Oregon Shakespeare Festival

  Tony winner “All the Way,” the LBJ-Brian Cranston show on Broadway, was developed here at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, a repertory company devoted to the Shakespearean philosophy of making theater. The artistic director, Bill Rauch, directed the …Read More

Restaurant at The Willows Inn on Lummi Island

  El Bulli without foams and gels. Not since my last trip to the Costa Brava have I had two meals a year apart that met the expectations formed on the previous visit. About as hard to get to but …Read More

Art in London

  We attended two terrific shows in London recently. One was the “Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs” at Tate Modern. It closed Sept. 7, but will travel to the New York MOMA and open on October 12. The New Yorker wrote, …Read More

King Charles III — London

  What a treat it is to see a play that’s interestingly conceived, well written, well staged and well played…and that’s located around the corner from J. Sheekey, one of our favorite restaurants in London. This is sure to be …Read More

Letter from London 2: Fera at Claridge’s and Tony Bennett

Fera at Claridge’s I have long harbored a distaste for restaurants that try so hard to be new and hip, they create dishes that are more of a masquerade than a meal. My sentiments are shared in a Wall Street Journal …Read More

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Biff and I have a house in the Rumbling Bald Resort on the northern border of Lake Lure in the Smoky mountains of North Carolina. There are two spectacular golf courses, …beat… and dozens of families with small children everywhere. …Read More

Hotel La Pinède Plage

  Hotel La Pinède Plage, in La Croix-Valmer, was our choice for a brief vacation on a sandy (not pebbled) beach on the Mediterranean. Although it is only a 20-minute (challenging) mountain drive to St. Tropez and its fashionable but …Read More

La Meridiana

  La Meridiana, on the Italian Riviera, is a member of the Relais & Châteaux group in Garlenda only two hours from Nice, Milan and Portofino. It’s a charming and unpretentious hotel situated in a large and tranquil country estate …Read More

Château Saint-Martin & Spa

Château Saint-Martin & Spa, the Grande Dame of the Vence region, is a member of the Relais & Châteaux group as well as of the Oetker Collection (which also owns the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes.) Originally a Commanderie of …Read More

Auberge de Noves

  One of our favorite hotel-restaurants in Provence is the Auberge de Noves, situated on a dividing line between Avignon and the town of Noves, and near some historic and beautiful places in the South of France: St. Remy, Les …Read More

Letter from Paris — Part 2

The Cognacq-Jay is having an exhibition of works by François-André Vincent (1746-1816), not exactly a household name, whose works I had not seen before. The exhibit showed many drawings. It was worthwhile but not exactly exciting, though quite skillful. The …Read More

(Culinary) Letter from New Orleans

Five new restaurants frequently reviewed and discussed as “worthy”: Doris Metropolitan 620 Chartres in the heart of the French Quarter. Opened in 2014 in a renovated restaurant space. Other sister restaurants from owners Itai Ben Eli and Doris Reba Chia are …Read More

Letter from Amsterdam

  Museums: The newly refurbished Rijksmuseum is a pleasure; the art has been beautifully re-installed on deep-colored walls, and the paintings are well-spaced for easy viewing. Nearly all of the Rijksmuseum’s important Dutch paintings are located in the Hall of …Read More

Letter from Brussels and Bruges

  Brussels We went to an exceptional restaurant, Comme Chez Soi (23 Place Roupe. B-1000 Brussels, +32 2 512 29 21). Located in a small brownstone with exquisite Art Nouveau features, it has been operated by same family for four …Read More

Letter from London

“Relative Values” Consider this 1951 Noel Coward romp a prequel to “Upstairs Downstairs” and “Downton Abbey.” A lightweight dissertation on class, lifted by classic Cowardisms and Patricia Hodge.   “Bring Up The Bodies” The RSC brings Hillary Mantel’s best-selling Man …Read More

Letter from Barcelona

  Museu Picasso   This alone is worth a visit to Barcelona, a wonderful city in so many other ways. The museum is perfectly set in an old palace with every modern touch. The current exhibition, “Post Picasso,” shows his influence on …Read More

Barging on French Country Waterways

I’ve been around the world…a few times; trains,planes,ships (and helicopters in the Marine Corps). Eaten too well, from Paul Bocuse as early as 1974 to other 3-stars in the cities and countryside inns of France, Italy, Germany, the Basque coast …Read More

