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Trip Doctor: How to Get a Last-Minute Restaurant Reservation in New York City

last-minute restaurant recommendation

See if your hotel concierge can get you in. If not, you’ll have to use your wiles. At pint-size hot spots such as Atera or Blanca, your chances are slim. But established favorites, such as Daniel or Maialino, have more tables—and more cancellations. Call at or after 3 p.m., when the hosts finish reconfirming the evening’s reservations. There just might be a spot. OpenTable is also a great resource. It may not get you in to your first choice, but it will show you nearby restaurants that do have availability. If all else fails, walk in. Casual arrivals may find seats at the bar—and if you dress the part, some maître d’s will reward a bold, spontaneous request with a table.

Amy FarleyHave a travel dilemma? Need some tips and remedies? Send your questions to news editor Amy Farley at tripdoctor@aexp.com. Follow @tltripdoctor on Twitter.


Photo by Tetra Images / Alamy

Where to Eat Now in New York City

Where to Eat in New York City: Aska

Natty couples channel their grandparents in a supper-club setting at Carbone ($$$$), with upgraded Italian American classics—linguine with clams; chicken scarpariello—by the duo behind the ever-popular Torrisi.

Two big names are vying for West Villagers’ affections. Top Chef alum Harold Dieterle explores his German and Italian roots at the Marrow ($$$), while Gabriel Stulman—whose retro neighborhood joints Joseph Leonard and Fedora have a cult following—veers into new territory with the Frenchified sushi at Chez Sardine ($$$).

At Lafayette ($$), his all-day NoHo brasserie, Andrew Carmellini returns to his French training (he cooked under Daniel Boulud), serving country-style dishes to the fashion set.

Across the river in Brooklyn, the culinary intelligentsia clamor for tables at Aska (pictured; $$), a New Nordic spot in Williamsburg.

T+L Insider Video: Where to Eat in NYC

Restaurant Pricing Key
$ Less than $25
$$ $25 to $75
$$$ $75 to $150
$$$$ More than $150

Photo by Nathan Rawlinson - Courtesy of Aska

Countryside Chic: Tuscany’s New High-Profile Hotels

Hotel Monteverdi

The expansive green hills and sun-kissed vineyards of Tuscany, Italy lend an air of elegance to the countryside. Driving along such scenery is a dream in itself—but when you do arrive at your destination, plan to lay your head down in luxury at one of these high-profile hotels.

Founder Michael Cioffi opened Hotel Monteverdi, with interiors by contemporary Italian designer, Ilaria Miani, during summer 2012 in Castiglioncello del Trinoro. The village also has several newly built villas to let. Castiglioncello is located six kilometres from La Foce, biographer Iris Origo's former estate. Each year, La Foce hosts an annual classical music festival, put on by the not-for-profit cultural association, Incontri in Terra di Siena.

In another high-profile opening, a chic new 41-suite castle hotel named Castello di Casole, was recently inaugurated six miles from the quaint Etruscan village of Casole d'Elsa. Now owned by Timber Resorts, the estate was formerly the home of film director Luchino Visconi and an entertainment center for countless Hollywood luminaries. The 4,200-acre wine estate is one of the largest land holdings in Italy, and also has a farmhouse and villa rentals, plus real estate for sale. Special services include hand-made picnic basket lunches, art and ceramic classes and wildlife tours. 

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Hotel Castello di Casole

On the Menu: Treats and Tarts at Paris Brunch Spot

Colorova

Paris is mixing up their brunch scene with pastry shop and tearoom, Colorova in the Saint-Germain neighborhood. Eclectic, cultural pieces such as African masks contrast Colorova’s contemporary furniture. Compotes are homemade and all food is organic. To satisfy a morning sweet tooth, try a caramel, peanut, or speculoos tart. For a heavier meal to get you through the day, order a salmon and grilled eggplant sandwich or ratatouille and fresh spinach tart.

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo by Meg Gagnard

7 Essential New York Eats

Eat Like a Local: Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria

Seven perfect bites of the Big Apple.

Roast Chicken at Calliope: Try the East Village’s Calliope for some of the city’s best roast chicken: a pan-seared breast served in chicken stock with cabbage stuffed with confit leg and vegetables. $$$

Oysters at Maison Premiere: Craving oysters in New York? Williamsburg’s Maison Premiere has excellent Caraquet oysters on the half shell. $$$

Soup Dumplings at Café China: Head to Midtown for Shanghainese xiao long bao with soy-vinegar-ginger sauce. $$

Bagel Sandwich at Russ & Daughters: Try a classic bagel sandwich that comes with Scottish smoked salmon, cream cheese, and red onion on a poppy-seed bagel at this Lower East Side institution. $$

Sushi at Sushi Yasuda: There are many sushi restaurants in New York, but try Midtown’s Sushi Yasuda for Arctic char, ebi (shrimp), uni (sea urchin), and ikura (salmon roe). $$$$

Pizza at Paulie Gee’s: For some of New York’s best pizza, head to Greenpoint, Brooklyn for the Regina pizza that comes topped with fior di latte, Italian tomatoes, Pecorino Romano, olive oil, and fresh basil. $$

Pasta at Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria (pictured): If you’re looking for good pasta, skip Little Italy and try NoHo for Il Buco’s carbonara (pasta tossed with house-cured pancetta, eggs, Parmesan, and black pepper). $$$

Restaurant Pricing Key
$ Less than $25
$$ $25 to $75
$$$ $75 to $150
$$$$ More than $150

See more Best Places to Eat Like a Local

Photo by Evan Sung

Danny Meyer’s Favorite Burger in St. Louis

Danny Meyer's Favorite Burger: O'Connell's Pub

O’Connell’s Pub, St. Louis: No less an authority than Shake Shack’s Danny Meyer gives this his vote for “one of the juiciest, most satisfying cheeseburgers you’ll ever have.” Bonus points for the Cardinals game blaring above the bar. 314/773-6600. $

See more Best Places to Eat Like a Local

Photo by Kevin J. Miyazaki

5 Restaurants for Classic American Food

Classic American Food: Fargo's Pit BBQ

Five very different reasons to love the U.S.A.

