Recommended Restaurants

As many of you know I like good and great food and in particular with good wine.  Due to many of you I have eaten with also enjoying great food (and scotch) I have always looked for really good places.  I realized I should start tracking this.  So here is my list.  Everything on this list is a place I really like.  I have eaten at least three times in all of them, but I have eaten in a lot of even more.  So I am very comfortable sharing them with you.  I will update this list as necessary and remove or add as appropriate.

Palo Alto, California

  • Flemings - great for groups, and the steaks, chicken and salmon are all particularly good.  Great parking.
  • Chef Chu - some of the best Chinese food I have had - also good for groups.  Poor parking.
  • Los Alto Grill - this is not good for groups at all.  Suggest no more than 4.  Wonderful grilled corn, and prime rib is pretty good too.  Good parking.
  • The Counter - really good burgers.  Need I say more?  Yes. I love the Parmesan and basil fries, and they stock one of my favorite Chardonnay wines - Rombauer.  OK parking.
  • Ristorante Bella Vita - very good Italian, really good in fact.  Poor parking.

San Francisco, California - many to choose from but right now I have three that I love.

  • Epic - sit on the ocean side for great views.  Amazing Rib Eye, and burger.  OK parking.
  • Marlowe - a wonderful bar, and very much a neighborhood favorite place.  Great drinks menu and wonderful wine.  The burger and fries was amazing, and my friend went with an amazing fish thing.  But wonderful ambiance and great people working there too.
  • First Crush - I have eaten at this place quite a number of times.  And I have brought groups there a number of times and never has anyone been disappointed.  They make extensive use of local food, and have an extraordinary wine cellar.  Highly recommended!  If you visit please tell Amanda I sent you!
  • 5A5 - this place has amazing food and very good service. I have eaten there several times and always very good.

Calgary, Alberta - home town so I know the market really well!

  • River Cafe - for about 16 or 17 years my wife’s favorite and not once disappointed.  Amazing.  On an island, but with decent parking in the neighbourhood.  Good range of local food done spectacularly well.
  • CharCut - amazing rotisserie chicken and beef.  Lots of interesting stuff to try.  OK parking.
  • Open Range - another favorite of my wife, and this time of me too!  Beef and game done very well indeed.  One of the best chefs I know of too.

Toronto, Ontario

  • Epic Lounge in the Royal York - great food with local ingredients.  Amazing place.  If you can, a very good kitchen tour.  Sometimes they do a deal where you go shopping with the chef in morning at a local market, and he makes up for a private dinner what you all bought together.  Plus a kitchen tour of all of the kitchens.

Reston, Virginia

  • The Counter - really good burgers.  Need I say more?  Yes. I love the Parmesan and basil fries, and they stock one of my favorite Chardonnay wines - Rombauer.  Good parking.

Lethbridge, Alberta

  • Ric’s Grill - a very good steakhouse.  But also important, it is inside a water tower.  Yes, really.  Very cool.  Great parking.

Nashua, New Hampshire

  • Unums - very nice place.  Very low key, but with wonderful food.  They too subscribe to the idea of local ingredients.
  • MT Local Kitchen - very nice place indeed.  Very good local ingredients, strong imagination, and the results are wonderful.  Great service too.   Been very happy both times I have been here!

Boston, Massachusetts

  • Legal Sea Foods - at the Boston Logan Airport - Terminal B.  I know, airport food.  But this place is amazing.  The BLT is unbelievable.  A very good menu, good staff, and the good.  Amazing.

Austin, Texas

  • Midnight Cowboy - One of the most interesting bars is in Austin.  It is fascinating and has wonderful cocktails.  Even for a guy who does not normally drink cocktails.  Very nice indeed.  And odd but in a charming and wonderful way.  It is called Midnight Cowboy and more info is here.  This will be the very first place I take my wife when we are in Austin next.
  • Odd Duck - this is an amazing restaurant.  It is a strong supporter of local food - in fact I counted 29 local farms / ranches that supported them.  The food was wonderful as was the wine list.  The staff was charming and interesting too - and fun.  I like this place a lot!

Dallas, Texas

  • In Plano is an amazing restaurant called Haywire.  I really enjoyed it, and it has some local farms it works with means the food quality is amazing.  They have only a small freezer for ice cream and nothing else.

Bucharest, Romania

  • A very good, and interesting restaurant that is also a place to shop.  Very good meet, and during the summer it was nice to sit outside.  If you do, make sure to explore inside before you leave. It is called VACAMUUU and here is a link. Quite some time ago I did not like Bucharest, but it was recently very nice to explore and spend time in.

St-Petersburg, Russia

  • A very nice restaurant called Hitch is a great place to eat.  Wonderful beef and wine.  I have eaten there several times and always been very happy.  BTW, I love St-Petersburg.  Very nice place to visit.

Pittsburgh, PA

  • Meat & Potatoes - I only ate once at this restaurant but I was sent there by my hotel that said it was best in city.  The food was amazing, and the staff was excellent.  They also believed in fresh stuff.  Was wonderful.
  • Vivo Kitchen - this was an extraordinary place.  Again only eat once there, but chatted with people that eat there weekly and they assured me it was always good. Local ingredients and unusual dishes.  Great wine cellar too.  The staff were very good too.  Definitely worth a visit or two!

Alpharetta, GA

  • Sage - this word-fired tavern is actually a very nice bar and restaurant.  You can get things like salmon, steak, and chicken cooked over wood.  Very good stuff. I have eaten a number of times this week, and in the past.  I recommend the food and drink, plus service too, very highly.

Boulder, CO

  • Corrida - a very good restaurant that is Spanish themed and has great food and wine.  Very strongly recommended. This strong recommendation comes from a number of visits.

Durham, NC

  • Firebirds - wood fired grill - this is a very good place to eat.  Really well done food and nice wine choices.  Very good service too.  The pork chop was amazing! They are a chain but I could not hold that against them.

Cary, NC

  • Stellino‘s - a very nice Italian place.  Amazing pasta dishes and very good service.  I cannot wait to go back!

I have eaten in a number of different Chipotle and liked it every time.  Plus it is for me the most healthy, or the most least bad of the fast food.

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