For more than six years, serious foodies have been making their way along the windy country roads of Chester County, PA to Coventryville, a tiny hamlet in this rural area rich in early Americana. Rather than coming to explore historical sites and memorabilia, however, these travelers come to dine at La Maison, the charming 1717 stone and stucco home of Janet and Martin Gagné, where each Friday and Saturday night chef Gagné prepares a stellar seven-course country French dinner. His genial wife, as maîtress d’, greets guests and oversees the family-style service at each table. On Thursdays, a lighter five-course supper is served.
A not-so secret garden flourishes on Philadelphia’s fashionable Washington Square, drawing diners nightly to this cheese-centric restaurant where palates are elevated to a blissful state and spirits soar with the staff’s precision, knowledge and warmth. All seemingly delivered with little effort or fuss. And that’s just the way Aimee Olexy, co-owner of Talula’s Garden, designed it. And the way she wants her guests to enjoy it.
It’s a rainy Wednesday night in New Orleans, and the cheese shop is packed. We’re here at St. James, a retailer located on the edge of the city’s business district, sandwiched between a surf-themed dive bar and slick, remodeled hotels. Inside the glassy front of St. James, well-appointed New Orleanians, from girls on a night out to older couples, sit at a couple dozen tables, their attention focused on a tray of four cheeses in the middle of each table. It’s a full house at the Alpine cheese tasting night, and a great night to be a cheese connoisseur in New Orleans.
SeaBlue, established in 2004, is the bright star in the dense restaurant constellation of North Myrtle Beach, SC, a region consistently ranked at the top of national averages for the most restaurants per capita.
An emerging fine dining culture is rising above the fried seafood buffets in the area thanks in no small measure to SeaBlue’s owners, Ken Norcutt and Tracy Smith. It’s no wonder the restaurant stands out with its ultra-sultry vibe, exceptional wine collection and tantalizing menu, which includes a sumptuous cheese board.