Foodie Report: Vegas, D.C. and Philly Offer New Notable Eateries


Looking for the perfect place to grab a bite, or a hideaway to snag a quick snack? Here are some hot spots to check out. 

Renovated Watergate Launches New Restaurants and Bars

Following a $125 million renovation, the Watergate Hotel in Washington D.C. will be debuting a lineup of new restaurants and bars. 

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Executive chef Michael Santoro, an alumnus from The Fat Duck and Mugaritz, will oversee them all, as well as the hotel's in-room dining. Here are the places to know:

Kingbird will be the main restaurant at the hotel, and will have both tasting menu and an a la carte option. Tasting menus will be priced $68-78, with dishes including squab consommé in puff pastry and braised oxtail lasagnette. Breakfast, lunch and dinner options will also be served. 

Additionally, the Next Whisky Bar will have a wall of custom whiskey bottles, showcasing a variety of Scotch, bourbon, and ryes. The name is inspired by lyrics from "Alabama Song," notably covered by The Doors.

Top of the Gate will afford 360-degree views of the river, as well as the city's monuments. This venue will focus on signature and classic cocktails, as well as Asian street food. There will be bottle service, heat lamps and a fire pit, and the venue expects to host many private events.

Las Vegas’ Newest Restaurants and Bars

MR CHOW at Caesars Palace offers views of the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis, as well as a family-style dining environment. Notable dishes include chicken satay, green prawns and hand-pulled MR CHOW noodles. 

Virgil’s Real Barbeque is set to open a restaurant in Las Vegas this summer. Alicart Restaurant Group will open the 14,000 square foot eatery at the LINQ Hotel & Casino. Virgil’s will have nightly live music and three outdoor spaces, including a poolside patio and seating for up to 300 guests. If this location has the same menu as the other two, it is likely to be serving a chicken & ribs combo with a side of the popular cheddar cheese grits.

Looking for a frosty finish to a long day on the Strip? Las Vegas’ original ice bar, Minus5, was recently renovated with an upgraded bar, including 120 tons of Canadian ice. Good to know: The 1,300-square foot bar makes it the largest permanent ice bar in the world. 

At Brigg's Oyster Co., guests have the opportunity to sit along the exhibition kitchen at a bar and order the restaurant’s pan roasts and steamer dishes. For those not looking for oysters, there are daily seafood specials. Notable offerings include lobster mac and cheese and fish tacos.

There is also the Hong Kong Café, which serves lunch, dinner and late-night dishes, including Asian cuisine and Western fare. A tasting of the Macau-style roasted pork belly or the fried fish ball with curry is recommended. The café also serves Cantonese, Taiwanese, Vietnamese and Szechuan cuisine.

Clique Hospitality and The Cosmopolitan will launch the Clique Bar & Lounge this winter. Savory small bites are be served here, including street tacos, sliders and salads. 

Vegas Eateries
Photo by Hatch

The Still at The Mirage Las Vegas Dishes Out Craft Beers

The Still, a bar which serves beer from an Airstream trailer, is set to open in March at The Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, just in time for St. Patrick's Day.

All food will be served from the Airstream trailer's kitchen. While The Still will have a centrally located full bar offering craft cocktails, the highlight of the beverage program will be an extensive selection of domestic and imported beer. For eats, menu offerings will include street tacos and sliders, as well as appetizers that will range from flounder fish and chips, to fresh oysters and lobster rolls.

Napa's Third Annual Calistoga Food and Wine Event Set to Take Place in April

Foodies looking to sample the Napa scene should check out the Third Annual Calistoga Food and Wine Event, hosted by Solage Calistoga

The three-day event from April 22 - 24 will highlight Napa Valley's culinary including a lineup of exclusive dining experiences and tastings led by Calistoga’s Michelin Star chefs and award-winning wineries. 

The weekend schedule will include: 

Friday, April 22: Guest Chef Winemaker Dinners, 7pm-10pm

The Guest Chef Winemaker Dinners will take place at award-winning restaurants throughout Calistoga, combining the talents of Calistoga's finest chefs with the talents of guest chefs from all over the United States. Each dinner will serve a custom menu showcasing the works of both participating chefs, paired with wines from local Calistoga wineries. Participating chefs will include Evangeline's chef Gustavo Rios working with chef Bradley Borchardt, The Calistoga Inn Restaurant's chef Nicolas Montanez working with chef Jason McClain and Kory Stewart of Sam's Social Club working with chef Sally Camacho. $125 per person including tax and gratuity.

