more and thanks to some very savvy friends, have discovered some gems both in the city and in Metro West. For the Parisian feel on Boyleston, check out Bistro Du Midi. They have a reasonable wine list and the Venison tartare is to die for! Don’t miss out on Neptune Oyster bar while in the city. Best seafood and its fun to people watch on the street! Head into the ‘burbs, Vinotta and Stazione di Federal on Moody in Waltham are the perfect epicurean oasis. The bartender, Rami at Stazione makes a mean martini with the smoothest Italian gin. I would be remiss to leave out Sycamore in Newton. Scott the bartender is happy to make a bespoke cocktail and the menu is light and fresh. Apparently, Chef Dave’s has become a cult favorite too. The courses at all of these suburban restaurants are expedited from pan to plate, a welcome change. La Fina in Andover is a must drive. Great service, beautiful decor, great fish and steak, lively atmosphere without the pretense.