La Carniceria, Buenos Aires, 5/25/19

building
building

La Carniceria is a small place with about 10 small bare wood tables and a few counter stools.  Tables are placed fairly close together and a mural of hanging meat fills the back wall.  Opposite that is the cooking area behind the bar.   The chairs are a comfortable wire mesh and the floor is a lovely terrazzo.  Music plays in the background and windows look out onto the street.  It looks relatively new and is a comfortable ambiance.  It filled up quickly and the noise level rose with that, but it workable.  Our server was helpful and friendly and spoke great English. The menu is small and is heavy on the grilled meat.  Portions are generous and the food is simple and straightforward but seriously delicious.  Doing something simple really well can often dwarf the frilly, less flavorful options.  This place is highly recommended by me to visit. Continue reading

Cafe Tortoni, Buenos Aires, 5/25/19

line to get in
line to get in

Cafe Tortoni dates back to 1858 and moved to its present location in 1880 but has long been a part of Buenos Aires history.  A French style place where artists and scholars visited in the early 1920s it now hosts regular tango shows as well as serving up coffee, alcohol and a good variety of fresh pastries and snacks.  But this did not seem to be a place to have a meal, more just a drink and snack and people watch or to absorb some of the atmosphere.   It is typical to find a line to get in but the line moved quickly and we were in soon.  I read about a large basement room but didn’t get to see it.  There was a room more like a library filled with books and mementos.  The whole place was filled with stuff – photos, trophies, books, stained glass lamps, art and small marble tables.  There is a Tiffany glass ceiling and a collection of Tiffany lamps on top of the service area.  If you need to take some of the place with you there is a large number of souvenirs for sale. Continue reading

Bar Plaza Dorrego, Buenos Aires, 5/24/19

IMG_1589
building

Bar Plaza Dorrego is good sized and right across from the plaza where tango dancers perform and vendors sell trinkets.  It has been around a long time – I found one photograph dated 1904 – and the walls and furnishings look like they have not been replaced in a long while.  It is full of character.  The large u-shaped bar is the centerpiece of the room and the tables wrap around the walls.  Windows are on a couple sides as the building as it’s on a corner.  Photos line the wall and the bar is stocked with liquors and coffee.  The staff were friendly and welcoming.  We only stopped for coffee but it came with a little bowl of delicious amaretto cookies to snack on.  They do offer sandwiches, steaks and pastires, but most people were just drinking.  It felt like history surrounded us and was a wonderful place to pass a few restful moments. Continue reading

Elena Restaurante, Buenos Aires, 5/24/19

door sign
door sign

Elena is a huge restaurant located in the Four Seasons Hotel.  Even with all the space, the small wood tables are placed closed together.  They are set with small square leather placemats and napkins embossed with their logo.  Bench seating lines several walls and there were a couple rounded booths on one side.  There was a staircase in the room and windows to rooms upstairs but I saw no one eating up there.  However there was a dumb waiter in the room that seemed to be carrying things up and down.  It is a striking room with a black and white tile floor, tons of wood and tile on the walls with metal accents.  A large open kitchen is on one end of the room across from the glassed in cabinets of meat. You could see the flames from the gas grill around the meats that were cooking.  A large domed skylight is in the center of the room and provided a ton of light during the day.  There was music in the background.  The menu was in Spanish and English and they did offer a lunch special.  Service was poor with long waits between server check-ins and they forgot to bring the potatoes with our meat.  I finally was able to flag down a manager type, as the server was not to be found, and she got them out asap.  However she also managed to splatter the wine when she poured it  and tried to charge more for the wine than was printed.   There seemed to be as many locals as tourists there but the ambiance was weird and the food average at best. Continue reading

