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The Connoisseur's Guide to Food, Wine & Travel

What began as a blog aimed solely toward reviewing Happy Hours soon became a full food, wine & travel site due to our readers’ requests and continued support. SavorHour.com is now in full swing and we’re ready to bring even more to our readers!

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Short Order

 6333 West Third Street, #110
Los Angeles, CA
 

Casual comfort & Artisinal Favorites!

I adore spending hours at a time in the Farmer’s Market. The nearby Grove has also extended my days away perusing the shops and eateries there as well. However, I’ve always felt a resonance with the Market for so many years. This intricate maze of handmade crafts, local produce and exceptional cuisine venues will lead most anyone to the best butcher counter around, homemade ice cream shop, or intriguing sandwich and wine bar to suit any connoisseur’s desire for the finer things in life…as simple as those might be. We have many favorites there, but have added a new locale to our list of revered top choices. Realizing that sometimes nothing can sufficiently satisfy a wayward sustenance craving like an amazing cheeseburger, flavor-rich sandwich creation, or handcrafted milkshake, we simply had to include this intriguing location to our list of favorites to share with you. We’re not talking about a midnight run to the local burger joint, however. We’re referring to something completely different.

We found Short Order not too long ago as we rounded a corner at the Farmer’s Market and spotted the two-story, rustic eatery after being lured there by the savory aromas that wafted from the restaurant. We were led upstairs to an open-air dining space with cozy tables and an intimate, friendly-looking bar where busy mixologists were hard at work pleasing the libation-loving patrons seated before them.

Short Order’s well-respected reputation stems from their use of organic and locally-raised ingredients, which create the memorable artisanal flavors found in every handmade feature available on the menu. In-house butchers take advantage of Stemple Creek and Magruder Ranch components, which are then crafted into the restaurant’s flavorsome burgers, sandwiches, frozen treats, and other compilations of sensational flavor.

How about that burger craving? We recommend trying the Ida’s Old School Burger composed with grass-fed beef, house made pickles, garden-fresh tomato, sweet grilled onions, crisp Iceberg lettuce, aged Cheddar cheese, and a secret sauce that even we couldn’t convince the chef to let us in on. The succulent grass-fed beef that was used in creating this beautiful menu selection was phenomenally fresh-tasting and juicy with every bite we sampled. The Cheddar cheese that melted over the pure beef patty was accompanied by garden fresh vegetables and a soft, yet resilient bun that held all of the sandwich’s components together quite nicely. Just the mere sight of this striking compilation of flavors created a mouthwatering sensation, not to mention the crafty presentation. My husband and I shared this beautiful flavor-filled creation, then moved on to our next item of flavor fascination.

We simply couldn’t bypass the Pork Belly BLT. Also large enough to share, this ingredient-loaded BLT was a modern spin on the traditional white bread version. Short Order stepped it up with rich and flavor-packed nearly melt-in-your-mouth pork belly, strips of applewood bacon, fresh Bibb lettuce, creamy ripe avocado, mayonnaise, and a satisfyingly sweet tomato jam sandwiched between two slices of hearty toasted Country White bread. Let’s just say that you’ll never look at a BLT the same again after experiencing the Pork Belly BLT at Short Order.

You never know what you’ll find at the Farmer’s Market in the Fairfax area of Los Angeles. The next time you’re there, let the sensational flavors and aromas of Short Order fulfill your craving for delicious, good-for-you, organic fare specifically handcrafted for your culinary pleasure. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

◾ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: This two-story rustic, yet industrial-touched decorum environment sets patrons at ease with more to admire than just the mouthwatering aromas wafting from the kitchen.

◾FOOD / DRINK: Chef Christian Page oversees the organic ingredients used in Short Order’s highly-accolated handcrafted elixirs from the bar, tempting frozen treats, and the eatery’s supportive nature of local farmers by incorporating locally raised and organic ingredients into everything on the menu. Gluten-free patrons can relish in a lettuce wrap in lieu of a bun on burgers and sandwiches.

◾LOCATION: Short Order is located in the Farmer’s Market at 6333 West 3rd Street in Stall #110 in Los Angeles, CA 90036.

◾HOURS: Monday through Wednesday, Short Order is open for business from 11:00 AM until 10:00 PM, Thursday and Friday from 11:00 AM to Midnight, on Saturdays from 10:00 AM through Midnight, and on Sundays from 10:00 AM through 10:00 PM.

◾SERVICE / STAFF: Our server was informative and efficient, while making suggestions and answering our inquiries with a friendly demeanor.

◾PRICE / VALUE: Definitely an establishment you will be returning to, as the staff at this eatery will please your palate for fine culinary perfection, as well as offer a very welcome feel while you are there.

◾CORKAGE FEE: $20 per 750mL bottle.

◾CONTACT INFO: Phone: (323) 761-7970, Website: www.shortorderla.com

◾PARKING: Parking is available near and around the spaces at the Farmer’s Market in two specific lots. Two hours of parking are free with validation from a Farmer’s Market merchant, and the third hour will run you about $4 additional. You may also park in the garage next door at The Grove, which is free or the first hour, while 2-hour parking validations are available from select Grove merchants.

◾PRICING: Our Ida’s Old School Burger came in at an easy $11, while the Pork Belly BLT arrived at an acceptable $12. The Boylan’s Root Beers were priced at $2.25 apiece.

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Grill Room

 300 Gravier St
New Orleans, LA
 

Southern Sophistication In the Heart of the Big Easy!

New Orleans is a place of mystical allure, defined culinary ingredients, and Southern hospitality that continues to impress visitors and those who have lived there a lifetime. It is a city that offers a multitude of variety, a willful personality, and sometimes a walk on the carefree side of life. It is an area that has seen tough times, but one that has also pulled through together in times of disparity and unforeseen loss. It is a community that has recovered from some of the toughest times in its history. At one time, the town’s motto was “We’re coming back!”, which is stitched on a couple of baseball caps my husband and I were given as reminders of the time we volunteered several weeks in the city assisting in the handing out of much needed supplies to those left with nothing in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. We found that the people there have a common thread running between them…that they have soul, that they have a fierce desire to forge ahead in times of incredible loss, that they possess the strength to stare adversity straight in the face and say they are not going to lie down until their city is back up and running again. This is what impresses us most about the Crescent City and those who call it home.

After some sustained damage, The Windsor Court Hotel also returned to its original grandeur after riding out the storm with guests inside. Today, the property stands tall once again, and inside this lavish property is housed the hotel’s flagship dining venue simply titled The Grill Room. We had the distinct pleasure of visiting this culinary treasure recently during a fine dining experience that we had to share with our readers.

