December 2003

Arkansas | Jonesboro18 Dec 2003 12:31 pm

Join the club for a nominal annual fee at the door and enjoy libations and some of the best food I’ve come across in the great USA – really a surprise worth the trip.

2628 Phillips Drive
Jonesboro AR 72401-7330
(870) 972-6501

Covington | German15 Dec 2003 05:37 pm

OK, this Americanized “German” restaurant may not reflect true European German cooking, which can be quite wonderful. But this place prepares fresh dishes with good schnitzels, red cabbage, and potato pancakes – and try the hot slaw. Not much of a wine list, so drink the beer.

514 West 6th Street
Covington KY 41011-1214
(606) 261-1233

across the river from Cincinnati

Ontario, Canada | Unionville11 Dec 2003 03:47 pm

An intimate place in a picturesque town off the beaten path, though wine prices are a little steep.

205 Main Street
Unionville ON L3R 2G8
(905) 940-0235

Web site (with Web specials)

Florida | Italian | Tampa11 Dec 2003 03:44 pm

Though I generally do not like chains, the owner of Outback sees to it that this place prepares all dishes from scratch, and there’s not a microwave in the place (not true of most Outbacks).

Jan 2004 comment: sometimes too busy; food served lukewarm.

11435 N. Dale Mabry Hwy.
Tampa FL 33618
(813) 265-9844

Italian | Ontario, Canada11 Dec 2003 02:58 pm

March 2005 update:

OK, how do you resist the risotto porcini with parmagianno cheese wheel (about 30″ diamater and 8″ high) – the cooked risotto/porcini creation (made on the first day of creation I assume – it’s real good), is ladled into the hollowed-out cheese wheel where generous amounts of cheese are shaved off and blended together with the creation. The end result is an even better creation (I’m getting religious – sorry). The Dolcetta d’ Alba was the perfect compliment. I will go back if for this specialty alone.

A wonderful Italian place with Parma cheese wheel offerings if you make a special request to Fausto Di Berardino.

Galena | Illinois | Italian | Pizza09 Dec 2003 10:21 pm

October 2004 update: let’s give this place the credit it deserves. The cooking is good enough to warrant an upgraded rating, and the value is there as well. Sure it’s hard to resist the butter-laden garlic bread, and the family style salad presentation, and the pollo marsala dish which I think is one of the better ones, along with many other enticing entrees.

The owners are serious about maintaining high standards and consistency. This place is not for those who are overly impressed with the other Galena establishments – please do not evaluate this place on the quality of its meatball sandwich. Go to Freddy’s on Chicago’s south side for that work of art.

Cute place with adequate food and wine – not pretentious like many places in Galena.

201 South Main Street
(815) 777-8100

Chicago | Illinois | Mexican09 Dec 2003 10:16 pm

Rick Bayless has done it – gourmet Mexican with real flair. Try the tasting menu and make reservations well in advance, or wait in line for Frontera Grill.
$$$ Topolobambo
$ Frontera Grill

445 North Clark Street
(312) 661-1434

view their web site

Illinois | Italian09 Dec 2003 10:12 pm

Where the owner sings to his customers – an ex-Sinatra hangout.

266 West Lake Street
far western suburbs
(630) 529-5334

Beverly Hills | California09 Dec 2003 10:09 pm

The sister restaurant to the one in San Francisco – garlic is the name of the game.

55 North La Cienega Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA
(310) 652-7673

Chicago | Illinois09 Dec 2003 10:03 pm

A national chain with exceptional meat – request a table by the river (al fresco) weather permitting (which means about 3 months out of 12 in the windy city).

318 North State Street
(312) 670-9900

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