When people started raving about how great Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse was, I was surprised that a restaurant inside a Holiday Inn was getting such great foodie reviews. Well, it far exceeded my expectations. This gem sitting inside the Shenandoah hotel has some amazing steaks and Italian classics. I think the steaks here are the best in the area, and yet they cost much less than the more expensive steak houses. I love the filet trio with different toppings. The horseradish topping is amazing. The filet was flavorful and tender. The dish is three portions of filet, each topped with a different topping. The steaks are served with a salad, bread, and a side dish. The garlic potatoes are fantastic. The Italian classics are great too. The lasagna is cheesy and spiced perfectly. The chicken parmigiana is tender, juicy, and comforting. The crab stuffed shrimp is a great seafood dish rounding out the diverse menu. The limoncello raspberry cake is the perfect way to end a fantastic dining experience here. The service was friendly and fast. Johnny’s also has a great bar that makes a great martini at happy hour. The bar service is friendly and the bartenders are knowledgeable. Johnnys is open for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. This will definitely be a part of my regular mix of restaurants I frequent.
Image from The Refuge Steakhouse and Bourbon Bar
The newest upscale restaurant in Creekside is The Refuge Steakhouse and Bourbon Bar. On a recent Monday night, the place was packed with people enjoying themselves. I recommend you start in the bar. This is probably my favorite bar in The Woodlands. The gorgeous rustic decor makes you want to stay all night. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable. On a recent night, we tasted several bourbons, bourbon cocktails, and bourbons flavored with all sorts of interesting things like mint, chocolate, and coffee. They were all superb. The non bourbon drinks were excellent too. In the dining room, our favorite appetizer was the pork belly three ways. It was perfect to share between three people and very tasty. The steaks and seafood on the menu are all excellent. Steaks come with a choice of two sides which are large. I loved the flavorful brussels sprouts and macaroni and cheese. Including the sides makes it very reasonably priced and made it plenty for two meals. The sea bass is one of the best in the area and was cooked to perfection. There are lots of other things on the menu I cant wait to try. The chicken fried rib-eye and the mojo marinated pork tenderloin both tempted me! Save room for dessert because the chocolate cake is fudgy and delicious. One really cool thing they do at The Refuge is a pub run. On Monday nights, a group of local runners meet and run, and then cool off on the patio with a few beers. It looked like a fun group and a great way to build community. I think The Refuge is going to be one of the long term favorites in this area.
Submitted by TopTenRealEstateDeals.com
As President Obama’s time in office neared its last months in 2016, their future home outside the White House was a frequent guessing game in celebrity real estate media. Most of the rumors were that the Obamas were buying a new family home in Hawaii, Palm Springs, New York City, Washington, D.C., or would be going back to their former home in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. They ended up buying for $8.1 million the home they had been renting – an 8,200-square-foot home in Washington, D.C.’s Kalorama neighborhood.
Whether the Obamas stay in Washington after their youngest daughter, Sasha, graduates from high school is uncertain but one thing is likely. The former First Family’s favorite interior decorator has portable skills and will most likely follow them from home to home well into the future. With Michelle’s penchant for taupes and beiges, it’s likely the Kalorama home will be next on the list for Michael S. Smith, decorator to the stars.
Now close friends, in 2008 Smith was called upon to redecorate the new President’s private quarters in the White House, and after he and Smith’s partner James Costos raised millions for Barack Obama’s re-election, Costos was named the Ambassador to Spain. The Obamas visited the couple in Spain and also stayed with them at their home in Rancho Mirage’s Thunderbird Heights. It was this visit that sparked baseless rumors that the Obamas were house shopping in Palm Springs.
Presidents aren’t the only celebrity clients in Michael S. Smith’s client inventory. He has also designed for Steven Spielberg, George Clooney, Cindy Crawford, Dustin Hoffman and Harrison Ford. Smith is known for his talent at blending historic elements with contemporary and has met with much praise for his work at the White House.
Recently a marvelous beach house came on the market in Newport Beach, California, also decorated by Smith. Opening directly onto the dunes with the Pacific Ocean lapping on the sand and exposed to some of the world’s most striking sunsets, the house was built in 1988 by Marmol Radziner in collaboration with Michael Smith Interiors. The 2,814-square-foot, two-story house optimizes the sweeping views of dunes, sand and ocean. Consisting of four bedrooms and four baths split between the two floors, the upper master suite also has a large private sun deck with panoramic views of the coastline to Catalina Island. Ideal for entertaining and stay-over guests, the open floor plan invites conversation and the oceanside glass doors that vanish into the walls give seamless access to the terrace and well-outfitted outdoor kitchen. The indoor kitchen, which includes Viking and SubZero, has a large island overlooking the living room with its high ceilings and fireplace with the dining room and another fireplace to the right including a wine and coffee bar. The two downstairs bedrooms can also be closed off and turned into a private suite for extended guest stays. Priced at $6.35 million, Tim Carr of Villa Real Estate in Newport Beach, California is the listing agent.
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