Napa Restaurants: Foie Gras at La Toque

by Chris on August 14, 2012

Should Napa restaurants serve foie gras, after California passed a ban on the food? Ken Frank of La Toque says yes.
Foie gras at La Toque

With a flourish, Chef Ken Frank set the serving spoons in front of us during a press dinner at his restaurant, the Michelin-starred La Toque in the Westin Verasa Resort in Napa Valley. “This is my favorite preparation of foie gras,” he said, pointing out the fresh corn polenta and the chanterelle mushrooms. Hey, wait […]


Winning: Downtown Napa, Revitalized

by Chris on July 24, 2012

Downtown Napa has been on the rise for the past few years. A look at some of the restaurants and hotels that are fueling the change.
Storefronts of Downtown Napa

This week, I’m serving as a paid spokesperson for Hilton HHonors’ Seven Tickets to Paradise Sweepstakes. The contest, which is open to Hilton HHonors members, features seven prize packages and ends on Aug. 31. I previewed one of the prizes, the “Your Ticket To Dine,” in Napa Valley this past weekend.    Napa Valley has been […]


Touring the three corners of Fort Collins’ “Brewmuda Triangle”: New Belgium Brewery (home to Fat Tire beer), Odells and the Fort Collins Brewery.
Touring New Belgium Brewery, Fort Collins

This is the third in a series of posts on my roadtrip through northern Colorado: I’ve had a love/hate relationship with beer over the years, mostly erring on hate. I remember stealing sips of my father’s beer when I was little, crinkling my nose at the sour taste.  Most people form their relationship with beer […]


Dinner in the Dark, in Berlin

by Natalie on June 18, 2012

Have you ever considered dining in the dark? Guest writer Natalie Pompilio checks out Unsicht, a blind dining experience, in Berlin.
Unsicht Bar in Berlin

By Natalie Pompilio, contributing writer Most people like to see what they’re eating, especially in today’s world of fantastical plate presentation. But that’s not an option at Berlin’s Unsicht-Bar, where diners sit in complete darkness, are served by blind or visually impaired wait staff, and the three or four course meal being presented is largely […]


Photo Friday: In honor of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, this week’s theme is “Fit for a Queen.” We chose afternoon tea at the Fairmont Empress, Victoria, British Columbia.

This is the latest of our weekly travel photo series, inspired by #FriFotos on Twitter. In honor of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, this week’s #FriFoto theme is “Fit for a Queen.” I’ve been in Canada for over a week now, writing stories and exploring the far North. My time here has reminded me how much I love […]


Grape Expectations: Oregon Wine Country

by Chris on April 26, 2012

Touring Oregon wine country: The hillsides of the Willamette Valley that are home to the some of the country’s best pinot noir.
oregon wine country

This post continues my ongoing coverage of wine country travel. In the 18 months that I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon has emerged as one of my favorite states. It’s not just the food trucks of Portland, or the brewpub culture, or the beauty of the Columbia Gorge. It just seems that every time […]


My North Carolina girlfriend getaway continues with things to do in Asheville, including the River Arts scene; Old Kentucky Home, where author Thomas Wolfe grew up; a beer tour and dinner at Curate.
Things to do in Asheville

This is the third in my series about my girlfriend getaway to Asheville, North Carolina. Besides visiting the Biltmore, Asheville has plenty of things to do. My friend Kathryn and I were only there for two days, so we only time for an introduction to a city that reminded me a lot of Portland, Oregon, […]


This week’s travel photo: A chocolate sculpture from the famous German chocolate shop, Fassbender & Rausch, in Berlin.
German chocolate sculpture

This is the latest of our weekly travel photo series, inspired by #FriFotos on Twitter. This week’s #FriFotos theme is CHOCOLATE. Don shot this chocolate sculpture of the Brandenburg Gate when we were in Berlin in 2010. We were walking down the Charlottestrasse near our hotel, the Sofitel, when we came across chocolate nirvana. Fassbender […]


Japan in Jan: Eating Tokyo, Sushi & Wagyu

by Chris on January 23, 2012

Sampling two specialties of Tokyo: sushi and Wagyu beef.
Sushi for breakfast in Tokyo

In Japan, I was told that there are three things that you must eat in Tokyo: Sushi, Wagyu beef and tempura. In less than 24 hours there, I managed to consume two out of three. First, beef. We had spent our first few days in the country being served gorgeous, but often inedible, kaiseki meals […]


2011 in Review: Most Memorable Meal

by Chris on December 28, 2011

My most memorable meal of 2011 took place not on the other side of the world, but right down the street in Seattle at Mashiko, a sustainable sushi restaurant.
mashiko west seattle

Picking the most memorable meal, out of a year in which I ate very well, is difficult. The Park Hyatt Masters of Food and Wine Festival in Mendoza, Argentina stands out for sheer decadence (by the end of my long weekend, I felt like a goose with an enlarged liver, fattened up for slaughter). Our […]