Category Archives: North America

Zenkichi

Restaurants in New York can get very crowded and rubbing shoulders with someone can get quite literal. Asian restaurant Zenkichi, part of Williamsburg bustling restaurant scene, has found the solution: every table is a private little booth made with bamboo screens. No wonder it’s been topping every “Most Romantic Restaurant” list. You have absolute privacy while you enjoy their amazing Omakase menu and play footsie with your date. Did we mention they offer more than 50 different sakes?

Zenkichi

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Maison Midi & Cafe Midi

Cafe Midi has it all: connected to the ever-exciting American Rag store and located within the awesome interior design store Maison Midi. When you need a break from browsing the large selection of designer and vintage wear next door, step into Midi for a quick croque monsieur amid an eclectic decor of beautifully crafted textiles, pottery, candles, pillows, furniture and cool gifts. You can choose to sit outside on the typical French sidewalk terrace or have your lunch inside this shopper’s paradise. One thing is for sure – you will not be able to leave Midi empty-handed.

Maison Midi & Cafe Midi entrance

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Otto

Amid the glitz, glam and fakeness of Las Vegas, the Italian Enoteca & Pizzeria Otto is an oasis of sincerity. Fine wines, pure ingredients and friendly staff make this Mario Batali restaurant an appealing stop if you’re done with The Strip’s madness and are in need of some high quality food. Okay, so it’s located in fake Venice on the fake Piazza San Marco, with a view of fake street artists and an artificial blue sky. But with Nevada’s sizzling summers, you will be thankful to be dining “outside” with A/C temperatures. And its location in the large Venetian mall is actually perfect for people watching. So sip a glass of cool Prosecco, enjoy a thin-crusted pizza and dive into their large selection of formaggi from all regions of Italy.

We are sure you will appreciate Las Vegas cheesiness a whole lot better this way.

Otta Las Vegas St. Mark's Square

Otto Las Vegas interior

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The Little Door

In the mood for a romantic evening? Step into The Little Door. The “hidden” doors might not reveal much, but once you step inside…romance galore! Candles, soft music, brick flooring and beautiful plants turn this restaurant into an enchanted garden. The Mediterranean menu matches the rustic decor, with classic ingredients in modern-style dishes. Prices are a little steep but romantic dinners are not the occasion to be stingy, right? When you plan to come with a group, check out the private dining options, such as the Blue Room or Piano Room. Make sure not to confuse this restaurant with the brasserie Little Next Door, which is – surprise – next door. It might have more curb appeal with the large patio out front, but when it comes to romance we believe nothing beats a hidden little garden.

The Little Door interior

The Little Door romantic

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Hotel Chocolat

Hotel Chocolat from the Boucan hotel group is highly recommended when staying on the island of Saint Lucia. Why? Because it’s situated on the most beautiful part of the island, away from the other enormous hotels/resorts, in a more secluded area. But the most important reason to go here is to immerse yourself in a world of chocolate. The entire resort (14 beautiful cottages) is built on a plantation that’s been harvesting cacao since the 1700’s. As a guest at the resort you can harvest your own cacao and make chocolate from it. Not in the mood for Do It Yourself? You can also just order the “Full Cacao” spa treatment or just kick back with a poolside martini.

hotel chocolat hotel chocolat2

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Sportello

It’s safe to say that talented chef and restaurateur Barbara Lynch has taken over Boston. With no less than 6 award-winning restaurants, a demonstration kitchen and catering business, she has gathered quite a fan base. Personally, we’re big fans of her Italian gem Sportello. The restaurant has a unique setting and the counter seating, open kitchen and small bakery create a laid-back vibe. The menu offers a small range of sophisticated Italian dishes that you won’t find in your ordinary trattoria. We highly recommend the strozzapreti with braised rabbit and the rohan duck. Just be sure to safe room for dessert – you can either visit the bakery counter for a homemade pastry or go with one of the classic menu items like affogato. The long marble counter zigzagging through the space is where you will be seated, so you might literally be rubbing shoulders with your neighbor. It’s not the ideal place for a romantic date but perfect for dinner with friends, a casual lunch or even dinner-for-one.

Sportello Boston interior

Sportello Gnocchi Sportello Boston bakery

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Jewel Bako

Sometimes we feel that New York offers more sushi bars than you would actually be able to find in Japan. It is, however, still very hard to find a place that serves very fresh, authentic dishes in a modern setting; usually it’s one or the other. Jewel Bako might just be the place that combines both, although its East Village location is not necessarily ideal (and prices way too high for that area). Nevertheless, it’s worth the money and the trip down. “Jewel Bako” supposedly means “jewel box”, which actually describes the small intimate dining room pretty well. We highly recommend the Omakase (Chef’s tasting menu) to fully experience what this restaurant has to offer. If you like to stay in charge and choose your own items, at least try to ignore the Spicy Tuna or California Roll and go outside your comfort zone for a night; you won’t be disappointed!

Jewel Bako EntranceJewel Bako sushi sashimi Jewel Bako interior

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Kuma Inn

Since it’s getting harder to make reservations for this Lower East Side eatery anyway, we see no point in keeping it a secret any longer… just be sure to only share Kuma Inn with your best friends! This tiny Filipino/Thai restaurant is located above a Bulgarian bar and everything about it – from its location to the art that covers the walls – is a little strange. Once you have located the spray-painted name, you climb two flights of crackling stairs that make you wonder if you’re in the right place. Boy, are you in for a surprise! Kuma Inn is an intimate, no-fuss, cash-only, BYOB restaurant. The food is comparable with (or better than) the uber-trendy “Asian Fusion” places in New York, minus the arrogant staff and sleek decor. Better yet, at Kuma Inn you pay about one-fifth of the price! It’s the perfect place for a quick bite, low-key romantic dinner or birthday party: nothing fancy, just great food in a fun atmosphere. Be sure to reserve well in advance and don’t forget your favorite wine and/or a couple of beers.

Kuma Inn interiorKuma Inn Chinese Sausage

Kuma Inn entrance

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Brockton Villa

Whenever you’re in San Diego, try to pay a visit to the area’s affluent seaside community La Jolla. It’s beautiful, it’s exclusive, but it has a neighborhood feel to it. One of the oldest cottages (built 1894) is not only a famous landmark, but houses a great restaurant that offers all-day and all-year dining with spectacular views of La Jolla Bay.  Brockton Villa serves breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner and drinks; enough to let you hang on the wraparound veranda for hours. Their specialty is – of course – seafood and you simply cannot go here unless you try one of their sea-inspired dishes such as the “Grilled Fresh Fish Tacos, “Macadamia Nut Crusted Scallops” or “Epic Chowder”. You can watch the sun set while you hear the sounds of the harbor seals and sea lions playing on the beach. It’s an amazing experience! We sincerely hope that this old building will last for many years to come…

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Morimoto

Morimoto doesn’t just serve tasty Japanese cuisine, it is also an architectural treat. From the building’s facade to the restrooms; everything is ultra modern and adds to the high-end, trendy vibe. Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto earned his reputation among New Yorkers for his work at all-time favorite Nobu, and now he is ready to take over the world with Morimoto. The food is exquisite and worth every penny. They serve creative Asian Fusion dishes but also beloved classics such as fatty tuna, spicy salmon and california rolls. If you want to try something new, go with the Toro Tartare, which comes with a selection of sauces/garnishing and is to be prepared by you. What else is great about this restaurant? It’s just a few blocks away from the bustling club scene of Meatpacking District, making this the perfect stop before hitting the night life.

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