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Rome's Newest Restaurants

restaurants in Rome: L'Asino d'Oro

Italy’s top chefs seem to agree that all roads lead to you-know-where, with a clutch of new restaurants relocating to the Eternal City.

Chef Oliver Glowig was the first to make the move to Rome with his namesake restaurant at Aldrovandi Villa Borghese (dinner for two $250), serving inventive Mediterranean dishes, including spaghetti all’amatriciana with prawns and tomato sorbet.

Chef Lucio Sforza relocated his renowned L’Asino d’Oro (73 Via del Boschetto; 39-06/4891-3832; dinner for two $160) from the historic Umbrian town of Orvieto. Tables at the 40-seat restaurant—known for rustic regional specialties such as wild boar—have become the most requested in town.

Up-and-comer Giuseppe De Rosa made a shorter journey—just across the city—to open the sleek Brò Porta Portese (2-3 Largo Alessandro Toja; 39-06/581-3500; dinner for two $140), which showcases his distinctive takes on local favorites such as smoked eggplant with roasted octopus and crisp Parmesan chips.

Photo by Laissez Fare

Beloved Austin Band The Gourds Dishes on BBQ Joints, Travel, and Its New Album

the Gourds music group

Austin’s roots rock veterans the Gourds are no strangers to the road. For seventeen years they’ve toured the U.S. and abroad with their sweet and spicy brand of southern country-blues-rock. With a new record out, Old Mad Joy, and a whopping nine other studio albums under their belt, the band shows no signs of slowing down. The Old Mad Joy tour takes the Texans from San Francisco to Philadelphia and dozens of towns in between. Frontman Kevin “Shinyribs” Russell calls the live show “kind of a cross between a revival, a house party, a pep rally and a pow wow.” We connected with the guys to ask about their time on tour and tips for would-be road warriors.

Q: You hail from Austin, which has been an indie hotbed for some time now (here’s looking at you, SXSW). Have you noticed a shift in the city’s music scene over the course of your careers?

A: Yes, the scene has been constantly changing for decades now. The biggest change has come from the economic boom of the last 15 years; dot com bubble/high tech expansion and real estate bubble. Also the focus of the city on encouraging downtown residential occupancy and a ridiculous sound ordinance has transformed live music into a migratory population in search of affordable leases and appropriate neighborhoods. The musicians and service workers sort of gravitate nearer to these places. So, lots of them are now in east Austin. The styles have become much more diverse and the talent level much more exceptional.

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No Reservations? Tune in to "The Layover", Premiering Tonight

Here at T+L, beating jetlag is something of a sport. So we’re all pretty pumped for The Layover—the new show from globetrotting chef-author Anthony Bourdain, he of No Reservations notoriety—premiering at 9pm ET/PT tonight on the Travel Channel. In ten hour-long episodes, Tony travels everywhere from London to Hong Kong to Los Angeles in search of the best that each city has to offer.

Here’s the catch: the entire series was shot in 30 days, and he has only 24-48 hours in each place. The result? A whirlwind world tour that’s peppered with all the biting Bourdain commentary we’ve come to love and expect, even if it’s tempered with a dash of jetlag. I got a sneak peek at the first episode (spoiler alert!), in which Tony spends a day in Singapore.

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Hong Kong Restaurant Buzz: Down and Dirty Ramen, Star Chef Openings, More

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Big-name international chefs continue to set up shop here with Michael White opening Al Molo in Tsim Sha Tsui this month. Restaurateur Alan Yau of London’s Hakkasan and Wagamama teamed up with Andre Fu to create Bettys, a refined European bistro in the harborside IFC Mall.

French cuisine is making a comeback, after last year’s mania for Italian. A handful of new bistros: La Marmite, the latest venture by the Aqua group; the cozy Bouchon in Soho; and Chez Patrick Deli in the trendy Star Street area of Wanchai. Opening next month is The News Room by the Press Room group, which runs the popular Press Room, The Pawn, and Classified restaurants.

Hong Kongers don’t mind queuing up for their food. … Diners are literally lining up for Butao Ramen, a cubby-hole of a noodle shop that serves only 200 bowls of pork-bone soup a day. Ramen shops with cult status have been opening in China and Singapore as well.

Finally, part of the local-goes-upmarket trend, Cantopop, a collaboration between two New York Italian transplants and a Hong Kong chef, opened in April. It re-imagines the humble cha chaa teng, the city’s take on the coffeeshop. (Think the fabulous 1960’s diners in Wong Kar Wai’s movies.)

