A Sampling of Dining Articles

A Sampling of Dining Articles
The Resort at Paws Up, Montana

The Resort at Paws Up, Montana

The Top 8 Things to Do in River North, Chicago

In case you're in the River North neighborhood—here are my picks, published in TripSavvy, for things to eat, see and do.

Chicago’s Top 15 Coffee Shops

Chicagoans love their coffee culture not only for a quick hit of caffeine on their way to work or school, but also for long leisurely hang out sessions on weekends with friends or family. Plus, when inclement weather forces folks inside, there’s nothing like finding a comfy space to sip a hot cup of Joe, dry off, or come in from the wind. You decide how you take your Java — pour-over, drip, espresso, or added to froth — and I’ll tell you where to go. Hint: it’s all about the neighborhoods. (TripSavvy)

One Perfect Day in Hong Kong

Big Buddha, Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Big Buddha, Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

It’s true: Hong Kong, or “Fragrant Harbor,” provides travelers nonstop intensity full of fitful sights, smells, and sounds in an autonomous territory that never slumbers.

It’s a brilliant amalgamation of East-meets-West, urban-meets-nature, and modern-meets-ancient, which will make you fall in love as you are hit in the face with these contrasting experiences. If you have the chance — and I highly recommend that you make one happen, even if it’s only for a short layover or for one perfect day — touch down on the Pearl River Delta in East Asia and see for yourself why Hong Kong is renowned for its stunning, dense skyline; bustling waterfront; efficient, clean, and fast public transportation; green spaces; and cosmopolitan metropolis. Hong Kong is justly the Pearl of the Orient when one considers its traditions, people, art, culture, and insanely delectable food. Read more in my published story for The Daily Meal.

The 12 Best Vegan and Vegetarian Restaurants in Chicago

Two decades ago, you would have had a difficult time finding a vegetarian or vegan restaurant in Chicago worth its salt. Today, however, there’s a plethora of restaurants that not only cater to veggie loving patrons but also ones that design meatless meals specifically for carnivores. Many businesses these days have the environment in mind when choosing what they put on their menu and with the popularity of farm-to-table and organic fare, there’s a huge market for alternative meat sources. I’ve rounded up a list of great places to go in Chicago that are either completely meat-free or offer dishes that will work for meatless Mondays, published in TripSavvy.

8 Great Hot Dogs to Try in Chicago

My family hits up Kim And Carlo's Chicago Style Hot Dogs nearly every time we're on museum campus because they serve vegetarian hot dogs. Whether you like your dogs Chicago-style (who actually orders these?) or—gasp!—with ketchup, here are great places to try, published in TripSavvy.

Iceland: Go for the Adventure, Stay for the Seafood

Icelandic ice cream, mousse and donut at Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Icelandic ice cream, mousse and donut at Blue Lagoon, Iceland

Iceland is a Nordic island country, sandwiched between the North Atlantic and Arctic Ocean, just outside of the Arctic Circle. And, because of this, cod, trout, salmon, skate, cured shark (often paired with Iceland’s Brennivín aka “Black Death,” a licorice-flavored schnapps), salt-fish, redfish, and even mink whale (Icelanders will say that it’s not endangered, but many tourists feel “a whale is a whale”) are on the menu. And, most likely, the fresh fish was pulled directly out of the icy waters that day, just for your meal. Read my story here, published in The Daily Meal.

Four Reasons the Dominican Republic Should Be on Your Travel Wish-List

The Caribbean has 25 countries and one of the most popular to visit is the Dominican Republic, located on the island of Hispaniola, alongside Haiti. It’s here that you’ll find: beautiful beaches, the tallest mountain peak in the Caribbean, year-round golf, a fast-growing economy (the second largest gold mine in the world is here) and a culture steeped, and preserved, in history. There are many reasons to vacation in the Dominican Republic, here are four solid ones, published in The Daily Meal.

Entertain the Whole Family at the New All-Inclusive Hotel Xcaret Mexico

Restaurante Xin Gao, Hotel Xcaret México

Restaurante Xin Gao, Hotel Xcaret México

If you’re looking to skip lengthy trip planning, consider an all-inclusive resort. These oft-maligned destinations have made a resurgence with better amenities and even better food. So, grab your bikini —and a few of these dynamic travel gear items — and head south, just below Playa Del Carmen, to the recently opened Hotel Xcaret Mexico. Read more in my published article for The Daily Meal.

A Postcard from South Walton, Florida

As a travel and lifestyle writer, I often have the opportunity to visit a surfeit of Insta-worthy vacation locals. After visiting South Walton for the first time, I can report this 26-mile stretch along northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast is one of the best and brightest places I’ve visited this year so far. Read my story for The Daily Meal here.

