Food + Drink
I love candy almost as much as I love to travel. So you can imagine my excitement when the new Taste of Europe assortment from the online candy company Sugarfina landed on my desk. Red licorice bites from Finland! Cow-shaped marshmallows from Holland! Juicy sweet-and-sour peaches from Germany! My motto is the gummier, the better, but—as someone who was adventurous enough to eat alpaca in Peru—I even tried France’s fruity hard candies (thumb’s down) and Danish mocha beans (thumb’s up). The sweets are packaged in a Tiffany blue box—fitting, since I’d take these over a diamond any day. (Well, maybe…)
Brooke Porter is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.
Photo courtesy of Sugarfina
A wave of high-concept cafés is redefining how Californians get their caffeine fix. In Costa Mesa, reservations-only Theorem (pictured; 3313 Hyland Ave.) serves a multicourse tasting with a touch of molecular gastronomy (the ice cream in your affogato is made using liquid nitrogen). On the purist end, Handsome Coffee Roasters (582 Mateo St.) in downtown Los Angeles has a spare, three-item menu: espresso, espresso with milk, and drip coffee. San Francisco’s Linea (3417 18th St.), a standing-room-only bar in the Mission, is even more doctrinaire: it only sells house-roasted espresso, served as cappuccinos or naked in a demitasse.
Photo courtesy of Theorem
Birds of every feather appear on the rotisserie at new Parisian restaurant Le Coq Rico. Casseroles are filled with the roasted meat, from classic chicken to doves, pigeons, and game birds. Heaping cones of French fries and shallot green salads accompany the crop.
Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.
Photo courtesy of Le Coq Rico / Anthony de Anfrasio & Patricia Westermann
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We asked true travel pros what to do near the French Laundry, in Napa Valley, California. Want to share your advice? Join our community on Facebook at facebook.com/travelandleisure and at Twitter @TravlandLeisure.
“Ask for one of the redone suites at Auberge du Soleil ($$$$). The hotel has a gorgeous pool and views.” —Michelle Finkelstein Murre, via Facebook
“The burger at Farmstead ($$$) is the most delicious I’ve ever tasted; ditto the chocolate pie.” —Tosh Giles, via Facebook
“You MUST visit the candlelit Del Dotto wine caves (1445 St. Helena Hwy., St. Helena) and do a barrel tasting!” —@allierose12
“I head to Oakville Grocery Co. for the best picnic fixings in Napa.” —Sam Rudd, via Facebook
“At the French Laundry ($$$$), I love to stop by the garden across the street and talk to the chefs as they snip herbs.” —Elizabeth Hansen, via Facebook
If your apron is the first thing you pack in your suitcase, you’ll want to tune into this month’s weekly series on immersive cooking programs, where we’ll highlight a standout program from our April food issue’s Global Guide to Cooking Schools.
The School: School of Artisan Food, the Cotswolds, England
You’re in good hands at this respected program in the heart of Sherwood Forest, which teaches half- and multi-day courses that focus on traditional English cookery, from wild game butchery to fruit preserves.
The Class: For all you Downton Abbey fanatics (you know who you are), we recommend celebrated food scholar Ivan Day’s hands-on class on historic baking techniques—lumber pie, anyone?—which takes its inspiration from historic cooking methods.
Jennifer Flowers is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @JennFlowers.
Photo courtesy of The School of Artisan Food
You’ve got lemon wedges, beer, and a table of freshly steamed, seasoned crustaceans. Now what? Bill Breaux, owner of waterside restaurant Schooners ($$$), a favorite in Oxford, Maryland, shares his tried-and-true method.
1. Place crab belly-side up. Twist legs off at base; set aside. With a paring knife, pull back tab-shaped “apron” at its narrow end.
2. Pick up crab with apron pointing up; using thumbs, pull off top shell and discard. Scrape away gills and other inedible contents.
3. Insert thumbs into center cavity and break body in half. Split each half in two again. Extract the meat and eat.
4. Split claws at joints. Place knife on top of claw and tap with mallet to crack claw. Break apart with fingers and pull out the meat.
5. Separate legs at joints and squeeze each section like a tube of toothpaste to withdraw more meat. Still hungry? Give up and order crab cakes.
Illustations be Michael Hoeweler
Like millions of Americans, I’m chomping at the bit for Sunday’s season six premier of Mad Men. So ecstatic am I for the gang at Sterling Cooper Draper (Pryce?) to forge into the late-1960’s that I had to mollify my angst in the only appropriate way I knew how: Booze.
One of the hallmarks of the AMC series has been the period-piece cocktails Don Draper, Roger Sterling, Pete Campbell (above) imbibe at bars, dinner parties, soirées, power lunches, and, yes, work. All over country, retro-tipples are chic again, from Mai Tais to Manhattans, becoming part of the show’s defining characteristics. As a proud member of the New York City cocktail tribe and avid fan of the show, I decided to teach myself to joggle a proper drink and learn my jigger from my Boston shaker.
There are some hotels that immerse guests in local culinary traditions. And others that actually immerse them. Overlooking a national park on Tasmania’s eastern coast, Saffire Freycinet (all-inclusive; $$$$$) offers visits to a nearby marine farm, where a guide suits you up in waders, leads you to a waiting table in a cool, pristine bay, and pulls a handful of Pacific oysters from the water. He swiftly pries the bivalves open and serves them right there with just a squeeze of lemon and a glass of sparkling Tasmanian wine. Silence, stillness, and a dozen creamy oysters from some of the purest water in the world. What better way to get a taste of Tassie?
Photo by Tourism Tasmania & Pure Tasmania
Q: Can you recommend a hotel in the Italian countryside that is authentic (and affordable)?
A: Your best option for experiencing local food and culture in a hidden corner of Italy is an agriturismo, a family-run inn on a working farm. Below, where to find them.
The Draw: Medieval towns, hills covered in olive groves, and more than 100 miles of Adriatic coastline define this area of central Italy.
The Experience: Eight miles south of Urbino, the Savini family’s 185-acre Locanda della Valle Nuova ($) has six modern guest rooms and three apartments and arranges horseback riding, visits to artisanal producers, truffle hunting, and traditional dinners of porchetta and fried olives.
The Draw: Tuscany’s northern neighbor, Emilia-Romagna is the home of prosciutto and Parmesan.
The Experience: The late-1300’s Antica Corte Pallavicina ($) is a favorite retreat of noted Italian chefs, including Massimo Bottura. Set along the Po River, the property has six rustic-chic rooms, each named after an aristocrat who once stayed there. Breakfasts include hand-squeezed blood-orange juice and farm-fresh eggs; don’t miss dinner at the property’s Michelin-starred restaurant, where chef Massimo Spigaroli serves his house-cured culatello.
A dozen ways to turn your garden-variety picnic into a Tuileries-worthy déjeuner sur l’herbe.
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Photo by Levi Brown