April 01, 2009

In her travels, as in her writing, Nobel Prize–winning author Toni Morrison is drawn to places with complex, layered histories. "There are so many crevices and secrets," she explains. "It's interesting to go and find little remnants of the past." This month, Morrison heads to Philadelphia for the East Coast premiere of Margaret Garner (215/732-8400; www.operaphilly.com), the opera she cowrote with Grammy Award–winning composer Richard Danielpour. Here, she reveals a few of her favorite discoveries around the world.

Making Tracks

Morrison was impressed by Cincinnati's new National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (513/333-7500; www.freedomcenter.org): "Because the exhibitions are so closely linked with the city's history, the center is vital in a way that a cold museum is not."

Sweet Tooth

When she's in New York, Morrison indulges at Capsouto Frères (451 Washington St.; 212/966-4900; dinner for two $75). "Their fresh pasta is the best, and they have a great dessert soufflé."

Treasure Hunting

"I generally don't buy souvenirs, but I do like mismatched antique silver tableware. I seem to have a lot of luck at the annual antiques fair at the Place St. Sulpice in Paris" (www.foiresaintgermain.org).

Capsouto Frères

Billed as the “soufflé sanctuary,” this classic French bistro is housed in TriBeCa’s 1891 Fleming Smith Warehouse, a tall structure with green-trimmed gables and Romanesque-style arches. Inside, the brick-walled space is furnished with hardwood floors, white tablecloths, and large windows that are left open when the weather is warm. The menu includes both traditional and contemporary French fare, such as the roast duck with ginger and cassis, but the soufflés are the indisputable highlight. In addition to savory options like wild mushroom and cheese, the chefs prepare sweet soufflés in flavors like chocolate, hazelnut, raspberry, and seasonal tangerine or fig.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

You May Like