Every year since 2005, The Grill Room at The Windsor Court Hotel has received the AAA “Four Diamond” and Forbes “Four Star” awards for its immaculate and distinguished fare, enchanting ambiance, and superior service. The venue is one of only three “Four Star” / ”Four Diamond” restaurants in Louisiana. The main dining room of the restaurant features an elaborate (and quite accurately depicted) wall mural of actual members of New Orleans society. A perfect conversation piece over dinner, my husband and I started taking turns identifying who each individual was in the immense picture. Besides that mural, the restaurant’s interior décor includes dramatic rich hues, fresh fragrant floral arrangements strategically placed within the dining venue, rich wood furniture, and comfortable leather seating, which enhanced the sophisticated motif of the establishment.

Chef de Cuisine, Daniel Causegrove prepared an exquisite meal for us during our visit to The Grill Room. Starting with his amuse-bouche of sorbet, champagne grapes, Dijon mustard and a tantalizing duck reduction, we were entranced and pulled directly into his culinary spell. The colorful champagne grapes popped with color and flavor, while the rich tastes of the Dijon and refreshing orb of icy sorbet tied everything together nicely and efficiently. Additionally, fresh oven baked bread and muffins were served with a chilled sweet cream butter to start our meal off on a delightful note.

The Beef Tartare appetizer at The Grill Room includes the Chef’s 141 Soft Egg, crispy shallots, a creamy parsley Aioli, and a house made caper mustard with a bacon soda thyme cracker. A wholesome flavor experience enhanced with Enoki mushrooms will not only leave you visually pleased, but will tastefully romance your taste buds as well.

The Grill Room Caesar is a classic selection from the menu at The Grill Room. Chilled crisp Romaine lettuce, a One-Hour Egg, white anchovies, pickled onions, and garlic-parmesan crumbs create a mouthwatering and savory occurrence with this popular selection from the menu.

My husband’s Roasted Gulf Snapper arrived surrounded in a cloud of magnificent aromas that trailed its delivery from the kitchen. From the Leidenheimer French Bread Pudding to the succulent well-prepared mussels and shrimp to the heirloom cherry tomato nage that accompanies this incredible dish from start to finish, every component of the Roasted Gulf Snapper was superbly prepared and artfully presented.

I chose the Diamond H Ranch Quail for my main course of the evening. Tender quail meat was pecan crusted and joined by a sinful vanilla date puree, hearty faro, summer squash, and topped off with a blackberry port reduction. We’ve enjoyed quail in many forms…wrapped inside a tender flaky phyllo pastry, roasted in a succulent broth, and now this version, which we devoured seemingly in minutes with smiles on our faces from the beginning visual attraction to the final bite of savory flavor conglomeration magic.

The Grill Room at The Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans’ Central Business District offers an unforgettable culinary excellence. A great article and vivid photography of what exists in this abode of flavorful seduction will never be enough to express the true delight and genius of what the restaurant has to offer. Trying it for yourself…well, that’s the true magic.

◾ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: Upscale and certainly worth dining in, The Grill Room at The Windsor Court Hotel will charm you with it’s Southern hospitality and spoil you with its expertly-trained staff, superb cuisine, and one-of-a-kind elegant ambiance.

◾FOOD / DRINK: Exquisite culinary talent pours out of this establishment gracing the palates of some of the most distinguished guests around. Fresh and locally sourced ingredients are proudly used in Modern American and Contemporary Southern recipes while stunning presentations are offered incorporating vivid colors, outstanding flavor combinations, and incredible aromas. The kitchen staff will happily accommodate specific meal requests with an entire vegetarian menu available upon request.

◾LOCATION: The Grill Room at The Windsor Court Hotel is located in the Central Business District at 300 Gravier Street in New Orleans, LA 70130 on the second floor of the hotel.

◾HOURS: Breakfast is served daily from 7:00 AM until 10:30 AM, while lunch is available Monday through Saturday from 11:00 AM through 2:30 PM. Dinner is an amazing event, and is accessible daily from 5:30 PM through 10:00 PM. Brunch is presented Sundays from 11:00 AM until 2:30 PM.

◾SERVICE / STAFF: Our server was extremely courteous, hospitable and warm throughout our dining experience at The Grill Room. We enjoyed his helpful recommendations and appreciated the service in general amongst the entire staff.

◾PRICE / VALUE: The quality and presentation of the cuisine at The Grill Room becomes the epitome of all things divine. The pricing of the culinary delights we happily devoured paralleled the quality, flavor, and artistry of the dishes that were offered. In addition, the well-appointed dining room created an upscale, sophisticated, and relaxed fine dining environment.

◾CORKAGE FEE: $25 per 750mL bottle

◾CONTACT INFO: Phone: (504) 522-1992, Website: www.grillroomneworleans.com

◾PARKING: Valet parking is available on the first floor of The Windsor Court Hotel for your convenience.

◾PRICING: The Beef Tartare was fairly priced at $19, while the Grill Room Caesar arrived at a decent $13. My husband’s Roasted Gulf Snapper showed off its ample savory flavor at $35, and the Diamond H. Ranch Quail that I chose was $31.

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Yard House

 11011 W Charleston Blvd
Las Vegas, NV
 

Red Rock's Diamond In the Rough!

Yard House Restaurant at Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada has become a compelling destination eatery ready to put a memorable spark in your evening, a little American-Fusion fare into your culinary involvement, and if you’re a brew connoisseur, a certain spring in your step with their impressive selection of draft beers, the variety of upscale American fare, and a Classic Rock soundtrack to make anyone relive fond memories of years gone by. A definite conversation-piece locale, Yard House at Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa has been around since 2009. Since this locale opened, it has received only rave reviews from critics and consistent return visits from its regulars and visitors alike.

Yard House began as a Southern California-based upscale American-Fusion establishment proud of its collective selection of ales, great atmosphere, and memorable fare. Currently spanning sixteen states in America, Yard House has certainly made its mark on the country with each location boasting one of the world’s largest collections of draft brews and is known for its reasonable prices for extraordinarily mouthwatering presentations of items from burgers to exquisite seafood entrees, to ribs to many comforting house favorites that are sure to have you returning for more.

Showcasing miles of stainless steel beer lines (literally) stretching overhead from a glassed-in keg room to the center-stage island bar offering a definite conversation piece factor, Yard House Red Rock offers something for every patrons’ taste whether it be a tasting of an array of the ales on tap at the bar, a hand shaken signature martini, or a non-alcoholic concoction crafted by one of the Yard House mixologists on site.

We indulged in some quite influential entrees from the menu on our most recent visit to the restaurant. The first was the Ginger Crusted Norwegian Salmon presented with wasabi mashed potatoes, carrots, snow peas, a spicy peanut vinaigrette, and fried carrot strips. The colorful green snow peas brought a vibrant appeal to this dish, while the tender cooked salmon combined with an incredible peanut-based vinaigrette with a spicy kick delivered on so many levels.

