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Trend Alert: Restaurants Using iPads as Virtual Sommeliers

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With the release of the iPad nearly one year ago, the device is changing the way we do business. And while it might seem an unlikely combination, even restaurants have hopped on the bandwagon. Yes, a handful are loading their menus onto iPads for customers to peruse—a costly and wasteful business practice, all in the name of flashiness, as far as I'm concerned. But that’s not exactly what I’m talking about; there are more and more turning iPads into useful (and yes, flashy) tools that actually improve the dining experience.

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Hola Yola: Cool New Yogurt Spot Debuts in DC

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Washington D.C.’s new, one-off Yola yogurt parfait bar near Dupont Circle is a great way to start the day. First, there’s the general feeling of well-being derived from the warm, polished wood floors, the exposed-brick walls, and the contemporary tables and chairs, made from recycled aluminum and bamboo (Yola is a certified green restaurant, after all, powered in part by carbon offsets and locally generated wind power).

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SF Eats: Sushi + Burrito = Sushirrito!

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A nouveau addition to the foodie scene has San Francisco’s downtown Financial District buzzing. The melding of two San Fran staples has lunchtime crowds bending around street corners for up to an hour in order to get a taste of a new hybrid—the sushi burrito.

Northern California is a nursery of innovation and Sushirrito has answered the call with creations like the Crispy Ebi, a nori-wrapped, one-pound roll with ingredients that dance between Asian and Latin influence—tempura shrimp, melted pepper jack, shredded crab, and plantains. Or the Mamacita Roll, a tuna wrap packed with shiitake mushrooms, Daikon radish, and Tobiko fortified with a Mexican Kabayaki sauce. So far, the diminutive space and long wait haven’t done anything to temper the enthusiasm for the Bay Area’s newest gastronomic revelation.

Just get there early.

Nate Storey is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Sushiritto

The Donald to Reopen Tavern on the Green?

201101-b-donaldjpgNew York Post |  The Donald wants to reopen The Tavern to make boatloads of Green again.

Real-estate mogul Donald Trump last night said he will ask the city to grant him the right to run the now-closed, landmark Tavern on the Green restaurant in Central Park--vowing to restore it to gustatory glory with a $20 million redevelopment investment.

Trump's revelation came after he reached a deal yesterday with the union that represents Tavern's former employees.

He said it would give the union a five-year contract and between 400 to 500 jobs at the city-owned building.

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World's First Ski In-Ski Out Distillery

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The sun crouches behind the snow-capped peaks as I prop my snowboard against a wall and step into the world’s only ski-in/ski-out gastro distillery. After an epic powder day, a bevy of snow shredders trickle in for après ski cocktails in what has to be the most unlikely destination for a whiskey brew shop on earth. Utah. Despite it’s rigid alcohol laws, bartenders were muddling mint leaves for mojitos laced with a Utah-distilled, award-winning whiskey. As Julian Rubinstein notes in Travel + Leisure’s January issue, Park City is a town in transition.

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Epicurean Fantasy Weekend in NYC

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Michelin Food & Travel, a collaboration of Michelin and Roadtrips, create mouthwatering trips that are the stuff food lover’s dreams are made of: customizable itineraries that include private visits to olive oil producers, small-batch chocolatiers, winemakers, truffle experts, and behind-the-scene experiences at Michelin-starred restaurants throughout France and Italy.

In a departure from their more flexible European itineraries, Michelin Food & Travel has announced what they’re calling an ‘event’: a long, calorie-laden weekend in New York (April 7-10) with exclusive and impressive access to chefs, restaurants, and shops. Here's what's on the menu:

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A Delicious Find in Tel Aviv

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Today, my family and I experienced an unbelievable culinary adventure in the heart of Tel Aviv's financial district. Six of us went to the award-winning Chloélys restaurant, where we were overwhelmed by the sophistication and quality of the menu and the food. We had heard it was good, but we were unprepared for this level of a culinary experience.

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Buenos Aires Is Hot for American-Style Frozen Yogurt

Top It Buenos Aires

As the sultry Buenos Aires summer kicks into high gear, porteños are dipping into a new frozen treat for the first time. Thanks to a pair of Penn grads who imported an American obsession to Argentina, low-calorie frozen yogurt is a hit with sweets-loving, image-obsessed Argentines who spill out the door of the soft-swirl shop in trendy Palermo Soho. The hipsters and fashionistas who sip Quilmes beer on restaurant patios and peruse the chic shops that pepper the treelined streets in this neighborhood have worked the frozen yogurt spot Top It into their daily routines. Owners Ilana Messing and Guillermo Marx see the same faces pop in all week.

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At Qingdao's Drunken House, Enjoy a Hangover-Free Stumble

Qingdao Drunken House

In my 32 years on earth, I’ve been tipsy on beer more times than I can, or can’t, remember. I’ve chugged Busch via beer bong and glugged Germany’s Franziskaner Hefe Weiss by the glass boot. I’ve done keg stands of Keystone Light and slowly sipped Goose Island’s complex, barrel-aged Bourbon County Stout. Despite their flavorful differences, these boozy paths all lead me to the same terminus: a bleary-eyed a.m., grasping for aspirin and cursing the bright, relentless sun. Paying the Piper is never a pleasure.

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Have You Seen T+L's Best Travel Gifts for 2010?

Still not sure what to buy for those travelers on your gift list? Whether they’re nature-lovers, new parents, or nose-in-the-air fashionistas, the Travel + Leisure “Best Travel Gifts” for 2010 is here to help. Find the complete list here. Or, enjoy this a sneak peek—which just happens to feature my recommendations.

Keep Calm and Travel On

“Keep Calm and Travel On”
Inspired by the WW2-era posters that urged Brits to "keep calm and carry on," this modern update couldn't come at a better time. Worried about a TSA patdown? Keep calm, friend. And, yes, travel on. Available in several colors. Unframed: $15.95; buy 3, get 1 free; etsy.com.

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