Restaurants: Noma, Copenhagen

The pair of pine tree branches partially hides the caramelized spears of snow white asparagus, as if this image was deep in the heart of a far-off forest from a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale. The moment is pristine and clear. A flurry of pine needles off the branch lay alongside the asparagus on oneContinue reading “Restaurants: Noma, Copenhagen”

Restaurants: Relae, Copenhagen, Denmark

Romaine lettuce is usually an afterthought, hardly the focus of a salad like its glitzier lettuce siblings Little Gems and mizuna night be. It almost seems romaine lettuce gets the adrenaline pumping like iceberg lettuce. Then after you’ve sampled around a bit in the restaurants of Copenhagen’s New Nordic cuisine generation that swept the cityContinue reading “Restaurants: Relae, Copenhagen, Denmark”

Restaurants: AQ, San Francisco

Barbeque pork with shelling beans and corn bread speaks of hot, lazy summer days. With a glass of lemonade in hand and Vin Scully narrating baseball on the radio, here you have the glorious season where the days are long, the nights are warm, and the fields and orchards thrive. Summer means water balloon fightsContinue reading “Restaurants: AQ, San Francisco”

Restaurants: Nojo, San Francisco

The barely year old Nojo is a labor of intense focus restaurant for the young chef/owner Greg Dunmore. After years as the chef de cuisine at Ame, the grand, swanky dining room of San Francisco’s St. Regis Hotel, learning under the tutelage of one of the country’s pioneering East-West cuisine chefs Hiro Sone, Dunmore struckContinue reading “Restaurants: Nojo, San Francisco”

Restaurants: Baker & Banker, San Francisco

No, Baker & Banker is not a law firm. That’s the first impression every diner has upon learning of this charming 2 1/2 year old restaurant run by husband and wife tandem Jeff Banker and Lori Baker. He runs the finances and she runs the baking. In reality, at least half of that is actuallyContinue reading “Restaurants: Baker & Banker, San Francisco”

Restaurants: The Donald Link Trio: Cochon, Cochon Butcher, and Herbsaint, New Orleans

Chef expansion is always a precarious dilemma. One formula hits the right notes at the right time for the original restaurant to achieve a certain level of popularity. The food, the service, the atmosphere, the size of the restaurant– everything clicks. However, it is very well known in the restaurant industry that the only wayContinue reading “Restaurants: The Donald Link Trio: Cochon, Cochon Butcher, and Herbsaint, New Orleans”

Restaurants: Commander’s Palace, New Orleans

In the year 1880, Helen Keller and W.C. Fields were born. James Garfield became the 20th President of the United States, defeating Winfield S. Hancock. 132 years ago, Commander’s Palace also opened its stately doors in the Garden District of New Orleans, a mostly residential, Victorian home and grand tree lined area, a far cryContinue reading “Restaurants: Commander’s Palace, New Orleans”

Restaurants: Emeril’s, New Orleans

“Bam!” “Kick it up a notch!” With those famed catchphrases, even passive television viewers who never cook and put no thought into where they dine out know who is being referred to. Julia Child made cooking shows on television watchable. Emeril Lagasse, forgive the expression, kicked the subject of cooking shows on television up aContinue reading “Restaurants: Emeril’s, New Orleans”

Restaurants: St. Jack, Portland, Oregon

Portland doesn’t exactly strike you initially as a petite corner of France in the Pacific Northwest. Then again, like France’s two largest cities, Paris and Lyon, Portland is divided by a central river, splitting the city into west and east, as opposed to the Left Bank and the Right Bank. Yes, Ken’s Artisan Bakery bakesContinue reading “Restaurants: St. Jack, Portland, Oregon”

Restaurants: Le Pigeon, Portland, Oregon

Is the name of this exceptional bistro along East Burnside pronounced with a French accent to the pigeon or as a mash up between French to start and English to finish? It is not an important question, seeing that the reservationist who called to re-confirm used the latter and the waitress leading us to theContinue reading “Restaurants: Le Pigeon, Portland, Oregon”