Fodor’s latest restaurant and hotel reviews: Pischke’s Blue Ribbon Café, Dock House, Eighty One, How to Cook a Wolf…
How to Cook a Wolf.
A strict no reservations policy means diners can expect to wait up to two hours for a table at this bustling Queen Anne newcomer. The lines only stand to get longer as Food & Wine magazine announced chef/co-owner Ethan Stowell one of its 2008 Best New Chefs for his other Seattle venture, Union. Hip crowds come for the simple yet flawlessly executed family-style fare. Think baked polenta drenched in butter, beef tongue in braising jus, or a delicate frisée salad with pears and pecorino cheese. Plan to arrive super early or late (they serve until midnight) to snag a table. 2208 Queen Anne Ave. N., Queen Anne. 206/838-8090. No reservations. Closed Tues. & Wed. No lunch. Median entrée price: $15.Read other Seattle restaurant reviews
Victorian splendor meets modern glam at this stunning boutique hotel perched over Cape Town’s trendy and ever-popular Waterfront. The Dock House, with only a handful of rooms and butler-style service, oozes pampered privacy. Antique silver artifacts, crystal chandeliers, edgy artwork, and bathrooms are sure to impress. The staff, dressed in white linen tunics, provides immaculate yet understated service. The property’s prime location means visitors can freely (and safely) explore the Waterfront’s plethora of dining, shopping and other attractions. But, with a private chef dishing up divine room-service meals, a pool and bar overlooking the harbor, and a full range of treatments and gym facilities at the OneWellness spa annex, it’s entirely possible you’ll never want to leave. Pros: Elegant; close to activities and shopping at Robben Island; excellent room service; complimentary mini-bar. Cons: Parts of the Waterfront can feel a bit mall-ish. Portswood Close, Portswood Ridge; Victorian & Alfred Waterfront; Cape Town; 8001. 021/421-9334 (ph.). 021/419-7881(fax). www.dockhouse.co.za. 5 rooms, 1 suite. In-room: safe, refrigerator, high-speed internet, Wi-Fi. In-hotel: high-speed internet Wi-Fi, room service, bar, gym, spa treatments, laundry service, free parking, airport shuttle limousine service, no-smoking rooms available. Rooms start at $670 USD.
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The entrance to Ed Brown’s ambitious new restaurant is through an inviting bar and lounge, an elegant spot to sip swanky cocktails such as the Wandering Poet (gin, sake, litchi, ginger, and lime) or to order off of Brown’s unabashedly sophisticated New American menu. In fact, dining in the bar may not be a bad option: the large, bright dining room lacks the intimacy of the bar area, though its moderate decibel level will please noise-weary diners. Highlights of the menu include a creamy pumpkin risotto that makes a mouth-watering, shareable starter; tender lamb three ways with sheep’s ricotta gnocchi, wild mushrooms, and braised lettuce; and cod dressed in a sake and black bean broth. The entrée prices may leave you wondering whether you have been sufficiently blown away, though. No matter what, save room for the mille-feuille dessert, a delightful work of architecture in chocolate and hazelnut. 45 W. 81st St., Upper West Side. 212/873-8181. Median entrée price: $36.
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River Inn of Harbor Town.
The River Inn of Harbor Town is a new property that has the look and feel of an elegant European Inn, with antique fixtures, reclaimed wood floors, four-poster beds, flower boxes, and windows that actually open. Guests mingle with Memphis locals at the intimate rooftop bar, where there are beautiful sunset views over the Mississippi River. If you can’t make it to the bar, you can enjoy the sight from your own room. All but six have full river views. Book the Admiral Suite if you want to sleep in the same bed as 2008 presidential candidate John McCain. Pros: Full gourmet breakfast included in room rate; located less than a mile from downtown; complimentary in-room Aqua Panna and Pellegrino sparkling water. Cons: Loud in-room heating and air-conditioning units. 50 Harbor Town Sq., Memphis, 38103. 901/260-3333 (ph.). 901/260-3291 (fax). www.riverinnmemphis.com. 28 rooms. In-room: safe, refrigerator, DVD, Ethernet, Wi-Fi. In-hotel: 2 restaurants, room service, 1 bar, gym, spa, laundry service, concierge, public Wi-Fi, airport shuttle (fee), parking (no fee), no-smoking rooms. Rooms start at $245.
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Trump International Hotel & Tower.
With some of the best views in Chicago, the Trump International Hotel & Tower has attracted a crowd of power brokers, business travelers, and women in fur coats. The elegant guest rooms have muted gray walls, cream-colored couches, and chocolate-brown furniture; each room has its own kitchen with granite counter tops and cupboards stocked with top-of-the-line cookware, as well as a television inside the bathroom mirror. Guests need not venture any further than Sixteen to enjoy fine dining. The full-service spa is immense. Pro: Impeccable service. Cons: Über-decadent; $25 bottled water (for sale) in each room. 401 N. Wabash Ave., North Loop, 60611. 312/588-8000. www.trumpchicagohotel.com. 218 rooms, 121 suites. In-room: safe, kitchen, refrigerator, DVD, Ethernet, dial-up, Wi-Fi. In-hotel: 1 restaurant, room service, 2 bars, pool, gym, spa, laundry service, concierge, public Internet, public Wi-Fi, parking (fee), some pets allowed.
Contributors: Joanna Cantor, Karen Catchpole, Emma Fox, JoBeth Jamison, Lee Middleton, Jo Napolitano