Food + Drink
If milk and sugar distract you from detecting the subtle floral notes in your (twice) daily espresso, it may be time to schedule a vacation to fit your coffee obsession. Visiting a coffee plantation isn’t unlike a trip to wine country—the scenery can be quite similar, with sophisticated tastings to boot—but only recently have we found one where the creature comforts match the standards of your morning cup. The place to go? Belize’s Belcampo, which recently partnered with Blue Bottle Coffee to take their impressive culinary programs into a buzzier domain.
If you’re lucky enough to live in New York City—or happen to be visiting between July 16 and August 10, 2012—there’s an extra reason to dine around town: NYC Restaurant Week. Those who want to experience some of Gotham’s most popular restaurants at deeply discounted prices ($24 lunch; $35 dinner) have an opportunity to save even more on fondue and gougère at Artisanal Fromagerie, smoked brisket at Hill Country, and Harold Dieterle’s Thai creations at Kin Shop.
In celebration of 20 delicious years of Restaurant Week (which has actually grown to three weeks), American Express is working with the City of New York and social media phenom Foursquare to make dining out even more attractive. (As if we needed an excuse!) When you sync your American Express card with Foursquare and check into participating restaurants, you will automatically get an additional $5 off the bill of $24 or more. For details and to register, go to sync.americanexpress.com/foursquare. Bon appetite!
Image courtesy of American Express
Marco Pasanella is an architect turned New York wine-store owner, a story he retells in Uncorked: My Journey Through the Crazy World of Wine (Clarkson Potter; $24), out this month. Below, he reveals his top spots to browse for bottles when he travels.
Berry Bros. & Rudd, London
“Founded in 1698, this is the city’s oldest and most venerable wine and spirits purveyor. It has a two-and-a-half-million-bottle inventory, including some of the world’s rarest vintages.” 3 St. James’s St.; 44-800/280-2440.
Enoteca Vanni, Lucca, Italy
“Beneath the unassuming storefront are block-long subterranean caves filled with unexpected finds, such as 1970’s California Cabernets. The vaults are as enchanting for a child as for a wine lover.” 7 Piazza del Salvatore; 39-0583/491-902.
Kermit Lynch, Berkeley, Calif.
“The slightly disheveled shop was one of the first to bring small European producers to the U.S. Lynch has continued to unearth interesting labels—and now even has his own winery. Many a shopkeeper, such as myself, dreams of having a place just like Kermit’s.” 1605 San Pablo Ave.; 510/524-1524.
Photo courtesy of Berry Bros & Rudd
Cookouts and barbeque are on the menu for many today. If you're in the Boston area, you may not find a whole lot to choose from—and unless you’re game for waiting in line for the M&M truck at the SoWa weekend market, there’s really only one reliable bet. The good news: Sweet Cheeks, the most recent debut by Top Chef alum and once Texas resident Tiffani Faison, is easily one of the best BBQ restaurants to open anywhere this side of the Mason-Dixon.
For months T+L has been counting down to this summer in London, a city already pulsating with game-changing events and pioneering cultural festivals. Now, we’re adding another spot to your London itinerary: The Fringe 2012, a new pop-up members club that will offer ticket-holders some respite from all the Olympic buzz. Just a hundred yards from Olympic Stadium, The Fringe is housed in a converted Victorian stable house at Swan Wharf and will provide some of London’s finest food and drink (with Sweet&Chilli bringing their unique brand of creative cocktails to the experience). Olympic fans shouldn’t fret about missing any of the action—large LCD screens will broadcast all the main events.
The Fringe 2012 will officially pop-up on July 20th, a week before the Opening Ceremony, and operate through the Olympic and Paralympic Games until September 9th. Individual tickets start at $112 per day.
Briana Fasone is a digital editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure. You can follow her on Twitter @brifasone.
Photo courtesy of Nylon Communications Limited.
When you’re in Philadelphia to... check out the opening of the gleaming 4 1/2-acre city campus of the Barnes Foundation, home to 181 Renoirs—the largest collection in the world.
Eat at... The Dandelion (124 S. 18th St.; 215/558-2500; dinner for two $60), a new gastropub from Stephen Starr; we recommend the classic fish-and-chips.
Photo by Jason Varney
The world’s most famous peripatetic band has finally set down some roots. Today, the complete Grateful Dead archive opens at the legendarily laid-back UC Santa Cruz. The collection—housed in the newly renovated McHenry Library and free to the public—includes coffee-stained contracts, original lyric manuscripts, fan mail, and Stanley Mouse poster art.
Exclusive GloboMaestro Video: A trip to the library may not be high on your to-do list this summer—unless you find yourself in New York City. At La Biblioteca de Tequila, books are replaced by bottles of Mexico's finest, which line the shelves of this legendary subterranean tequila bar. The library concept doesn't stop there: customers are free to "check out" their favorite brand by purchasing their own bottle, which is then stamped with an ID card and subsequently locked away for safe keeping. Tequila isn't the only menu item (though you'll have your pick from about 400 bottles): Chef Richard Sandoval's creative Latin-fusion street food—like the special tuna wanton tacos—is another reason to stop in.
Briana Fasone is a digital editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.
Video courtesy of GloboMaestro, the only web series where hotel concierges dish their insider destination tips.
There's only one place in the Windy City where you'll find spiked snow cones, astrology readings, leather boat shoes, and a mini-barbershop all under one roof—and that's Dose, the monthly pop-up market showcasing food and fashion finds from throughout the Midwest.
The brainchild of a foursome of local tastemakers that includes editors from Time Out Chicago and the Chicago edition of Daily Candy, the event launched in June 2011, offering displaced shop owners and online artisans a physical space to peddle chiffon scarves, specialty cocktail bitters, and other funky items you never knew you needed. Chicago has been falling hard for Dose's carefully-curated (and ever-rotating) collection of 50 or so vendors, transforming the previously underutilized River East Arts Center—a massive, early 20th-century brick warehouse a few blocks from the fanny-packers at Navy Pier—into a cool place to shop, snack, and discover the next big thing.
We asked true travel pros what to do near Fisherman's Wharf. Want to share your expertise? Join our community on Facebook at facebook.com/travelandleisure and at Twitter @TravlandLeisure.
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“Stop by the Musée Mécanique (Pier 45) to play any of 250 vintage arcade machines. So cool!” —Alexandra Tursi, via Facebook
“Climb to the top of Vallejo Street to find Ina Coolbrith Park (Vallejo and Taylor Sts.), a little patch of green that’s another world.” —Chris Wray, via Facebook
“I always order a martini and the bacon-topped deviled eggs at Park Tavern (1652 Stockton St.).” —Nick Horwath, @nh94105
“Don Pisto’s (510 Union St.), in North Beach, has Mexican street food and amazing agave margaritas.” —Stefanie Schoen, @thestylesafari
“Buena Vista (2765 Hyde St.) has been the place for Irish coffee since 1952.” —Louise M. Batista, via Facebook
“Run by a Brit, the Codmother (2824 Jones St.; 415/606-9349) serves the best fish-and-chips in the city, bar none.” —Heather Thompson Noll, via Facebook