Roux Resto, Buenos Aires, 5/23/19

entrance
entrance

Roux is casual medium sized place with white clothes and napkins.  There is a bar at one end of the room with a pass through window to the kitchen but no seating at the bar.  The small tables are fairly closely set and windows to the street are on two sides of the room.  The other walls are painted and decorated with art and mirrors;  the floor is a natural wood.  At lunch is was a light and airy feeling room.  American music plays in the background but sound tiles in the ceiling keep the noise level good.  The day we were there they offered a special Anniversary tasting menu but normally the menu is all a la carte.  Chef Martin Rebaudino was in the house and came out to visit with his guests.   All the staff were attentive and friendly although some had limited ability to speak English.  The portions were generous and the pacing good.  I did see an amuse bouche being served to other tables but it missed us. Continue reading

Don Julio, Buenos Aires, 5/22/19

building
building

Don Julio is a good sized place with additonal seating on a second level and outdoor tables also available.  The small tables are fairly close but nicely covered with white clothes with brown runners and white napkins.  Small service tables help with overflow on the smaller tables.  Wine bottles consumed from their cellar of over 14,000 bottles are signed by their drinkers and displayed on the walls.  The ceiling is made of bricks and old tile decorates the floor.  The open grill area is filled with grilling meats as several cooks man the fire and grill.  Windows to the street and patio area are on two sides as the building sits on a street corner. The place was packed with people but noise did not seems to be a problem at lunch.  It is a very well known place so reservations are a must but for those who have to wait for a table they offer champagne and empanadas to make the wait easier.  They offer a large menu but this place is about beef.  The cozy feel of the place is helped by the excellent, welcoming staff.  When they found we were “foodies” they offered us a tour of the kitchen and wine cellars.  This is significant in that the kitchen is down the street and the manager walked down with us to meet the chef and see some of the preparations of the kitchen that makes everything served – from charcuterie to bread to vinegars and they age their own meat.  The wine cellar was impressive with its huge collection of bottles and also had a table for special parties there.  Plates are filled with generous portions and sharing is fine. Continue reading

Parrilla Peña, Buenos Aires, 5/21/19

building
building

Parrilla Peña is a small place with closely spaced small tables covered with white clothes and napkins.  Windows look out on to the street but have drapes to partially cover them.  The menu is large and most plates are enough for two.  It accepts only VISA or cash.  The staff are friendly and helpful but the English is limited.  Wines line the upper parts of the walls and they have a long pole to grab yours and bring it down.  You enter into an area that separates the kitchen by a low bar and looks like a takeout area.  The other end of the kitchen is open to the back part of the dining room.  It lent a small amount of noise to the dining room but mostly it was banter of the regular customers.  This place felt “old school” serving simple but real local flavors, in huge portions.  It is not creative or the best but a perfect example of what you might eat on a regular basis if you lived here.  It was good, satisfying and an overall fun experience. Continue reading

Scenic Drive Resort, Delta, 6/15/19 & 7/13/19

Builbing
Building

Scenic Drive Resort is in the Chequamegon National Forest, on Lake Delta.  The owners, Terry and Patty Pajtash, bought the resort in 1990 and built the new lodge building in 2000.   Their two children, Arianna and Wyatt are often seen in the bar helping out.  Terry is the main cook but Patty is equally at home on the charbroil grill.  They have rental cabins in addition to the restaurant in the main lodge building.  It serves food year round as well as having a full bar but in the summer months they offer a Saturday night special of Steak Kabobs, and thus I am putting out this write-up promptly so you have a chance to get up there and have one.  (Another note is that the owners have the place for sale, so we don’t know how long this will go on).  They start serving at 6:00 pm and it’s first come, first served so don’t be late because there are no reservations for kabobs.  There are other things if you come another night that I can vouch for, including Terry’s ribs that are award winning and a good ribeye steak sandwich.  For additional details about the place, they have a website at <scenicdrive.com>. Continue reading

Frenchette, New York City, 5/4/19

building
building

We visited Frenchette for a Saturday lunch, where they also offer brunch foods.  They opened about a year ago.  You enter into a good sized bar area that is comfortable and friendly and you can also snag a seat there to eat without a reservation.   The large dining room held closely set tables some of which were matched to booth seating along a mid-room dividing wall.  Service was friendly and efficient.  The menu is not large but offers a number of tasty options.  Eclectic music played in the background, the yellowish lights were lowered and the place was packed.  They make their own charcuterie in house as well as pretzel rolls.   Continue reading

Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare (update), New York City, 5/3/19

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building

We were at Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare in the fall of 2015, back when it was in Brooklyn.  It has since moved into the city and relaxed a few of the rules.  Chef César Ramirez now allows note taking and photos but still does not permit jeans and requires coats for men in the dining room.  I was not a fan of such policies back then and still am not but was willing to try the new location that was more under my terms.  The new place in still in the back of a grocery store but the room is beautiful, softer than the old one with a lot less stainless steel and more woods.  It is also much larger with 20 seats at the counter and 20 at tables around the perimeter.  This allows larger parties to attend and the comfortable counter seats have backs and are now spaced between parties.  Shining copper pots hang above the large open kitchen that has lots of people making preparations.  The rock music in the background was a bit jarring for the otherwise elegant setting.  It still is a surprise tasting menu only but they do give you a copy of what you had at the end of the meal.  Pairings are available.  Pacing was good but portions tend to the large size and are fairly rich. Continue reading

Marea (update), New York City, 5/3/19

entry
entry

It’s been 4 years since we ate at Marea, a 2 star Michelin restaurant that specializes in seafood with an Italian influence.  The food here is all very flavorful with out dots or smears – just plain good and fresh.  It is a huge place, elegantly appointed but with closely set tables and some noise issues when it is full.  At lunch it was packed.  There is a lot of art on the walls and windows to the street on two sides of the large dining area.  They also have a long bar area with a beautiful yellow glass wall running behind the bar.  The wood on the walls is polished to a high sheen and you’re likely to spot some bold name people dining with you or in passage from one of the private dining rooms.  (I spotted Michael Douglas as he exited).  At lunch they offer a selection of primi and secondi courses with a fixed price of $63 for the two of your choice, however some selections will have a supplemental charge and a 5 course tasting menu for $99 with optional wine pairings offered.  The tasting includes dessert and although the menu is already set they were willing to make some changes for us and we did not have to get the same things, so that is the deal to get.  We ordered our own bottle of wine and had a cocktail and still beat the cost of buying the pairings, but just barely.  Service was excellent, friendly and efficient.  Put this place on your list if you can. Continue reading

Bozar Restaurant, Brussels, 4/27/19

one entrance
one entrance

Bozar is the one star Michelin restaurant in the Palais des Beaux Arts Museum.  Chef Karen Torosyan, the ‘Pie King’,  is noted for his pâté en croûte and in 2015 he was named the World Champion of Pâté en Croûte.  However be warned, if you want to try any of his crusts they must be order about a week ahead of time.  We ordered a Pithiviers a week before and tried to order a Millefeuille that evening and were told it was not possible.  They also offer 3 and 5 course tasting menus with wine pairings available.  It is a large place on multiple levels with bare marble tables closely set and appointed with bare wood armless chairs.  One end of the longer room is the open kitchen where there is a always a flurry of activity.  Karen Torosyan was there and very busy in the kitchen, with his name etched on the end of the huge stainless steel cooktop.   Lights are dimmed and the noise level is high.  Service was friendly, spoke good English and reasonably attentive.   Continue reading

Restaurant De Jonkman, Brugge, 4/27/19

entering
entering

De Jonkman was started in 2006 by Chef Filip Claeys and his wife Sandra Claeys.  It is a short train ride from Brussels to a shrubbery surrounded modern house in Brugge.   There are colorful and whimsical animals outside the windows and in some of the several dining rooms. Detailing of the interior and exterior design is lovely and lots of large windows to the lush grounds serve as walls for the dining rooms.  Art by Belgian artists and mirrors adorn other walls and the large white cloth covered tables are well spaced and fitted with comfortable chairs.  They have 2 Michelin stars and chef Claeys was on hand the day we were there to produce some wonderful dishes for us to enjoy.  He really stresses sustainable food sourcing and works to highlight local products that are not usually on menus, especially fish that would often be thrown back and he finds a way to turn them into something delicious.  It is worth a trip to Brugge; the food is outstanding.  The staff were all friendly and spoke great English.  The menu offered a la carte options as well as 5, 6 and 7 course tastings.  Working with the chef we were able to select a la carte options that would highlight what he thought looked best that day. Continue reading

