Food + Drink
As a professed snow snob I scoffed when a group of friends
recently proposed a ski weekend in Killington, Vermont. It’s hard to get
excited about mountains that look more like the hills I used to sled down as a
kid in Salt Lake City than the exhilarating, death-defying declines that tattoo
the Rocky Mountains. When you grow up within an hour of seven world-class ski
resorts you tend to develop a cavalier attitude about the prospects of cleaving
down a worn, icy tilt and paying good money for it. So I opted to head for this
quaint northeastern burg sans my snowboard. Half the fun of a ski vacation
anyway is exploring the town, enjoying the fresh air, eating at great
restaurants, and plunging into the après ski scene.
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts announced yesterday that it was placing an immediate ban on shark fin and phasing out Chilean sea bass and blue-fin tuna within the year. According to Shangri-La spokeswoman Maria Kuhn, the new policy, which affects all 72 properties, has been a long time coming. “In December 2010, we took shark’s fin off our menus as a first step towards completely phasing it out,” says Kuhn, who is based in Hong Kong, where the company’s headquarters are.
Shangri-La joins Peninsula hotels, which announced a ban on shark fin in November. For both properties, it’s a bold, gutsy move. Both have a serious presence in China, where shark fin, long considered a delicacy, has become de rigueur at banquets. In fact, Shangri-La, which already runs 35 hotels in Hong Kong and mainland China, has 23 properties under development in China. It also has hotels in Taiwan and Singapore.
Where to Go: The molecular-minded Bar Centro at the Bazaar by José Andrés.
The Drink: Smoke on the Water ($18).
What’s in It: Blackberries, atomized Islay Scotch, liquid nitrogen, and a flaming orange peel.
Where to Go: The new Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, helmed by Top Chef’s Jeff McInnis.
The Drink: Smoked Pear ($8).
What’s in It: Woodford Reserve bourbon, pear liqueur, lemon juice, maple bitters, and smoked-pear purée. 1600 Lenox Ave.; 305/538-5220.
Where to Go: Clio, home to the city’s most extensive cocktail list.
The Drink: The Hunter ($13).
What’s in It : Sage-infused white rum, Willet single-barrel rye, and apple cider, plus a cloud of burned oak and cinnamon.
Nikki Goldstein is an editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.
Photo by Jessica Sample
I’m a confirmed carnivore, and whenever I’m asked to name my
favorite food, I don’t hesitate: a Cuban dish called vaca frita that
translates, literally, to “fried cow”—how apt.
“It’s like our version of fruitcake,” said my Roman friend Enrico during my first Christmas in the Eternal City in 2002 as he sliced a piece of panettone onto a plate. As soon as he uttered the words “fruit” and “cake” in dangerous succession of each other, I lost my appetite, thinking of the “delicacy” Americans have relegated to a holiday culinary punch line.
I like to think of myself as open minded, especially when on the road. I’ve lived in Prague, Paris, and Rome, and have gluttonously celebrated holidays in each place. And while I didn’t end up eating the spongy, candied-fruit-studded dessert that night, I eventually learned that one person’s panettone is not just another person’s fruitcake. Enrico’s sweet of choice is what Pistachio baklava is to a Greek or amaranth-laced dulce de alegria (which means “sweets of joy”) is to a Mexican or a cardamom-scented cannoli-like krumkake is to a Norwegian. Holiday desserts—whether at home or abroad—are more than just the last course of a big meal.
A handful of on-mountain restaurants are reinventing the cafeteria concept.
California: Tamarack Lodge
Peak Pick: Seared peppercorn-encrusted ahi sandwich and house-made peach cobbler.
Getting There: California Trail, a blue run offering views of Lake Tahoe from 3,000
Top of the
gondola; 775/586-7000; lunch for two $32–$40.
Village, Japan: Goshiki
Peak Pick: Hokkaido-crab miso soup and local lily bulb tempura.
Getting There: Misoshiru (which means miso soup), a black diamond featuring Niseko’s
Leaf; 81-136/443-311; lunch for two $52.
Sydney draws its culinary
influences from a variety of areas, as evidenced by the meat pie stands sandwiched
between Turkish kebab joints and dumpling shacks. American fare, however, has
largely been left off the table until recently. It’s actually the southern
staples more than anything else anchoring the menus at these new
It used to be that great caviar came only from Russia and Iran—but other parts of the world are catching up. Eat these sustainably farmed varieties in situ, or purchase some for a perfect holiday gift.
Type: Black River Sturgeon Uruguayan osetra
Tasting Notes: Nutty and silky, with a long, rich finish and a glossy sheen.
Enjoy It Locally: Punta del Este’s La Bourgogne (Avda. del Mar and Pedragosa Sierra; 598-42/482-007) pairs osetra with blinis, brioche toasts, and lemony crème fraîche.
Buy: blackrivercaviar.com; 50 grams for $110.
At T+L, we know our readers love San Francisco for its food, so we thought we’d let you know about a promising new restaurant on Nob Hill that opens today. Located inside the Ritz-Carlton, Parallel 37 features a menu by Chef Ron Siegel that celebrates the geographic latitude Parallel 37 near the San Francisco Bay Area.
Raise a glass to Blackwell Rum ($30): formerly available only in Jamaica, black gold, as it’s called, is now sold stateside. Reggae-music mogul turned hotelier Chris Blackwell crafted the liquor using a centuries-old family recipe, infusing it with tropical fruits such as banana and mango. Try it neat, or in the signature cocktail at Oracabessa Bay’s GoldenEye Hotel & Resort: on ice with two shots of simple syrup and a shot each of lime, orange, and pineapple juices—shaken, not stirred.
Photo by Lars Klove