NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Travelers to the United States craving meals with a sidedish of fame can enjoy a host of celebrity-endorsed restaurants recommended by travel website TripAdvisor (www.tripadvisor.com)
“Though we’ve seen a number of celebrity restaurant busts in the past decade, these famous restaurateurs have thrived by showing a strong commitment to star-quality food and service,” said Christine Petersen, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor.
The following list, compiled by members and editors of the website, is not endorsed by Reuters.
1. Nobu, New York City, New York
In 1994, a culinary powerhouse was born when Robert DeNiro partnered with Chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa to open a modern Japanese restaurant in Tribeca. While there are currently 21 Nobu restaurants around the globe, the flagship New York City location remains the top-ranked among them for its dazzling array of sushi and sashimi, combined with innovative entrees like the black cod with miso.
2. one sixtyblue, Chicago, Illinois
Although basketball icon Michael Jordan owns several restaurants and steakhouses in the greater New York area, his Chicago spot is a slam dunk with travelers for its sophisticated cuisine. Located in the West Loop neighborhood, unique entrees include chorizo stuffed squid, bacon-wrapped rabbit saddle and English pea ravioli, plus a highly rated bar menu for those watching their wallets.
3. P.J. Clarke’s, New York City, New York
With roots dating back to 1884, Manhattan tavern P.J. Clarke’s welcomed actor Timothy Hutton as a partner in 2002. Frequented by famous faces throughout the years, including Frank Sinatra and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, P.J. Clarke’s is recommended for its bustling atmosphere and outstanding burgers.
4. Ana Mandara, San Francisco, California
Though Hollywood stars Don Johnson and Cheech Marin opened Ana Mandara while filming the television program Nash Bridges, the dynamic duo remains connected through their joint investment in this successful Bay Area eatery. Located on Fisherman’s Wharf, Ana Mandara distinguishes itself with cuisine inspired by Chef Khai Doung’s native village of Nha Trang, including Vietnamese braised korobuta pork belly and Mekong Delta prawns.
5. Beso, Los Angeles, California
When developing the concept for Beso with celebrity chef Todd English, TV star Eva Longoria proved that she can hold her own in the kitchen by adding a few recipes to the menu. Foodies can pit her avocado guacamole against English’s artichoke version, while enjoying Latin-inspired steak and seafood entrees in a chic environment. Considering the frequent visits from Eva and hoopster husband Tony Parker with their famous friends, it’s no surprise that one TripAdvisor traveler sat down to dinner and a show: “Star sightings included Eric Benet, Christina Milian, Ludacris and Jaleel White.”
6. Gladys Knight and Ron Winans’ Chicken & Waffles, Atlanta, Georgia
Inspired by the legendary Wells Supper Club in Harlem, Gladys Knight, along with her son Shanga Hankerson and friend Ron Winans, opened their first chicken and waffle joint in Atlanta in 1997. Now with four locations, the chain serves up soul food classics like shrimp and grits and fried green tomatoes, in addition to their namesake fried chicken and waffles.
7. Zoom, Park City, Utah
Featuring casually elegant American cuisine, acting and environmental legend Robert Redford’s Zoom whips up delicious food while playing tribute to Park City’s history. Housed in the former Union Pacific railroad depot, travelers are smitten with the restaurant’s vintage charm and unique dishes like the warm jalapeno crab dip, buffalo osso buco and pecan-cornmeal crusted trout fillet.
8. Alice Cooper’s Town Sports Bar & Grill, Phoenix, Arizona
Famously theatrical rocker Alice Cooper translated his over-the-top personality into a Phoenix sports bar and grill. Dubbed, “Where Jocks and Rock Meet,” Cooper’s place shows off servers with “Alice Eyes” face paint and entrees named after famous athletes and celebrities, such as Tedy Bruschi, Kid Rock and even Vanna White.
9. Cafe Zoetrope, San Francisco, California
Located in the historic Sentinel Building in North Beach, famous director and vintner Francis Ford Coppola’s Cafe Zoetrope dishes out Italian cuisine in a cozy space adorned with personally collected movie memorabilia. In addition to recommending the outdoor seating, travelers report immediate ‘amore’ upon digging into the meatball pizza and house specialty Caesar salad.
10. Southern Hospitality BBQ, New York City, New York
A native of Memphis, Tennessee, pop star Justin Timberlake’s latest restaurant venture Southern Hospitality brings his down-home roots and passion for barbeque to New York City. It’s no secret that Justin’s celebrity status attracts travelers to the restaurant, but tasty nibbles like fried pickles, dry rub ribs and pulled pork keep them coming back for more.
Editing by Miral Fahmy