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A Local's Guide to Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland, New Zealand

Nadia Lim, chef
“Britomart, the area around the city’s transportation hub, is an easy place to meet up, with lots of restaurants, galleries, even beanbag chairs by the water! I do my socializing at Smith (20 Customs St. E.; 64-9/309-5529), a Victorian-style lounge.”

Slideshow: Photo Tour of New Zealand

Ryan Henderson, graphic designer
“I love that I can browse the new Comme des Garçons collection at Wunderkammer (76A Ponsonby Rd.; 64-9/360-4090), then grab a curry laksa down the street at the International Food Court (106 Ponsonby Rd.; 64-9/361-5398).”

Tam West, stylist (pictured)
“My favorite bar is the Golden Dawn (134 Ponsonby Rd.; 64-9/376-9929), in an old corner store. You enter an unmarked door and find yourself in a courtyard with a bonfire and Hallertau on tap.”

Jonny Calder, sales manager
“There are heaps of hidden gems in the Ponsonby neighborhood, so it’s worth asking a local where to get, say, a cup of coffee. I’m drinking one from the brew bar at Coffee Supreme (42 Douglas St.; 64-9/360-5040), where I work.”

Photo by Kieran Scott

Video Exclusive: GloboMaestro Goes to Il Buco Alimentari

Exclusive GloboMaestro Video: New Yorkers—and Travel + Leisure staff—are abuzz over Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria. While getting a reservation may be tough in the wake of its recent three-star rating by the New York Times, we recommend putting this new Nolita restaurant fast earning a reputation for its earthy, if-I-can’t-be-in-Italy-this-is-the-next-best-thing on your must-try list. Specialties include housemade salumi and lusty dishes such as spaghetti alla bottarga; fresh ricotta with roasted beets, white grapefruit and pistachios; and slow-roasted short rib panini with gorgonzola and onion agrodolce. T+L’s own Kate Appleton had this to say about her lunch there last week: "I went in a group, so we sampled widely, and the decadent small plates just kept coming. Even seemingly simple, familiar stuff like the ricotta wowed me, and then there was the rabbit—my new favorite fried food."

Thanks to our video partner GloboMaestro, Carry On readers can have a vicarious taste of Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria. Join Laura Cooper Brown from The Bowery Hotel as she introduces us to Downtown New York’s hottest table.

Video courtesy of GloboMaestro

Madison Square Garden Goes Gourmet

Madison Square Garden food

Madison Square Garden has scored big with new offerings from top New York restaurateurs. Here’s a taste.

Simply Chicken
Who:
Jean-Georges Vongerichten
What to Order:
The organic chicken sandwich, kicked up a notch with spicy mayo that includes sambal oelek, an Asian chili sauce.

Sausage Boss
Who:
Andrew Carmellini
What to Order:
Cheddar cheese bratwurst, made with Hoegaarden-braised sausage and Weinkraut cooked in Riesling—all on a buttered potato bun.

Daily Burger
Who:
Drew Nieporent
What to Order:
It’s a tough choice between the classic burger and the one topped with bacon-onion jam. All patties are a blend of Angus chuck, short rib, and brisket.

Lobster Shrimp Roll by Aquagrill
Who:
Seafood guru Jeremy Marshall
What to Order:
What else but Maine lobster and wild Pacific Ocean shrimp on toasted New England bread?

Related Slideshow: Best Baseball Stadium Food

Illustration by Holly Wales

3 Great Bars in Mumbai

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Mumbai
presents an almost implausible contrast, between skeletal dogs in the streets and people living on top of each other in slums, to flaunting its new face of modern luxury and creative ambition.  You will absolutely need breaks and time to relax and reflect on the disparity. I raised my glass to the dizzying hub of India in three chic bars, all in vastly different neighborhoods:

Aurus: In Juhu, a wealthy beachfront neighborhood in South Mumbai, is Bollywood central! At Aurus, situated right on the beach (pictured, top), you're almost guaranteed to spot a star that lives nearby.  An outdoor drink at Aurus might even help break the humidity of a Mumbai night. Nichani Kutir, Ground Floor, Juhu Tara Road; 011-91-22-6710-6666.

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Sweets for Your Sweetie in San Francisco

In today’s V-Day installment from GloboMaestro, Antonio Barrios, concierge at the St. Regis San Francisco takes us to Hayes Valley in San Franciso in search of exquisite chocolates, old-school cakes, and all manner of sugary treats for your sweetheart—or yourself!

For more ideas on where to find great candy, chocolates, and more, check out our new feature "Best New Sweet Shops."

