Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.


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Big Flavors at Big Water Grille

My family was celebrating both the pending nuptials of my brother, and my aunt and uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary. So seven of us converged on Big Water Grille, a fantastic restaurant that has been tucked into the mountains in Incline Village, Nevada, for more than 20 years. Overlooking Lake Tahoe from the northeast, the views vie with the menu, and you’ll love both equally as you celebrate a special occasion, or no particular occasion at all. Read about Big Water Grille >

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Meals That Match the Mood in Glacier National Park

Ptarmigan Dining Room, Glacier National ParkI was tucked about six miles inside Montana’s spectacular Glacier National Park, not far from the Canadian border, staying in a rustic room in Many Glacier Hotel, the largest hotel in the park. Sprawling along the shore of Swiftcurrent Lake, the hotel has been seducing travelers here since 1915, lured by its Alpine style, staggering views of some of the most pristine nature in the United States, nearness to wildlife, and myriad outdoor activities. If all that weren’t enough to entice you here, the hotel boasts an outstanding restaurant that perfectly caps your day spent in the wilderness. Read about the Ptarmigan Dining Room >


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Something for Everyone at Haesje Claes in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

On a beautiful spring evening in Amsterdam, I spent some time strolling around a part of the city that I hadn’t seen yet during my weeklong stay here. After checking out Posthoornkerk (Post Horn Church), one of the top 10 churches in Amsterdam, and passing by the West-Indisch Huis (West India House), built in 1617 as a meat market and ultimately where the Dutch West India Company’s governors ordered the construction of a fort in Manhattan (the genesis of my hometown), I made my way to dinner at the hopping Haesje Claes, which simply does Dutch right. Read about it >


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Devon: A Standout Seafood Restaurant in Philadelphia

After spending the better part of the afternoon strolling around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, I sought a little relaxation in the inviting Rittenhouse Square, one of the five original open-space parks planned by William Penn and created in the late 1700s. On a shade-covered bench, I admired the floral displays around me, watched a wedding photo shoot, and enjoyed the antics of the adorable dogs parading by me. When I had had my fill of people-watching, I was happy to find my dinner destination just across the street at Devon Seafood Grill, often considered one of the best seafood restaurants in the city and one of the top 100 places to dine out of more than 4,000 Philadelphia restaurants. Read more >


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Gdansk’s Elephant Restaurant Delivers in a Big Way

Elephant Restaurant, Gdansk, PolandEvery night while I was staying in Gdansk, Poland, I would find myself strolling along the Royal Way and the Long Market. Lured by its gravitational pull of meticulously reconstructed townhouses with wonderful facades, the easy mix of locals and tourists, and the pleasant sounds of bubbling water at the Neptune Fountain on one end of the strip and talented street performers creating beautiful violin music under the arches of the 16th-century Green Gate at the other, I found the heart of old Gdansk irresistible. I also found some outstanding restaurants in which to dine, including the very fine Elephant Restaurant. Read more >


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Going Thai in Toronto

For two decades, Golden Thai has been one of the leading restaurants in Canada’s largest city, and was one of the pioneers in bringing Thai cuisine to Toronto. Thanks to the creations of executive chef Kiem Thung and the hospitable front-house service of his wife and their daughter, Golden Thai attracts a loyal audience of local patrons as well as a parade of tremendously satisfied visitors. Read more about Golden Thai >


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Kashubian Cuisine Will Take You by Surprise at Kaszubska Marina

More colorful than I imagined, Gdansk, Poland, impressed me as soon as I stepped out of my hotel, made a left, and stumbled onto the Royal Way and the Long Market. Flanked by gorgeous reconstructed gabled townhouses with wonderful facades, painted in cheerful colors and many covered in terrific artistic details, this strip is the heart of the city. As I slowly progressed, noting all the tempting Polish restaurants along the way, I finally came across one that sounded a bit different: Kaszubska Marina, specializing in Kashubian cuisine. My unfamiliarity with that specialty drew me closer, and once a personable, informative waiter escorted me to my table, I was ready to try something new. And I was rewarded beautifully. Read more >