When that hankering for a great burger starts to nag at you, try Yard House’s BBQ Bacon Cheddar Burger. Constructed with apple wood smoked bacon, rum BBQ sauce and that signature Yard House garlic aioli, you will find that this sandwich will most definitely hit the spot and keep those cheeseburger cravings at bay. The sweetness of the apple wood bacon was a nice contrast against the creamy melted cheddar cheese and garlic-essence aioli, while the meaty taste of the beef cooked-to-order was bursting with savory tenderness and flavor.

Partner and Executive Chef Carlito Jocson certainly knew what he wanted in terms of components for his NY Steak Sandwich. Crafted with grilled bread and that popular signature garlic aioli, this sandwich boasts flavor, an ingenious conglomeration of ingredients, and a memorable taste that will make you order it again and again. Cooked-to-order, starting with roasted Roma tomatoes that burst when bitten into, wholesome layers of melted Swiss cheese, and crunchy fried onions with an accompaniment of sweet potato fries on the side that are not only a healthier selection, but I think an excellent companion that brings out the flavor of this steak sandwich.

Yard House Restaurant at Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa requires no explanation. It simply is great food encompassing extraordinary flavors, popular and rock classics playing throughout the eatery as well as big games being aired on the numerous flat screen televisions, and an ambiance of relaxation, coziness, and comfort all in a welcoming and casual atmosphere. Whether it’s for a meal out for a large gathering, a romantic dinner out, or just a drink at the bar with an old friend (or a new one!), take a few hours out of your schedule to visit Yard House restaurant to see for yourself just how incredible an experience it can be.

◾ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR:This fun and vivacious energy-filled establishment offers over 130 savory temptations on its flavor-rich menu including a plethora of choices of distinct ales and signature cocktails proudly shown off by the miles-long piping of liquids overhead leading from a glass-enclosed keg room to the center-of-attention bar area. Comforting booths and alternative seating give diners plenty of room to relax and take everything in, while enjoying games on a number of flat screen televisions, delicious mouthwatering bites, and refreshing adult beverages. Additionally, the original artwork of Contemporary American artist Jerome Gastaldi is proudly displayed throughout the eatery expelling his take on the energetic vibe of the establishment. The resort was named “One Of the World’s Best New
Hotels” in the 2007 “Hot List” issue of Conde Nast Magazine.

◾FOOD / DRINK: Large portions are served by a friendly wait staff, refreshing beverages offer a cure for that Las Vegas thirst, and the quality of the cuisine from Chef Carlito will impress without a doubt amongst the 130 items available on the menu. There are also several vegetarian and gluten-free items on the extensive menu, as well as several choices available for under 600 calories. Brews are served at a consistent chilled temperature of between 34 and 36 degrees to maintain optimal refreshing quality.

◾LOCATION: Yard House Restaurant @ Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa is located at 11011 West Charleston Boulevard in Las Vegas, NV 89135.

◾HOURS: Yard House is available for lunch daily from 11:00 AM until 5:00 PM. The restaurant is open on Sundays starting at 10:00 AM, and Monday through Saturday from 11:00 AM. Happy Hour offers1/2-price appetizers, pizza-style bites, and so much more Monday through Friday from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM, and from Sunday through Wednesday from 10:00 PM until closing.

◾SERVICE / STAFF: Sincere professional service is supported by
a smiling and efficient wait staff.

◾PRICE / VALUE: The quality of the environment, staff, and cuisine speak for themselves at Yard House.

◾CORKAGE FEE: $15 per 750 mL bottle.

◾CONTACT INFO: Phone: (702) 363-9273, Website: www.yardhouse.com

◾PARKING: There is ample complimentary parking in the lot just outside of the restaurant in the Red Rock Resort’s parking area.

◾PRICING: The Ginger Crusted Norwegian Salmon came in at an acceptable $22.85, while my BBQ Bacon Cheddar Burger arrived at a palatable $11.85. The New York Steak Sandwich was fairly priced on the menu at $16.95, and the refreshing Arnold Palmers were $3.75 each.

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Old Oyster Factory Restaurant

 101 Marshland Rd
Hilton Head Island, SC
 

The Island;s Go-To Spot For Oysters & Stunning Sunsets!

For more than 20 years, Old Oyster Factory waterfront seafood restaurant has been serving the Lowcountry’s cravings for fresh seafood, savory steak presentations, and oysters in particular among many other specialty items crafted in the restaurant’s kitchen by Chef Andy Love. Formerly, the location existed as the Old Broad Creek Oyster Factory that sat atop a one-story concrete authentic oyster cannery many years ago which harvested, canned, and shipped their collective mollusks to the surrounding Lowcountry areas. Over the years, the marshes of Broad Creek became protected from commercial harvesting, which is the stunning backdrop you see now from the restaurant’s multiple observation areas.

Old Oyster Factory prides itself for being a premier seafood restaurant catering to area locals as well as those who visit occasionally (like ourselves) on a regular basis when sojourning through the South. Scores of tourists flock to this eatery for the same fresh seafood favorites year after year, many becoming regulars when they return.

The views alone, especially at sunset, are worth the drive or flight to stop in and see what everyone raves about here. Unimaginable views of the marshlands of Broad Creek expand as far as the eye can see while as the sun sets slowly beyond the horizon, the view becomes even more magical. At certain times of year, one may sometimes also catch a glimpse of the rowing team of a local scholastic institution drifting past.

Dining at Old Oyster Factory can be one of the most relaxing and enjoyable casual affairs one can imagine. A plethora of specialty entrees from Stuffed Flounder to divine succulent steaks, to signature pasta compilations to oysters prepared as plentiful as one can imagine, to refreshing libations and Bar Menu items will leave you speechless and ready for more. The establishment offers their popular Happy Hour from 4:45 PM until 8:00 PM, as well as a famous Sunset Menu featuring 2-course flavor-rich items that will leave you both happily pleased with the price and excited to partake in such a culinary event.

INSIDER’S TIP: Be sure to try the restaurant’s hushpuppies…they’re a favorite sinful conglomeration of secret-recipe ingredients that you won’t regret trying for yourself.

When enjoying raw oysters, I have made it a tradition to enjoy Greyhounds as my libation choice for such a culinary involvement. It’s just something I began years ago, and it sort of stuck, so that’s where that came from. Above, the Oysters Savannah are crafted with shrimp, crab meat and smoked bacon stuffed into a half shell then smothered with Cheddar cheese and baked again in a hot oven until they are lightly browned on top and calling to you with their visual appeal and enchanting aroma. And a traditional stand-by favorite, the Oysters Rockefeller with their smoked bacon, spinach and sinful Béarnaise sauce really hit the spot in conjunction with the other oyster variations we have experienced.