Saturday, April 23: Grand Tasting at Solage Calistoga, 3pm-7pm

The Grand Tasting event celebrates Calistoga wine and will take place at Solage Calistoga's Solstice Event Lawn and Barn. Options will be offered from Solbar executive chef Brandon Sharp, including a small bites menu at live cooking stations with offerings from over 30 Calistoga wineries. 

Sunday, April 24: Chef & Somms Brunch at Solage Calistoga, 11am-2pm

On Sunday guests can make their way to the Solstice Event Lawn and Barn at Solage Calistoga for the Chef & Somms Brunch,  which will offer seven guest chefs cooking at live action stations, guests will enjoy a gourmet brunch complemented by breakfast cocktails created just for the occasion. $65 per person, including food and breakfast cocktails. 

Participating Calistoga wineries will include 2880, Amici Cellars, Barlow Vineyards, Bennett Lane Winery, Canard Vineyard, Chateau de Vie, Chateau Montelena, Clos Pegase, Coquerel Family Estate Wines, Davis Estates, Dutch Henry, Envy Wines, Harris Estate Vineyards, Hindsight Wines, Homage Vineyard, Jack Brooks Vineyard, Jax Vineyards, Jericho Canyon Vineyard, Jones Family Vineyards, Larkmead Vineyards, Kenefick Ranch Vineyards, Knighton Family Vineyards, La Sirena, Laura Micheal Vineyards, Madrigal, Next Door Wine, Phifer Pavitt Wine, Samuel Brannan Vineyards, Shypoke, Sterling Vineyards, Storybook Mountain Vineyards, Summers Estate Winery, Tamber Bey, Tom Eddy Winery, T-Vine and Vermeil Wines, while participating local and global chefs will include Chef Jason McClain of Jonathan Club in Los Angeles; Chef Ewald Notter, widely considered a leading expert in modern day confectionary arts; Executive Sous Chef Reylon Agustin of Rosewood Sand Hill; internationally-awarded pastry competitor Chef Sally Camacho; Chef Lars Kronmark of The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, Napa Valley, and Chef Donald Wressell, Executive Pastry Chef at San Francisco Bay area-based Guittard Chocolate. Additional participating chefs will be announced in the coming months.

Tickets for all portions of the Calistoga Food and Wine Event are on sale at 

Philadelphia Launches Several New Dining Venues  

Philadelphia has introduced several new dining venues, including options from Urban Farmer, Richard Sandoval’s Aquimero and Ruth’s Chris & Bud & Marilyn’s.
In Midtown Village, just east of the Avenue of the Arts, Chef Marcie Turney and restaurateur-partner Valerie Safran have opened the neighborhood’s first modern Mexican, Spanish and Italian bistros, all located along 13th Street. The menu at Bud & Marilyn's includes bacon-topped skillet bread, Nashville hot buns, fried chicken, and kielbasa with pierogies.

The Logan, part of Hilton’s Curio Collection of boutique hotels, recently welcomed the country’s third Urban Farmer Steakhouse, overlooking Logan Square. The restaurant is located in Center City, and offers steaks butchered and dry-aged in-house, as well as a cheese cart and charcuterie station and local beer. 

In May 2016, The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia, will welcome Aqimero, Denver-based chef Richard Sandoval’s latest restaurant showpiece. Wood-grilled wild salmon is set to be highlighted on the menu, along with black bass, Atlantic halibut and other fresh fish entrees. Steak and poultry dishes will also be on offer. An expansive sushi and ceviche raw bar will present oysters, King crab legs, octopus and spicy tuna. The breakfast-through-dinner restaurant, which comprises the lobby’s bar and lounge, is also expected to be the most visible of the hotel’s multimillion-dollar update. 

In addition, Ruth’s Chris Steak House is expected to make its anticipated return to Center City in May 2016 at the refreshed Sonesta Philadelphia Hotel. Prime beef and potatoes are set to be served on the menu, as well as Caribbean lobster tails and barbecue shrimp. 

At Le Méridien Philadelphia’s Amuse, Chef Daniel Tyrell is serving up a new and modernized French-inspired menu in early 2016.

Bank & Bourbon at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel recently welcomed Bourbon Master Paul Zuber to helm its spirits operation in late 2015, where he took charge of the extensive whisky and bourbon collection at the property, including the onsite barrel-aging program—at the American brasserie. 

Melbourne, Australia-born Bluestone Lane Coffee has opened its first U.S. location outside Manhattan in the historic yet contemporary Radisson Blu Warwick Hotel, a block from Rittenhouse Square. The new site is open early morning through late afternoon and includes a La Marzocco coffee bar, coconut quinoa porridge, and an “avocado smash” open-faced sandwich. 


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