10 Best Celebrity-Owned RestaurantsApril 20, 2010 By: Staff
If you can't be like them, eat like them for starters. At least that's what some star-craved travelers can do if they're seeking the celebrity experience when dining. TripAdvisor's editors and travelers have selected their top 10 celebrity-owned restaurants in the U.S., each boasting average approval ratings of 86 percent.
1. Taste of Tokyo in Tribeca: Nobu, New York City
In 1994, a culinary powerhouse was born when silver screen legend Robert DeNiro partnered with Chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa to open a modern Japanese restaurant in Tribeca. While there are currently 21 Nobu restaurants around the globe, the flagship New York City location remains the top-ranked among them for its dazzling array of sushi and sashimi, combined with innovative entrees like the black cod with miso.
2. All-Star American in the Windy City: one sixtyblue, Chicago
Although basketball icon Michael Jordan owns several restaurants and steakhouses in the greater New York area, his Chicago spot is a slam dunk with travelers for its sophisticated cuisine. Located in the West Loop neighborhood, unique entrees include chorizo stuffed squid, bacon-wrapped rabbit saddle and English pea ravioli, plus a highly rated bar menu for those watching their wallets.
3. Perfect Pub Faire in the Big Apple: P.J. Clarke's, New York City
With roots dating back to 1884, Manhattan tavern P.J. Clarke's welcomed actor Timothy Hutton as a partner in 2002. Frequented by famous faces throughout the years, including Frank Sinatra and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, P.J. Clarke's is recommended by travelers for its bustling atmosphere and outstanding burgers.
4. Visions of Vietnam in the Bay Area: Ana Mandara, San Francisco
Though Hollywood stars Don Johnson and Cheech Marin opened Ana Mandara while filming the television program "Nash Bridges," the dynamic duo remains connected through their joint investment in this successful Bay Area eatery. Located on Fisherman's Wharf, Ana Mandara distinguishes itself with cuisine inspired by Chef Khai Doung's native village of Nha Trang, including Vietnamese braised korobuta pork belly and Mekong Delta prawns.
5. Lively Latin in LA: Beso, Los Angeles
When developing the concept for Beso with celebrity chef Todd English, TV star Eva Longoria proved that she can hold her own in the kitchen by adding a few recipes to the menu. Foodies can pit her avocado guacamole against English's artichoke version, while enjoying Latin-inspired steak and seafood entrees in a chic environment. Eva and hoopster husband Tony Parker frequent the spot with their famous friends.
6. A-List Soul Food in the ATL: Gladys Knight and Ron Winans' Chicken & Waffles, Atlanta
Inspired by the legendary Wells Supper Club in Harlem, the Empress of Soul Gladys Knight, along with her son Shanga Hankerson and friend Ron Winans, opened their first chicken and waffle joint in Atlanta in 1997. Now with four locations, the chain serves up soul food classics like shrimp and grits and fried green tomatoes, in addition to their namesake fried chicken and waffles.
7. Comfort Classics in Sundance: Zoom, Park City, Utah
Featuring casually elegant American cuisine, acting and environmental legend Robert Redford's Zoom whips up delicious food while playing tribute to Park City's history. Housed in the former Union Pacific railroad depot, travelers are smitten with the restaurant's vintage charm and unique dishes like the warm jalapeño crab dip, buffalo osso buco and pecan-cornmeal crusted trout filet.
8. Playful Bar Bites in Phoenix: Alice Cooper's Town Sports Bar & Grill, Phoenix
Famously theatrical rocker Alice Cooper translated his over-the-top personality into a Phoenix sports bar and grill. Dubbed, "Where Jocks and Rock Meet," Cooper's place shows off servers with "Alice Eyes" face paint and entrees named after famous athletes and celebrities, such as Tedy Bruschi, Kid Rock and even Vanna White.
9. Classic Italian in North Beach: Cafe Zoetrope, San Francisco
Located in the historic Sentinel Building in North Beach, famous director and vintner Francis Ford Coppola's Cafe Zoetrope dishes out Italian cuisine in a cozy space adorned with personally collected movie memorabilia. In addition to recommending the outdoor seating, travelers report immediate 'amore,' upon digging into the meatball pizza and house specialty Caesar salad.
10. Down-Home Cookin' in Manhattan: Southern Hospitality BBQ, New York City
A native of Memphis, pop star Justin Timberlake's latest restaurant venture, Southern Hospitality, brings his down-home roots and passion for barbeque to New York City. It's no secret that Justin's celebrity status attracts travelers to the restaurant, but tasty nibbles like fried pickles, dry rub ribs and pulled pork keep them coming back for more.