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Tables with a View

The only thing better than a four-star meal is a four-star meal enjoyed in a dining room with an unforgettable view. In our travels, we’ve found that tables with a view aren’t as common as you’d think. That said, we’ve got a growing list of places where the price of an entrée includes a feast for the eyes as well as the belly.

071008_slanted_door_san_franciscoF.JPGSan Francisco

The Slanted Door
Everything about this restaurant is special, from the Western-accented Vietnamese menu to the glorious view of the San Francisco Bay. The interior space is all sleek wooden tables and chairs and white marble floors. Try the oven-roasted whole fish with ginger sauce — a house specialty that is perfect every time. $$-$$$.

Hong Kong

Yan Toh Heen
It’s hard to say what’s better about this place — the view of Victoria Harbor or the vast selection of seafood dishes on the menu. This isn’t your mother’s fish house. The enormous range of fish dishes — the largest range in Hong Kong — includes exotics like maori and green wrasse. The service is rightly lauded for attention to detail. $$$$

071008_alize_las_vegasF.JPGLas Vegas

The cuisine served up in this lovely restaurant atop the Palms Hotel includes pan-seared Muscovy duck and imported Dover sole, all served in one of Vegas’ swishiest dining rooms. But not even a room on this order can compare with the view of the Vegas skyline. $$$$


The truly fantastic views at this popular Italian restaurant take in a southerly view over Lake Michigan, and include the glittering Chicago skyline. The chef does a superb job with grilled salmon and pasta and prime rib, and the 40-foot-long kitchen is open to patrons, who love to watch meals being prepared. Not that it can possibly compete with the view. $$$

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OXO Tower Restaurant & Brasserie
The ceiling at this celebrated restaurant turns various colors in the evening hours, but who notices with St. Paul’s Cathedral, the “Erotic Gherkin” office tower, and the majestic London skyline across the water? The brasserie is cheaper than the pricey restaurant, but both have great river views. The kitchen turns out fare that is trendy without being outlandish, and the vast wine list includes vintages from around the world. $$$


La Tour d’Argent
In 2006 it lost its Michelin star and its owner Claude Terrail, but La Tour is still there, occupying a glorious space overlooking the Seine, and still serving up reliably exquisite cuisine. The lunch menu is less pricey than the dinner menu, but it’s no less sophisticated. The most celebrated dish, canard au sang (duck in a blood-based sauce), is a house specialty. $$$$

Puerto Vallarta

Daiquiri Dick’s
The patio dining room frames a dazzling view of Playa Los Muertos that is lovely at any time of the day but especially at sunset. Locals enjoy the reasonably priced breakfasts, and visitors come for the attentive service and consistently good world cuisine. The place certainly lives up to its name with a long list of delicious daiquiris. $$-$$$

071008_aria_sydneyF.jpgSydney, Australia

The food is superb, but the thing diners are most likely to remember about Aria is the terrific view of Sydney Harbor and the Sydney Opera House. Chef Matthew Moran puts inventive spins on such fare as Bangalow sweet pork belly and rabbit cassoulet. Although the view is sweet enough, the chocolate mousse is a must-have for dessert. $$$$


La Terrazza dell’Eden
Imagine dining on taglioni with langoustine, or seared medallions of rabbit loin, while overlooking all of Rome’s magnificent seven hills. If that sounds like heaven, here’s where you can experience it on planet earth. If you’re a wine enthusiast, ask the maitre’d to let you view the restaurant’s showcase cellar. Note that a jacket and tie are required for the gents. $$$-$$$$

071008_asiate_newyorkF.JPGNew York

Sup on Asian-fusion dishes like grilled lobster with cuttlefish “noodles” and beurre blanc sauce while looking out over Central Park from the 35th floor of the Time Warner Center. Chef Noriyuki Sugie finds just the right balance of flavors in his French and Japanese taste sensations. A pricey but memorable experience. $$$$

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