Blue Hill NYC: Where Farm to Table found its soul

Hello, readers! The Culinary Diplomat really does still exist!*  Join me on a renaissance of sorts with the soulful cuisine of New York City’s Blue Hill restaurant. It may be neither new nor undiscovered, but one visit revealed why the restaurant and its chef-founder, Dan Barber, achieved fame for this restaurant and its subsequent sister…

Karma Modern Indian: Edible Art with South Asian flare

It’s definitely nowhere near your average Indian restaurant. Washington, DC’s Karma Modern Indian is one of DC’s newest fine dining establishments, which just happens to emphasize the flavors of India and South Asia as it plates craveable, edible works of art. It somehow manages to pull off an understated opulence that shatters expectation. OK, so…

Flour and Water: A culinary bucket list experience in SFO

Ever tried a pasta tasting menu? Neither had I, before I tried the summer pasta tasting menu with wine pairing at San Francisco’s Flour and Water. Not your typical Italian joint, Flour and Water’s exquisite menus for omnivores and vegetarians alike. The experience is worth the investment. Chef Thomas McNaughton wows patrons with regularly changing…

Meriwether’s: Portland, Oregon’s original farm-to-table restaurant

Taste the farm without leaving Portland’s city limits at Meriwether’s, Portland’s first – and still fabulous – true farm to table restaurant. The farm-to-table concept is no longer just a hot trend in the food world. It’s now so well-integrated into the mainstream restaurant industry that it almost seems commonplace. Yet Meriwether’s literally brought the…

Gloria Ferrer: California sparkling house with Spanish Catalonian flair

Sample some French-style, Spanish-influenced sparkling wine (yep, that’s a thing!) made in Sonoma County, California at Gloria Ferrer. Nestled in the cool bayside Carneros region of Sonoma County, the vineyards of Gloria Ferrer are well situated to grow Chardonnay and Pinot noir grapes, the key components of most sparkling wines. Having visited nearby Domaine Carneros…

Lavash: Fine Persian cuisine in San Francisco’s Sunset district

Anyone who knows San Francisco well is prone to complain about San Francisco’s changing food scene. Many of the good restaurants, particularly international cuisine, have been priced out of the city altogether – mostly due to ridiculously high residential and commercial real estate costs. Even celebrity chef-turned TV star Anthony Bourdain lamented in a special…

A tour of Willamette Valley, Oregon’s best wineries

Where in the USA can you go to experience world class wines in a gorgeous setting, among friendly faces, and all without breaking the bank? Oregon’s Willamette Valley! After nearly a decade since my last visit, Oregon’s Willamette Valley has transformed from an up and coming wine producer to a globally recognized producer of complex…