◾ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: Complete with an expansive deck and outdoor covered porch dining area, Old Oyster Factory offers panoramic views of the area’s stunning sunsets over the expansive marsh landscape of Broad Creek. A spacious indoors allows for multiple seating options including private dining rooms, open traditional seating for dinner, and an accommodating bar in the roomy lounge overlooking a serene water view. Indoors, patrons will feel welcomed with warm woods throughout, the cozy feeling of being somewhere comforting, and assured that they have arrived somewhere where they will be greatly appreciated.

◾FOOD / DRINK: Fresh seafood is the restaurant’s specialty, while savory steaks and other comforting dishes appeal to most anyone. A special Gluten-Free menu is available, as well as a menu for lighter entrees. We have made this our home for enjoying oysters in the lounge when we visit the Lowcountry of South Carolina. From Happy Hour oysters on the half shell, to Oysters Savannah and Oysters Rockefeller, there truly is no place better that we have found in the area for indulging. Additionally, the eatery’s Sunset Menu offers a 2-course menu selection for just $15.99 a person.

◾LOCATION: Old Oyster Factory is conveniently located at 101 Marshland Road on Hilton Head Island, SC 29926.

◾HOURS: Open daily from 4:45 PM through 10:00 PM daily, Old Oyster Factory offers their famous Happy Hour in the lounge and at the bar from 4:45 PM until 8:00 PM, as well as a pretty satisfying Sunset Menu from 4:45 PM until 5:45 PM.

◾SERVICE / STAFF: The staff at this establishment could not be kinder, more accommodating, or more friendly. They treat newcomers like old friends, and locals just the same creating a feeling of family at any given time.

◾PRICE / VALUE: The value of the cuisine and beverages offered is spot on in our opinion. Never have we felt anything was overpriced for the quality of what was offered or that the fare was never at its top freshness.

◾CORKAGE FEE: $15 per 750mL bottle

◾CONTACT INFO: Phone: (843) 681-6040, Website: www.oldoysterfactory.com

◾PARKING: We have always self-parked our own vehicle when visiting Old Oyster Factory in the past, however on more populated evenings, we have noticed that valet service is available at the drive in front of the main entrance.

◾PRICING: The Oysters Savannah and Oysters Rockefeller we have enjoyed on our numerous visits to Old Oyster Factory were fairly priced at $14 for a half dozen and $26 for a full dozen. We have also ordered the Hot Combination (including a half dozen of each preparation) for the same pricing. During Happy Hour in the lounge area, we have enjoyed fresh chilled 75-cent oysters on the half shell by the dozens at a single sitting.

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Luminara

 211 Old Santa Fe Trl
Santa Fe, NM
 

More Spectacular Flavors From Luminaria!

Luminaria Restaurant & Patio offers more than just a terrific meal. It offers a culinary experience worth stopping by for. On another divine encounter with Chef Bret Sparman’s savory flavor-filled temptations at this divinely-appointed and savory flavor-laced menu of delicious fare, we indulged in a satisfying breakfast before heading out to explore more of the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Luminaria Restaurant & Patio menus offer so many decisive selections on its well-planned out selection of items available. Its prime array of breakfast items is tempting, to say the least, as well as full of appetizing-sounding dishes that we just had to dive right into.

The interior décor of Luminaria Restaurant advertises its upscale modern Santa Fe casual comfort, while embracing an upscale display of cool earth tones, warm focal points displaying bursts of vibrant color, and well-planned out spaciousness throughout with its beamed ceilings overhead and inclusion of the true feel of what Santa Fe is all about.

We started with offerings of fresh squeezed orange juice and Mighty Leaf English Breakfast tea. As we sipped our early A.M. beverages, we appreciated the artistic style of the wall-mounted wooden shelving that supported large rounded candles against a neutral grey hue. Perusing the menu, we both found what we desired right away without hesitation.

Scrumptious thinly sliced smoked salmon was piled high atop a toasted bagel and accompanied in flavor by a zesty green chile cream cheese for a Santa Fe kick. Pungent capers and fresh red onion joined this compilation of deliciousness, as my husband relished in the flavors of tender chilled smoked salmon, a perfectly-toasted warm bagel, and one of the most wonderful morning get-togethers we’d experienced together on this particular trip to Santa Fe.

You just haven’t had Eggs Benedict until you’ve enjoyed them at Luminaria Restaurant & Patio. Not only visually appealing, but sensational in taste and preparation as well, this morning entrée was filling enough to keep me full until a late lunch, yet not so overindulgent that it weighed me down. An exceptional presentation that I would definitely order again.

Chef Sparman uses only cage free eggs, and follows the basic principles of sustainability throughout his menu creations. Additionally, an egg substitute may be ordered by special request in the event you prefer your breakfast without real eggs. I, of course, went for the cage free deliciousness of the restaurant’s Eggs Benedict preparation, which was delightful with its silky and luxurious Hollandaise foam topping, bright green asparagus, thinly-shaved mouthwatering ham, and accompaniment of Santa Fe style breakfast potatoes.

All in all, a noteworthy dining experience topped off by an educational tour of the town’s museums, local artistry showcased curbside, and stunning views of present and past.

◾ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: Cool grays assume the major color background inside the eatery, while warm pops of inviting colors welcome and intrigue dining patrons. The restaurant is spacious and cozy at the same time offering a full bar, an extensive display of refined customer service, and a delectable breakfast menu of items sure to please most any visitor.

◾FOOD / DRINK: Fresh fare creatively presented by Chef Sparman’s culinary genius. The cuisine at Luminaria will excite and tempt the palate, while taking the diner on a flavor-laden ride without pause.

◾LOCATION: Luminaria Restaurant & Patio is conveniently located on the first floor of the Inn & Spa At Loretto at 211 Old Santa Fe Trail in Santa Fe, NM 87501.

◾HOURS: Chef Sparman’s exquisite culinary experiences may be enjoyed daily for breakfast from 7:00 AM until 11:00 AM, and lunch from 11:30 AM through 2:00 PM. Dinner is available from 5:00 PM until 9:00 PM, and Sunday Brunch is offered from 11:00 AM until 2:00 PM. Additionally, there is an available early dining menu presented daily from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM.

◾SERVICE / STAFF: One of the many reasons we enjoy patronizing Luminaria Restaurant & Patio is the unparalleled customer service. Significant satisfaction among restaurant guests is definite.

◾PRICE / VALUE: Fair, reasonable, and well worth the experience.

◾CORKAGE FEE: No outside alcohol is allowed inside of the establishment.

◾CONTACT INFO: Phone: (505) 984-7915, Website: http://www.innatloretto.com/new-mexico-dining

◾PARKING: Visiting guests may take advantage of the property’s valet service, while in-house guests have their vehicles taken care of via the overnight parking by the inn.

