'Where shall we eat?" may be the most common travel question after ''Are we there yet?" From a quick weekend jaunt to a casino in a neighboring state to an ambitious adventure across the country or across the world, we want to have the inside scoop on the places that will delight our palates. This column will make the world your oyster.
Native American fare wins a place
Casinos began to offer fine dining more than a decade ago in Las Vegas; now restaurants are part of the gambling life. Mohegan Sun is connecting its Native American ownership to its food offerings in its newest eatery, Uncas American Indian Grill. The restaurant, with waterfalls, pools, live birches, and special lighting, is designed to evoke a forest scene. Steak, chicken, and seafood are roasted on an open-fire grill. Other touches of Indian fare include succotash and buffalo burgers. Those less concerned with authentic cuisine need not fear, however. The Indian flair comes through mostly in print, such as sandwiches named for Mohegan chiefs and fancy cocktails like the Dances with Wolves margarita. Most entree prices are comfortably below $20. For those who need something familiar in those wee hours after winning (or losing) a bundle, there's a shop with New York-style bagels open 24 hours. Try finding that in the primeval forest.
Uncas American Indian Grill, Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, Conn., 888-266-7711, www.mohegansun.com/dining.
Hot time in the kitchen
If you crave the hot stuff, the 15th annual Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta Sept. 21-25 could be just the thing. Dinners, wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, a tour of the historic El Rancho de las Golondrinas, and a live auction are centered around the foods of New Mexico and talents of local chefs. Some of the participating chefs will be Mark Kiffin of the Compound Restaurant and Mark Miller of Coyote Cafe, both in Santa Fe, and guest chefs such as Rick Bayless of Topolobompo in Chicago. Cooking classes include basics such as knife skills and discussions of wines from Burgundy to California. And, of course, the premier ingredient will be the chile.
Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta, Santa Fe, N.M., 505-438-8060. santafewineandchile.org.
Sing for your supper
Talk about multitasking. Placido Domingo, the famous tenor, conductor, and opera administrator, performs all over the world. Now his restaurant empire is spreading, too. Zengo, with Latin-Asian cuisine, will open in Washington, D.C.'s, Gallery Place in the city's up-and-coming Penn Quarter. Domingo, who also is a partner in Pampano, in New York, owns the restaurant with Richard Sandoval. Zengo, an offshoot of Sandoval's Denver Zengo, is slated to open next month. The chef will be Alan Yu, who grew up cooking at his parents' restaurant in DC's Chinatown and was formerly at 66 in New York.
Zengo, 781 Seventh St., Washington, D.C., 202-393-2929.
A Greek entree for your London menu
Heading to London but dreaming of Greece? As Greek As It Gets recently opened in Earls Court. The place is casual, ''more a fast-food joint than a taverna" as one web-based critic called it. But for those needing a souvlaki fix (grilled meats served in pita bread), craving tzatziki (yogurt, cucumbers, and spices) or Greek salads and wines in carafes for mid-range prices, this is your place.
As Greek As It Gets, 233 Earls Court Road, London, 011-44-0207-244-7777.
Dining well without alcohol
Drinking and dining are so intertwined that we might think it's impossible to separate them. That's not the case, though, and Liz Scott, a New Jersey-based chef and cookbook writer, argues for eating well while eschewing alcohol. The author of ''The Sober Kitchen: Recipes and Advice for a Lifetime of Sobriety" (Harvard Common, 2003) will be one of those honored Sept. 22 at the 2d annual America Honors Recovery luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington. The luncheon, sponsored by the Johnson Institute, will be chaired by Florida first lady Columba Bush and public relations specialist James L. Abernathy and will focus on pioneers and innovators in recovery from addictions. Scott is working on her second cookbook, ''Sober Celebrations: Lively Entertaining Without the Spirits."
For information on the luncheon call the Johnson Institute, 202-662-7104.