New York City
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.
$ 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.
Photo courtesy of Rush Jagoe
This is about Italy’s secret coast—the other Sardinia. Not the Sardinia of the Aga Khan, yachts, celebrities, oligarchs, and tycoons. Not, in other words, Porto Rotondo, where Italy’s Caviar Left came every summer to populate a brand-new colony built to its high-flying specifications. That vociferous, in-your-face Sardinia reminds me of the film Swept Away, whose director, Lina Wertmüller, was inspired by my aunt, the designer Mariuccia Mandelli, who founded Krizia; her even more formidable sister Giancarla; and their court of influential intellectuals and entrepreneurs. Lying topless in the sun—it was part of the liberation of forceful women nurtured in a traditional society—they conducted lively conversations, mostly about politics, that anyone might have mistaken for fights and that resounded across the wild Mediterranean maquis.
The blue-eyed chef is making waves at his seasonal, Gulf-inspired restaurant, FT33—he even snagged a spot on Food & Wine magazine’s prestigious roster of Best New Chefs this year. We caught up with McCallister to find out his top local haunts in Dallas.
Breakfast “Smoke’s Blueberry Pancakes and Smoked Brisket Cornbread Hash. ‘Nuff said.
Our abridged, meal-by-meal guide to where and what to eat now.
This summer, James Beard Award-winning chef Hugh Acheson adds yet another restaurant to his growing Georgia empire. Following in the footsteps of his four existing Peach State successes, The Florence, Acheson's highly anticipated take on Italian cuisine, opened this June in a former ice factory, just minutes from Savannah College of Art and Design's campus.
Serving a menu of contemporary Italian fare infused with Southern ingredients (think a Sicilian fisherman's stew filled with fresh Savannah seafood or Neapolitan-style pizza piled high with local cheeses), the restaurant is a welcome addition to the coastal city's growing food scene.
Below, the Top Chef judge fills us in on his favorite Savannah spots, travel tips for foodies, and what diners can expect from The Florence.
Beware the “shuffle” button! I create playlists for all my restaurants. Maybe I’m a control freak, but I love the process. If I have 100 things to do, “Make soundtracks” is the one I’ll jump to first. (Right after “Test these four pasta recipes.”) At each place, it’s the same list every night, in order. So I know it’s 9:45 when Broken Bells comes on at the Dutch ($$$). Playlists are a progression—you want the music to unfold throughout the night, in terms of genres, BPM (beats per minute), the mood you set.
When the restaurant’s full, you shouldn’t really “hear” the music. You’ll know it’s there, but it won’t take over. Then again, if the room is too quiet—you hear waitstaff gossiping, glasses being cleaned—that’s distracting as well. Music fills that sonic space. It actually helps you focus on your conversation. But no 14-minute cuts! It’s annoying when a song is droning on and on while you’re waiting for dessert. You need a fresh track every three to four minutes.
London's newest members-only lounge, Clubino Piano Bar, is proving to be an exciting option for discerning locals and guests at the Baglioni Hotel London. On a recent trip, club founder Luca Del Bono invited me to preview the intimate space, tucked beneath the hotel’s park-view bar.
“I’m trying to bring back a setting where people [can] drift away,” said Clubino’s founder, Luca Del Bono, “[like] we used to enjoy back in Italy a few decades ago.”
In a deal that closed on Friday, OpenTable was purchased by Priceline for a hefty $2.6 billion—46 percent more than its previous closing share price would have suggested—marking a sea change in the way that online travel companies are thinking about business. Gone are the days of providing services just for planning and booking; these days, the mightiest of OTAs are thinking about how they can also capitalize on travelers once they’re on the ground. See TripAdvisor, long known as the site you check for reviews before booking (or to pen your own upon return): it has also gotten into the restaurant reservations game with the recent acquisition of Lafourquette, a European site much like OpenTable. It all makes tons of sense. If you’re as selective about where you eat as you are about where you stay, you need to book your restaurants well before traveling. And for Priceline, that will come to the tune of 15 million total diners a month. As for what’s next? We’d put money on local excursion booking tools, which have fast gained traction in the digital travel booking space over the last year.
Nikki Ekstein is an Assistant Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.
Most good restaurants in the United States expect to turn over a table two to three times each night—that means they anticipate a party of two will stay for about an hour and 45 minutes (four-tops are usually allotted two hours). So once you’ve paid your bill, try not to spend the next hour nursing your final sip of wine. Internationally, diners enjoy a more leisurely pace. In Italy, for instance, experts say it’s virtually impossible to overstay your welcome. In countries from Australia and China to Argentina, meals typically run a full two to three hours. If you don’t know the protocol, look to the waitstaff for cues. They’ll let you know when your time’s up.
Travel Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts
Worldwide Guide to Restaurant Tipping
Craziest Travel Confessions
Have a travel dilemma? Need some tips and remedies? Send your questions to news editor Amy Farley at email@example.com. Follow @tltripdoctor on Twitter.
Photo by iStockphoto
New York City: Burrata with lox; buffalo skate wings: Amanda Freitag takes greasy-spoon food to new heights at Empire Diner ($$), a reboot of the Chelsea landmark. The 65-seat Brooklyn Fare Manhattan ($$$$) has finally opened, bringing the outer borough’s most coveted reservation to Hell’s Kitchen.
Philadelphia: Expect two spots in May from the increasingly prolific Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook (Zahav): Abe Fisher ($$$), inspired by Jewish cuisine from Europe, the U.S., and Canada, and the casual Israeli-style hummusiya Dizengoff ($).