Would you drop out of an Ivy League university for chocolate? Former University of Pennsylvania undergrad, David "Mott" Green did.
Originally from New York City, Mott left Penn to pursue a more altruistic (and sunny) lifestyle in Hermitage, Grenada. After noticing how exploitive the chocolate industry was on the island, he thought, Why don’t cocoa farmers produce the chocolate themselves? Since then, Mott has spent the last 25 years operating the bean-to-bar Grenada Chocolate Company. His efforts to bring Grenadian citizens back into agriculture have helped create a sustainable alternative to the harsh chocolate industry.
Ditching the classroom to eat, live, and breathe chocolate? Sounds like the sweet life to us!
Natty couples channel their grandparents in a supper-club setting at Carbone($$$$), with upgraded Italian American classics—linguine with clams; chicken scarpariello—by the duo behind the ever-popular Torrisi.
Two big names are vying for West Villagers’ affections. Top Chef alum Harold Dieterle explores his German and Italian roots at the Marrow($$$), while Gabriel Stulman—whose retro neighborhood joints Joseph Leonard and Fedora have a cult following—veers into new territory with the Frenchified sushi at Chez Sardine($$$).
At Lafayette($$), his all-day NoHo brasserie, Andrew Carmellini returns to his French training (he cooked under Daniel Boulud), serving country-style dishes to the fashion set.
Across the river in Brooklyn, the culinary intelligentsia clamor for tables at Aska(pictured; $$), a New Nordic spot in Williamsburg.
As a pioneer of the city’s locavore food movement, chef Didem Şenol serves obsessively crafted Turkish dishes at her popular restaurants, Lokanta Maya($$) and Gram(lunch only; $$), both in Beyoğlu. We asked Şenol for tips on navigating the area.
“On the way to work, I often stop at Galata Simitçisi. Simit are like Turkish bagels; the ones here, made in a wood-burning oven, are especially salty-sweet.”
“For dinner, Asmali Cavit(90-212/292-4950; $$$) is an institution known for its mezes. Try the fava beans and the burnt-aubergine salad.”
The New York restaurateur serves up his packing wisdom.
As co-owner of Manhattan’s Eleven Madison Park and NoMad restaurants (and co-author, with chef Daniel Humm, of the cookbook I Love NY, out in April), Will Guidara travels often—and light. “I can fit four days in my duffel,” he says. “Some people overpack because they’re scared of stains, but I’d rather just buy a new shirt!” When Guidara takes tasting trips—Hong Kong, London, and Copenhagen are on deck—he tends to head straight from plane to table. “It’s so flattering when people show up with luggage. It means your restaurant is the first thing they want to experience.”
• “My Victorinox jacket($2,250) has tons of pockets for small items (like bags of Goldfish, my go-to travel snack).”
• “We serve Intelligentsia coffee at E.M.P.—the house blend from Colombia and Peru. It’s the best.”
• “I love my twill-and- leather Ghurka duffel($995). My dad had the all-leather version.”
• “Breaking in A.P.C. jeans($185) is worth it: they’re sturdy and durable.”
• “Even jeans look better with my Ferragamo moccasins($440).”
How do you dive into the heart of a city? Better rephrase the question—where is everyone eating right now? A hot restaurant is more than a place to have a meal; it’s the microcosm of a scene, the movers sitting elbow to elbow with the shakers. Case in point: Coya(pictured; $$$), in London, where aristos and art dealers alike dine on sea-bream ceviche, rib eye with chimichurri, and other bites from Peru, culinary touchstone of the moment. It’s the newest opening from restaurateur Arjun Waney, whose Zuma and Arts Club were themselves era-defining canteens for the in-crowd.
The long-awaited Covent Garden outpost of Balthazar(44-20/3301-1155; $$) is a near-replica of the New York original, down to the distressed mirrors, steak frites, and media bigwigs in the booths.
While France is famous for its champagne and wine regions, Paris is discovering a newfound love for beer. Craft beer bars are surfacing like foam and offer dozens of microbrew options from across the globe.
La Fine Mousse, which opened in Ménilmontant, literally translates to The Fine Head. Bright white paint and tons of natural light mean there’s no shame in ordering before 5 o’clock at this bar. Choose from one of twenty rotating brews from the chrome taps or scope through 150 bottled beers on their menu. Too many options? A full beer list on their website uses filters such as bitterness, color, and alcohol range to help you find the perfect pour before you arrive.
We’ve road tested the latest crop of digital tools to help you find exactly what you’re looking for, from the perfect cup of coffee to a last-minute restaurant deal.
For Restaurants You’ll Love: Ness While the popular Foodspotting app has mastered the art of predicting your next craving based on specific dishes you’ve said you enjoy, up-and-comer Ness uses its algorithm to deliver Pandora-like recommendations of restaurants themselves. The app factors in your preferred price point, cuisine, and more. As with the music service, the suggestions get better the more you use it. Free; iOS.
For Last-Minute Dining Deals: Savored A cut above the usual dining deal sites, Savored offers discounts at surprisingly excellent (sometimes even trendy) restaurants around the country. The app is best for off-peak days or hours: on Sunday or Monday nights, you might be able to snag 30 percent (or more) off dinner at Mercadito, in Miami, or Daniel Boulud’s DB Bistro Moderne, in New York City. Free; Android and iOS.
For Your Caffeine Fix: Best Coffee If you turn your nose up at Starbucks, try these café-centric maps, which pinpoint independent coffee shops in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and London (more cities are coming later this year). Staff-written reviews note brewing methods, Wi-Fi availability, and even the types of grinders used. From 99 cents; Android and iOS.
For the Best Local Brews: Untappd Like a Yelp for beer-lovers, Untappd helps locate the best bars around you—and pinpoints their top microbrews. A notepad function keeps track of beers you like and ones you’d like to try next. You can also share your finds on Facebook. Free; Android, BlackBerry, and iOS.
For Tips From the Pros: Chefs Feed Who better to seek out for advice on where to eat than the professionals themselves? This app canvasses well-regarded chefs in 16 global cities for their local picks. Insider tips range from Chris Galvin’s favorite quintessentially English meal (calf’s liver and bacon at London’s Delaunay restaurant) to Graham Elliot’s beloved Chicago deep-dish haunt (Lou Malnati’s). Free; iOS.
One to Watch: Evernote Food Digital note-taking pioneer Evernote’s culinary spin-off might be the best new documenting and sharing tool for foodies. Built-in templates let you record your meal (with everything from maps to photographs) on the fly. When you’re done, your notes instantly upload to your account and become digital mementos of your gastronomic pilgrimages. Free; Android and iOS.
Tom Samiljan is Travel + Leisure’s Tech Correspondent.
Q: Is the “service charge” on my room-service bill the same as a gratuity?
A: Though the exact definition varies from hotel to hotel, service charge usually indicates a pooled tip, to be divided up by the entire room service department. If your specific attendant was particularly good, you may consider giving an extra gratuity—but are in no way obliged to do so. To be sure, ask what the hotel’s policy is when placing your order.