◾PRICING: The fresh squeezed orange juice and Mighty Leaf English Breakfast tea arrived at $4 each. My husband’s Toasted Bagel With Smoked Salmon was graciously served at a reasonable $16, while my choice of the Loretto Eggs Benedict was fairly priced at $16 as well.

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Delpi Greek Cuisine

 1383 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA
 

Iconic gyros & Succulent Moussaka!

At first arrival, Delphi Greek Cuisine invites with a subtle romantic vibe, comforts with its azure tinted lighting, and seduces with its Greek themed music and succulent aromas wafting from the restaurant’s kitchen. The realization of something special and unique lingers for a while, then is proven by what you discover during your entry inside and the enlightening experience you will enjoy at this culinary establishment.

Delphi Greek Cuisine is named after a contemporary Greek town, and has been producing the same delicious and consistent Greek cuisine for the citizens of Los Angeles since 1985. Doubling as a popular catering restaurant, many corporate events have also been privy to the restaurant’s speedy delivery service in the area, which has proven sublime for those ordering large quantities of fully customizable Greek cuisine for their get-togethers and celebrations.

Each meal is started with a presentation of the eatery’s light and fluffy baked bread served in a napkin-lined wicker basket. A cobalt blue glass dish that coordinates with the restaurant’s table candleholders is offered with creamy butter delivered by a friendly server ready to offer a wealth of delicious Greek fare and wines to compliment most any mood you’re in.

We began this particular encounter with the establishment’s Vegetarian Dolmades. Having enjoyed both the vegetarian and the meat-filled versions before, these flavorsome tender grape leaves were wrapped around a scrumptious rice, onions, and herb mixture, then were lovingly drizzled with a savory lemon-based sauce and garnished with fresh chopped parsley. The Garden Salad accompanied the dolmades in this first round of culinary tastes and displayed such crisp vegetables as sliced garden tomatoes, crunchy cucumber rounds, bright green bell pepper strips, and colorful red onion. We continued with the Avgolemono Soup, which is my favorite Greek soup in the world! A chicken broth is combined with whipped egg, fluffy seasoned rice and lemon juice, then placed in a serving bowl and topped off with parsley leaves. We highly recommend this soup. I could literally eat it for every meal of the day.

Ah, the famous gyro sandwich. We’ve indulged in many variations of this Greek sandwich over the last several years. Delphi Greek Cuisine’s simple approach to crafting their gyro sandwiches speaks volumes, while the ingredients convince you of their quality and freshness. Options of beef, chicken or lamb are available, and this menu choice also comes with your choice of a small Garden Salad, chips, or bowl of Avgolemono Soup. We always decide on the lamb preparation, which is tender, succulent with juices bursting from the meat, and always moist and delicious. Sliced tomato, red onion, and of course, a cool and creamy addition of tzatziki sauce are also added to complete this popular Greek selection. Our server recommended a nice Cabernet to compliment our meal.

When we tasted the Moussaka dish at Delphi Greek Cuisine, we were sold instantly. A melody of layered meat and thinly-sliced eggplant was beautifully compiled with a zesty tomato sauce, fresh regional herbs, and a succulent palatableness that awakened our flavor receptors like a lively Greek celebration. Presented in a tall layer-cake style, this casserole-esque presentation was a hit from beginning to end and was served with steamed vegetables and rice.

A simply foolproof method to a rumbling stomach and an appetite for fine authentic Greek cuisine, Delphi Greek Cuisine truly is a guaranteed go-to establishment just waiting to allure you with its consistently flavorful cuisine, friendly service from the staff, and intimate and cozy ambiance.

◾ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: The restaurant’s convenient sidewalk entrance entices you inside where the entire dining room is set in a cobalt blue hue. Eclectic items of décor are strategically placed throughout the eatery, while the dining room presents cozy tables, yet ample spaciousness.

◾FOOD / DRINK: Delphi Greek Cuisine produces continually consistent quality fare and wines that keep us returning for more.

◾LOCATION: Delphi Greek Cuisine is located at 1383 Westwood Boulevard in Los Angeles, CA 90024 in the same location since it’s inception in 1985.

◾HOURS: The eatery is open daily, and serves breakfast from 8:30 AM until 11:00 AM. Lunch begins at 11:00 AM then stops at 4:00 PM, when dinner selections are presented until 11:00 PM.

◾SERVICE / STAFF: One of the main items that brings us back to Delphi Greek Cuisine time and time again besides the savory Greek fare and varied selection of items is the service. Always attentive, always smiling and happy to see you, and always friendly.

◾PRICE / VALUE: Reasonable prices for extremely high quality Greek offerings.

◾CORKAGE FEE: $13 per 750mL bottle.

◾CONTACT INFO: Phone: (310) 478-2900, Website: www.delphigreek.com

◾PARKING: Street parking is available in front of the establishment as well as along the side streets. We have been lucky enough to actually get a front-of-the-restaurant parking space on several occasions to our satisfaction.

◾PRICING: Our bottle of wine was priced at $35 for the bottle, while the Gyro Sandwiches were offered at $8.99 (including a choice of a side salad, soup, or chips). The Vegetarian Dolmades came in at an acceptable $6.99 for the ample portion that was served, bringing the sensational meaty Moussaka entrée to a fairly-priced $14.99.

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Davenport Lounge at the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans

 921 Canal Street
New Orleans, LA
 

Chic Sophistication & Sultry Jazz!

Being extremely familiar with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel New Orleans, my husband and I continue to patronize this establishment when sojourning through the Big Easy. The Davenport Lounge at The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans Hotel delights with its sophisticated ambiance and upscale surroundings during the daytime, while on scheduled evenings, the lights are turned low and the jazzy sounds of popular crooners entertain the masses with their witty versions of time honored favorites and original compositions.

We have enjoyed the vocals and talent of several headlining performers in the lobby lounge at the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans over the years. And we received no less when we revisited this sultry inviting environment recently. Jeremy Davenport, who the lounge is named for, presents his memorable intonations and intimate renditions of classics and original tunes Thursday through Saturday beneath the allure of reds and blues lighting the stage, while Gerald French entertains the crowd every Wednesday evening. The lounge is also well-known for its Afternoon Tea service, which we have enjoyed numerous times on past stays.

Ever savor the light flavors, yet highly potent contents of a Blonde Hurricane? Well, you can at the Davenport Lounge! We savored every last drop of this concoction made with Old New Orleans Crystal Rum, Luxardo, Vino Blanco, and pineapple and apple juices. Shaken over ice and served in a tall footed beverage glass, this chilly libation was then garnished with rum-soaked cherries perfectly aligned on a clear Fleur De Lis cocktail pick across the top of the glass. Craving more? Then opt for the Just Ask Jimi liquid temptation crafted with Ruby Red Grapefruit, Hendrick’s Gin, St. Germaine and Ginger Ale. Bubbly and refreshing, this particular offering resonated well with my taste for a great cocktail. The evening continued on and we enjoyed rum cocktails, Grey Goose Pear martinis, and house made snacks in addition.

