Sadelle’s – New York, NY

I first got wind of this place through an article in Lucky Peach magazine.  I quickly went online to read people’s reviews and honestly wasn’t sure what to expect.  Some people raved while others claimed it was grossly overrated.  I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous that I might get the stink eye if I didn’t know what I wanted when it was my turn to order but a year later my husband and I finally ventured in (it took a year because we are out-of-towners – we’re not that lazy) and ate in rather than ordered to go.  What a beautiful space!  It took me forever to decide what I was going to get but I finally committed to the Leo – eggs with house salmon and caramelized onions topped with créme fraîche, fresh dill and chives.  Yes!  Oh…and I forgot to mention my bagel and cream cheese on the side.  I couldn’t help myself.  I mean the whole reason we went was for the bagels right?!  My husband got the house salmon which was actually the most beautiful tower of bagel accoutrements – house salmon, tomato, cucumber, onions, capers, dill, chives and avocado.  I’m already looking forward to going back this winter so I guess that tells you what I think about it.

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Sushi Zo – New York, NY

I was hesitant to write this post only because this place feels so special that I’m not sure I want to share it but…I’m going to share because if you’re a sushi lover you should make this place a priority.  There are 10 seats situated around an L-shaped counter that frames Chef Masa at work.  You are served an Omakase menu (multi-course tasting menu) that will change your sushi life forever.  I was blown away and ordered more once the service was done.  Not to mention the miso soup with king crab as your starter is the best miso soup I’ve ever had.  Well done Chef Masa, well done!!

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Lapérouse – Paris, France

Do a little research on this place and you’ll quickly realize that it has some major history.  Established in 1766 how could it not?!  What we thought were vandalized mirrors in our room turned out in fact to be scratches from the diamonds that the “cocottes” (fashionable prostitutes) would make in order to authenticate the diamonds they got as payment and make sure they weren’t just glass.  All the history aside, the food was great! I’m still thinking about my salad with fresh truffles shaved on top.  I could honestly eat it everyday.

All in all this is a memorable and fun restaurant whether you’re a party of 2 or 12.  Check out their Instagram to see all the notable models and famous people that have dined there.

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Lettuce salad and black truffles – fresh leafs of lettuce, truffle shavings, pecorino cheese and garlic crouton

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The Victor Hugo lobster – salted butter roasted and avocado

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The Lapérouse soufflé – for 124 years, made from praline, served with caramel sauce

45th Stop N Shop and Poke Bar – Seattle, WA

Poke bowls from a convenience store?  Yup!  And they’re incredible.  I’ve been known to go multiple times a week.  The menu is simple – 1, 2 or 3 fish (Izumidai, salmon, shrimp, tuna, unagi, or tofu) and from there you decide if you want regular or spicy.  Next you decide if you want rice, salad or 1/2 and 1/2.  Sides included are seaweed, ginger, crab meat, edamame and avocado.  The ingredients are incredibly fresh and the staff couldn’t be nicer.  Not to mention your bowl is made so quickly that the wait time is minimal even when they’re busy.  If you don’t have time to go yourself, do yourself a favor and use Postmates.

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Divellec – Paris, France

I’m not exaggerating when I say this was one of the best meals of my entire life.  Truth.  One of the ladies in my group said had we gone there the first night of our trip she would have requested we go back the last night.  Everything made this meal perfect – from the decor to the incredible staff, the night really couldn’t have been any better.  I truly feel that Divellec is Paris’ best kept secret.  They earned their first Michelin star after only being open for 4 months and I think soon enough this place will be the talk of the town.

I have never felt so glutinous but I couldn’t help myself.  Started with the caviar, next the sashimi and then followed it all up with the classic sole meunière.  The sole might sound boring to some but let me tell you, boring it was not.  I rolled each bite of fish in the butter it was sitting in and moaned out loud the whole dinner.  This really could have been my last meal on earth and I would have been perfectly satisfied.  Although I felt like I needed to be rolled out of the restaurant…we ordered desert.  Who can pass up a beautiful chocolate soufflé?!  Not me apparently.  Go here and enjoy yourself!

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mbar – Seattle, WA

Friends recently recommended this as a great place for dinner and an amazing view so my husband and I tried it out on one of our date nights.  I think it’s safe to say this will be a new one in our rotation.   And what’s even better is that once the nice weather hits the roof deck will be so on point!

First impression was “wow…we’re somewhere really hip!”.  You’re greeting by a hostess at a podium on the ground floor where they check for your reservation then lead you to an elevator that takes you to the 14th floor.  Once at the top you go down a long hallway and turn the corner where you finally see the space and views.  Something about the whole process makes this place feel very exclusive and cool.  I’ve only experienced this twice before, once at Vue du Monde and the other at our very own Nest at The Thompson.

Everything we ate was memorable and I’d order the exact same thing again.  It’s the kind of place where you want to lick your plates clean.  Their craft cocktails are just as notable.  Perfect place to meet a friend or loved one (or perhaps a future one:)).  Go!

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roasted cauliflower hummus with tahini & rice beans

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black spaghetti with dungeness crab, trout roe, lime leaf, meyer lemon & brioche breadcrumbs

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grilled trout with avocado, sumac, labneh & fenugreek

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the mbar: dark chocolate bar with sesame nougat & tamarind caramel

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Sushi Sukiyabashi Jiro – Tokyo, Japan

If you’ve seen the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi then you’re well aware of who Jiro Ono is.  I’m completely convinced now that it’s nearly impossible to get into his sushi restaurant.  However, we DID get a reservation at his son Takashi Ono’s restaurant, Sushi Sukiyabashi Jiro in Roppongi.  There are 8 seats at the counter and rules to go along with dinner.  No perfume and you must be on time or they will cancel your reservation after 30 minutes.  The rice is purposely prepared so that it’s warm when you eat it (side note – if at any time you feel yourself getting full, tell the chef and he’ll make your rice serving smaller going forward – big help considering how much you have to eat!).  The ambiance is not that of your typical sushi restaurant in the States.  No music or mood lighting.  It’s all about the sushi.  Anything else is purely a distraction.  Chef Takashi Ono was very personable and talked to us during the whole meal.  Was it worth the price and hype?  Absolutely!

Our dinner consisted of the following:  Flounder sashimi, clam sashimi, abalone (awabi) sashimi, marinated mackerel sashimi, flounder nigiri, squid (ika) nigiri, needle fish (sayori) nigiri, lean tuna (maguro) nigiri, medium fatty (chutoro) tuna nigiri, fatty (otoro) tuna nigiri, sardine family fish nigiri, large scallop (hotate) nigiri, raw horse mackerel (aji) nigiri, Ikura nigiri, tiger prawn (kuruma ebi) nigiri, Japanese geoduck (mirugai) nigiri, octopus (tako) nigiri, sea urchin (uni) nigiri, hard shell clam nigiri, small scallops nigiri, saltwater eel nigiri, egg nigiri.

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