Restaurants
Hedonist's Gazette

Magdalena Restaurant - The Ivy Hotel

By and large, the California Chardonnays performed overall better than the white Burgundies, although I was super-impressed with Louis Latour's 2009 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru White Burgundy, with loads of quince, white currant, crushed rock and honeysuckle. I also loved the 2013 Sauzet Chevalier-Montrachet, which seemed quite evolved, but delicious. Those who might have several bottles of that should think about drinking it up, rather than pushing its aging potential, especially given the high incidence of premature oxidized white Burgundies that have existed...

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Vito's Ristorante Italiano

Our casual wine group got together for a delicious lunch at Vito's in Cockeysville. We started with their assorted appetizers, which are standard fare there, but the chef's homemade/handmade ravioli presented in brown butter are fabulous and about as good as this simple dish can be. It is this kind of food that pleases me the most, and the ravioli was a perfect foil for a group of white wines that cleansed our palates before some big Châteauneuf du Papes....

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Iwa (Sushi), Ginza - Tokyo, Japan

As the world continues to globalize each day towards one great homogenous smorgasbord menu, there remain two salvations for the expression of unique cultural identities that I believe each and every nation must hold sacred: food and drink. This is one of the reasons I urge foodies, who haven't already done so, to put a visit to Tokyo on their bucket list....

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Angele - Napa, California

I've been several times now to Angèle since I moved here less than a year ago. It's something of a favored lunchtime café of the local Napa wine trade. In the heart of downtown Napa, it really couldn't be more central in terms of location, and yet its position on the river and al fresco seating allow us workaday locals a chance to duck out for a bucolic escape from our computer screens, if only for a couple of business-lunch...

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Magdalena Restaurant - The Ivy Hotel

Magdalena, with British chef Marc Levy manning the kitchen, has the potential to be one of the finest restaurants in all of Maryland. The restaurant and the luxury boutique hotel, The Ivy, have become the first Relais & Châteaux hotel in the state. Levy, who knows his way around a kitchen, continues to turn out stunningly creative and full-flavored dishes that show off his talent, but never cheat the diner on taste, with fascinating marriages of textures, flavors and temperatures....

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Bocca di Lupo - London

Eventually I plumped for Bocco di Lupo, just a five-minute walk from Piccadilly in Soho, nestling in the heart of theatreland. Opening back in 2008, the name translates as "mouth of the wolf", which unless Monica informs me otherwise, loosely means "good luck". And I recommend being as hungry as a wolf since we all know how filling pasta can be....

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Blackberry Farm

This was a magnificent meal at Blackberry Farm, a place that had been on my bucket list for a while. It is considered one of the most luxurious and tranquil hotels and restaurants, not only in the United States, but the world. Most of this credit goes to the late Sam Beall, who created this haven and sanctuary for relaxation with the finest food from local farms, an incredible wine cellar of more than 100,000 bottles, and his generous and...

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Le Divil

This superb bistro is located in the heart of downtown Perpignan and specializes in local southwest cuisine. The wine list is small, but offers solid wines at reasonable prices. Bordeaux, Loire, Burgundy and Rhône are all represented, with a great selection from the Roussillon. The ambiance is first rate, as is the food....

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Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen

I must have first visited the 30-plus year old wine country culinary institution that is Cindy Pawlcyn's Mustards Grill in Yountville over 10 years ago. I still remember the melt-in-your-mouth lemon meringue pie I had back then, topped with the most enormous egg white pouf I'd ever seen....

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