Neil Patrick Harris says these are the best restaurants in the US

Neil Patrick Harris and Husband favorite restaurants

It’s an established fact that celebrities go to the finest eateries in town. So it only makes sense that a powerhouse couple like Neil Patrick Harris and his chef husband David Burtka know some of the best restaurants in America.

Luckily, the duo have been enlisted by OpenTable as their most recent Tastemakers, putting Harris’ Hollywood connections and Burtka’s chef palette to the test.

The Tastemaker lists are designed by OpenTable, a restaurant booking company, so that people can get restaurant recommendations from the most in-the-know people in the world.

With one actor, one Food Network star, and two adorable twins, the Harris-Burtka family have an opinion or two about where’s good to eat. For Harris, food has become an important part of the family network.

He told OpenTable: ‘Discovering incredible restaurants has become a passion of mine, since I met my better half, and most of our favorite memories revolve around food.

‘We spend a lot of our time trying new restaurants in our home – New York City – as well as cities we come across in our travels.’

Check out David Burtka and Neil Patrick Harris’ favorite restaurants in America.

1 Quince

Quince San Francisco Neil Patrick Harris

Photo: Quince, Facebook

This San Francisco eatery has an elegant atmosphere with a seasonal menu, handcrafted by Michael Tusks, which focuses on locally-sourced food and wine. When it comes time to order, definitely go with either the tasting menu or a la carte plates like the suckling pig or the black cod.

2 Roast – A Michael Symon Restaurant

Roast Michael Symeon Neil Patrick Harris -3

Photo: Roast, Facebook

This isn’t your average hotel restaurant. Michael Simon’s Detroit steakhouse is a surefire hit – a place that has it all. It’s menu highlights meats of all kinds that pair well with amazingly tasty sides.

3 Gandy Dancer

Gandy Dancer Michigan Neil Patrick Harris

Photo: Gandy Dancer, Facebook

Set in a historical landmark, this is one of Michigan’s best restaurants. This place is wonderful for events and big parties. This establishment is known for fine food, which has a menu that focuses on seafood and wonderfully cooked steaks.

4 El Pinto

El Pinto New Mexico Neil Patrick Harris

Photo: El Pinto, Facebook

The decor of this New Mexican restaurant is as impressive as the food. Located about 20 minutes outside of Albuquerque, this massive hacienda boasts many rooms. The terra cotta fountains, plentiful chips, salsa, guacamole, and green chile are what make this restaurant a true wonder.

5 Girl & the Goat 

Girl and the Goat Neil Patrick Harris

Photo: Girl and the Goat, Facebook

I have been here a few times, and every time I come to Chicago, I simply can’t skip out on this place. Top Chef winner Stephane Izard creates innovative and creative food. With its small plates, you’ll have to resist yourself from ordering the entire menu. Strong, flavorful food that is better after every single bite.

6 Lidia’s Restaurant

Lidia's Kansas City

Photo: Lidia’s, Facebook

Lidia Bastianich, acclaimed chef and TV personality, created Lidia’s, which is the quintessential restaurant for rustic northern Italian cooking. Set in an old train station, the farmhouse atmosphere is perfectly rustic and elegant at the same time.

The dishes are flavorful and will leave you beyond full of delicious food. When ordering, go for the pastas, especially the pasta trio that’s cooked tableside. If you can find room in your stomach, you’ll have to try anything with the gorgonzola sauce or the mushroom arancini.

7 Momofuku Las Vegas

Momofuku Neil Patrick Harris

Photo: Momofuku, Facebook

Okay let’s be honest, have you ever had a bad meal at Momofuku?! David Chang brings his seasonal, always changing, Asian-inspired menu to a bigger, badder and tastier level. Always great food done Vegas style.

8 Morimoto Asia

Morimoto Neil Patrick Harris

Photo: Morimoto, Instagram

Looking for the best sushi in Orlando? This is your place. The dining room is like a Vegas nightclub, but the food is as authentic as eating in Japan. Whether you sit down and share dim sum on lazy Susan’s, or order straight from the gigantic sushi bar, this iron chef does it right.

9 Angelini Osteria

Angelini Osteria Neil Patrick Harris

Photo: Angelini Osteria, Facebook

If you’re in the mood for Italian cuisine, this is your place to go. Make sure to book ahead because this tiny Trattoria fills up fast. From homemade, rolled pasta to perfectly cooked Bistecca Florentine, this LA favorite is a no brainer.

10 Vetri Cucina

Vetri Cucina neil patrick harris

Photo: Vetri Cucina, Facebook

With a tiny dining room and a multi-course tasting menu, Ventri never disappoints. It’s over-the-top, expensive and probably some of the best Italian food you will ever have.

See also: 

REVIEW: Blanch House in Brighton, UK: ‘A blissful boutique experience’

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Author: Tom Capon

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This restaurant is like a gay summer theatre camp every single night

SingEasy in London's West End | Photo: SingEasy

Imagine a world ran by gay men and straight women. It probably wouldn’t be a bad thing – at least better than what we’ve got now.

Now imagine a restaurant ran by theatre kids – mostly made of gay men and straight women.

That is what SingEasy, a sing-along party and dining experience, serves every single night.

