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Vinous Table: La Tour d’Argent, Paris, France

Vinous Table

Ian D'Agata, Feb 2017

The legendary restaurant La Tour d’Argent offers amazing panoramic views of the Seine and Notre Dame, a spacious, bright dining room, a monumental wine list and many classic food preparations. So I was curious to try the cuisine of new chef Philippe Labbé, who took over the kitchen from Laurent Delarbre in May 2016.

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Vinous Table: Philippe Gaertner Aux Armes de France, Alsace, France

Vinous Table

Ian D'Agata, Feb 2017

Philip Gaertner walked away from the Michelin star rat race in 2005 and has never looked back. His family restaurant, which once held two stars,has been open for business since 1920, and remains a sure bet for precisely cooked Alsatian and French classics. In fact, it’s one of my favorite country restaurants anywhere.

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Vinous Table: Al Cacciatore de la Subida, Cormòns, Italy

Vinous Table

Ian D'Agata, Jan 2017

La Subida is one of Italy’s best country restaurants. Hearty, but precise and flavorful renditions of Friuli and Slovenian classics are must tries for all serious foodies. The deep wine list rich in Friuli’s best wines adds measurably to the dining experience.

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Vinous Table: Allen’s, Toronto, Canada

Vinous Table

Ian D'Agata, Jan 2017

For hearty food with flavorful twists, and interesting sweet-sour and boozy nuances, plus one of the best all-Canadian wine lists Toronto and Canada have to offer, run, don’t walk, over to Allen’s.

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Vinous Table: Restaurant Laurin, Bolzano, Italy

Vinous Table

Ian D'Agata, Jan 2017

Bolzano’s Parkhotel Laurin is not just the most prestigious and beautiful in the city but it also boasts the city’s most interesting restaurant. Rising star chef Manuel Astuto appears to have a great future ahead. A very good selection of fairly priced wines from Alto Adige and the rest of Italy makes dining here even more enjoyable.

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Vinous Table: Absinthe Brasserie & Bar - San Francisco

Vinous Table

Kelli White, Jan 2017

It really was by accident that I found myself eating at the bar at Absinthe in Hayes Valley a few weeks ago. Absinthe has been a staple of the neighborhood since it first opened in 1998. Both the interior and the menu are styled in the fashion of a French brasserie. Although the setting is darkly romantic, the penetrating nostalgia of both cuisine and scene make for a dining experience that is warmly comforting above all.

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Vinous Table: 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo - Bombana, Hong Kong

Vinous Table

Ian D'Agata, Dec 2016

8½ Otto e Mezzo-Bombana in Hong Kong is the only Italian three star Michelin restaurant outside of Italy, and it deserves every single one of those stars fully. This was easiest one of my top four or five meals of 2016.

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Vinous Table: Uliassi, Senigallia, Ancona, Marche, IT

Vinous Table

Ian D'Agata, Dec 2016

Brother and sister Mauro and Catia Uliassi opened their restaurant in 1990 and have essentially never known anything but success. Located right on the seashore of Senigallia, in the Marche region, Uliassi offers a modernist take on old classics, but there is a solid mastery of traditional techniques and real knowhow in every dish that emerges from the kitchen.

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Vinous Table: L’Auberge de l’Ill - Illhaeusern, France

Vinous Table

Ian D'Agata, Dec 2016

I doubt there is a more enjoyable manner anywhere in the world by which to start off dinner than out on the patio at l’Auberge de l’Ill’s magical riverside location. The meandering, lazily ebbing waters of the Ill river are enough to lull you to sleep, but the fairy tale, extremely picturesque setting is such that you’ll stay wide awake as you peruse the rather large menus you’ll be handed by your waiter as you take your seat outside.

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Vinous Table: La Madonnina del Pescatore, Senigallia (Ancona), Italy

Vinous Table

Ian D'Agata, Dec 2016

The official name of the restaurant is La Madonnina del Pescatore but everybody just knows it as Moreno Cedroni, the bandana wearing owner-chef who is one of Italy’s best known, most famous and easiest to recognize cooking personalities. No matter which name you use, this two Michelin star establishment is one of Italy’s top 15-20 dining destinations. You’ll never regret having booked a table.