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‘Ulu Ocean Grill
It’s all about the view at this restaurant at the Four Seasons. Sit on a lanai (balcony) just above sea level and soak in the exquisite island sunsets. The menu, overseen by executive chef James Babian, pays homage to the bounty of the Pacific and the Big Island’s many farms and orchards. Sushi specialties, which can be ordered at the table or in the restaurant’s sushi lounge, included a fire and ice crab roll, with red king crab and spicy kampachi. A wood oven produces such mouth-watering options as whole lobster roasted with Meyer lemon and Big Island wild boar with local berry chutney. While most places on the Big Island are resort-casual, feel free to dress up a bit here.
221 South Oak
Chef and owner Eliza H.S. Gavin, a former Top Chef competitor, continues to elevate Telluride’s dining scene with her modern American bistro, a local favorite that should not be missed. Gavin has honed her skills in New Orleans, Napa Valley, and Paris and today displays her talents in dishes like beer-braised pork belly with corn fritters, smoked beets, green tomato jam and pecan crumble. Set in a renovated Victorian-era home, 221 South Oak has a quaint, welcoming vibe with a variety of seating including communal tables, cozy spots for two and outdoor patio seating in the summer. The extensive wine list pairs well with the vegetarian and seasonal menus.
A La Mode
Chef Suzanne Goin of Lucques turns out small plates of sophisticated fare, including cheeses and charcuterie, at her chic nearby wine bar, A.O.C. Fifty wines can be ordered by the glass or carafe or in preselected flights.
This adorable pizza joint focuses on cuisine from the Italian region of Campania. The burrata and bucatini is ever-popular, but visitors return for the chewy, slightly burnt pizza crust. If the Chestnut Street location is too packed, A16 also has outposts in the Ferry Building and just across the Bay Bridge in Oakland.
Just a few doors down from bustling ramen hot spot, Monta, Abriya Raku, or simply Raku, is an exercise in the practiced restraint and simple preparations that are the hallmark of great Japanese cuisine. The heart of the menu is simple skewers prepared on their traditional charcoal grill, but sashimi, fresh house made tofu, and a variety of small composed plates make this much more than your standard robata. The sake list is enough to keep any enthusiast content well into the night, when many of the city’s best chefs have been known to show up (they close at 3:00 AM).
Conceived by chef Thomas Keller, this restaurant in Yountville is a great way to sample Keller’s cuisine if you cannot get reservations to the French Laundry. The daily-changing menu focuses on American comfort food and is a four-course, fixed-price. It’s delicious and informal. Note: while the restaurant serves dinner only throughout the week, a Sunday brunch is also offered and is fantastic.
Thomas Keller has added an even more casual eatery to the Yountville culinary scene. Addendum, a little wooden house behind Ad Hoc, serves up barbecue fare and unbelievable buttermilk fried chicken, but only at lunchtime Thursday through Saturday. You can order to go or eat it at the nearby picnic table.
The elegant setting, cuisine and 37,000-bottle wine list at the Addison make a meal here a truly special affair. Gusts will be treated to a culinary journey highlighting seasonal, local ingredients mixed with French influences. The menu changes frequently at this outstanding restaurant at Fairmont Del Mar, and ranges from “carte-blanche” to the lavish 10-course chef’s tasting menu —past dishes have included coffee-roasted canard with koshihikari rice, candied peanuts and albufera sauce and langoustine with caviar, parsley and vermouth.
Under the direction of the Little Nell team, this perennial favorite for burgers, truffle fries and some heartier dishes (the veal schnitzel cassoulet has a cult following). Those who care more about the atmosphere than the food are rewarded with a wonderful patio right at the base of Aspen Mountain. People can linger from lunch, through après ski or hike straight on until dinner and watch the sun drop behind the mountains and the stars come out.
Akamai Juice Company
A small window in front of The Tahiti Nui restaurant, this juice bar offers delicious creations and is a great stop in Hanalei. Those in need of caffeine should opt for the drink made from coffee, cinnamon and macadamia milk. Open Monday through Saturday from 7:30am to 1:00pm.
This in-the-know Japanese spot is small and authentic, with only about ten tables—where you occasionally see A list celebrities enjoying a meal. The fish is sourced daily from a Japanese fish market, and the chef frequently comes by to explain the dish.
Recommended by an Indagare community insider
All Day Baby
Perched at the gondola stop 10,551 feet up, between Mountain Village and Telluride, Allred’s capitalizes on its position with enormous windows that frame the snow-capped mountains and rustic stone walls; a timbered ceiling adds to the alpine atmosphere. Creative American dishes include elk short loin and four cuts of Colorado steaks. It is also perfect for sunset cocktails on your way down to Telluride or for stargazing over coffee on your way back up. The 30-person private dining room is ideal for celebrations.
Most skiers headed to the top of Gold Hill are bound for Revelation Bowl, but my favorite reason to ride up the Gold Hill lift is the pesto grilled cheese at Alpino Vino, which, on sunny spring afternoons, can be eaten al fresco on the slopeside wine bar’s shearling-lined banquettes.
Anake’s Juice Bar
With a hidden location in the corner of Kukuiula Market, this juice bar offers a quintessentially laid-back Hawaiian experience. Young, local staff vigorously prepare smoothies, juice and acaí bowls in order to keep up with the high number of visitors. The oatmeal and chia pudding mason jars go quickly, so be sure to arrive early in the morning if you want something more substantial than a smoothie.
There are coffee shops and espresso bars on every corner in Seattle, but for a real Seattle espresso experience, stop in at Ancient Grounds not far from Pike Place Market. It’s both an intimate art gallery, loaded with intriguing treasures including Native American and Asian masks and netsuke. The espresso is strong, the ambience pure Seattle.
A longtime favorite in the industrial-cool Pearl District, Andina brought authentic Peruvian cooking to Portland when it opened in 2003, and the eatery remains a favorite for a fun night out. With live music every night, the boisterous, two-story eatery celebrates its owner’s Andean roots with elevated South American cuisine, including such traditional dishes as lomo saltado (wok-fried beef with onions, tomatoes and oyster sauce) and a variety of ceviches. Everything on the exotic menu pairs well with the restaurant’s signature cocktail, a pisco sour.
From the Rouas family, creators of the exceptional Auberge du Soleil, comes this warm and wood-lined take on a refined French brasserie. The space is a refurbished boathouse with high, vaulted wood beams and views overlooking the Napa River. The staff is family-friendly, but as always, well versed on the wines.
Apple’s Bar and Grill