We continued our journey across the pages of the Davenport Lounge menu by next ordering the Redfish Tacos, which not only sounded delicious, but satisfied our curiosity once we sank our teeth into these grilled soft tortilla encased pockets of savory flavor. Vibrant colors and a succulent combination of tastes proved superlative by the mirliton slaw, chipotle aioli, bright bell pepper strips and tender sautéed chunks of fresh Red Fish. This menu selection was served with a side salad large enough to share with a second diner, so be prepared for a filling, somewhat guilt-free flavor experience.

Another memorable item we devoured quickly were the Jambalaya Fritters. (Think jambalaya with a crunch!) A culmination of such ingredients as seasoned sausage, bell pepper, tomatoes, tender beans, celery, Creole seasoning, and much more formed into orbs, and quickly flash fried in a crispy coating. Top all of that off with a heaping dollop of chipotle aioli, and you’ve got yourself something extra special to indulge in.

Elegant appointments of rich hues and lavish furnishings, chic décor, and a dignified ambiance will surround you at Davenport Lounge. Newly updated menu items will leave you satisfied, while the entire experience will give you no choice but to return again very soon.

ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: The Davenport Lounge is set within a comforting and relaxing lobby complete with a full bar. Skilled mixologists shake up favorite classics as well as signature features sure to please. Classic upholstered wing-backed armchairs, soft inviting sofas, and multiple coves and nooks provide intimate spaces to watch the entertainment, enjoy libations and flavorsome bites, and spend quality time with those you care most about in the upscale surroundings.

◾FOOD / DRINK: Contemporary upgrades on traditional Creole favorites, fresh salad accompaniments, memorable flavors, and a nice selection to choose from.

◾LOCATION: Davenport Lounge is conveniently situated in the main lobby of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel New Orleans at 921 Canal Street in New Orleans, LA 70112 in the Central Business District.

◾HOURS: The Lounge is available Sunday through Thursdays from 11:00 AM until Midnight, and on Fridays and Sundays from 11:00 AM until 1:00 AM.

◾SERVICE / STAFF: Sufficient staff provides reasonable service in the lounge to accommodate patronizing guests.

◾PRICE / VALUE: Quality ingredients demand worthy pricing for the items at Davenport Lounge. But all are well worth the splurge, as we found on our most recent visit.

◾CORKAGE FEE: $35 per 750 mL bottle

◾CONTACT INFO: Phone: (504) 670-2828, Website: www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/NewOrleans/Dining/DavenportLounge

◾PARKING: Street parking is available nearby, but don’t forget the convenience of valet service at the main entrance into the property. Valet tickets may be validated with purchase in the lounge.

◾PRICING: The Blonde Hurricanes were priced at $12, while the Just Ask Jimi libations came in at a fair $14. The rum cocktails were presented for $10, and the Grey Goose Pear Martinis arrived at $12 each. The Redfish Tacos were offered at $20, while the Jambalaya Fritters were acceptably priced at $11.

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Brio Tuscan Grille

 700 Ashwood Pkwy
Dunwoody, GA
 

Italian Cuisine On the Lighter Side!

Located within the prestigious Perimeter Center in an upscale distinguished area of northern Georgia, Brio Tuscan Grille impressed us with its flavor-rich and calorie-curbed offerings detailed on a specialized menu catering to patrons keeping an eye on their caloric intake, but still desiring incredible tasting Italian fare. We had experienced Brio Tuscan Grille before in Scottsdale, Arizona, yet we didn’t explore the eatery’s Light Menu during that visit. Though that experience produced savory and memorable Italian dishes which we thoroughly enjoyed, we were happy to indulge in Brio’s Light Menu on this recent visit to another location.

We arrived at the restaurant well after the sun had set. It was a cool clear evening, and we were enchanted by the glittering light cast onto the water’s surface beside the restaurant by an illuminated moon and a million twinkling stars overhead. Black and white striped canvases covered elongated windows outside, while our walk to the eatery’s front entry charmed with a stoned pathway into what waited for us inside.

Indoors, the Tuscan theme continued within a spacious dining area complete with an action-packed preview kitchen off to one side. Soft lighting enveloped the entire area, while crisp white linens draped atop tables created an upscale appeal. We were then immediately shown to a perfectly prepared table awaiting our arrival by a gracious hostess.

Once we had devoured several mouthfuls of hot oven baked sourdough bread with flax seed crackers on the side and sweet cream butter, we started with an adventure through the restaurant’s Light Menu items.

Delivering a flavor-packed experience, the Field Greens Salad proved vibrantly stunning in color, and bursting with fresh flavors from the fresh Roma tomatoes, Gorgonzola cheese crumbles, earthy pine nuts, and zesty balsamic vinegar. Containing just 270 calories, this salad presentation appeared sinful, yet offered a curbed calorie count leaving us satisfied by its appearance and culmination of complimentary tastes.

A creative and artistic spin on the traditional shrimp cocktail, the Shrimptini was a delightful offering from the Light Menu as well. Served in a martini glass with a base of fresh greens, large chilled shrimp were nestled proudly and served with a peppy cocktail sauce. A garnish of lemon and a flaxseed triangular cracker accompanied this offering. And for just 200 calories, this appetizer scored high with us as a precursor to our upcoming entrees.

The Grilled Mahi Mahi offering dazzled with appealing aromas of tomato and basil found in the vinaigrette dressing encompassed in this dish. Tender flaky Mahi Mahi was surrounded by hearty farro and bright green spinach. The delicately seasoned mild fish and colorful display of ingredients were complimented by the guilt-free 500 calories it possessed. This presentation convinced us that we could indulge in an Italian dish bursting with flavor without the guilt.

My husband loves anything with pesto. Especially homemade pesto! The Pasta Pesto selection arrived at just 550 calories, and included house made angel hair pasta and tender expertly-grilled chicken lovingly tossed with a mixture of caramelized onions, colorful roasted peppers, fresh tomatoes, whole basil leaves, healthy spinach, and creamy feta cheese. You just cannot go wrong with this dish! A filling portion at a goal-appropriate calorie count with exciting hues, coordinating ingredients, and mouthwatering aromas of all our favorite culinary components.

Brio Tuscan Grille locations delight with anything you can imagine from Tuscan starters, artistic salads, vibrant filling entrees, and even gluten-free, low-calorie, and children’s menus. House made Italian desserts proven to impress when topping off the perfect meal add to the experience, not to mention the amazing value for the portions and quality of offerings available within a beautifully detailed surrounding.

