Displaying items by tag: American dining

 The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone should make everyone's list who is headed to wine country in search of a fantastic meal in addition to great wine.  Set in the hills of St. Helena (right outside Napa), the outdoor view is serene, while the inside view of the kitchen is lively.  The beautiful setting is enhanced by the cuisine.   UH-MAY-ZING!!!   It's 2 months later, and I can't stop thinking about it.

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Having to leave the Atlanta area for an appointment in Gainesville, GA excited me because I researched the restaurant scene in this small, but food filled town. The downtown area is packed with eateries but I narrowed it down to one- 2 Dog Restaurant. It's commitment to serving locally farmed ingredients and an ever changing menu intrigued me as did a number of reviews I read ahead of time.

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Downtown Delray has a wide variety of dining options, and I've been fortunate to be a repeat customer at several of them.  There has been one place though catching my eye and we've been holding on to it for a special occasion- well the time came (a good week at work for the hubby) so at last, we got to Cut 432.  Not only were we celebrating a small success, but we were also excited to get to have a long awaited double date with our pals, Heather and Steve.  In one word, Cut 432 is INCREDIBLE.

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In honor of Sunday being known as “Brunch” day, I will feature a spot each weekend that I find to have an great menu for the in between breakfast and lunch dining time.  I would love to start my weekly trend with “the best brunch I've ever had,” but I really cannot narrow it down to just one.  There are numerous buffets and sit down brunches that have earned my respect and I cannot wait to share them with you all, in no particular order.  Just remember, if I write about it, it's gotta be good!

The first brunch that comes to mind was one I had just a few weeks ago while in Atlanta, more specifically, in Buckhead.  Horseradish Grill is a family run establishment whose walls have a history far beyond the 18 years the Alterman's have owned it.  This country grocery store turned restaurant maintains a countryside look with a well groomed exterior and a homey feel inside.

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I couldn’t be more excited that our friends Jamie and Mark recently moved back to South Florida, but one thing that saddens me is that our trips to Dallas will be few and far between since we can now go down the street to visit them. While I love many things that the “Big D” has to offer, the restaurants are definitely on the top of my list.

J&M are fellow foodies and understand that food is first priority when planning our weekend agenda. That being said, Nick and Sam’s Grill was always penned into the “Sunday Brunch” slot for our Dallas visits. They have an incredible, fun, and affordable selection of plates to enjoy, which all seem to go perfect with the mimosas, served by the [inexpensive] carafe.

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Here's a little prequel to my Dottie's visit: I was told by multiple people before arriving in San Francisco that I better not leave without eating at Dottie's True Blue Café (San Francisco, CA). I was prewarned about the wait, the one that takes place in a line of hungry people standing single file, out the door and down the sidewalk. Being that we were on vacation, the husband and I were willing to take the time to check this place out. Even on a late Monday morning, the infamous line existed (although my guess is it was about half of the size of what the weekend one gets to be). All in all, I would say we stood there for about 45 minutes and then it was dining time. The first thing I noticed when we walked in was that there were other people photographing their food- I knew we were in good company! Next, I took note of the surroundings- the actual place itself only sits about 30 people including a few seats at the counter. The interior is a cutesy diner set up with an open kitchen, displaying the line cooks hard at work. Swanky music plays in the background and it's almost as the servers are dancing as they move quickly to cater to each guest.

The menu is made up of a couple pages of tempting selections with a few extras posted up on the wall via a chalkboard. I zeroed in on two of those specials and that's what we ordered- an omelet and French toast. Sounds pretty basic, but neither of them were the usual breakfast fare. The omelet was stuffed with lamb Nerguez sausage, roasted garlic, tomato, spinach, and goat cheese. It was an unbelievable combination of flavors and I couldn't help but "ooh" and "aah" with each bite. The side of breakfast potatoes and homemade buttermilk toast completed the dish. For "dessert," we enjoyed the Cinnamon Pecan French toast. I am a sucker for just about anything cinnamon, and this dish was no exception. The bread itself was nice. thick slices cooked just how a French toast should be= well on the outside and just enough on the inside. The whole pecans and pure maple syrup were a perfect addition. After finishing every morsel of our meal, we left with our bellies full, our taste buds charmed, and our wallet barely effected- I'd say we hit a trifecta!

If you're now intrigued to try Dottie's but you just can't fathom an hour or so wait, how about take out? That's always an option and then, you can take your food and enjoy it elsewhere, like at one of San Francisco's pretty parks! No matter what your plan of action is, I highly suggest you give it a try- those friends who threatened my return would be consequential should I not have a Dottie's experience to discuss, knew what they were talking about.

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Here is Part 1 of, "My Double Dosed Day of Max's”  For no other reason than pure coincidence, I ate lunch, then dinner at locations owned by long-time South Florida restaurateur, Dennis Max.  Check out the Part 2 of my double dose here, and read on to find out what Max's Grille in Boca Raton, FL is all about.

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While we rarely make it out for a “nice” dinner during the week, the husband and I opted to make an exception last night and visit Max’s Harvest (Delray Beach, FL). We have been intrigued by "Sustainable Dining," not that we are the super green/tree-hugger type, but it seems to be an upcoming trend among the South Florida dining scene and it feels right to be a part of it. Other areas of the US have been doing this for years and it’s nice to see that local restaurateurs are catching onto this concept of serving meals prepared with ingredients from neighboring farms, which not only supports local business and enables guests to enjoy the freshest foods, but it is also environmentally friendly.

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Highly recommended it came, so we gave it a try and my "O-Piñon" on Piñon Grill is also a positive one. A beautiful façade matched with a luxurious interior, allow this classy, Southwest inspired restaurant to fit in with the neighboring, prestigious Boca Town Center Mall.  The exterior of the building displays a naturally sophisticated look, which continues as you enter through the oversized double doors.

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My travels brought me to Roswell, GA and I opted to seek the advice of fellow Yelpers for a supper suggestion. They guided me to Stoney River, whos interior resembles a lodge and ego revolves around legendary steaks. So, who orders a soup and two starters for dinner at a steakhouse? This girl! Yup, with a plethora of fine filets and fresh seafood entrees, I opted to use my menu blinders and stick to just the first section. Now before you judge, hear me out.

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