Confession: I'm a Friends addict. For nearly the entire ten years since the cult comedy took its last now, I've watched reruns every night as my bedtime ritual (true story). But I know I'm not alone. And for all of you Rachel and Ross cheerleaders, who know that the TV guide always came to "Ms. Chanandler Bong" and that there's no good answer to "How you doin'," there's big news up ahead. Next week, Warner Bros Television Group, Warner Bros. Consumer Products, and Eight O’Clock Coffee will be honoring the show's 20th anniversary by recreating Central Perk, with a month-long pop-up in lower Manhattan (at 199 Lafayette St.), kicking off next Wednesday. Among the fun details: a soundtrack of Phoebe's best songs, props from the original set, and guess appearances from none other than James Michael Tyler (AKA, Gunther). Naturally, coffee will be served all day long. The only thing that could be better? Making that ever-elusive Friends reunion—with more than just three members of the gang—a reality. Fingers crossed.
Nikki Ekstein is an Assistant Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.
Want to travel the country without leaving home? Or just need inspiration for your next American getaway? Turn to Hazel Lane, a new San Francisco-based start-up that curates monthly packages filled with artisan crafts and edible goodies from cities across the country. To start, the company is focusing on of-the-minute destinations—Nashville, Austin, Brooklyn, and Portland, Oregon, to name a few—and two six-month regional subscriptions will launch in time for the holidays: California Crawl (including wine country, Los Angeles, Oakland) and Hawaiian Island Hopper.
Tickets are on sale now for the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival, sponsored by Time Inc. sister publication Food & Wine. Taking place October 16-19, the annual food extravaganza has a few new events we’re excited about: Grammy Award-winning country star and cookbook author Trisha Yearwood is hosting the Down-Home Southern Brunch (Oct.19, $150), while actor/TV personality Mo Rocca will be at the Standard hotel’s biergarten for the Hot Dog Happy Hour (Oct. 17, $99, sold via Groupon). Ample Hills Creamery founders Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna are hosting an ice cream-making class (Oct. 19, $200). (If you prefer tasting to making, check out their new bi-level shop in Brooklyn.) Sadly, the nighttime dessert buffet hosted by pastry wizard Dominique Ansel is already sold out.
As autumn descends around the globe and the light grows softer, there is a hush. Tourists have gone home and children are back in school, but as seasoned travelers know, fall is one of the best times to travel under the radar and experience cultures a little more intimately. Part of the charm of the season is the earthy, hearty ingredients and specialties gracing local markets. Here are just a few to savor.
Crayfish in Stockholm: Swedes celebrate the end of summer with crayfish parties, orkräftskiva, at their summer cottages, donning silly paper hats, singing songs, and drinking lots of Aquavit while eating the heavily dilled crustaceans. Don’t have a Swedish idyl of your own? Try Sturehof restaurant in Stockholm for a taste of this joyous tradition.
Come fall, people around the world will be celebrating the season’s bounty with food festivals. Lots of them. While New Englanders gather to taste the best artisanal ciders, coastal communities feast on fresh seafood. In California, it's time to sip wine. Whether you're craving a foodie getaway or are simply in the right place at the right time, these are five of fall’s top food festivals.
CALIFORNIA: Flavor! Napa Valley This November, join the Culinary Institute of America and the region's top vineyards for a week of wine and food tastings. Culinary superstars Michael Chiarello, Todd English, and Andrea Robinson will be at the helm of vine-to-table signature dinners and hands-on demonstrations. Learn to make your own cheese, and to note a wine's distinct terroir while blindfolded. November 19-23.
Earlier this week, an earthquake with a 6.0 magnitude on the Richter Scale rattled Napa Valley and its much-revered wine stores and vineyards. Some numbers:
It had been 25 years since such a quake had happened in the area; nearly 200 people were injured, though luckily no one was killed.
The 800 or so Napa wineries will be the hardest hit, with a potential economic loss of up to $1 billion. Some wineries saw dozens of collapsed barrels, with certain vinyards losing as much as half of their stock.
Napa Valley draws almost 3 million visitors annually, and generates over $1.4 billion through the wine industry.
For more numbers and details, check out Food & Wine here.
We asked Bonnie Taub Dix, a New York City–based registered dietitian and author of Read It Before You Eat It, how to start your day the healthy way.
Choice of pastry, bagel, or toast with butter and preserves; orange or grapefruit juice; coffee or tea.
"Carb-heavy breakfasts will give you a burst of energy–followed by the desire for a nap. Go for whole-grain toast, but ditch the butter and preserves and use nut butter instead. (No, that doesn't mean Nutella!) I travel with packets from Justin's. Juice is a good source of nutrients if it's made from 100 percent fruit."
Who doesn’t love a sexy bar with delicious bites? Our new haunt: the banquette-lined, mahogany-clad NoMad Bar ($$$), from the team behind the adjacent NoMad hotel. They had us at pot pie and foie gras, but we stayed for the bacon-wrapped hot dogs with black-truffle mayonnaise, artisanal beers, and perfectly balanced cocktails. In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, chef Michael Psilakis is close to opening a yet-to-be-named beer hall ($$), a 5,000-square-foot homage to Greek street food—crab keftedes; pork-shoulder gyros—with local brews on tap.
In the up-and-coming Avondale neighborhood, the laid-back, Korean-American Parachute ($$) is the first opening from Top Chef vet Beverly Kim and her husband, John Clark. Order the boudin noir with nam phrik and coconut yogurt, and anything from the Asian bread menu (but especially the Chinese bing). Hyde Park’s dining scene just cranked up the dial with Promontory ($$), where chef Jared Wentworth, from Logan Square gastropub Longman & Eagle, serves hearty classics such as lamb navarin and vegetable pot-au-feu.
Unexpected encore: those mad geniuses at innovative Japanese restaurants Uchi and Uchiko take a more traditional approach with St. Philip ($$), a pizzeria and bakery in Sunset Valley.
Capitalizing on the flyaway success of State Bird Provisions, the Progress is Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski’s locavore-minded follow-up next door, set to open by the end of the year. In the meantime, head to the Presidio and hit the Commissary ($$$), from Traci des Jardins of Jardinière. Her 112-seat restaurant serves Spanish-inflected dishes such as salt-cod fritters and octopus with pimenton.
Quinn and Karen Hatfield, the duo behind Hollywood favorites Hatfield’s and the Sycamore Kitchen, are launching Odys & Penelope ($$$) on La Brea Avenue. Main attractions: grilled Monterey Bay squid, smoked short ribs, and whole-bird churrasco. Save us a seat.
Hometown hero John Besh teams up with Brooklyn-based chef Aarón Sánchez (of the Food Network’s Chopped) to open the farm-to-table taqueria Johnny Sánchez ($$) in the Central Business District. The tacos we’re craving: Wagyu-beef barbacoa; squash blossom with burrata.
Restaurants $Less than $25 $$$25 to $75 $$$$75 to $150 $$$$More than $150
Jennifer Flowers is the Hotels & Food Editor at Travel + Leisure. Find her on Twitter at @JennFlowers.