Food + Drink
Mexican: the cuisine London could never get right. While the city mastered Emirati, Ethiopian, Polish, Syrian, Lebanese (and how!)—even Argentine steaks—attempts at Mexican fare have historically been less well-received. But that was then. Three years ago, the arrival of Mestizo—followed by the opening of popular burrito bar Chilango—began transforming London into a Mexican food mecca. Now the big guns from across the pond have arrived. Last month, Serge Becker opened hotspot taquería La Bodega Negra in Soho. Not to be outdone, Derek Sanders, the force behind New York City’s haute Mexican diner/speakeasy La Esquina, will soon open his London outpost right around the corner.
And don’t forget Peru! Star Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez, who gained worldwide recognition for Central restaurant in Lima, will open his first London eatery this June. Meanwhile, Ceviche (pictured), which opened in March in Soho, is receiving buzz for its extensive menu and dedicated Pisco Sour bar.
Photo courtesy of Ceviche
Chef Andy Nusser of Tarry Lodge, and host of first Family Dinner on July 15.
Most New Yorkers would be happy to dine at one of Mario Batali's famous restaurants. And though Batali's dishes, like a 100-layer lasagne, are delicious to most palates, a white-tablecloth restaurant like Del Posto might not be the ideal place to take your six-year-old. Enter Family Dinners with Mario Batali's Chefs, a highlight of the The Edible Garden at The New York Botanical Garden. Geared for kids aged 4-12, this nearly 3 hour event includes hands-on gardening and craft activities, live cooking demonstrations by Mario's top chefs, and of course, hearty tastings of all the delicious creations. Four events are currently scheduled (July 15, July 26, August 2, and August 12). Tickets: $60 for adults and $30 for children at PRICELESSNY.com.
Corinne White is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.
Photo courtesy of Ivo Vermeulen and The New York Botanical Garden
Want a more tweet-worthy way to spend National Ice Cream Day (which is this Sunday, July 15) than curled up with two dudes named Jerry and Ben? Head south—way south—to Venezuela for a hit of Viagra ice cream in the city of Merida. Ok, ok, it’s not even the real stuff; it’s made of honey and pollen. But we still can’t believe this hasn’t yet come to the U.S.
For a more traditional way to celebrate the day (actually, the entire month is National Ice Cream Month, as decreed by Ronald Reagan (?!) in 1984), everyone from Viceroy Hotels to Six Flags is recognizing the occasion.
And to help you celebrate, we’ve rounded up some of our stories on great and weird ice cream. Enjoy!
• America’s Best Ice Cream Shops
• World’s Strangest Ice Cream
• Great Artisanal Ice Cream Parlors
What’s your favorite ice cream shop or flavor? Tell us!
Rich Beattie is the digital executive editor at Travel + Leisure.
Photo by Hanan Cohen
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.