Phantom Gourmet

restaurant reviews without reservations

Having dined and reviewed restaurants across the US and Canada, Charles Woollett is proud to introduce and reveal for the first time, The Phantom Gourmet's, true identity. As a world traveler seeking out gourmet delights, the Phantom is a self-confessed 'foodie'. Eating and cooking and traveling though different countries and sampling their cuisines to tempt you, the readers taste buds and dinning senses.

The Phantoms credo: Truth in Dining - to fairly and honestly evaluate each restaurant. The Phantom goes incognito with no freebies, special discounts or favors. It compliments this reviewer's basic journalistic principle... editorial independence, providing ... reviews without reservations.


Charles enjoys sharing his culinary experiences, which are meant to indulge in the pleasure of all cuisines and cultures from around the world, tempting the senses and palates.

Arkansas, USA

The Hive, Bentonville AR

eclectic venue
Find out what all the buzzzz is about in Bentonville (just off the town Sq) at the C21 Hotel/Museum's hot new restaurant. This new spot is the place to see and be seen for cocktails, like the Windsor - Absolute Ruby Red, St Germaine & grapefruit juice or the Arkanslayer - gin, lemon, ginger syrup and lavender - what are you waiting for?

Lakepoint Restaurant, Bella Vista AR

It's Getting Better All the Time
Bella Vista in Northwest Arkansas boasts some of the prettiest countryside, dotted with it's nine golf courses and lakes. Among them, Lake Loch Lomond, home to the beautiful and sophisticated Lakepoint Restaurant with it's stunning views.

Table Mesa Bistro, Bentonville AR

Like the mysterious hum in Taos
I liked it back in 2012 when transplants from Seattle, Carl & his wife first opened Table Mesa - "Asia Pacific meets Mexican cuisine", I wrote and people wondered if I or they were crazy, Fast forward three years and their reputation precedes them in spades. A visiting guest asks a local 'where's a good restaurant?' and out pops "Table Mesa or their sister restaurant Tavola Tratoria".

River Grille, Bentonville AR

Five Spoons Ambience, Service & Cuisine
A favorite of ours in town, without reservation. I reviewed The River Grille several years ago, as the Phantom Gourmet for a local magazine and gave them Five Spoons – my highest praise. A recent visit did not disappoint, as top quality ambience, service and the cuisine are consistent, which says a lot for the owners and General Manager, Brenda Swango, keeping up this high standard since opening fifteen years ago.

Le Petit Bistro, Bentonville AR

Modern Euro Chic
The Phantom Gourmet was out on the prowl last night and glad to report Dario, of le Petit Bistro is doing well with a strong following. As 'reviewed without reservations' previously, the PG has to say, "it's like a modern-euro bistro pub-like atmosphere inside; outside you almost feel like you could be in the Bavarian country side" and right here in north Bentonville.

Thai Basil, Bentonville AR

Thai Delicious!
For those of you who have had the good fortune to visit Thailand as I have, but live in Bentonville, Arkansas, you're in luck Thai delicious is at your doorstep.

Rhythm and Q, Bella Vista AR

Get into the Rhythm
Bella Vista has a new and very welcome restaurant, Rhythm and Q. Headed up by, Owner and Executive Chef Rich Siker, a disciplined 35 year veteran chef (originally from Pittsburgh, Chef for Catering Concepts and Pinnacle Country Club locally - not too shabby) and passionate long time guitar player, hence the name that brings the two together. Acoustic improve shows are already starting to gain in popularity.

Kansas, USA

Bristol Seafood Grill, Leawood KS

Sumptuous Seafood
Our recent trip to Kansas City had us being wined and dined by our hosts. First night was down in the Power & Light District at Bristol Seafood Grill. Let’s just say Executive Chef Travis Napier, pulls it all together with a sumptuous seafood selection. Our table dined on Blue Point Oysters, Seared Sea Scallops, Roasted Duck Flatbread & Shellfish Bouillabaisse.

Capital Grill, Kansas City KS

Sinfully Delcious
There are steak restaurants and then there is the Capital Grill down in the Plaza, Kansas City. Our party of ten had their Private dining room, attended to by, Stephan, unquestionably one of the best waiters, I’ve come across in a long time, old school, just ask and he’ll make it happen. Andrea, hostess extrodanaire. Dry aged steaks, OMG, I had the peppercorn with Cognac cream sauce.

Vancouver, Canada

Il Giardino, Vancouver Canada

Bella Italia!
If you want to escape to Italy while in Vancouver you seriously don't need to look any further. The original of Umberto Menghi's restaurant empire. The little farm boy who ran away from Pontedera, Tuscany, has returned home in more ways than one.Mind you if you want the real thing, there is, of course, Umberto's now world famous "Villa Delia" a true Tuscan Cooking School and restful resort nestled in the picturesque village of Ripoli di Lari and some would say the heart of Italy itself, between Siena, Pisa, and Florence.

La Terrazza, Vancouver Canada

Refined Italian
Mama Mia what a lovely restaurant from floor to ceiling and the biggest and most colorful flower arrangements I've seen outside of the Vatican. This is Andrea Bocelli for the taste buds.

Cardero's, Vancouver Canada

On the water harbor dining for lunch & dinner
The city's literally only 'on the water' marina Restaurant & Marine Bar/Pub.
One of four restaurants owned and operated by the Sequoia group, this is one "IN" place to rendezvous with friends to savor your favorite libation and dine as you hang out in the trendy Coal Harbour district.

Seawall, Vancouver Canada

H2 a YVR waters edge tradition
A Vancouver tradition where people come to meet and greet for good food and fun at the waters edge.

Bacchus, Vancouver Canada

the POWER restaurant & lounge
With turbo Bentleys of green, Ferraris in red & yellow, pewter Porsches, a black TT - images of a horny black toad and awesome wealth parked outside; with vanity plates like:"2FUN", "MADEIT", "OBHAVE" & "HI-TTEC", it is no wonder people slow their pace when walking by to check out the seriously chic and casually elegant.

Charles Woollett

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