Food + Drink
Last week, a six-clawed lobster was found off of Midcoast Maine, and just a week earlier a two-toned lobster was pulled from similar waters. But most lobster fans have been buzzing over the rare affordability of lobsters these days—prices per pound are the lowest they've been in 20 years. Maybe this is the one good side of Global Warming?
Americans consumed 231 million pounds of Maine lobster last year—a record high. The conclusion? A trip to Maine—especially in the late-summer or early fall—is not complete without eating lobster. In warmer months, lobsters molt, and their shells become so soft you can eat them with your hands, without the aid of crackers. Just ask for a "shedder" and you'll sound like a local. Maine native Luke Holden, of Luke's Lobster in New York City, shows you just what to do.
Over-the-Rhine (OTR)—known for its Italianate architecture—has gone from historic to hip.
Inventive Japanese gastropub and sushi bar Kaze amps up its ramen with littleneck clams and red miso broth; turkey sliders are piled high with sugar bacon, shiitake mushrooms, and house-made pickles. 1400 Vine St. $$$
The founders of 21c Museum Hotel set their sights on a landmark building for their second art-filled property. Technically just outside of OTR, it displays works in unexpected places; take the lobby floor, where a panel of wormlike neon patterns changes as you walk on it. Make sure to grab a drink on the rooftop terrace. 609 Walnut St. $$
Susana Balbo has been making a name for herself in the wine industry for over 30 years. She was Argentina's first female winemaker and the first woman president of Wines of Argentina, an organization that promotes the country's wine industry to a global market. Blending is Balbo's specialty and her talents have served her well. In 1999, she began building Dominio del Plata Wineryin her hometown, Mendoza, Argentina. Today, the 75,000-square-foot winery is surrounded by 47 acres of vines that produce two million liters of wine per year.
Long before there was Baauer, there was the actual Harlem Shake. And luckily, long after there was Baauer, the tradition lives on…as a new burger joint in Manhattan’s famous uptown neighborhood.
Harkening back to an age of classic diners and Americana, Harlem Shake features a green-and-white retro design with painstakingly restored high coffered ceilings. Locals and visitors alike are flocking to the restaurant for its fresh take on diner food, with a wide range of burgers, dogs, and milkshakes. Our favorite? The Hot Mess burger—topped with pickled cherry pepper-bacon relish, American cheese, and a chipotle mayo. Another crowd pleaser? A cholesterol-be-damned hot dog wrapped in bacon.
On the corner of 124th and Lenox, Harlem Shake sits just a two-minute walk from Red Rooster, celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson’s hotspot, and within earshot of Alexander Small's duo of soon-to-open restaurants, The Cecil and Minton's, in the former Minton's Playhouse jazz club.
All this goes to show that while Baauer’s song went viral then disappeared, the restaurant scene in Harlem will be shaking (in a good way) for the foreseeable future.
Peter Schlesinger is a Research Assistant at Travel + Leisure. You can follow him on Twitter at @pschles08.
Image Courtesy of Harlem Shake
Somewhere above the Bering Sea on the long haul flight between Tokyo and New York, a Japan Airlines flight attendant kindly brought me a steaming bowl of rich broth and chewy udon noodles. Mine was the only seat lit at this late hour in the darkened cabin while glued to a subtitled crime drama marathon. (I'm a sucker for film noir in any language.) Recently, JAL launched its new business-class "Sky Suite" service on international routes to New York, London and Paris; service to Chicago and Los Angeles follows shortly. It's almost like having your own capsule hotel room, complete with a fully reclining seat, 23-inch LCD screen, and bed slippers. Definitely request a window seat for utmost privacy.
Our abridged, meal-by-meal guide to where and what to eat now.