Women Leaders in Culinary Roles at Tokyo’s Tsurutokame Restaurant

Tsurutokame Restaurant  doesn’t have large ads displayed in the train stations or on the Internet. There are no large neon signs on the street, alerting pedestrians to its existence. You will only see a small paper lantern, illuminating the way to what lies below.

Tsurutokame Restaurant doesn’t have large ads displayed in the train stations or on the Internet. There are no large neon signs on the street, alerting pedestrians to its existence. You will only see a small paper lantern, illuminating the way to what lies below.

Tsurutokame is not like any other restaurant—it is a word-of-mouth surprising standout because something different and somewhat risky is happening here: seven women are at the helm in leadership chef roles, running this restaurant and creating the unique dishes. In traditional Japanese culture, it is uncommon to see women in prominent leading roles and at Tsurutokame, all of the chefs are women—all. Read my story, published in The Daily Meal.

Chicago’s Hottest Wine Bars

I know craft beers and strong cocktail programs are everyone's jam lately but what about vino? Did your favorite Chicago wine bar make my list of The Big Chicago 9: Hottest Wine Bars, published in TripSavvy? What would you add?

SoHo House Chicago

SoHo House Chicago

The Best Restaurants in Chicago

Are these 12 restaurants among the best in Chicago? What did I miss? What did I get right? What's your go-to?

Check out my dining article, published in TripSavvy.

Great Places for Alfresco Dining With Kids

Although it was a slow start, summer is here, and there is a restaurant patio seat with your name on it. Alfresco dining is the highlight of any Chicagoan’s season, so let your kids in on the fun. Here are the top spots for outdoor family dining—some obvious choices (in front of the Bean) and some secret ones (a Cuban gem in Logan Square). Read on and bon appétit (Red Tricycle).

Uptown, Chicago

The roaring twenties history continues to influence Uptown, Chicago, which has remained a hub for nightlife and abundant entertainment. Here, you’ll find great beaches — for dogs and people, jazz music, a timeworn cemetery, burlesque shows, and Pan-Asian dining and shopping. Discover the top seven things to do in this vibrant enclave with the aid of my guide, published in TripSavvy. Plus, my sweet pup, Six, made an appearance in this story.

Sips with a View

Prosecco Poptail, Upstairs at the Gwen, Chicago

Prosecco Poptail, Upstairs at the Gwen, Chicago

If there’s one thing Chicagoans will come out in droves for, it’s sips and noshes with a fabulous view. Enter: rooftop bars. From an urban backdrop with a glitzy wow-factor to a comfy intimate oasis with romantic lighting and delicious cocktails, I've got you covered. Here is my list of Chicago’s best elevated al fresco hotspots — big and small, extravagant and casual — throughout the city, published in TripSavvy.

Ukrainian Village, Chicago

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Any Chicagoan will tell you that the lifeblood of the city exists in our neighborhoods. Enter: Ukrainian Village, the place to wander for beautiful churches and cathedrals, laid back brunch spots, art galleries and museums, cultural centers and live music. Here is my list, published in TripSavvy, on the top things to do while exploring this robust, yet compact, village.

Bridgeport, Chicago

Bridgeport is full of fun surprises like art centers, helicopter rides and even a Buddhist temple. Here are the top eight things to do in this vibrant south-side Chicago neighborhood, chosen by yours truly for TripSavvy.

Sweet Treats: Incredible Desserts to Put on Your Radar

Chocolate Peppermint Buche de Noel at Waldorf Astoria Chicago

Chocolate Peppermint Buche de Noel at Waldorf Astoria Chicago

Summer is a great time to get out and about to explore the yummy parts of our great city. The mushrooming dining scene in Chicago constantly keeps us on our toes — new and fantastic eateries seem to pop up daily. In fact, according to the City of Chicago, there are more than 7,300 restaurants! Why not take to the streets, with kiddos in tow, and have a dessert fete? Go on a sugary adventure and indulge in the best that Chicago has to offer—here are a few to get you started, published in Red Tricycle.

Beer Gardens That Welcome Your Kids

Say “hello” to sunny days outside at a beer garden. And don’t forget to take your kids! Yep, sippy cups and steins happily coexist at a slew of places across the city and ‘burbs. We tracked down your best bets, from a motorcycle-themed hangout to a pizza joint you can’t miss. Cheers! Here’s my story, published in Red Tricycle.

Favorite Hotspots for Moms Night (or Day) Out

Food or art or both?

