Best Places to Travel in 2015

 BCN Taste and Tradition in Houston, Texas
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Julie Soefer

The world is getting smaller, but the chances of having an extraordinary new experience are only increasing. Whether it's an emerging style hub in North Africa or a quiet stretch of sand in the Caribbean, this year's standout destinations are changing the travel map.

Houston

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“The entire culinary community in Houston shows pride now, and people are recognizing what we have—great food that is a byproduct of our incredible diversity,” says chef Chris Shepherd, who won a James Beard Award in 2014 for Underbelly. Justin Yu is another rising star, whose six-course tasting menu at Oxheart earned national praise for its Asian-inflected southern cooking. The most anticipated arrival in Montrose is BCN Taste and Tradition, where Barcelona native Luis Roger showcases his Ferran Adrià–trained molecular chops in a converted 1920s Mediterranean bungalow. Richard Knight, the godfather of the local nose-to-tail movement, is readying a new spot for 2015, Hunky Dory, where he’ll barbecue Texas-sourced cuts on a massive wood-burning grill. Also to come: Foreign Correspondents, where fishmonger PJ Stoops will preach his bycatch gospel while turning out northern Thai cuisine. And nearby Southern Goods will be Shepherd protégé Lyle Bento’s ode to Gulf Coast Creole. Houston is one of America’s fastest-growing cities, and downtown’s resurgence is sure to gain more steam too. Along with a sparkling new JW Marriott, cocktail bars are driving nightlife crowds to areas that used to be dormant. The team behind the popular mezcaleria Pastry War opened Julep, riffing on the Kentucky Derby’s classic drink; Nightingale is H-Town’s hottest door, thanks to a robust vinyl library and drinks by Mike Criss; and Prohibition, an 8,000-square-foot supper club that debuted in October 2014, is breathing life into the 1920s Isis Theatre with nightly burlesque shows.  —Nathan Storey

 BCN Taste and Tradition in Houston, Texas

Best Places to Travel in 2015

Houston

“The entire culinary community in Houston shows pride now, and people are recognizing what we have—great food that is a byproduct of our incredible diversity,” says chef Chris Shepherd, who won a James Beard Award in 2014 for Underbelly. Justin Yu is another rising star, whose six-course tasting menu at Oxheart earned national praise for its Asian-inflected southern cooking. The most anticipated arrival in Montrose is BCN Taste and Tradition, where Barcelona native Luis Roger showcases his Ferran Adrià–trained molecular chops in a converted 1920s Mediterranean bungalow. Richard Knight, the godfather of the local nose-to-tail movement, is readying a new spot for 2015, Hunky Dory, where he’ll barbecue Texas-sourced cuts on a massive wood-burning grill. Also to come: Foreign Correspondents, where fishmonger PJ Stoops will preach his bycatch gospel while turning out northern Thai cuisine. And nearby Southern Goods will be Shepherd protégé Lyle Bento’s ode to Gulf Coast Creole. Houston is one of America’s fastest-growing cities, and downtown’s resurgence is sure to gain more steam too. Along with a sparkling new JW Marriott, cocktail bars are driving nightlife crowds to areas that used to be dormant. The team behind the popular mezcaleria Pastry War opened Julep, riffing on the Kentucky Derby’s classic drink; Nightingale is H-Town’s hottest door, thanks to a robust vinyl library and drinks by Mike Criss; and Prohibition, an 8,000-square-foot supper club that debuted in October 2014, is breathing life into the 1920s Isis Theatre with nightly burlesque shows.  —Nathan Storey

Julie Soefer
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