Friterie, Brussels, 4/26/19

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exterior

Friterie is a small sliver of a shop tucked away but they are worth mentioning because they do serve some of the better fresh hand cooked fries.  They are double cooked to get a good crisp outside the soft potato.  There is always a line and this trip I found they were selling snacks in addition to well done fries.  Orders of fries are in 3 sizes that come in the usual paper cone.  An assortment of toppings are also available but my favorite is to just get the fries with a little extra salt.  They do have the little forks to keep it a bit less messy if you want toppings.  On the largest order it looked like they put some topping in the middle as well as on the top.  There are a few tables to eat at out front or you can just munch on them as you walk or stand around with all the other people eating fries.  They also have added a cool payment machine that takes cards.  It’s a snack you have to try when in Brussels but one that the quality varies greatly on, so start small and don’t be afraid to toss. Continue reading

Bon Bon (update), Brussels, 4/25/19

building
building

We last visited Bon Bon, a 2 star Michelin restaurant, 2 years ago.  The interior decorations of the old mansion haven’t changed much but now the whimsical sheep are also by the front door to greet you.  The white painted tree branch still extends into the room and the lovely old wood floors have nice rugs that provide sound absorption.  Tables are well spaced and with the ceiling sound panels, noise level is really not a problem, even with soft music playing in the background.  The large open kitchen is still humming and there are some counter seats for those who want an even closer view.  Windows around the perimeter look over the lush gardens outside.   They now offer a 6 course surprise tasting as well as a 5 course vegetarian one, in addition to an a la carte menu.  After a heavy lunch we chose the vegetarian option and ordered our own wine.  Pacing of the meal was good as was portion control.  Chef Christophe Hardiquest was in the kitchen and cam out to speak with each of the tables. Continue reading

Coretta, Paris, 4/13/19

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building

Coretta is a medium sized restaurant located near Martin Luther King Park, thus the name.  Two sides of the room are large windows to the outside.  The modern room has lots of wood accents and the small tables are of wood based with a metal tops set with leather chairs.  Some of the tables are high top and there is outdoor seating.  It was nice looking but not the most comfortable the way the legs on the table hit your legs.  Modern music plays in the background and an opening on one wall looks into the kitchen.  The menu is a la carte or sold with a 3 course or 2 course price.  Certain picks do have a surcharge for this method.  Some of the food was quite good but none of it great, however it is a very pleasant place for lunch.  Service was friendly, efficient and they spoke great English. Continue reading

Une Table, Au Sud, Marseille, 3/22/19

exterior
exterior

Une Table, au Sud is located on the second story of a tourist souvenir shop along a busy strip of outdoor dining areas across from the water where many boats are docked.  It was good sized with rock music in the background, a lowered ceiling, wood floor, white tableclothes and a great view.  They offered a couple tasting menu options, a la carte and a lunch special.  Wine pairings were available.  Pacing was good and portions were fairly large.   We had the 3-course lunch menu with wine pairings.  Even though it has one Michelin star there were some service issues, like tardy delivery of the wine to go with the course and not very friendly servers. Continue reading

Restaurant Saisons, Marseille, 3/21/19

exterior
exterior

Restaurant Saisons has about 8 tables in the main dining room, 2 seats in front of the kitchen window and a party room upstairs.  In the dining room there is a large window to the kitchen and a good-sized bar which is just for service not seating.  The front room or entry has some seats for waiting and a reception station along with the window to the street.  Modern music plays in the background but a number of sound dampening panels on the ceiling keep the noise level down.  The room has a modern look reinforced with the small tables of polished light wood and the concrete floor.   The menu offered 2 surprise tasting options and a small a la carte menu.  We chose the smaller 5 course menu.  For a one star Michelin restaurant the meal’s pacing was not even, with a slow down after the first two courses, like the kitchen wanted the whole room to catch up and be on the same course.  Service was friendly and helpful.   Continue reading

