Want a definition of great service? Sink into an armchair at £10, the semisecret Macallan scotch bar at the Montage Beverly Hills, and let your barman go to work. He’ll wheel out a mahogany cart stocked with Lalique crystal glassware, chilled soapstone rocks (for those who frown on dilution), and an array of rare single malts, with which he’ll prepare the best damn scotch you’ve ever had. Maybe it’s the distillery’s smoky, spicy 18-year Sherry Oak ($35). Or the Macallan 64 Years Old, a goblet of which will set you back $64,000, not including tip. You should tip well.
While the pyrotechnics of Alinea’s molecular gastronomy and the tweezer-armed chefs at Noma fussing over strands of seaweed may garner all the accolades in the food world these days, other chefs are turning back the clock. They’re going back decades, even hundreds, of years.
Vintage-inspired menus—think Champagne-glazed Virginia hams, Waldorf pudding studded with nuggets of foie gras, poached salmon bathed in creamy French sauces—took off this year when restaurants across the country commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s demise.
At Prime Meats in Brooklyn, diners paid $150 in April to taste the last meal served on the British ship, supposedly crafted under the consultation of Georges-Auguste Escoffier and Cesar Ritz. A Hindenburg dinner may follow.
Members of the band, from left: Ed Droste, Chris Bear, Chris Taylor and Daniel Rossen
Ed Droste—front man of the Brooklyn-based indie-rock band Grizzly Bear, whose long-awaited fourth album Shieldscomes out on September 18—reflects on some of his favorite destinations and findings from around the world.
Q: It’s been three years since the band’s last album, what can we expect from Shields? A: It’s charged, and sort of raw, energetic and exposed. I started out work shopping ideas in Todos Santos, Mexico with our drummer Chris Bear. We often go on little writing retreats together. We went there for a month and wrote ten songs, then the whole band reconvened in Marfa, Texas for a month to start recording.
It’s a city of pop-ups. San Francisco has bred a myriad of mobile food entrepreneurs who blog, tweet and serve up everything from ramen to fish tacos to loyal customers willing to hit the sidewalk. That’s about to change—slightly. Recently, some pop-ups have gone permanent, shouldering leases and outfitting commercial spaces. A few of the city’s newest restaurant fixtures? Radio Africa Kitchen(below), which serves creative Ethiopian food, recently opened up shop in Bayview. Meanwhile, the super-popular ramen/boba tea spot Ken-Ken Ramen has launched in the Mission. If deli is your thing, don’t miss the outpost of Wise Sons Delicatessen(above)for some of the city’s best bialys and challah.
It’s the birthplace of the Cuban sandwich, invented in the suburb of Ybor City in the 19th century by cigar-factory workers, who stuffed flaky white bread with ham, pork, salami, Swiss cheese, mustard, and pickles. Try one at the Columbia(2217 E. Seventh Ave.; $), Florida’s oldest restaurant.
Set on the waterfront, Bayshore Boulevard has the world’s longest continuous sidewalk, measuring 4 1/2 miles. It’ll take you by the marina and some of the city’s most historic houses.
First you have to learn to pronounce it, so that years from now, when you are old and gray, standing at a counter and in need of the magical potion, it will sound right: granita, rhymes with margarita. If you’re in Italy, you have to add di caffè, a coffee granita. (I won’t discuss other flavors such as lemon, which are also classics.) Here is what it looks like at the Antico Caffè Greco(86 Via dei Condotti; 39-06/679-1700), in Rome: a chalice of frosted silver, bearing a small mound of frothy brown ice with a generous dab of whipped cream (real cream). The recipe is something of a secret (it consists of water and coffee, some sugar—not too much—and in some cases a bit of liqueur). Italians say, “Anche l’occhio vuole la sua parte”—the eye wants its share, too. When I see a granita coming toward my marble-topped table on a hot day, the sight alone makes my temperature drop. The fresh flavor of chilled coffee fills my mouth as the ice melts and mixes with that rich, room-temperature cream. It is a completely addictive combination. I have to have one every summer afternoon when I’m in Rome, at around four, an antidote to the heat.
Want to celebrate the last days of summer in the Hamptons? There's no better place on Long Island than The Fork. T+L Deputy Editor and local Amagansett resident Laura Begley Bloom laid out a comprehensive road map that leads readers to mellow seafood shacks, rustic antique shops, and beach chic boutiques in the July issue of Travel + Leisure. But what would summer on the East End be without a little imbibing? Hop over to our new Weekend Getaways section for a guide on what and where to drink in the Hamptons burgs.
Nate Storey is an editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.
Shanghai urban planners rival their New York real estate agents in their imaginative renaming of neighborhoods. Some have been flops: Sinan Mansions and the South Bund are still largely deserted, the latter despite the industrial-chic Waterhouse and a solid restaurant by Jason Atherton. I’m now hearing that the area around the Rockbund Art Museumis shaping up to be an emerging ‘hood. (It’s called, rather unimaginatively, Rock Bund.)
Jamie Oliver recently opened a restaurant area (a bakery, a bar, and an Italian eatery) at London Gatwick, joining the growing ranks of chefs extending their empire into airports (Gordon Ramsay’s 4-year-old Heathrow cafe, Plane Food, offers both sit-down meals—timed menus and leisurely menus—and takeout “picnics” to enjoy on the plane. A host of haute cuisine celebs, including chefs Michael White, Anne Burrell, Andrew Carmellini, have created menus for new cafes in Delta’s Terminals C+ D at New York’s LaGuardia. Terminal 2 at San Francisco International features restaurants from Chefs Cat Coura and Tyler Florence, as well as a room dedicated to yoga for those craving spiritual food.)