Last year, Robb Report’s inaugural dining guide, “America’s Finest Dining: 57 of Our Favorite Restaurants” (March 2007) highlighted some of the finest restaurants in the United States. We extended the geographic parameters this year and invited a trusted group of winemakers to nominate their favorite eateries. The result is “Wine & Dine 2008” (page 148), an index of 100 of their favorite restaurants. “Things like this let me touch restaurants that are otherwise a bit difficult for me to touch,” says senior editor Sheila Gibson Stoodley, who orchestrated the feature’s production. “Some of the restaurants they selected may not have white linen on the tables, but the food is fantastic and is worth driving hundreds of miles for.”
However, one of the featured establishments, Te Mataré Ramirez, in Buenos Aires, might be better known for its ambience than for its cuisine. “It’s an erotic restaurant,” says Gibson Stoodley, “and all the dishes have aphrodisiac qualities. The thing is, from what I’ve read about the restaurant and from what the winemaker who nominated it said about it, it’s hard to tell if the food is any good. But it’s definitely an unforgettable experience.”
Another unforgettable experience involves camping—and courage—in northern Ontario during the summer, when polar bears frequent the grounds of the aptly named Polar Bear Provincial Park. Robb Report staff member Karen Cakebread took the five-day trip offered by Moccasin Trail Tours and chronicles her experience in “Bearing Witness” (page 114), which is part of a North American Adventures special section. Cakebread says she did not feel nervous about sleeping in a tent, despite her proximity to the park’s star attractions. “He did have a gun,” she says of her group’s guide, “but I was in the tent on the outside of our perimeter. He was on the other side of the camp, the farthest from the bears, snoring all night. That was our protection.
“You start the trip in civilized Toronto, comfortably ensconced in a suite in a very nice hotel, and by the end of the trip, you’re camping out in the park,” Cakebread continues. “You really see two different extremes of the province. It’s not for everybody, but if you’re looking for authentic, this would be a good trip.”
For “Marsh Madness” (page 110), also part of the North American Adventures special section, contributing writer Bruce Leonard traveled to Mexico, where, of course, visitors are advised not to drink the water. But at the Pichigüila Club, the duck- and dove-hunting resort that he visited, being in the water seemed to be riskier than drinking it. Leonard, a novice hunter who took aim at the club’s more than 14 species of resident and migratory ducks, says that crocodiles patrolled the resort’s lagoon as frequently as did the hunters. “I was surprised to learn that there were crocs, because the guides were walking in the water to fill the blinds,” he says. “The blinds are moved regularly, and all of this requires a rather concerted effort and a lot of time in the water and the mud. If they’ve done these things for years and years and no one has gotten hurt, maybe that’s confirmation that it’s safe. But I’m not sure I would want to wade into that water to throw out the decoys.”
Correction: The April issue’s “Modern Revolution” feature (page 124) identified one of the resorts by its old name, the St. Regis Temenos. The property’s new name is the Baccarat Hotel & Residences at Temenos Anguilla.