Old Homestead Steakhouse at Caesars Palace Las Vegas (Photo by Brad A. Johnson)
A waiter rushes through the dining room carrying a steak, and heads instantly turn. Eyes follow. Fingers point. “Did you see that?” a guy at a nearby table says, leaning into the aisle to get a better look.
Marrow bone at Restaurant 1833, Monterey CA (photo by Brad A Johnson)
Restaurant 1833 seemed unlikely to become a standard-bearer for today’s savvy yet casual approach to fine dining. It was beset by long delays, and two chefs came and went before it finally opened last summer in the Stokes Adobe, a historic landmark amid the curio shops on California’s Monterey Peninsula.
Rosewood San Miguel de Allende (photo by Brad A. Johnson)
It is an hour before midnight, and a large crescent moon has risen above San Miguel de Allende. The clangs of a church bell mark the hour, but silence soon returns to the Mexican city’s historic core. Suddenly, the whinnies and snorts of horses and the clippity-clop of hooves slapping against cobblestone streets signal the approach of a band of vaqueros. The ranch hands, at least a dozen of them, from perhaps three different generations, in sweat-stained straw hats and scuffed boots, pull up to a bare-bones saloon with swinging wooden doors. They tie their horses and one ancient-looking donkey to a railing that has been used for thi s purpose since the Wild West days. A 12-piece mariachi band strolls over from the town square, a half block away, to greet the men with a song. Twangy guitars set a quick rhythm. Trumpets blare. An accordion joins the melody. Continue reading →
It is 5 pm, and like precision clockwork the porte cochere at the Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, in Kowloon hums with a dozen Ferraris: The serious business of happy hour has begun. Elevators brim to capacity, shooting upward like jewel-encrusted rockets to the 103rd-floor lobby, ears popping in the 52-second ascent. Another lift completes the relay to the 118th floor and the ultimate cocktail destination: Ozone, the world’s highest bar, but even more dizzying, the world’s highest outdoor patio.?????? Continue reading →