Kathie Lee Gifford dishes on her eight favorite restaurants and where you can get a taste of her new wine, Gifft.
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Frankie & Johnnie’s Steakhouse
"There is a place called Frankie & Johnnie’s in the theater district that Hoda and I go to most Wednesdays when we are going to a matinee," says Kathie Lee. "They serve the most delicious shrimp scampi in the world."
"There is a restaurant in Greenwich that had our wine before I had it!" exclaims Kathie Lee. Valbella, which has expanded to two locations in New York City, is Regis Philbin's favorite restaurant. "Regis, who doesn’t drink wine (he is a cosmo kind of guy), had three glasses of the red and loved it. Regis was going from table to table [saying], 'But you haven’t tried the wine! Go ahead and order a bottle of the wine. Is it going to kill you?' He just went around being Regis. It was hysterical."
"There is a little restaurant called Terra in Greenwich that was the first restaurant my children went to," explains Kathie Lee. "They grew up going there and my husband and I were there today having some Gifft wine."
"My favorite place in California is The Ivy [in Los Angeles], and there is also Ivy at the Shore [in Santa Monica]," offers Kathie Lee. "It is very shabby chic and I have a million great memories of The Ivy. Oh please! The food is delicious and the setting is just magical."
"In Nantucket, there is a restaurant called [Galley Beach] that is right on the ocean that we used to go to a lot, which we loved," says Kathie Lee. The award-winning spot has been owned by the same family since 1958!
Kathie Lee adores biker bar Alabama Jacks down in Key Largo, Florida. "It is something I wouldn't do anywhere else. I don’t know why, but when you are in the Keys, it is called 'Keys' disease,' you just relax. [They serve] anything fried—[from] conch fritters [to] fried shrimp. I try to eat peel-and-eat shrimp there and a little salad or else it’ll kill you."
"They are just a wonderful example of a family in the restaurant business," says Kathie Lee of the Scotto family who runs Fresco on 52nd Street in Manhattan. "They are wonderful hosts and they serve delicious food."
Kathie Lee's favorite east side spot is an Irish pub called Neary's on 57th Street in New York City. "Frank and I had an apartment nearby when we were just married—a million wonderful memories," shares Kathie Lee. "The proprietor, Jimmy Neary, knew we were pregnant with our son before anyone else, before my mother did! He is that much a part of our family. They serve our wines there."
As much as Kathie Lee Gifford loves drinking wine, she equally loves truly delicious food. Whether she is in Connecticut, New York City, Los Angeles or even the Florida Keys, she knows exactly where to go for the perfect meal, to be served, of course, with a glass of wine.
Kathie Lee recently created her own wine, Gifft, which she's had a chance to enjoy at a few of her favorite haunts. "I can't tell you what a hoot it is to be able to go to restaurants now and order your own wine!" she explains.