Please note that the Restaurants are in random order and are not by order of preference.
Hard Rock Casino
Las Vegas, Nevada
Note there are several Nobu’s located around the world, including South Beach (Miami) and Dallas, Texas. Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is a genius. Start with the Crab with a spicy cheese and then move on to the Chilean Sea Bass marinated in a soy-like broth. The Wagyu-Beef is incredible. There are so many wonderful options – you’ll have to go back a dozen times to try everything. Notable is the cold Sake, some of which is made from super-purified rice. Served cold in a cactus-like drinking holder, it, though expensive, is a decadent unique drink.
- YANK SING
101 Spear St.
San Francisco, CA
Tucked in the financial district of San Francisco, Yank Sing is the finest Asian food I have ever tasted. I ate Dim Sum there the last time I was in San Francisco and went back the next day as I was so impressed. The dumplings melt in your mouth and all of the food is fresh and superbly prepared. I ate here twice with Mr. Frank Raburn, a former teacher of the year in Michigan (Novi School District) who also is my brother-in-law and my best friend. He was also amazed by the cuisine.- KUDOS!!
- MAMA’S FISHHOUSE
799 Poho Place
Paia, Maui, HI
Located off some rocky shores, this quaint establishment boasts an adorned wall full of pictures of major celebrities that have frequented the Fish House. Décor inside and out reminds one of Tahiti in the 20’s. I ate here with my wonderful family – my wife Diana and my two daughters, Courtney and Kendall. The food, especially the fish, is exceptional. The menu lists each different fish, along with the name of boat and the captain who caught it as well as the date and time of the day it was caught. Seafood doesn’t get any fresher than that.
2306 East Cary
This is a review of the original Bookbinder’s (there is one in Philadelphia as well). The Turtle Soup, with an infusion of sherry, is out of this world. All of the seafood is extraordinary and the Cajun Tuna Bites are also delicious. Try a fromage style steak – you can’t miss as this is smothered in bleu cheese and broiled.
- PRIME STEAKHOUSE
Bellagio Casino and Resort
Las Vegas, NV
Set in the luxurious Bellagio Casino, you can watch the lit up fountains as they shoot water up and down to Andrea Bocelli “Con Ti Partiro.” The view is breathtaking, but on to the food. Prime boasts on of the best selections of Prime Grade A Steaks I have ever tasted. They also offer Kobe Steak and a pork dish akin to the Kobe version of pork. Note, while I don’t condone putting sauce on a fine steak, Prime offers, among other sauces, a soy rice wine sauce that I would gladly dip my napkin in and eat. At the very least, use it on your vegetables and potatoes.
- THE PINE CLUB
1926 Brown St.
Nestled in a cozy area of Dayton near the University of Dayton Campus, The Pine Club is unique. They take no reservations and accept no credit cards. This place made George Bush, Sr. wait 45 minutes for a table while the Secret Service strolled the restaurant. The food is exceptional. The Pine Club Dressing/Italianish – is one of a kind. Likewise is the Bleu Cheese Dressing. Both are homemade and can be purchased to take home in a sealed jar. The steaks are prime and/or aged and are ridiculously delicious. They also make Stewed Tomatoes which are legendary and also make a Red and Blue World Famous Salad Dressing which is a French dressing with bleu cheese. Finally the pre-dinner salt rolls are addictive. This is a first rate restaurant.
- AL FORNO
577 South Main St.
I first found out about this gem from Steve Raichlen’s BBQ Book as Al Forno originated the BBQ’d Pizza. Yes the Pizza is delicious, but so are many other dishes including the seasonal spicy clams or a decadent spicy sauce. I went there with two close friends who are also attorneys, Lou Bugbee and Mike Doherty (Mike is from New York). Mike may be the number one Mergers and Acquisitions attorney in the country. We were not disappointed. Al Forno opens at 4:00 p.m. sharp. We arrived at 3:55 p.m. and were about 8th in line. By the time we left at 5:30 p.m., there was a line across the street to get into the restaurant. First class fare.
24th floor Grand Pequot TowerMashantucket, CT
Located on the 24th floor of the beautiful Foxwoods Casino, the Paragon is simply consistent. They serve Japanese Oysters with a delicious mignette sauce along with a host of other succulent appetizers. The steaks are tremendous and the ambience is dynamic. This a great restaurant on the east coast.
