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Worth a Look: The High Road with Mario Batali on Hulu Series

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Shackled to your desk today, but in desperate need of an escape? Steal a few minutes for an episode of The High Road with Mario Batali, a twelve-part series of short films on Hulu where the celebrity chef pairs up with famous residents to play tourist in New York City, visiting notable sights while chatting about everything from politics to real-life heroes. We love the unique tone of each vignette, be it a chuckle-worthy hangout at the High Line with Jimmy Fallon, or an eccentric tour of Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood with George Stephanopoulos. The latest installment launches today, and features Batali on a trip with actress Julianna Margulies to the mother of landmarks, the Empire State Building. If a New York State of Mind sounds enticing right about now, check out the newest episode below.

Jennifer FlowersJennifer Flowers is the Hotels & Food Editor at Travel + Leisure. Find her on Twitter at @JennFlowers.

Photo courtesy of Ken Goodman

On Istanbul's Asian Side: Anatolian Ice Cream at Donurmacci

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Those visiting Istanbul tend to stay on the European side of the city. But there are plenty of reasons to hop a ferry to the other shore. Among them: Dondurmacci a tiny, sliver of an ice creamery, near the Anatolian high street of Baghdad Avenue (Bağdat Caddesi in Turkish).

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Designer Marie-Anne Oudejan's Stylish New Jaipur Bar

Marie-Anne Oudejans

"Jaipur is already the Pink City, so I wanted to do something totally different," says Dutch designer Marie-Anne Oudejans of her latest creation, Bar Palladio, at the Narain Niwas Palace Hotel. Best known for Tocca, her line of sari-fabric dresses, Oudejans has turned her eye to interiors, fashioning an over-the-top space with an opulence worthy of a maharajah: Indian motifs (flowers; vines; leaves), tented ceilings, and murals of exotic birds. At secluded banquettes, stylish locals mix with international textile artists over plates of penne all’arrabbiata and basil-tinged Ambassador martinis. Oudejans designed the entire Rajasthani fantasy, down to the crystal stemware, block-printed pillows—even the bar logo. "If you come to India," she says, "this is what you imagine it will look like."

Kate Betts is the author of Everyday Icon: Michelle Obama and the Power of Style.

Photo by Aparna Jayakumar

Dîner en Blanc Pop-Up Parties Unite Fashionable Foodies Around the World

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“Are you going to a wedding?” a couple of passersby ask as a parade of people dressed in their finest white garb emerge from the New York City subway carrying picnic baskets, folding tables, and chairs.

“No,” the group leader responds—for they are headed to the world’s largest, most highly anticipated pop-up party. Initiated by François Pasquier over 25 years ago in Paris, the Dîner en Blanc has taken the world by storm. Approximately 12,000 people attended the pop-up picnic in Paris this year. The organizers of the New York City dinner, slated for August 25, expect around 4,000 people.

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Nashville: Back in the Spotlight

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Here’s a Nashville story: we’re tucking in to authentic muhammara and makanek near the front entrance at Epice, a Lebanese bistro in the city’s up-and-coming Twelve South neighborhood, when the actress Hayden Panettiere—who plays the upstart young country singer in the ABC series Nashville—walks in. It’s the lunchtime rush, and the sun-splashed terrace of the restaurant is jammed. Panettiere and her friend wait, in full view of the dining room, for the hostess to return from seating a table. Maybe a minute or two passes, and we start to imagine the moment when the room will erupt in a pandemonium of camera phones and proffered Sharpies. We should have known better. We’d been prepped for this very moment by Matt Bolus, a young chef who moved from Charleston, South Carolina, our hometown, to Nashville several years ago. “Nashville’s like L.A.,” he’d reported back to us, “but with the soul of a small Southern town. I’ll look up from the pass and see Nicole Kidman in the dining room, but people respect that she’s a person, eating at a restaurant. Nashvillians would never beg for an autograph or sneak a selfie.”

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Orbitz Rewards Adds Restaurants to Loyalty Program

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On the heels of Priceline’s OpenTable acquisition, Orbitz is getting into the restaurant space—the company yesterday launched Orbitz Rewards Dining, a new program that allows loyalty members to score extra perks for dining at specific restaurants. It’s the result of a partnership with Rewards Network, a Chicago-based company that maintains a database of 11,000 restaurants.

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Want to Eat in a New York Chef’s Home? EatWith’s New Series Makes it Happen.

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We first wrote about EatWith—a website that connects locals with amateur and trained cooks for private, home-cooked meals—last year, when we identified “eating with a local” as one of the most important travel trends of 2014. While the company continues to champion its original vision, last month it launched a chef series in New York, inviting guests into the homes of professionals.

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New York City Supper Club Transports Diners To London

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The English supper club troupe Shuttlecock Inc.—known for Mile High, a series of surrealist experiences that transport diners using elaborate sets and intricate menus—will soon cross the pond. The first stateside performance, Destination: London, in New York’s Lower East Side, will be a bawdy air travel-themed comedy paired with Bath chaps, pigeon, clotted cream ice cream, and that subversive, Monty Python charm.

New York City; Sept. 24 – Oct. 4, 2014; shuttlecock-inc.com.

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Sarah Spagnolo is special correspondent & new media editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Shuttlecock Inc.


We Love Urban Cowboy Bed and Breakfast in Williamsburg

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On a Thursday night in June, the open-air communal living room at Urban Cowboy—a new four room B&B on a leafy Williamsburg, Brooklyn, block—is echoing every stereotype about a borough that’s now considered the universal fulcrum of cool.

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Hotel Offers Farm-to-Table Baby Food Menus

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If you bring your family to a top luxury resort, it's only natural to expect the finest culinary offerings. But while you feast on organic grass-fed filet mignon, your baby is usually stuck with the glass jar purees you brought from home. Esperanza, an Auberge Resort, in Cabo San Lucas, aims to change that. The property recently rolled out a farm-to-table menu just for little ones with ingredients sourced from local farms and the resort's gardens. Among the highlights: pear with banana and cinnamon, baby carrots and zucchini, and baked sweet corn and parsnip carrot. I wonder if they deliver?

Clara Sedlak

Clara Ogden-Sedlak is Special Projects Editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Esperanza, An Auberge Resort

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