While politics in the Middle East have been boiling over these past few months, the food of this region has stormed the tastebuds and hearts of Londoners, whisking them off to sunnier climes. While places like Arabica in Borough Market and Wormwood in Notting Hill are toying with the food of the Levant and North Africa, it is Palomar, which has brought a taste of modern Jerusalem to Chinatown, which most gloriously showcases this latest trend.
Chef Tomer Amedi believes London has so eagerly embraced Palomar because his flavors are to the point yet elegantly layered, evoking strong emotions and a family heritage. This is food from the heart and beguilingly delicious. The Jerusalem soft polenta laden with truffle oil, shards of Parmesan, and mushroom ragout is the stuff of foodie dreams. Raw oysters with a dab of harissa were creamy and spicy and briney.
Sitting in the lively dining room, plate after plate of aromatic goodness placed in front of you, you can almost imagine you’ll go outside to be greeted by palm trees and a warm breeze, not the dreary London cityscape. It’s magical.
Sally Hurst is a London-based chef and contributor to travelandleisure.com
London culinary institution, Chef Mark Hix, has opened his first restaurant south of the Thames River, just a stones throw from the Tate Modern and Borough Market. At Hixter Bankside he’s once again working with the formula that proved so popular at his East London restaurant Tramshed, focusing on succulent whole roast chickens and Flinstones-sized beef cuts to share.
The Istanbul neighborhood of Karaköy used to be a bustling port; home to one of the busiest harbors in Europe. But with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the area fell into disrepair. For decades Karaköy, with its gaping naval warehouses, was a gloomy and forgotten dockland. The only people you’d find hanging out there were fishermen, junkies, and prostitutes.
But all that began to change with the arrival of Didem Şenol. A chef, formerly of New York City’s Le Cirque and Eleven Madison Park, Şenol took a chance on Karaköy when she opened her first restaurant there in 2010.
Edwins: This quintessentially English pub—Tudor windows, draped curtains, and large wooden tables—became an instant hit when it opened in the spring. On the menu: elevated British classics such as lamb “chump” chops with eggplant and zucchini, and for dessert, gooseberry trifle. $$$
Rabot 1745: Nearly every dish at Rabot 1745, the brainchild of Angus Thirlwell and Peter Harris of Hotel Chocolat, is laced with chocolate, from the carpaccio Rabot, doused in a 100 percent cacao–liquor dressing, to the guinea fowl and cocoa-infused yogurt. $$$$
We love food trucks here at T+L, so this year's NYC Vendy Awards had our attention. Food truck vendors traveled to Governors Island, New York, Saturday for a cook-off at the tenth annual Vendy Awards. This year, twenty-five finalists were nominated online and competed in one of five categories at the event.
Bruce Schoenfeld finds a wave of authenticity in Argentina’s best-loved wine region.
The swirl-and-sip set are flocking to Mendoza. They gather in hotel lobbies wearing sandals and gaucho hats, bound for Catena Zapata’s Mayan pyramid of a winery or a polo match at Cheval des Andes. Nearly a dozen wine-tourism companies are operating excursions to the large, important producers. There’s even a continental dining scene striving for global recognition.
Our top picks in the South Bank’s foodie epicenter.
Wright Brothers Oyster & Porter House: The fresh oysters at this rustic-chic restaurant are prepared in various ways, from deep-fried to Japanese-style with wasabi, ginger, and soy. Get a sidewalk table for great people-watching. $$$
For Gucci creative director Frida Giannini, trips to Brazil’s fashion capital are often packed with work events—but she still makes time to visit her local haunts.
Eat & Drink
“The ground-floor bar at the Fasano is at once old-world and modern; it’s a memorable place for a drink,” Giannini says. For dinner, she reserves a table at Figueira Rubaiyat, which sources fish from southern Brazil and is a design landmark. “A beautiful 150-year-old fig tree envelops the space.” Skye Bar, on the rooftop of Hotel Unique, is another must. “It’s the perfect place for a stunning view at the end of the day.”
Travel + Leisure’s new video series B-Sides follows chef (and T+L food and culture contributor) Marcus Samuelsson through emerging neighborhoods in the U.S. that most travelers don’t know about. Like the “B-side” of a record album, these places are the flip-sides to a city’s greatest hits.
This Swedish city across the Øresund strait from Copenhagen is emerging as Scandinavia’s hippest hub. Here, four reasons why.
Because some of the region’s best chefs are setting up shop. Cheap rents and a food-obsessed public have lured bright culinary talents. At B.A.R Krog & Vinbar, the tasting menus by Robert Jacobsson—a former sous-chef at Copenhagen’s Noma—push boundaries even by Nordic outside-the-box standards (think ash-and-elderflower sorbet with cucumber and vanilla). Chef Robin Eriksson recently moved from Stockholm to open Tryne Till Knorr, serving simple, refined dishes with a local emphasis. Don’t miss the stone-baked cabbage wedge topped with a hunk of 36-month-aged Comté and a perfectly pan-fried egg.