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C’est l’amour! New York Welcomes Ladurée

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Yes, I'll confess. I'd never had a macaron until last night, when I braved the line, and the rain, for my first-ever taste of those light and lovely (and unequivocally French) treats by luxury Parisian patisserie Ladurée. No, I wasn't in the City of Love (though in love I fell…and hard). The brand’s newest outpost finally opened its doors to New York City, and America, last Tuesday, just in time for Fashion Week. And if that line, seemingly unabated since the opening, is any indication, this Upper East Side pastel-colored jewel is shaping up to be Manhattan’s next macaron mecca. (Move over, Bouchon Bakery!)

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Moscow: Where to Go Now

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Set on an island in the heart of Moscow, the once-abandoned warehouses of the old Red October chocolate factory now house some of the city’s hippest galleries, restaurants, and rooftop bars.

For classic cucina italiana, check out Bontempi, a new locanda from Lombardy-born chef Valentino Bontempi. 12 Bersenevskaya Nab.; 7-495/223-1387; dinner for two $138.

With its spacious roof deck and innovative tapas (bocconcini and chile fritters), Bar Strelka—atop the Strelka design institute—draws a mix of local artists, intellectuals, and scenesters. 14 Bersenevskaya Nab.; 7-495/771-7437; drinks for two $25.

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Just Back: The New and the Old of Newport, Rhode Island

201108-b-newport-black-pearl-smalljpgOkay okay, I ate at the Black Pearl Restaurant...again.  You can stamp “tourist” onto my forehead, but their New England clam chowder is too amazing to pass up.  I stumbled out satisfied and wandered into the colorful gallery/art studio, Art on the Wharf. Perhaps it was this tourist-guilt that compelled me to ask artist-owner, Tony Gill (pictured below), for some locals’ suggestions, but it was well worth the inquiry.  He had heard the question before and quickly handed me a sheet of paper titled “Tony’s Best Bets.”  I now had my work cut out for me.

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Beijing’s New Foodie Destination

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Popular dining and entertainment district Sanlitun is fast becoming the city’s gastronomic destination. A couple of noteworthy additions to the dining scene: Modo, which serves South American and Scandinavian–inflected fare like smørrebrød with herring and pickled radish and arepas with avocado and chicken; Colibri, an airy café with cupcakes galore; and Transit, a sleek Sichuan restaurant.

I’ve been fascinated by the renaissance of Chinese eateries in the capital and how Beijing has really emerged as the place where you can sample an enormous range of authentic, regional Chinese cuisines in sophisticated surroundings. It’s been a remarkable transformation, given that as recently as the late 1990’s it was a culinary wasteland thanks to the long-lingering effects of the Cultural Revolution.

Jennifer Chen is Travel + Leisure's Asia correspondent. You can follow her on Twitter at xiaochen6.

Photo by Lyndsey Matthews

Great Artisanal Ice Cream Parlors

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Artisanal ice cream parlors across the country are whipping up innovative flavors to satisfy our ever-evolving palates. Here, four sweet spots.

Seattle: Molly Moon’s has gone mobile with a just-launched dessert truck that serves house-made flavors and ice cream sandwiches. Favorite flavor: Hibiscus sorbet. 1622 N. 45th St.; 206/547-5105.

New York City: Manhattanites can’t get enough of Italian import Il Laboratorio del Gelato—its new Lower East Side branch is five times the size of the original location on Orchard Street. Favorite flavor: Tarragon-pink peppercorn.

New Orleans: The cherry- and chocolate-walled La Divina Gelateria is known for its decidedly down-home ingredients. Favorite flavor: Peach Creole cream cheese. 3005 Magazine St.; 504/342-2634.

San Francisco: Owners Jake Godby and Sean Vahey have such a cult following at their retro-mod Humphry Slocombe that they’re currently penning a recipe book about their frozen treats. Favorite flavor: Blue Bottle Vietnamese coffee.

Photo by Davies + Starr

Just Back: Top Food Spots in Southeast Maine

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I just returned from a long, 10-day retreat from the hustle and bustle of NYC, for a low-key, beachside getaway up in Old Orchard Beach, Maine with my good friend Peter. Aside from the absolute most perfect weather—which I used to try to trick my sensitive, Canadian skin into thinking that it actually does have the ability to tan—coupled with the calming sound of the crashing waves, we spent a good chunk of our time finding great places to eat. Because that’s what we do when we travel. These are my favorite eateries, all within a short drive of "OOB":

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Singapore's Seedy Neighborhoods and Warehouses Now Hot Spots

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With its Art Deco style wet market and pre-War public housing, Singapore's Tiong Bahru neighborhood has been luring thirtysomething artists, architects, and other creatives in recent years, so it was only a matter of time that funky small businesses began popping up in the area.

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We Want Your Job, Diego Felix, Nomad Chef

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Is ordering delivery to the office your idea of going locavore? Do your culinary travels consist of drive-thru windows after a long day of work?  If yes, then we invite you to put down the plastic fork and check out this different kind of job: meet Diego Felix, nomad chef.

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Editor Find: North Fork Fish Market

201107-b-southhold-1jpgThe North Fork of Long Island has been my family’s beach spot for over 30 years. Still, the suddenly chic spit of land 100 miles east of New York City still has a few surprises. The Southold Fish Market is very much a family shop slinging fresh scallops, flounder, and clams. But if you want some really local shellfish, don’t even bother driving home to cook your catch. This seafood shop has a take-out menu (and dockside seating) to die for.

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Montreal Musician Shows and Tells

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Over the years, I’ve found one of the best ways to know a city’s best-kept secrets is to talk to its artists. I recently connected with one of Montreal’s rising stars—award-winning filmmaker and musician Daniel Isaiah, who's signed, appropriately, with music label Secret City Records.

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