Letter from Paris — Part 1

Who knows the Villas of Paris?  No one in our party, until the driver told us about them  — tightly gated communities in the 16th and some others, which you can peek through but not enter; the driver says they …Read More

Music in Trois-Rivières, Quebec

A group of donors and trustees of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra journeyed into the depth of French Canada to discover the roots of our music director, Jacques Lacombe. The culmination of our journey was a concert by the other …Read More

Letter from Boston

Spring in Boston is just terrific………and we were lucky to have a beautiful weekend. We were there to celebrate our granddaughter’s graduation from the School of Communications at Boston University, and the city was buzzing. We stayed at the Four …Read More

Letter from Venice 3

The bane of all tourists in Venice is the irregularity of church openings and the unreliability of information supplied by concierges. Yesterday, for instance, we tried to visit San Trovaso to see the St. Chrysogonus on Horseback by Giambono (active …Read More

Letter from Milan

Milan, as everyone knows, is the fashion capital of Italy, and in the Galleria you find stores of Prada, Gucci, Armani, Vuitton, Cucinelli, and — Mercedes-Benz (not selling autos but only fashion accessories); I am now maybe the only New …Read More

Letter from Jerusalem and Venice

Jerusalem: A city that constantly amazes with its positive changes and progress. We went with local friends to the old train station where Hachatzer Restaurant is. The atmosphere, the food, the service, the people — all authentic and enjoyable. Very …Read More

Stonover Farm, The Berkshires

  Spring is here and it’s time to think about The Berkshires. For us this means three nights at Stonover Farm in Lenox… right, Stonover Farm not Wheatleigh, not Blantyre, not Cranwell… all of which are terrific places. It’s just …Read More

Afton Villa, St. Francisville, Louisiana

It’s time someone spoke about gardens. And from my remote seat at the VDP, what better place to start than with Louisiana’s Afton Villa, a garden with which many are likely unacquainted but truly is one of the grand private …Read More

Tropicana Cuba

The 228-mile flight from Miami to Havana takes only 40 minutes, but it takes you back 55 years. For about $85, you can imagine Batista is still in power, the Castros are just a growing nuisance, and the Mafia sure …Read More

Dining in Palm Beach and West Palm Beach

For years, the word was that there weren’t many good restaurants in Palm Beach because everyone had his own chef….or was it that the season was too short to support good restaurants? Fact is, things have changed, and here’s a …Read More

(Gastronomic) Letter from Los Angeles

We’re on our annual five weeks in Los Angeles, and the restaurant scene is the best since we’ve been coming here in 1967. Hinoki & the Bird is an Asian fusion-influenced place in Century City. We had lots of small …Read More

Regency Hotel New York

Having stayed in the Regency regularly since 1965, we have sorely missed it (if not the tired condition) over the last 13 months as it went through a complete closure and renovation. Ah, what a change! We stopped there Thursday …Read More

Letter from Paris

A mid-November food and wine trip to Europe (France, Germany, Italy) started with two days in Paris. Day one lunch: Le Comptoir du Relais (at the Hotel Relais St Germain). Consistently my favorite restaurant in Paris and, in my humble …Read More

Letter from Germany

Six Stars in the Forest: About a 75-minute drive east of Strasbourg, France, is a small town in the Black Forest called Baiersbronn. Beautiful mountains, trees and streams. What makes this place special for visitors (at least the foodie kind) …Read More

Letter from Italy

A Whiter Shade of Truffle (a culinary nod to Procol Harum). A car ride from Baiersbronn, a gorgeous train trip over the Alps from Basel to Milan, followed by a westerly drive to Barolo and truffle country, we arrive a …Read More

Pérez Art Museum Miami

I was absolutely knocked out by a trip to the Pérez Art Museum Miami last Friday. It is the new main museum set near the Arsht Performing Arts Center and the MacArthur Causeway. The architects have done a fantastic job …Read More

Letter from London

In the not-too-distant past, dining out in London meant roast beef and Yorkshire pudding at Simpsons-In–The-Strand or Rules, or standards at Noel Coward’s venerated theatre hang-out, The Ivy. The finest cooking, by far, was to be had in any number …Read More

Letter from Barataria and Lafitte, Louisiana

Less than an hour from New Orleans is deep bayou country, and if you happen to have grandchildren in town for Thanksgiving you could do a lot worse than distract them from their “mobile devices” by taking them to Barataria …Read More