◾ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: An evident Tuscan ambiance enveloped us from the moment we arrived, and was carried throughout our dining experience. Indoors, cozy booths and separate settings at romantically-dressed tables enchanted, while outside, boce courts haloed by strings of white lights and a stunning water view enthrall from the al fresco patio perfectly suited for out-of- doors dining.

◾FOOD / DRINK: Fresh and festive presentations offered at reasonable prices. The restaurant offers a gluten-free menu as well as an offering of many tasty selections all for under 550 calories.

◾LOCATION: This particular Brio Tuscan Grille is located one mile north of Perimeter Mall at 700 Ashwood Parkway in Dunwoody, GA 30338.

◾HOURS: Available for lunch and dinner service, Brio Tuscan Grille serves Sunday through Thursday from 11:00 AM until 10:00 PM, and on Fridays and Saturdays from 11:00 AM through 11:00 PM. The eatery also presents their Brio Brunch on Saturdays and Sundays until 3:30 PM.

◾SERVICE / STAFF: Jennifer was our server, and her professionalism and kindness was much appreciated.

◾PRICE / VALUE: Fair pricing for delicious and visually impressive Italian cuisine.

◾CORKAGE FEE: $15 per 750 mL bottle.

◾CONTACT INFO: Phone: (678) 587-0017, Website: http://www.brioitalian.com/perimeter_dunwoody.html

◾PARKING: A spacious lot is available for self-parking. In addition, valet service is available for your convenience at the main entrance.

◾PRICING: The elaborate and festive Shrimptini starter was pleasantly priced at $6.95, as well as the Field Greens Salad that came in at the same expense. The Grilled Mahi Mahi arrived for $17.50, which was very cost efficient, fair, and reasonable in our opinion for what was presented. The Pasta Pesto was accompanied by a pleasing $14.95 and completed our dinner nicely.

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Bamboo Cuisine

 14010 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA
 

Modest Location With Exceptional Flavors!

Sitting modestly along Ventura Boulevard in the heart of Sherman Oaks, California you will find Bamboo Cuisine. We have found this tastefully-appointed Chinese restaurant to provide exceptionally fresh fare and a delightfully relaxed ambiance to boot. From the moment you arrive and enter into the front door, sounds of water resonate from a corner of the room instantly setting you at ease from the bustling town of L.A. But you’re away from all of what was left outside as soon as you entered, and only tranquility, expertly-prepared cuisine, and a friendly and efficient staff exist now to help make your meal that much more memorable.

Having received the Award of Distinction as well as being named “The Best Chinese Restaurant In the Valley” by Zagat, the establishment takes pride in their acclamations. But what really makes the owners happy is seeing the pouring in of patrons from morning until night. A popular lunch spot for locals who are in the know, and a restful and relaxing dinner spot for regulars and visitors in the city, Bamboo Cuisine provides everything made-to-order to suit the cravings of most any appetite ready to be satisfied with some pretty amazing Chinese cuisine.

Bamboo Cuisine offers a popular lunch selection that will appeal not only to those yearning for great Chinese cuisine, but also inventive and colorful preparations. Along with such a divine selection of menu items available, Bamboo Cuisine also offers libations from a full bar, banquet facilities, a catering service as well as nearby delivery from the restaurant.

If you’re in the vicinity and ready for an extremely flavorsome meal during lunchtime, stop into Bamboo Cuisine for a dining experience that’s not too heavy on the pocketbook. For under $20, my husband and I enjoyed items from the Lunch Specials menu, which came with hot tea, salad with ginger dressing, and Wonton or Egg Drop soup. The hot tea was refillable at no additional charge, while the salad and soup were filling and a wonderful prequel to our upcoming entrée choices.

Shrimp & Cashews, Beef & Broccoli & Chicken Fried Rice

On this particular visit, I chose one of my favorites…Shrimp & Cashews, while my husband decided on the Beef & Broccoli presentation. Both dishes were served in colorfully-designed serving plates and included large shrimp, cashews and tender pieces of beef with freshly steamed and stir fried broccoli. A side of chicken fried rice accompanied these selections magnificently.

Delicious, and such a deal for lunch in the nonstop L.A area, Bamboo Cuisine in the heart of Sherman Oaks is the place for that perfect lunch when you’re looking for delicious cuisine in a relaxed and tranquil setting.

◾ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: A calm sets in upon entering the front doors of Bamboo Cuisine. The babbling of a fountain nearby, the statues of Buddah, the vibrant hues of reds and golds throughout the eatery, and the museum-like glass encasements of Chinese figurines between the walls of the dining rooms all aid in the whole ambiance of relaxation while you enjoy your meal in serenity.

◾FOOD / DRINK: Fresh tasting culinary presentations are offered stemming from the major areas of China. Prepared to your specifications, the kitchen at Bamboo Cuisine is happy to adjust meals to any dietary requirements, so don’t be shy to ask.

◾LOCATION: Bamboo Cuisine is located at 14010 Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, CA 91423.

◾HOURS: Hours of service include Sunday through Thursday from 11:30 AM until 10:30 PM, and Fridays and Saturdays from 11:30 AM through 11:00 PM.

◾SERVICE / STAFF: Kind servers and an efficient focused kitchen staff are responsible for hot meals making it to the table in record time.

◾PRICE / VALUE: An exceptional value for what you receive, especially during the Lunch Special time. Quality ingredients go into every dish on the menu, and you can taste the excellence of the skilled chefs behind the scenes.

◾CORKAGE FEE: $20 per 750 mL bottle of wine.

◾CONTACT INFO: Phone (818) 788-0202, Website: www.bamboocuisine.com

◾PARKING: Valet parking and metered street parking are available for your convenience.

◾PRICING: My Shrimp & Cashews entrée selection came in at an amazing $8.75, while my husband ordered the Beef & Broccoli dish at $7.25. Our meals came with refillable hot tea, chicken fried rice, and salads with a pleasing ginger dressing.

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Fish

 442 King St
Charleston, SC
 

Master French Chef Brings Sustainable Cuisine to Charleston!

Under the sea where serenity calls to those who bask in its peacefulness and quiet nature, there is also a certain curiosity that is provoked within us by what lies beneath such an expanse of aquatic allure. We were recently provided a glimpse of that strolling along King Street in history-rich downtown Charleston, SC, when we came across Fish Restaurant where simple touches of aquatic highlights elevated us above the crest of yearning for the latest adult libation and highly spoken-about farm-to-table ingredient. Known for its locally-sourced elements, succulent French-Asian fusion dishes, and being diligently overseen by the state’s only Master French Chef, Fish Restaurant excels where its competitors merely attempt to live up to its creative blend of savory flavor, unique presentation, and intriguing cuisine.

