Yesterday I started drilling down on day-by-day planning for the trip to Italy I embark on at the end of this week. First stop: Florence. Though I have a work reason for heading there, it’s a happy reality of my professional life that many of the things I love to do—trying new restaurants, visiting museums and galleries, and even shopping—are relevant to my editorial responsibilities, as is, to some degree, fretting about, or at least expending energy on, the options I select. Like-minded readers of Travel + Leisure, and particularly of our third annual Food & Travel Issue, will appreciate that I have mapped out exactly where I am eating lunch and dinner the day I arrive. You’ll be hearing about these places in the magazine in the future, but you can follow my finds in real time on Twitter (@nnovogro). As those who follow me already know, I tweet frequently from the road, and the topic is most often the new restaurants I try, reflecting the connection between travel and food in my own life.
Sometimes T+L stories are hatched from these same culinary peregrinations. This month’s feature about Paris food insider and guide Wendy Lyn—the subject of a tweet or two of mine last December—was born just this way. I take no credit, however, for serving as advance guard for Douglas Rogers’s trip through the Cape Winelands, or for Bruce Schoenfeld’s adventures in Asturias, Spain, with José Andrés, or Peter Jon Lindberg’s quest for the best seafood shacks from Maine to California. While we’re on the topic of American specialties, I highly recommend Francine Maroukian’s “Chefs’ Favorite U.S. Restaurants,” in which a celebrated chef from each state reveals his or her go-to place for a great meal—beer joints, food trucks, and all. Aimee Lee Ball takes us far beyond these shores to a smorgasbord of “World’s Most Classic Breakfasts,” as does Bruno Maddox in his riotously funny report on TV cooking shows—move over Emeril and Mario: make way for Sanjeev and Karlos!
So now for some of my new restaurant favorites from here and there, in case you missed me on Twitter: Red Rooster, Marcus Samuelsson’s entertaining and fun homage to Southern specialties and its Harlem location (must-have dish: the “fried yard bird chicken”); CT, or Community Table, Noma-trained chef Joel Viehland’s tribute to the locally grown bounty of northwestern Connecticut; and Tim Raue, the extraordinary Chinese fusion restaurant in the Kreuzberg gallery district, from the former culinary director at Berlin’s Hotel Adlon. As for my most recent tweet: it was from last night’s dinner at Smith & Wollensky, overlooking the water from Miami Beach’s South Pointe Park. Great steak, truffled macaroni, and what a view!
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