L’Epuisette, Marseille, 3/20/19

entrance
entrance

L’Epuisette is on top of a rock overlooking the cove of Marseille and the Mediterranean Sea.  Chef Guillaume Sourrieu, who started here in the 1980’s,  prepares local and Mediterranean cuisine that is created around what he can obtain from his local fish and vegetable suppliers.  It is a medium-sized place and received one Michelin star in 2001.  The dining room is striking with windows on two sides that look out to the water and the stone cliffs, however visibility is limited at night, but you could see boats and late night fisherman.  There are some lights hanging from the ceiling that looked almost like jelly fish.  Hanging fish, paintings, mirrors decorate the room with well spaced white cloth-covered tables.  Music is in the background (it was turned down when more people arrived) and the lighting is lowered at night.   Sound dampening panels are on the ceiling The menu offered tasting  of 7 or 9 courses (a cheese course supplement is offered for 12 euros), a bouillabaisse menu and a la carte dishes. Continue reading

Chez Fanny, Marseille, 3/20/19

exgerior

Chez Fanny is a tiny corner stand with one side a window looking in with several counter stools and the other side an order window.  There are a few small outside tables opposite the order window, but it felt like a lot of orders might be for take out.  It is a small menu but everything is prepared as you wait.  One lady manned the shop and was busy making something that looked like cupcakes when we arrived, but she was quick to get our order and start our sandwiches.  The menu offered sandwiches and burgers.   Her favorite sandwich was the chicken one, “Le Rasta” made with chicken, tapenade, seasonal vegetables and a white cheese sauce.  I added “frites” or fries to the order.  It was huge and the vegetables were cucumber, mushroom and carrot.   The tapenade was olives.  It was well seasoned with lots of herbs.  The chicken was cut and tender and moist, but all white meat.  The bread was excellent with a good chew to the interior and a nice crust that was easily bitten through – although it was a wide open mouth affair.  Did I already say it was huge?  The random cut fries were dusted with herbs and salt and freshly fried but I wasn’t sure if they were pre-frozen.  Either way, they were crisp and tasty.  They were included with the “Le Gros Dédé” sandwich that also included lamb, vegetables and a sauce of white cheese.  The lamb was hacked up into small pieces that cooked up very tender.  The vegetables were carrots and onions and all was covered with a generous supply of fries on the same great bread.  It was quite good and also huge.  At just 5 euros each it was a really good deal for a lot of well flavored food. Continue reading

Angler, San Francisco, 3/14/19

building
building

Angler opened in September 2018 and is the newest venture for chef Joshua Skenes, however he has chosen to be a creative force rather than the chef.  It is a large place and lots of mounted fish and mirrors cover the walls.  The front of the restaurant is windows to the busy street outside with perfect views of the Bay bridge.  Opposite the windows is the large open kitchen and another wall is used to house a long bar with some seating.  Seating at tables is at fairly close-set small bare wood dark tables, some of which are served by bench/wall seating.   Many chairs are draped with small blankets which could either pad the chair, keep you warm or could just be a decorative touch.  Lots of flowers soften the steel structures and exposed brick and the large white cloth napkin is a nice touch.  A second room has stuffed mounts of warm blooded animals.  Rock music from the 80’s era plays fairly loudly in the background and it felt a bit out-of-step with the casually elegant setting, but is a known touch of Skenes.  The menu was small at lunch but several types of raw oysters were available.  Otherwise for a restaurant that is focused on fresh, local seafood there were surprisingly few local seafood options other than one type of oyster.  In fact for main plate options, there were 3 seafood and 3 meat.  Service was friendly, helpful and efficient. Continue reading

