Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.


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Savor the Flavors of the Best Restaurant in Niagara Falls, New York

After a day wandering around both the American and Canadian sides of the Niagara River, crossing the Rainbow Bridge between the two countries by foot and soaking in one perfect view of Niagara Falls after another, I had generated quite an appetite. Back on the New York side, just a couple of blocks from Niagara Falls State Park and all the activity surrounding one of the world’s top five waterfalls, I fortuitously happened upon Savor, the fine-dining restaurant of the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute. Read more about the best meal possible in Niagara Falls >


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Comfort Food at Its Best at Omaha’s Twisted Fork

I had already found, somewhat miraculously, a fantastic upscale seafood restaurant in the heart of cow country in Omaha, Nebraska. But now I was feeling a bit more carnivorous, with a yen for beef and something self-indulgent that would never be approved by a personal trainer or a nutritionist or a cardiologist. But treats like that are what vacations are for, and the Twisted Fork delivers in every way. Read more >


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Fine Dining on the Beach in Grand Cayman

Every night, after a late afternoon swim in the Caribbean Sea and yet another glorious sunset, I would walk past the beachfront Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa on my way back to my hotel across the street and note the very satisfied customers enjoying dinner at the hotel’s Beach House restaurant. On my last night in Grand Cayman, I decided to be one of them. Read more >


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Indulging in a Dutch Tradition at The Pancake Bakery

All around Amsterdam, I had been noticing a formidable number of restaurants touting their pancake menus. I didn’t realize what all the fuss was until I read up a bit on this traditional Dutch mainstay, and then I was intrigued when I learned just how creative pancakes can get in the Netherlands. They’re not your typical grilled batter with maybe some blueberries or chocolate chips thrown in. At The Pancake Bakery, a menu of 79 different types will make you completely reevaluate your notion of what a pancake can be. Read more >


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More Than the Goddess of Wisdom: Minervas in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Since it opened nearly 40 years ago, Minervas has expanded to 10 locations in the upper Midwest. But its original venue in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is still the most elegant. I came upon it by accident, while I was roaming around the downtown area and admiring the artwork of the annual SculptureWalk dotting the sidewalks. The unassuming brick building featured an outdoor seating area of about a dozen tables protected from the street by globular planters overflowing with pink and yellow flowers and occupied by happy diners enjoying both their meals and the view of the historic 90-year-old State Theatre across the street. That — and the tantalizing menu under glass — was more than enough for me to step inside for dinner. Read more >


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Feel Like Family Over Dinner at Botticelli in Rapid City, South Dakota

Named for the Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli, this downtown Rapid City eatery received both the Best of the Black Hills Award for Italian restaurants and the Wine Spectator Excellence Award in 2014. Recommended to me by some local cognoscenti, Botticelli has been serving hungry South Dakotans and visitors alike since 1997. And when you’re here, you almost feel like part of la famiglia. Read more >


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An Emporium for All Tastes in Scottsbluff, Nebraska

The “Coffeehouse and Café” part of the restaurant’s name seems to understate its offerings. But the “Emporium” part gets it right. Serving everything from buttery steaks to Greek salads, from wild mushroom ravioli to shrimp orecchiette, and boasting the most expansive wine list in the Nebraska panhandle, the Emporium Coffeehouse and Café in Scottsbluff prepares something for everyone. And after you’ve driven more than 400 miles across the entire state in one shot with barely a break, you’ll be ready to devour the entire menu. Read more >