- Providence on Melrose Ave is phenomenal. It specializes in Seafood. In fact, the decor is made up of barnacles on their warm, beige walls. No, I'm not kidding. Make sure you get a tour of the cheese cart. Six Sigma wine is delish. Ideally you should be on expense account.
- Manpuku in West Hollywood is a fun experience. It's Japan's version of Korean BBQ where there's a grill in the middle of the table and everything is brought to the table raw. It's solid, but certainly not the best I've ever had. The kim-chi is good, and the beef with the scallions is supposed to be their specialty, but I found their Bulgogi version to be better.
- Kyma - Greek cuisine in Buckhead. Specializes in seafood, but the lamb chops were extremely well done and for me to say that? It must be that good. The appetizers were awesome and so much better than the fish entrees that if I were to go back, I would just stick to the apps. The wood-grilled octopus is a MUST. The mixed spreads is a great go-to that's broadly appealing. Stay away from the Greek wines. As my friend said, "They might be the ones who invented it, but they certainly didn't perfect it." Stick with the regions who are known to be the best.
- Seasons 52 - It's Darden's newest concept. While I'm generally not a proponent of chain restaurants, this one is worth trying out. The concept is seasonally inspired cuisine where everything on the menu is under 475 calories. The food is delicious - proving that healthful food doesn't have to be made of tasteless soy products. The Caprese flatbread is excellent, the Taboule salad a winner, and the Ahi Tuna entree with its Asian-inspired accompaniments fresh and satisfying. The desserts are something else - decadent sweets served in shot glasses. Brilliant! The only thing to watch here is the "Snackwell's" pitfall - when you have a false sense of caloric security since everything is only 475 calories, but then end up ordering so much that you actually ingest 1,500.
- Citrus - Chic and pretty darn good. They have a Murphy-Goode Merlot on the menu that is delicious. Their Caprese salad is better than average, and the Florida Snapper entree is awesome. The risotto cakes that come with it could be the only thing on the plate and I would have been happy. I had a bite of someone's Skirt Steak and it was moist and tender - and that was on something that was cooked medium well! I can only imagine what a medium rare cut would taste like!
New Jersey - Unfortunately, there was no time to eat out at a fantastic restaurant. But the Teaneck Marriot is attached to "The Spa" gym, and as guests, you can get in for free. I took a yoga class that was stellar.
Next week, I'm off to Chicago and Seattle.