Roli Roti, San Francisco, 3/14/19

stand
stand

Roli Roti is a food stand by the Ferry Building and the location does move, so just look for the line.  The secret is to get there when they first open, and then there is no line and it’s easier to find a seat somewhere in the area to enjoy your sandwich.  They are only open on Thursday (10 am – 2 pm)  and Saturday (8 am – 2 pm) but their signs encourage you to hire them to cater your next party.  They have the rotisserie going as you walk up and you can see the chickens and pork rotating slowing dripping their fat and juices on the potatoes below.  I have been many times and it’s a great snack – the smell is wonderful – but I’ve only tried their porchetta sandwich.  They cut the meat while you watch and load it onto a wonderful soft, chewy roll and then cover it with onion relish and arugula greens.  There are bits of the crackling crust of pork intermixed with the tender, juicy pieces of pork.  I will admit that some days have yielded a better tasting meat than others but it always is rich, decadent snack or meal.  Try it if you’re there at the right time and then on Saturday you can walk through the wonderful farmer’s market behind the building or cruise through the fun shops in the building. Continue reading

Trattoria da Jonny, Venice, 3/2/19

building
building

Trattoria da Jonny is a fairly large place spread over 2 rooms.  Exposed brick is on one wall corner and the small bare wood tables are set for 2 or 4 people with paper place mats and napkins.  Music plays in the background and the large menus contain both English and Italian.  The ceiling has exposed wood beams in part of the room and floor appeared to be a large plank wood but was really a type of tile.  The service was friendly and efficient even while a number of family members stopped by to eat and/or chat. Continue reading

Alamo Club, Dallas, 2/21/19 and 3/4/19

exteriuor
exterior

Our first visit was the fourth day in business for Alamo Club and the place was packed.  It is located on lower Greenville in the space where the Blind Butcher had been.  It is the brainchild of Austin Rodgers who has worked in the restaurant industry for many years and run several of Nick Badovinus’ restaurants.  There is a large bar that spans most of the depth of the restaurant and the other side is filled with small and medium sized closely set, bare wood tables.  Along the opposite wall is a bench seat that meets up with chairs and a string of 2-top tables.  The floor is wood, lighting is low, the ceiling is tin with exposed ductwork, music is in the background and exposed bricks make up the walls and are decorated with mirrors and old photos.  The noise level is loud, not due to music but instead due to all those people enjoying themselves in the relaxed, clubby atmosphere.  Austin wanted a neighborhood feel to the place and thus they are open every day with a ‘happy hour’ around 5:00.  A window at the end of the room provides a limited view into the activity in the kitchen.  The menu is small, simple and affordable, filled with American standards and the wine list is nicely chosen.  The service was good and fairly speedy but we never felt rushed even with a crowd waiting for your seat (right now there are no reservations).  The servers were friendly and helpful.   Continue reading

Bullion (update), Dallas, 2/20/19

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bar area

It’s been about a year since Frankie visited Bullion.  The place has held up well and is still an elegantly appointed setting. It is really one of the prettiest places in Dallas to dine.  Last time we encountered service issues and for the most part they were much better, however there were still some timing issues with our main course being presented while the salad plates were still on the table.  This happened even without a full room and plenty of servers.  Even so, the servers were friendlier and generally better trained and the sommelier did come and visit with us when we requested – so better than the first visit.  The food is lovely looking but not the most flavor loaded. Continue reading

Avila’s, Dallas, 1/24/19

building
building (4714 Maple Ave., Dallas, 75219)

Instead of enjoying retirement, Anita and Octavio Avila opened a restaurant featuring family favorites in 1986.  They have added new items as well as expanding their selection of beers since that time.  They are at 4714 Maple Avenue in Dallas, near where “Little Mexico” still holds many locations but neighborhood change has brought a more diverse population to the area. Located in a little house they have 2 main dining rooms, one much small than the other.  Along the walls they utilize bench seating to work in the maximum number of tables.  There is a mix of 2 and 4 top tables and they seemed to turn over quickly, as lunch sometimes has a short wait.  They do have an adjacent parking lot as well as a few spaces in front.  They have only had this location but now a sign on the table refers to a second location in the planning for Casa Linda in East Dallas.  The menu has lots of options but I generally go here for the tasty Tex-Mex food and the fairly spicy salsa on the table.  Service is friendly and efficient and they have lunch specials which are delivered fast enough to be able to fit a meal here on a lunch hour.  They do have lunch specials but nothing on the menu is over $20. Continue reading