Food or art or both?

Kids are back in school, so reward yourself for a summer well done by scheduling much-needed adulting time with you favorite crew. Looking for a place to host your next MNO (Mom’s Night Out) or book club meeting? Read on for our roundup of perfect spots for a bit of girl time, published in Red Tricycle.

Restaurants Near Museum Campus, Chicago

Heading to Chicago's museum campus? Here are some restaurants to try, published in TripSavvy.

Chicago’s Best Sports Bars

Calling all sports fans, here's a list of where to go to watch a game (plus an original photo of mine), published in TripSavvy. 

Evanston, on Tap

Bangers and Lace brings sausage and beer new respect. Read more in my published story for print magazine, Modern Luxury.

See, Smell, Snarf: Morro Bay, California

The Galley Seafood Grill and Bar, Morro Bay

The Galley Seafood Grill and Bar, Morro Bay

The sound of seagulls and the chortle of sea lions will ring in your ears long after you’ve left Morro Bay, California — it’s the gift that keeps on giving. This little fishing village by the sea, home to the forgetful electric-blue tang fish from the movie Finding Nemo, is so picturesque and Instagram-worthy that a vacation here will usurp all others for a long time to come. It’s no surprise that Morro Bay has excellent seafood as well as all around dining options. Many of the outdoor restaurants are pooch and family-friendly. Read more in my story for The Daily Meal.

Five Hot Restaurants Worth a Visit in Toronto, Canada

Toronto, Canada Picnic

Toronto, Canada Picnic

Toronto, the gorgeous capital city of the province of Ontario, is a diverse ( half of the population was born outside of Canada) and bustling metropolis with loads of entertainment, outdoor fun, and dining options. Easily accessible from Chicago and New York City, Toronto — which is also surprisingly a very green city given its 2.8 million residents — doles out gems like the Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum, CN Tower (where you can walk around the top, 116 alfresco-stories up with EdgeWalk), Hockey Hall of Fame, Toronto Botanical Garden (they have a lovely outdoor Yoga class), and activities all along the Don River, The Humber River, and Lake Ontario. (Toronto Bicycle Tours, for example, offers great guided electric bike tours along the Don River Valley). And, of course, Toronto is a leading city in the way of epicurean adventures, and not everything is infused with maple syrup and covered with bacon like one might assume. Here’s my story, published in The Daily Meal. 

Chicago Dishes to Try

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How many of these 12 restaurants in Chicago have you been to? Check out my latest for TripSavvy on popular dishes to try around the city.

24-Hours in Chicago

A Chicago itinerary, written by yours truly. No matter what you do, or where you go, you’ll appreciate the city’s midwestern allure, with a bit of urban edginess. Read my article, published in TripSavvy.

A Wonderful Culinary Weekend at Grande Lakes Orlando, Florida

Wait, doesn't everyone get to watch a pair of Ritz-Carlton Orlando chefs hand pick your meal’s ingredients fresh out of a garden?

Wait, doesn't everyone get to watch a pair of Ritz-Carlton Orlando chefs hand pick your meal’s ingredients fresh out of a garden?

At the Grande Lakes Resort in Orlando, Florida, at the headwaters of the Everglades, sit two amazing properties that offer a plethora of dining options for an epicurean adventure: the Ritz-Carlton Orlando and JW Marriott Orlando. In sunny Florida, you’ll find 12 different and delightful dining possibilities — as well as lots of unique resort happenings — for a fun weekend getaway. Here’s my story, published in The Daily Meal.

Three Amazing Restaurants at Vidanta Riviera Maya, Mexico

If you’re looking for a stunning beach resort in sun-soaked Mexico, Vidanta has you covered with locations in Nuevo Vallarta, Los Cabos, Acapulco, Puerto Peñasco, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán, and Riviera Maya (with East Cape opening soon). And no matter what kind of vacation you seek — active, restful, or somewhere in between — you’ll be happy you picked Vidanta. Of course, one of the most fun parts of going on vacation is the dining experience, and, you guessed it, Vidanta can help with that too — in spades. Here are three amazing restaurants to experience at one of Vidanta’s stellar resorts: Vidanta Riviera Maya, published in The Daily Meal.

Best Places to Eat and Drink This Winter in Chicago

We can’t stop the snow train from rolling into Chicago, but we can make it feel a little warmer inside our bellies with memorable dishes and drinks. Forget the beach and sun; we live in an epicurean paradise full of comfort foods and toe-tingling cocktails and wine. Check out some of Chicago’s top hot spots that are worth bundling up and going outside for — you can thank us later, published in The Daily Meal.