Presented by the Piano Works West End, you sit down for dinner. They offer a two-course pre-theatre menu from £15 per person or the two-course dinner menu from £21 per person with a bottomless prosecco option for an additional £20pp.

While the food is standard pub fare like fish and chips and shepherds pie, they offer vegan options for nearly every meal.

But what’s different is the talent that’s serving you the food.

Every single waiter is an up-and-coming West End star. Despite serving drinks and food all evening, each one still had the energy to get up there and hit every note.

The songs aren’t picked by them either, they’re picked by the audience.

Each table has a pad that allows you to pick a song for the waiters, pianist or other performers to sing.

Expect cheesiness galore. You’ll hear a lot of Disney, a lot of 90s classics, and a lot of musical theatre.

The cheesiness is a part of the fun. You will feel transported to a theatre summer camp, and every one there is just ready to entertain you.

And it’s not amateur either. Each song is delivered with an amazing voice. You might hear Elsa (her real name) belting out Let It Go or Scott sing a beautiful jazz standard.

You can book a table here.

Author: Joe Morgan

The post This restaurant is like a gay summer theatre camp every single night appeared first on Gay Star News.

REVIEW: 100 Wardour St, London

Colorful and neatly-presented food is a prerequisite at 100 Wardour St. | Photos: Courtesy of 100 wardour St.

A Soho staple, I’ve eaten and drank at 100 Wardour St. after stumbling through central London many times. But across my last three visits, I’ve began to see it in a new light, and have been really struck by its size and versatility.

Last autumn, I was fortunate enough to see iconic Milkshake singer Kelis perform a private gig at the club and restaurant downstairs. It was a blistering short set, but extremely intimate. This definitely had something to do with the venue, which is obviously more tasteful furnishings than sticky floors, and cocktails and fizz over beer in plastic cups.

The same elegance was present when I visited the same space for the bottomless brunch a few weeks before, or ‘Fabulous Brunch, Darling’, as it was themed at the time.

Of course, this is nothing new – drag queen-hosted brunches of various levels of vulgar have popping up at US gay bars for ages.

I’ve seen their popularity with my own eyes. (Including one in a gay sports bar in Washington, D. C. attended almost entirely by straight women; the gay male regulars, meanwhile, were confined to a separate bar and didn’t look happy about it).

I was dubious about trying out the concept for myself, but this very PC take on the trend – including a game of pop music bingo that I took far too seriously – was pretty inoffensive.

What’s more, it attracted a truly diverse crowd. More so than the aforementioned, even. At 100 Wardour, I saw everyone from same-sex couples to families complete with their elderly relatives singing along to the showtunes. More importantly, the eggs benedict were delicious and served promptly, and the good-humored staff generous with the prosecco. (So much so, my waitress totally overfilled my glass at one point!).

My most recent visit to 100 Wardour was to try out the new bar menu in the very plush and gorgeous low-lit upstairs bar. Here, you can get two courses for £18 or three for £22 (complete with a glass of wine), which – let’s be fair – is a pretty astonishing price for a decent meal with table service in central London.

For my starter I had crispy hen’s egg with truffled celeriac remoulade and parma ham, which was tasty and light. Alternatively the ‘nibbles’, which, on their own, are slightly cheaper than the starters, are heftier. (More on them later).

Indeed, the punchy tang of the celeriac is just one example of the chef’s playful use of vegetables. And while the presence of cauliflower steak on any menu is enough to infuriate yours truly, my sometimes-vegan guest was very impressed by it and the wide variety of veggie and vegan-friendly choices on offer.

For her starter, she opted for a a dense celery, spinach and mint soup; I was amazed by the vibrant color and she by the flavor. She was pushing for the mozzarella, basil pesto and tomato arancini too, but I talked her out of it, knowing I’d eat most of it and be bloated for an event the next day.

My desire to eat simply also dictated my choice of main: a refreshing Cornish crab Tagliolini paired with red chilli, garlic and white wine [pictured above]. Light on oil and moderate on crabmeat, it came in two sizes; I ordered the bigger portion.

I felt pretty elegant eating it, and found it filling – just – albeit, I felt vaguely unsatisfied after spotting my neighbor’s ‘nibble’: a generous helping of crispy squid, lime, green mango and sweet chilli that looked almost like a sculpture. I was fixated. But then again, food envy almost always happens to me when I go to restaurants!

Despite my restraint, my guest still easily beat me in the health stakes with her quinoa salad with baby spinach, cranberries, hazelnuts and feta, finished with a cabernet sauvignon dressing. It’s freshness was evident from looking at it and she wolfed it down with absolutely no complaints. We finished our dishes off with french beans with crispy shallots, which were served firm and piping hot, as all cooked veg should. (Same goes for the portion of fries, which we also shared…)

In summary, the food at 100 Wardour St. is definitely affordable and of good quality. But what I’m most struck by is that contrast between the brunch and bar meal experiences – the unmistakable buzz of downstairs, compared to the laid-back ambience of upstairs. It’s an interesting one, and definitely gives this place an edge on its many, many competitors in the area.

For more information, visit the 100 Wardour Street official website.

See also: 

REVIEW: Tsukiji Sushi, London

REVIEW: La Mar by Gaston Acurio, Miami

Author: Jamie Tabberer

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