Breakfast: Johnnycake at Carriage House
Southern comfort at this sunlit Wicker Park café means a cornmeal flatbread with house-made peach preserves and maple syrup. ($9)
Lunch: Smoked Trout Sandwich at the Garden at Nightwood
Head to the artsy Pilsen area for a game of bocce and a seafood-centric BLT: smoked trout, summer squash pickles, and bacon. ($12)
Snack: Spinach-and-Feta Empanada at La Sirena Clandestina
Brazilian-inspired drinks are the draw at the hip Market District hangout—best paired with these crisp, bite-size pockets. ($4)
Last summer I took a road trip to “secret” Amish country—a little-known stretch of farms on route 772, east of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. But how did I get away from the touristy version of Ye-Ancient-Country and experience the reality of America’s oldest locavore movement? We followed insider tips from the horse (-and-buggy)’s mouth: Joel Cliff, of the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau: “The stretch of Rt. 772 that runs Southeast from Route 23 at Leola in the North to Route 340 at Intercourse in the South is chock full of authentic ‘finds’ without being a main tourist corridor.” Cliff was right. At the first roadside stand we pulled into, a twenty-something (barefoot!) couple sold us their homemade cheeses, mint tea, and the best cantaloupe I’ve ever tasted, all as their sweet-natured dogs lazed nearby in the sun. We asked what was down the side road that ran by their house, and the man answered: “Well, everything,” as if his whole world could be found along that gravel path. For two people from New York City, it was very nearly heaven.
Kathryn O'Shea-Evans is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter @ThePluckyOne.
Photo Courtesy of PaDutchCountry.com / Brian Evan
Atlantic City’s boardwalk hummed with activity on a balmy Saturday afternoon in July. A cavalcade of families roamed the sandy platform, dawdling over soft-swirled ice cream cones and baskets of fried Oreos, flanked by the umbrella-laden Jersey Shore. A gaggle convened outside Caesars for the annual food and wine festival, this year headlined by a group of Food Network stars: Robert Irvine, Rocco DiSpirito, and Pat and Gina Neely. Kitschy shops were full of tourists snatching up t-shirts and knickknacks. The scene was a snapshot of Americana at its best, a throwback to AC’s heyday.
But despite the robust crowds on this weekend, it has been a frenetic road for a relic that once thrived as the eastern seaboard’s entertainment epicenter. The Great Recession, Hurricane Sandy, and overall tourism shifts (Pennsylvania is now the northeast's gambling capital) have taken their toll. The gleaming 2012-opened, $2.4 billion Revel was supposed to be the antidote, a Las Vegas-grade temple to Michelin-star restaurants, clubby pool parties, and an ultra-luxe spa. The brain trust used Sin City’s evolution as a template, one that focuses on self-indulgent pleasures over blackjack and roulette tables; gambling was supposed to be an afterthought. A $111 million loss and March bankruptcy later, the hotel is now switching its attention, unveiling slot machine promotions and advertising campaigns—“Gamblers Wanted”—to draw visitors to their casino (they’ve even lifted the ban on smoking).
Griffintown, a former industrial neighborhood, is the latest stylish district to emerge along the Lachine Canal. Get there while it’s hot.
Set in an 1843 steamboat factory, the Arsenal complex now houses a gallery, video-screening room, and exhibition space. Recently on view: works by the Beijing-based Gao brothers. 2020 Rue William.
Montrealers are salivating over Grinder (pictured), a modern take on your grandfather’s steak house. Order one of the specialty tartares (the bison is mixed with espresso butter and orange brunoise) or the 40-ounce rib eye for two with a side of carrots glazed with thyme. 1708 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest. $$$
T+L asked a few of the city’s in-the-know denizens to reveal their favorite haunts.
Jeremy Morony, Software engineer, Carbon Five
“Four Barrel Coffee is the spot for socializing. I also like the custom shirts from nearby Taylor Stitch (383 Valencia St.).”
Ayana Ivery, Co-creator, L’Oven Fresh Goods bakery
“At Brenda’s French Soul Food, order the Hangtown fry: a scallion, fried oyster, and bacon scramble of deliciousness served with grits.”
Jason Harper, with sons Kaleb and Jacob, Firefighter
“My kids love flying kites at Crissy Field. I enjoy exploring Fort Point National Historic Site, built in 1861 and still in great condition.”