Sakura Steakhouse


10040 Baltimore National Pike
Ellicott City, MD 21042
410.203.0755
www.sakurasteakhouse.com
Sakura Japanese Steak & Seafood House on Urbanspoon
For my mom's birthday, she wanted to go to a place that my two young nieces really enjoy.  Sakura is one of those typical Japanese steakhouses where the chef puts on a show tables side while he cooks.  My nieces really enjoy watching him create food volcanoes, complete with fire and chopping up ingredients at blurring speeds.  The quality of the food is little sub par at Sakura and everything is doused with so much soy sauce and oyster sauce that the natural flavors of the food have a hard time coming through.  The vegetables are generally over cooked and overall the meal isn't something that will light up your taste buds.

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The Clifton Inn

1296 Clifton Inn Drive
Charlottesville, VA 22911
434.971.1800
www.cliftoninn.net
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I went to a beautiful wedding during this weekend just outside of Charlottesville, VA. The reception was at Veritas Vineyards and while the food was great, I'm not sure if it was memorable. However, I was in the wedding party and we all stayed at a bed & breakfast called the Clifton Inn.  I'm not sure of the history of the inn but it looks like one of those sprawling plantation mansions that you see in movies all the time. I stayed in the Honeymoon Suite (ironic, right!) which was decorated in old Southern charm complete with a cast iron tub.  There was no internet connection at the time and you really did feel like you were on the set of Gone With the Wind.

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Blue Ribbon

97 Sullivan Street
New York, NY 10012
212.274.0404
www.blueribbonrestaurants.com
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With little knowledge of the NYC restaurant scene, I've come to rely on what I've read in 'Heat' as my guide in my exploration of the city through the food it offers.  The book talks about Blue Ribbon Brasserie as a place that renowned NYC chefs go late night and sit at the front round table to talk shop.  Blue Ribbon's reputation already precedes it so it was an easy choice for trying a new restaurant.

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Momofuku Noodle Bar

163 1st Avenue
New York, NY 10003
212.475.7899
www.momofuku.com/restaurants/noodle-bar/
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I had heard a lot about this asian noodle bar (yet, I didn't even know who David Chang was when I ate here finally) and had been dying to try it for months since I grew up on noodle soup as a kid in Toronto.  On a Monday night, there was still a 20 minute wait as seating is limited (~30 minutes) and it was pretty popular.  The setting as clean and smooth with a full length light colored wooden bar where you could watch all the food being made.  I was slightly disappointed since I usually associate noodle bars with small little holes in the wall that you find in Chinatown.

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Corner Bistro

331 W 4th St
New York, NY 10014
212.242.9502
www.cornerbistrony.com
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I've been to the Corner Bistro several times since I've been in NYC and to me it still is the best burger you can find in the city. The atmosphere is just enough of a dive to be appropriate. For the longest time, this joint was always my late night, greasy food, one last drink before you go home stop.  I can't tell you how many times I've started and then ended the night at the table in the back just past the kitchen.  The first time I ever ordered a Corner Bistro Burger at 4 a.m., was the first time I ever felt like an New York City insider.

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