- SHAW’S CRAB HOUSE
21 East Hubbard St.
It is not the ambience that draws you to Shaw’s Crab House – it’s the food. Wonderful Oysters – the freshest Crab Legs you ever had in the Midwest – and an uncanny way to serve the best and fresh seafood you can imagine. The environment is not fancy, but it is not utilitarian either. This place has been a favorite of mine since 1999 and I wouldn’t ever let it leave my top ten – ever. Charley’s who? – it’s Shaw’s that carries the day.
945 West Fulton Market
Located in the meatpacking warehouse district of Chicago, Moto is a Foodie’s mine trip. For starters, one of the courses in a fourteen course meal is the menu. Yes the menu. You eat it and its delicious. Next you’ll have a few courses and then they will bring you a piece of paper and tell you it’s the Buffalo Chicken Wing course. After you eat the paper you’ll say, “wow, those were good wings.” My Caesar Salad I drank from a test tube – but it was delicious. Over all an over the top experience in fine dining. Recommended.
- COMMANDER’S PALACE
1403 Washington Ave.
New Orleans, LA
Quite simply, Commander’s Palace is the best U.S. Restaurant I have ever dined at period. The Turtle Soup (a common theme with me) is the best soup I’ve ever had. On my first trip there I had a prefixed tasting menu which featured a Grilled Boar Chop. It was amazing. I cannot recommend this place high enough. I have visited this restaurant with Frank Raburn, previously mentioned, who also agreed with my assessment.
- MANSION ON TURTLE CREEK
2821 Turtle Creek Blvd.
This restaurant is located inside the Mansion at Turtle Creek Hotel, a hotel that rivals any that I have stayed at (including the Four Seasons in Maui and the Umstead in Raleigh, NC). The Caviar and the Quail are delicious appetizers. They are famous for their Tortilla Soup, which also was exceptional. The last time I ate here I had the Venison and it was succulent and extremely moist while still being very flavorful. There are a host of other wonderful entrees, including, but not limited to, Sea Bass and Scottish Salmon.
- VIC AND ANTHONY’S
1510 Texas St.
I had one of the five best steaks I have ever eaten at Vic and Anthony’s. It was the Prime Grade Rib Eye and it was unforgettable. They also have a Cured Meat Sampler, exquisite Caviar, (Pear and Saga Blue Cheese Salad) as well as a remarkable Gulf Snapper.
- PAPPAS BROTHERS STEAKHOUSE
10477 Lombard Lane
The Pappas Brothers has delicious Snapper Gumbo (yes that again). They have excellent Prime Grade Steaks as well as Wagyu-Beef Steaks. This place has became recently famous for Des Bryant’s $56,000.00 dinner, wherein he took his teammates out for his initiation dinner and ended up at Pappas Brothers Steakhouse. I also enjoyed the Pacific Blue Fin Tuna – Two Ways as well as the Truffle Steak Fries.
450 Post St.
San Francisco, CA
A mighty elegant restaurant that will not disappoint is Farallon in San Francisco. The fish and the steaks will disarm you. They have a great selection of oysters and a delicious snapper appetizer. This is a first class restaurant. Also try the pan roasted Road Island Black Bass. Highly recommended.
- MONTGOMERY INN (AT THE BOAT HOUSE)
925 Riverside Dr.
Note there are two other Montgomery Inn locations (Dublin, OH and the Original in Montgomery, OH). This is the home of the best ribs I’ve ever had. They even bottle and sell their own BBQ Sauce. They also have a succulent brisket special. The view of the water from the Boathouse is appealing and so is the ambience. But it’s the ribs that distinguish this establishment.
- PASCAL’S MANALE
1838 Napoleon Ave.
New Orleans, LA
Pascal’s Manale is famous for its BBQ Shrimp and it doesn’t disappoint. Served in a large bowl and covered in a buttery, spicy BBQ sauce, the Shrimp are served with a loaf of french bread for dipping. They also serve a delicious pan roast of oysters mixed with other seafood and it’s wonderful. The décor is charming. This is a can’t miss seafood restaurant.
- ACME OYSTER HOUSE
724 Iberville St.
New Orleans, LA
The oysters served here are almost as big as the plate they are served on. Located in the French Quarter, the Acme also boasts the freshest crawfish beginning around April each year. There’s a plaque on the wall congratulating the Oyster eating contest champion, who somehow managed to eat 87 dozen oysters in one sitting. The oysters are delicious, fresh and served with an array of sauces.