07 Jan 2009

Graycliff Hotel and Restaurant, Nassau, Bahamas


If you like old world colonial charm, then this is the place for you. It is a hotel, restaurant, cigar factory, bar, and an all around place to be in Nassau for old world nostalgia. Pictured above are Allyn and me, with the owner of Graycliff and our gracious host, Enrico Garzaroli.

The food here is great, and served with a marvelous charm. Dinner feels like you are eating in the Governor’s private dining room, with all of the appropriate accouterments, including furnishings and proper service.

They even have an in-house cigar factory, and roll their own. Cigar fans claim are just right, but I wouldn’t know about that. 

Depending on whom you listen to or what you read, they have a wine cellar that houses between 180,000 and 250,000 bottles. They have the third most valuable private wine collection in the world.

Our party of 13 consumed about six different wines, and each was delicious and quit reasonable. Pictured above, with me are famous poker players: Vanessa Rousso, and next to me Chad Brown; Michael Binger is next to him and then Binger’s brother.
JetSetWay tip:  The wine list here is a book, but they will help you select one that pleases your pallet and accompanies your meal at a reasonable price.

Visit them online at


06 Jan 2009

Paradise Island in The Bahamas

Here we are on Paradise Island in The Bahamas at the Atlantis Hotel and Casino.

Every year about this time the on-line poker site, PokerStars, hosts one of the largest poker tournaments of the year called the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, referred to as PCA. It has about 1,500 entrants at $10,000 each. Over half qualify on-line, some working their way up through various tournaments for just a few dollars.
This is a family event this year. Not only did Allyn and I come to play, but also we were joined by my oldest son Michael, as well as his brother Jeff and his family.
Allyn and I played yesterday on day 1a. I busted out a couple hours ago. She lasted the entire long day (13 ½ hours of poker) and has a very healthy stack of  $60,000 going in to day 2. That puts her in the middle of the field.
Jeff plays day 1b tomorrow.
Oh well, I have some serious relaxation and family time to look forward to and two roots - not so bad.
More specifics will be forthcoming daily for the week.

02 Jan 2009

Pink Taco and Wasted Space at Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas

Finally Jessica’s 21st birthday was here and we celebrated with a fun Mexican meal at Pink Taco, and then moved on to the club scene at Wasted Space. Both are in the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas.
Pink Taco is nice with an upbeat Hard Rock type flair. The food is OK and the margaritas sub par. There are many better Mexican restaurants in town, but our waitperson was considerably better than the norm.
After dinner it was time to get the group settled at Wasted Space and then hit the road. For my money it should be called Wasted Place. It is a pitch-black room, as smoky as any place in town, the music was dreadfully loud and the prices ridiculous.
Their site says “Wasted Space fills a void for the anti-club goer”. It sucks and would have said that 40 years ago when I turned 21.
I got out of their in a hurry, but Allyn stayed till the bitter end with the group. She is a better sport than I am.

Happy Birthday Jessica!

01 Jan 2009

Rumjungle, Mandalay Bay Hotel, Las Vegas

Rumjungle is a fun restaurant in Mandalay Bay, known for its selection of 225 rums in the world’s largest rum bar.
It serves open fire cooked met in the Brazilian style where they bring unlimited quantities of various varieties right to the table. I happen to like this style a lot, but this particular restaurant was no better than others of a similar vein.
As for the food, here in Las Vegas I prefer Samba Gill in The Mirage, or Yolie’s which is just off the strip on Paradise. But the ambiance at Rumjungle is best.

Things change at 11 p.m. though. Rumjungle turns in to a very fun night club, featuring Salsa music and dancing. They even have professionals to help teach for those who are interested. Visit the fun online here.

I actually hung around for a few minutes. Jessica was turning 21 at midnight, and was looking forward to some serious bar-hopping. Allyn and the kids stayed out and partied for hours.

31 Dec 2008

French 75 Bistro, Newport Beach

French 75 Bistro (in Newport Beach’s Fashion Island) is a pretty restaurant with good food and service. They are part of a group of restaurants called Culinary Adventures that owns, among others, French 75 in Laguna, as well a Savannah Chop House in Laguna Niguel.
We had Sunday brunch there with Jessica’s pals on the way to Las Vegas to continue her 21st birthday celebration.
They had a nice buffet with a New Orleans type Jazz band. There just wasn’t enough because there weren’t many patrons. The French Toast was the highlight food of the morning. The rest was marginal.

I heard they may be going broke. I have no idea if that is true, but do know that we used to patronize these two restaurants and stopped because of poor service and attitude.
We had so much fun though. Next stop, Las Vegas, as Jessica boards the plane with friends Sonja, Maggie and Rachel.