Love on the Rocks: Romance at NYC’s First-Ever “Pulqueria”

It’s not your average aphrodisiac. Pulque—the frothy, vitamin-rich, rough-around-the-edges beverage made from fermented Maguey sap—has been the drink of gods and mortals in Mexico for over 1,000 years. This less sophisticated cousin to tequila is also a “must imbibe” concoction for those wanting to conceive.

Today, as part of our special love-inspired V-Day video series with GloboMaestro, we’re featuring a sexy subterranean watering hole that pours pulque by the pitcher. And, it’s in the unlikeliest of places—New York City’s Chinatown. This romantic spot also turns out some really authentic food, too. Don’t miss sharing a bowl of the sikil pak, a Mayan pumpkin seed dip served with housemade tortilla chips.

Pulqueria NYC
11 Doyers Street (Bowery & Doyers)
212-227-3099
www.pulquerianyc.com

Be Mine, Miami: The Delano’s “Bianca” Opens, Salsa, More!

We’re not sure what’s in the air, but the city of Miami is on editors’ minds these days. Many of us are plotting sunny getaways there, surprising our significant others with romantic weekends, and generally daydreaming about Florida’s hottest city. And, Miami news is pouring in: Last week, we covered the re-opening of the landmark Shelborne South Beach hotel; and this week we’re craving Chef Brian Massie's Italian dishes at the newly opened—and ridiculously chic—Bianca restaurant at the Delano Hotel. (The very idea of his simply grilled langoustines and homemade pasta with shaved truffles makes us swoon.)

And on the heels of yesterday’s love-inspired post, we have another fun video from GloboMaestro. Here's an excuse to get physical in Miami on Valentine’s Day—or any day! Take your first class, or show off your moves, with other passionate dancers at Miami's Salsa Mia. The Mandarin Oriental, Miami’s concierge, Giselle Mueller, shows you the way.

Finding Top Restaurant Deals with Bitehunter

Bitehunter inventor Gil Harel

Innovator Gil Harel

Who He Is: Though he got his start working in the marketing department of Israel’s Isrotel hotel chain and at Expedia, the 39-year-old Cornell MBA now focuses on the restaurant and bar industry with his new website, Bitehunter.

His Big Idea: The Bitehunter site and its iPhone app scour more than 500 online sources including Gilt City, OpenTable, restaurant.com, and even Twitter to locate the best deals in any given area. It’s a Kayak-style approach for dining deals, which Harel acknowledges as inspiration for his food-focused search engine: “Historically, airlines adopt cutting-edge technology first, followed by hotels, then restaurants.” And as foodie deal services such as Groupon and BlackboardEats continue to proliferate, his simple aggregator is a welcome resource.

Photo courtesy of Hila Harel

Locals Share Their Favorite Spots in Istanbul

Gulgun Ozek in Istanbul

Gülgün Özek, Photo Editor (pictured)
Location: Sofyali Sokak, Asmalimescit
“My neighborhood is historic yet cosmopolitan. Inside the Neoclassical buildings you’ll find bars, theaters, and one of the best contemporary art galleries—Arter (211 Istiklal Cad.; 90-212/243-3767).”

Seren Yüce, Filmmaker
Location: Kadiköy Harbor
“I love the view of the Bosporus from the lighthouse. I just had lunch at Çiya Sofrasi (lunch for two $50)—a traditional Anatolian restaurant nearby.”

Mehmet Öktem, Bar Owner
Location: Galata Bridge
“I come here often, just to soak in the city. This bridge connects Beyoğlu—the city’s modern, European heart—and the old peninsula, where I shop at the Spice Bazaar. It’s next to the New Mosque, which is almost three hundred and fifty years old.”

Yasemin Arpaç, Interior Designer
Location: Serdar Ekrem Sokak, Galata
“A lot of artists are moving into the area—it’s very trendy these days. At one end of the street there’s the Galata Tower; at the other is my favorite jewelry boutique, Aida Pekin (44A Serdar Ekrem Sk.; 90-212/243-1211). The designer creates pendants inspired by local landmarks.”

Interviewed by Christine Ajudua

Photo by Kerem Uzel

Greenbrier Chef Wins Bocuse D’Or USA

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It’s often described as the Olympics of the Food World. Entering its 26th edition in 2013, the Bocuse D’Or—a biennial competition started by one of the fathers of French cooking, Paul Bocuse, that brings together the best chefs in a country, and then the world—is one of the great culinary honors.

This year, the top toque award at the U.S.A. competition went to Chef Richard Rosendale The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia. On Sunday, at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, Rosendale—who’s one of only 66 Master Chefs in the country—dazzled the judges’ taste buds with a version of D'Artagnan Winter Chicken Preparations. It's hard not get hungry reading Chef Rosendale's description:

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