Food + Drink
It’s either unchecked hedonism or outright
denial that led me to New York’s Fire Island the weekend
after summer’s unofficial demise. While most
vacationers packed up their share-houses and kissed farewell to the spit of
sand off Long Island’s south coast over Labor Day, I
was still dreaming of bike rides, summer ales, and one last coat of sun.
It doesn’t hurt that hotel prices fall off a cliff once
beachgoers pack up their white (I paid $225 per night at Clegg's Hotel, while
rates during summer’s apex can be double that). So I
found myself at the Island Mermaid pulling on a straw filled with its signature
Rocket Fuel (a dark rum piña colada with a Cruzan 151 “sinker” at the bottom and a pond of Amaretto floating on top) and stretching summer out
as long as possible before the looming cold throws its death grip around New
York City. I wasn’t ready for fall, not yet.
Summer might technically end on September 21, but a few goodfolks are letting New Yorkers prolong the spirit: from September 23–25, the Hammer and Claws Blue Crab Feast will hit Chelsea for the first time, bringing an authentic, Maryland-style (steamed in beer, vinegar, and water, and dusted with Old Bay seasoning), all-you-can-eat blue crab feast right up to the Hudson Harbor. Tickets for each of the weekend’s four seatings cost $118, and include all the fixings—plus beer and cocktails. And it’s all for a good cause, no less.
It’s fitting that the artist behind Chicago’s iconic bean-shaped sculpture has now created an espresso cup. But not just any cup. Available as part of a limited-edition collection by Italian coffee brand Illy ($90 a pair), Anish Kapoor’s white porcelain demitasse has a slick, platinum interior. The saucer can be placed on top to produce a mini sculpture. One masterpiece with my espresso, please!
Photo courtesy of Illy
Leading Korea's new culinary wave is Jung Sik Dang, where chef Jung Sik Yim takes local ingredients to prepare dishes like kimchi consommé, pork jowl with yuzu, and even an amuse bouche with grasshoppers. Less experimental is Bistro Seoul, which presents Korean standards in an austere space. While Japanese and Chinese have long happily paid through their noses for expensive renditions of their cuisines, Koreans—like Thais—are just experiencing the phenomenon of taking familiar fare, gussying it up, and serving it in lovely locations. It’s not fusion, but modernization. You’re seeing this elsewhere in Asia—KL has some notable modern Malay restaurants. And while the Thais are kicking and screaming about this trend, other parts of Asia are embracing it.
Jennifer Chen is Travel + Leisure's Asia correspondent. You can follow her on Twitter at xiaochen6.
Photo of Jung Sik Dang courtesy of TomEats/www.tomeats.com
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!)
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.
Okay 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.
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.
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
Chen is Travel
+ Leisure's Asia correspondent. You can follow her on Twitter at xiaochen6.
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
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":