Rookery Pub Fine Dining, Cable, 1/4/19 & 2/8/19

building
building

Bill Brakken opened the Rookery Pub Fine Dining restaurant in 2008.  The building originally was constructed in 1978 and had the restaurant on the upper levels.  Bill made those areas into the lodge when he bought it in 2005 and then renovated the downstairs to become the Rookery Pub Fine Dining, named for the breeding colony of Blue Herons nearby and to signify a general place for social gatherings.  Interestingly, Bill worked as a bartender at the original Kliszcz’s Karczma, the Polish Palace as it was known then, the first year it was in business.  Now as you enter the place you see a building on your right with stairs and that is to the lodge and the lower sidewalk goes to the restaurant.  You enter into the large bar area and to the right is a hallway, opening onto a row of 4 booth seats, which leads to the small main dining room.  The walls are lined with prints of animals (most of which have prices if you want to buy one) and in the corner is a fireplace.  The bare wood tables are good sized and well spaced.  The menu covers a good breadth of choices with some changes for seasonality and the wine list is better than most.  You can have cocktails at your table or enjoy them at the bar before you are seated.  Service was efficient and super friendly.  Portions are large. Continue reading

The 300 Grill, Iron River, 1/3/19 and 2/7/19

exterior
exterior

The 300 Grill is the restaurant attached to the bowling alley, all owned by the Carignans.  It is a small place with about 3 booths and some assorted sizes of tables.  They serve burgers, pizza, sandwiches and Henny-Penny broasted chicken.  It is extremely casual.  The walls are adorned with framed old photos from people and places in Iron River, Wisconsin.  A window into the kitchen is on one wall and the check out counter is at the back.  The tile floor and bare wood tables are set with rolled up flatware and napkin dispensers, along with some fresh flowers.  Service is friendly and efficient.  The food is good but not compelling.  Our first visit was pretty good and it made me want to go back and check out more things.  Maybe if you hunt around the menu you’ll find just the right thing for you but otherwise I think it may be a good place to snack if you’re bowling. Continue reading

Galatoire’s Restaurant (update), New Orleans, 12/29/18 and 12/30/18

postcard of building
postcard of building

Galatoire’s Restaurant is definitely a favorite of mine.   That’s not hard to discern considering in a gastronomic place like New Orleans, I will chose to go there twice rather than try something new or repeat another place.  This time we had two lunches with slightly different themes.   Our first visit was most of our traditional favorites, most including seafood and on the second visit we tried all non-seafood items.  The seafood visit was definitely my favorite.  The place has two levels for dining with the downstairs large room being noisy and full of a combination of locals and tourists, with no reservations possible.  Upstairs is divided into smaller rooms, some filled with one party and other filled with those wanting a reservation and assured seating.  It is quieter but somehow doesn’t have the same ambiance of the bright bustle downstairs. Service is amazing here and if you go take time to interact with your server.  They can customize any order to make it fit your desire.  There will be a charge, but I like to top things with a more of that jumbo lump crabmeat. Continue reading

Carrollton Market, New Orleans, 12/28/18

from outside
building

Carrollton Market is a medium sized place out in the suburbs that has been open 4 years.  The entry is into a bar area that is not very well separated from the main dining room.  The small marble tables are set closely together, a tin ceiling, wood floor and wood and painted walls all add to the loud noise level in the room, even without background music.   Windows along the front wall look out onto the street but otherwise there are no windows except for the interior one that looks into the open kitchen and the general light level is low.  They offer only a small a la carte menu.  The staff were friendly and helpful but the food was mostly unexciting and the overall ambiance is ear numbing, yet it was packed with people.  There is no subtlety in the food, it tends to be over-seasoned with large portions of heavy food.   Continue reading