An undersea ambiance immediately grabs your attention as you peruse the intimate spaces from the lounge to the main dining areas inside. Azure fragments of suspended glass seemingly and efficiently portray the feel of being beneath ocean waves…somewhat maybe what a fish would experience beneath the water. In the lounge, a cast net-like chandelier covering makes one wonder what the day’s fresh catch is before viewing the menu. Hints of deep royal blues dot tops of tables via dark cerulean candle holders strategically scattered throughout the restaurant and along an elongated wooden bar drawing a reminder of the sea close wherever you happen to be seated. Throughout the main dining area, gauzy drapery that lines the ceiling overhead conjures up images of fluffy sea foam lining the coast while the shore washes fond memories in and out of our lives as the tides ebb and flow.

The Fish bar offers some pretty intoxicating libation selections as well. We enjoyed the antioxidant Spa Treatment made with EG Rosemary & Lavender Vodka, Creme de Violette, Elderflower Syrup, lavender water, squeezes of lemon and lime, fresh cucumber and soda with a grapefruit peel garnish. The Orient Express contained Absolut Orient Apple, Canton Ginger Liqueur, Yuzu Marmalade Mint, lemon, and Blenheim’s Ginger Ale. Both drinks created with intriguing ingredients sure to top your evening off quite nicely. Additionally, we relished in a bottle of the Shramsberg Mirabelle Rose’ Champagne from the northern Californian coast.

For an all-out flavor-filled experience with a variety of personally selected tastes, choose from 12 innovative and richly-hued dim sum creations from the Fish menu. At just $12 for four, we enjoyed selections such as the Frog Leg Spring Roll with a ginger chili glaze, the Flounder Quenelle with Emmental cheese (the original Swiss cheese made from unpasteurized cow’s milk) and tomato ginger sauce, the Goat Cheese Panini with Bell’s local honey, and the Tempura Fried Escargot with a ginger aioli. Talk about a diverse range of savory morsels! Each dim sum was craftily showcased upon an individual serving dish section possessing vivid chromatism and structural composition. We devoured each one, carefully savoring the compilations of fresh ingredients and textures of exteriors and fillings until they were no longer existing upon their plate leaving satisfied smiles upon our faces and glances at one another of contentment and happiness.

I have experienced a number of variations of Duck Cassoulet. I even prepared it for a private gathering of associates of my husband at one of our homes a few years ago. (Fortunately, that palatable involvement went off without a snag and the entire dining room of attendees thanked me profusely for my culinarian efforts.) Chef Nico’s interpretation of this traditional French preparation far exceeded any expectations I might have had when I chose it from the menu as my entrée. Roasted Long Island duck was respectfully sliced and placed along one side of its serving vessel drizzled in a savory and succulent jus, while an accompanying ample side dish of cannellini beans, root vegetables, duck confit, lamb sausage, mushrooms, apple and cabbage was expertly baked then topped with a layer of crunchy breadcrumbs. A simply stunning preparation with marvelous notes of rich duck essence, earthy mushrooms, and all things flavorful.

If you’re a fan of short ribs like my husband is, then Chef Nico’s version of this hearty and filling dish will take care of that hankering for something incredibly hearty and tastefully divine. Prepared sous vide (French for a method of cooking food sealed in airtight plastic bags in a water bath for longer than normal cooking times to ensure an interior full of flavor and natural juices) for 72 hours, this substantial portion of succulent Texas beef nearly melted in our mouths at first bite. A puddle of succulent Bordelaise sauce enhanced this already mouthwatering preparation joined by roasted brussel sprouts and sunchokes. To add to the indulgent factor, Chef Nico added a vermicelli Mac & Cheese Cake as a side item that was equally enjoyable to look upon as it was to ingest.

We edged further into the evening’s palatable temptations when we ordered the visually appealing and sensational tasting Apple Tart. Constructed with sweet slices of organic apples, and a perfectly-proportioned addition of Pernod ice cream, striking garnishes of warm caramel sauce and the satisfying crunch of candied nuts completed what turned out to be a succulent sweet reward worth diving into.

Fish Restaurant offers an intriguing array of seasonal, locally-obtained ingredients exploding with flavor and exquisite presentation at the hands of Master French Chef Nico Romo that will leave you spellbound with contentment and delight. A sure winner by Savor Hour’s standards, and sheer proof why it is known as one of Charleston’s top-tier eateries.

◾ESTABLISHMENT / DECOR: An upscale, yet relaxing and welcoming exterior invites patrons into a warm, dimly-lit, intimate setting. A perfectly-arranged lounge area introduces itself first, then guests are ushered by a hostess to an awaiting table in the main dining area equally as romantically enhanced as the lounge.

◾FOOD / DRINK: Sustainable ingredients only add to the immense flavor-packed surprises that Chef Nico has waiting for you. Start with a cocktail at the bar, then carry those on at your table with refreshing and creative libations crafted specifically to wow your taste buds.

◾LOCATION: Fish Restaurant is located at 442 King Street in Charleston, SC 29403.

◾HOURS: The establishment is available for dinner Monday through Sundays from 5:30 PM until 10:00 PM, while the lounge serves Monday through Sunday from 4:30 PM until. Don’t forget Happy Hour at the bar with 1/2 off bottles under $90 on Mondays and Wednesdays. It’s certainly a deal you can’t exclude yourself from! Don’t forget the Daily Happy Hour (4:30 PM to 7:00 PM) specials at the Fish Bar such as $6 Cheese Plates Mondays & Wednesdays, $6 Moules & Frites on Tuesdays, on Thursdays try indulging in $6 Dim Sum. Fridays and Saturdays feature $6 Dumplings, while on Sundays, $6 Noodle Bowls are the highlight during Happy Hour.

◾SERVICE / STAFF: When visiting the lounge Wednesday through Saturday, ask for Alex and you’re sure to have the preferential, kind, and efficient treatment you desire and deserve.

◾PRICE / VALUE: We felt the prices are meant to please based on the level of service, quality of cuisine, and memorable ambiance that was carried throughout the eatery.

◾CORKAGE FEE: $20 per 750mL bottle.

◾CONTACT INFO: Phone: (843) 722-3474, Website: www.fishrestaurantcharleston.com.

◾PARKING: Metered parking is available along King Street, as well as parking areas placed throughout the city nearby for minimal charges.

◾PRICING: Our dinner experience began with Chef Nico’s Dim Sum selections at an acceptable $12 for four including the Frog Leg Spring Roll, the Flounder Quenelle, the Goat Cheese Panini, and the Tempura Fried Escargo. That was followed by the Duck Cassoulet for a modest $24, and the 72 Hour Short Ribs for a reasonable $29. We also enjoyed a bottle of the Schrmsberg Mirabelle Rose’ Champagne for $66, a Spa treatment libation for $9, and a couple of Orient Express cocktails for $8 each.

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