Chase’s Daily, Belfast, Maine: This bakery/luncheonette/farm stand is the unofficial canteen for the harbor city of Belfast. The Chase family crafts hearty vegetarian dishes—savory onion crêpes; velvety leek soup—from ingredients grown on their farm in nearby Freedom (yes, Freedom). $

Fargo’s Pit BBQ, Bryan, Texas (pictured): Superb pork spare ribs, tender brisket, and juicy smoked chickens (with skin as crackly as potato chips) draw the faithful to the newest location of Fargo’s, just up the road from its former takeout shack in the Brazos Valley town of Bryan. 979/778-3662. $

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5 Cool Restaurant Scenes

Cool Restaurant Scenes: Juvia

Where the people are just as pretty as the food.

Southern Barbarian, Beijing: In Baochang Hutong, an up-and-coming nightlife destination, this slick spot focuses on the cuisine of the Yunnan province of southwestern China (home to many of the country’s ethnic minorities). Ditch your preconceived notions of Chinese food and order the pan-fried goat cheese, mashed potatoes with pickled vegetables, and mint salad. $

Republika, Kigali, Rwanda: One of the best restaurants in the Rwandan capital—not to mention the top place for drinks at sundown—attracts a chic clientele with great music, friendly service, and dishes like the superbly salty, deep-fried sambaza (a sardine-like freshwater fish) from Lake Kivu. $$

Juvia, Miami Beach (pictured): A showstopping “living wall” by horticultural artist Patrick Blanc forms the backdrop for the equally photogenic array of models and scenesters nibbling daintily on crudi at the penthouse atop 1111 Lincoln Road—perhaps the trendiest parking garage in the world. $$$$

Bar Strelka, Moscow: On warm nights, the roof deck atop the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture & Design is the stomping ground for the city’s freethinking intellectuals and cultural elite. An eclectic menu ranges from shareable snacks (jamón ibérico) to hearty classics (oxtail ragù with polenta). $$

Da Cesare, Rome: On the ground floor of a 1970’s building in the residential Monteverde neighborhood, this nondescript space is touted by food lovers as the best trattoria in town. The standouts on the menu are fried meatballs in a basil sauce, tiny cuttlefish, and gnocchi that are nothing short of revelatory. 39-06/536-015. $$$

Restaurant Pricing Key
$ Less than $25
$$ $25 to $75
$$$ $75 to $150
$$$$ More than $150

See more Best Places to Eat Like a Local

Photo by Blasius Erlinger

Eataly Extends Its Culinary Reign

Eataly

Ever since Oscar Farinetti opened Eataly, his innovative Italian food and wine market in Turin, Italy, he has been teaming up with chefs worldwide to create new locations throughout Italy, Japan, and the United States.

Folks may have heard about the Eataly in the Flatiron District of New York City, a 50,000-square-foot, multi-level space with the finest Italian produce, meat, bread, cheese, etc., an Italy travel agency, home goods shop, and more. (The focaccia alone is worth the trip.)

This past June, another Eataly, opened in Rome, located in a former railway station at Ostiense. The 170,000-square-foot, four-story building contains 18 restaurants, a cooking school, and wine and food stores stocked with Italian artisanal produce. There is also a beer cellar with artisanal beers by Birra del Borgo and Teo Musso's Baladin.

In the United States, be on the lookout for Eataly’s Chicago location, scheduled to open autumn 2013.

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Photo by Fabrizio Zanelli.

Crowdsourcing: What to Do When You're on the Las Vegas Strip

We asked true travel pros what to do near the Las Vegas Strip. Want to share your expertise? Join our community on Facebook at facebook.com/travelandleisure and at Twitter @TravlandLeisure.


View Las Vegas Strip in a larger map

“For a great view of the Bellagio fountains (and wonderful crêpes), stop by the Sugar Factory (3655 Las Vegas Blvd. S.).” —Michelle Nolan, via Facebook

“Don’t miss the olive-oil ice cream with grapefruit at José Andrés’s Jaleo, in the Cosmopolitan.” —Bhadri Kubendran, via Facebook

“Take a relaxing break from the Strip at the Mandarin Oriental.” @lassers

“The best people-watching is in the Crystals shopping arcade at City Center.” —Alex Walters, via Facebook

“Bundle up and hit the Minus 5 Ice Lounge (3770 Las Vegas Blvd. S.) at Monte Carlo—you drink out of ice glasses!” —Irina Adler, via Facebook

Public House (3355 Las Vegas Blvd. S.) is a new gastropub with an impressive selection of beers.” —Erin de Santiago-Domue, via Facebook

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