Thursday, January 21, 2016

We all love finding that one restaurant that we could go to again and again and again. That one restaurant that just feels like home the minute you walk in. Our great country has so many hidden gems and we outline the top 10 restaurants that the Lu Raquel Team, loves to love!!!

10. Les Montage - Portland, Oregon: This "quirky hideaway" as it is often referred to, boasts some of the cities best creole-cuisine. The banquet style seating means you're almost required to come out of your little bubble and chit-chat with the other patrons. The almost comedic wait staff and good-looking cooks are just icing on the cake for this fun, hip, and family friendly establishment. Open late on weekends until 4 am - this is a must stop if you are looking for an incredibly delicious place to get your after-the-bar grub on. Tip: Try the mac and cheese and frog legs!

9. Great Wall Chinese Restaurant - San José, California: Just a typical run-of-the-mill Chinese restaurant? Not unless your local Chinese restaurant loves their regulars so much that they send them Christmas gifts every year! A business that still values family, loyalty, great customer service... not to mention they have the best Chinese food in the area to boot! Tip: Try the shrimp friend rice and War wonton soup! You will thank us so much for tipping you off to this place, you may even feel like sending us a Christmas gift! was worth a try!

8. Quartino Italian Cuisine- Chicago, Illinois: Chicago is known for its incredible cuisine. We can't get enough of the authentic Italian cuisine, in a hip, friendly environment. Top-notch food, top-notch environment, top-notch service! No wonder this place is always buzzing. Oh, did we mention their wine list is to die for? If you haven't visited this place, go. Go now...seriously NOW! Tip: Stracci di Grano Arso - Best pasta on the menu. Heck, it might be the best pasta on any menu, the history of menus.

7. Twilight 7 - Bellevue, Washington: If spicy Szechuan is your thing, and we mean seriously spicy, this is your "go to" place when visiting the beautiful state of Washington. The food is so good. So, so good! Did we mention it has private karaoke suites? Yeah, that's a thing. If you are looking for a seriously fun night out, in a funky decorated joint, with seriously spicy and authentic Szechuan go here! Tip: The spicy fish is a must have. Be ready with something to drink to ease the pain, but try it!

6. The Pig - Winnemucca, Nevada: If you are looking for some serious BBQ, this all-American barbeque joint is a must! Best barbeque in Nevada and some ridiculously delish curly fries. If you like a little heat, dip those yummy, perfectly curled and perfectly fried potatoes in some of their spicy fry sauce. Mind. Blown. Tip: Curly fries and spicy fry sauce....and really anything on the menu.

5. Dmitri's - Ridgefield Connecticut: This modest restaurant may not look like much from the street, but when you sit down, you feel like you just got home from a long semester away at college. The authentic, no fuss, Greek fare is comfort food to the max. The family run establishment not only boasts some of the best Greek cuisine, but they don't limit you. Hungry for an amazing omelette for breakfast? Sure, they'll do that. How about Tex-Mex? Come on in! Their menu is only limited by your imagination. They treat their locals and visitors alike as family and go above and beyond for their community. We will support this establishment every day of the week and twice on Sunday's! Since their menu states they are open 8 days a week, the twice on Sunday thing actually works! Tip: Get their salmon couscous. Or their lemon soup. Or their Gyro. Or their chicken souvlaki...or, or, or....we can't pick just one!

4. Bardenay - Coeur d' Alene, Idaho: This fun restaurant is always high energy! Fantastic food, an incredible bar and just a really cool vibe. It's loud so a great place to take children when the normal Applebee's night out just isn't going to cut it. It's also a watering hole for the after work, young, hip, professionals in the area. This restaurant that can accommodate both ends of the spectrum from singles to families with kids and they do it flawlessly! Did we mention the food is on point? Tip: Ahi Tuna sandwich, or the Canlis Caesar salad with Salmon. Order it with their Basil Bloody Mary or the Huckleberry mojito. OMG. Party. In. My. Mouth.

3.Peter Luger - Brooklyn, New York: Incredible steak , it is so good that you have to call to make a reservation, like a bazillion weeks in advance. OK, maybe just a few days but it's that good. They serve everything à la carte and it's a bit pricey, but if you are going to the Big Apple, splurge a little and enjoy the melt-in-your-mouth steak. Did I mention the USDA prime beef is hand chosen daily and aged in their very own age box? From there it goes straight to the grill and onto your plate. Splurge! Enjoy New York the way it is supposed be be eating at Peter Luger's. Your wallet may come out a bit lighter, but your mouth will thank you.

2. Cattlemen's Steakhouse - El Paso, Texas: Pretty much everyone and their mother has named this the best steakhouse IN THE COUNTRY. Let me say that the country! Pretty much, we agree!!! Located on Indian Hills Ranch in El Paso Texas, not only is the food incredible, you're literally eating dinner on a ranch. You can also sit at a table and dine while coyotes roam about. Coyotes people! Does it get much cooler than that? Great drinks, great steak, and absolutely incredible scenery. That's what we call a jackpot. Did we mention it was voted the "Manliest" restaurant in America by Men's Health Magazine? Yeah, we'll just leave it there and drop the mic.

1. Capones - Coeur d' Alene (Hayden) Idaho: We're Idaho people, so of course we are going to make the number 1 on our list a local joint. You don't get more local or Coeur d' Alene than Capones. Featured on Diners, Drive In's and Dives, if you haven't been there we just won't consider you a real Idahoan. It's a birthright, people! Their homemade pizza, cooked in a traditional brick oven, can't be beat. Chicago and New York - Eat your heart out. This is how pizza was intended to taste! Tip: Any pizza on the menu, but we are very particular about the Heart blocker. It's full of meat and cheese...and more meat...and more meat. The obvious pairing with anything on the menu is their fat garlic fries. Don't ask any questions, just order them.

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