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

Photo by Christian Kerber

Gastón Acurio's Favorite Restaurants

Gaston Acurio

Gastón Acurio dishes on his favorite places to enjoy the big blue’s bounty.

With 30 restaurants worldwide, 20 books, and a weekly TV show to his name, celeb chef Gastón Acurio has become something of a seafood hero. Fresh off the opening of New York’s La Mar Cebicheria Peruana (11 Madison Ave.; 212/612-3388; dinner for two $100)—the seventh outpost of his hit Lima restaurant—he filled us in on his favorite seafood spots around the globe.

Lima, Peru
“At Chez Wong, a tiny ten-table dining room by the side of his own house, chef Javier Wong uses just two ingredients, flounder and octopus, and one knife and one wok.”
Don’t Miss: “Everyone gets a flounder ceviche starter; then he will talk to you about your life, and prepare the main course especially for you. He never repeats a recipe.”

New York City
“Chef Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin is a reference point when you talk about excellence in fish. He’s about elegant simplicity and coaxing out different flavors within the same ingredient.”
Don’t Miss: “The fluke ceviche sampler, which moves from light to complex flavors. It was such an experience to have one kind of fish presented in a variety of ways.”

Getaria, Spain
“At Elkano, a family-run place on the Basque coast about an hour’s boat ride from San Sebastián, they work with the catch of the day and respect it so much they serve every part of the fish, from the muscles in the mouth to the belly.”
Don’t Miss: “The specialty is turbot. You might get the head in white wine, then the tail grilled.”

Photo by Ines Menacho

A New Cookbook from the Very, Very Busy David Rocco

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Celebrity chef David Rocco has a full plate these days. The host of The Cooking Channel's travel-food show David Rocco's Dolce Vita has just wrapped shooting on his next series for that network, David Rocco's Amalfi Getaway, which will air in March. He'll be joining Bobby Flay and other culinary grandees at the Chef's Challenge charity event November 26-27 in Toronto to support women's cancer research. He's a passionate spokesman for Ruffino wines, and tours the country on their behalf. He and his wife had their third child in October (a baby boy named Dante). And simply to fill all the empty hours in his day, he's written his second cookbook, Made in Italy, just out from Clarkson Potter. I sat down with Rocco over lunch in Midtown Manhattan last week and asked him about his new book.

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The Rise of Sydney's High-End Food Courts

You won’t find McDonald’s here.

Sydney is joining the ranks of various Asian cities by giving the bland, cafeteria-style food court some high-end treatment. Think classy food bars and chic décor inviting shoppers to actually linger over lunch instead of wolf it down.

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Italy's Top Chefs Converge in NYC - Buon Appetito!

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So you’ve eaten your way through Italy. You know your pecorini from your parmigiani. You’ve already ordered the latest edition of the Silver Spoon, that classic Italian cooking tome that's resided on many a nonna’s shelf since 1950. If that’s the case, the second-annual Identita New York—a two-day event in New York City next week where six of the bel paese’s most celebrated chefs will show off their cooking prowess alongside six American culinary bigwigs—might already be on your radar.

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Beloved Provençal Winery Becomes Region's New Art Destination

Chateau La Coste

Many who love Provence are familiar with Château La Coste, which produces some of the region’s best-known rosé. But what many do not know (yet) is that since the vineyard was taken over by an Irish businessman, in 2002, not only have the wines gone organic, the sprawling domain has become the most ambitious art and architecture complex in France—and perhaps in all of Europe.

The idea: to bring together art, wine and architecture in a way that is organic and site-specific, yet defies easy definition. Too vast to be a sculpture garden and too diverse to be an art collection, this exceptional compilation opened without fanfare in June.

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Paso Robles Celebrates Harvest Weekend

The grapes of Napa often grab the headlines coming out of California wine country but the discerning vino cognoscenti knows that the Golden State harbors some of the best wineries in the world along its central coast. In the thick of it is Paso Robles, a vast countryside of rolling vineyards where vintners sport rustic spurs on their cowboy boots and the pace of life is calm. The annual Harvest Wine Weekend kicks off today, Friday, and promises to be the most robust yet. Over 150 wineries will host grape stomps, tours, tastings, dinners, and pairings (wine and bacon anyone?). One oenophile who will be traipsing around Harvest is Paso Wine Man (above)—the unabashed, vivacious Paso wine country cheerleader whose verve for the region’s splendors knows no bounds.

T+L caught up with the wine man before the big weekend to uncover his wines of choice; find out what makes “Tuscany with cowboys” so special; and why Paso Robles's brand of reds can’t be made anywhere else.

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