We typically choose restaurants whose chefs are found on FOOD & WINE Best New Chefs list and among those nominated for James Beard awards. We also keep tabs on New York Times’ Critic’s Picks, The New Yorker’s Tables for Two, and restaurant reviews in The Seattle Times.

Leslie is our Fine Diners Over 40™ host in Seattle. She is a dyed-in-the-wool foodie who also knows a thing or three about wine. A talented chef in her own right, she also seeks out well-prepared dishes at award-winning restaurants, local cafés, and gourmet food trucks. Leslie is a raconteuse with a gift for making guests feel at home.

In 2016 Leslie hosted dinners at The Corson Building, Joule, and Loulay. In 2017 she hosted at LarkArt of the Table, Salare, and Eden Hill; 2018’s featured venues were Cafe JuanitaAdana, The Corson Building (now an annual pilgrimage), MarjorieOpus Co., and Sitka & Spruce. The 2019 sleeper of Seattle was COOK | WEAVER. At JuneBaby, guests who rolled the dice on Southern food were oh-so-delighted they did. We rounded out the year with Gravy on Vashon Island, The Corson Building, Spinasse, and iconiq.

FDO40 founder Janet hosts our New York dinners. In recent years she has hosted events at Hearth, Dovetail, Lincoln, Annisa, Dirt Candy, Tocqueville, Huertas, RiverparkBoulud SudEmpellón, and Má Pêche. Highlights of 2019 included Casa Lever, where meals are served with generous sides of Andy Warhol art, Feast, MartaTemple CourtCrown Shy, Yamada Chikara, Flora Bar, and Soogil, where we were treated to a wonderful take on “French skills meet Korean flavors.”