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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

Confessions of a NYC Restaurant Waiter

NYC restaurant waiter

What’s it really like to work at a hip NYC restaurant? A server dishes the dirt.

“Some people are so impatient: one lady poked me in the hand with a fork while I was taking another order because she thought her food was taking too long.”

“Please don’t ask for a more desirable table. I get that you weren’t allowed to sit at the cool table in high school, but it’s only a table. Just sit down.”

“I’ve never seen a server spit in someone’s food, no matter how much the customer deserves it. It’s just not worth it.”

Photo by Corbis Flirt / Alamy

Santiago's Culinary Scene Heats Up

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Watch out, B.A.Santiago is South America’s new culinary capital. Our tip sheet.

Snacks

Head to the buzzy Barrio Italia neighborhood for an espresso and Chocolatón (a wickedly rich chocolate cake) at Café Emporio Da Noi (1776 Avda. Italia). For pizzas and generous charcuterie platters, wait it out at the scene-y Ciudadano (400 Seminario; $$), where reservations are a tough score. The local music spot Café Bar Cinco Minutos (451 Avda. Santa Isabel)offers a small but standout menu, including a gloriously oozy steak-and-cheese sandwich—often called the city’s best.

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Upcoming SFJAZZ Center Sparks Restaurant Openings

SFJAZZ Center

Attention San Francsico foodies: a wave of new restaurants is hitting Hayes Valley in time for the opening of the neighborhood’s $60 million SFJAZZ Center (pictured), slated for January 2013. Dobbs Ferry is a new bistro that marries West Coast cuisine with old school, small-town New York style. (Owners Scott Broccoli and Danny Sterling hail from Dobbs Ferry, New York and the restaurant pays homage to their East Coast roots).

Schulzies bread pudding

Thai classics are served up at Lers Ros, which has a robust menu featuring unexpected dishes, like garlic frog and chicken entrails with basil. Classic cocktails and seasonal-inspired small plates are the rage at Two Sisters Bar and Books. For the area’s best bread pudding, Schulzies (pictured), an outpost of the Venice location, is a must: the bread bar offers 108 different flavors of the dessert. 


Photos courtesy of Mark Cavagnero Associates and Schulzies 

Just Back: San Francisco and Wine Country

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Earlier this year, I took a weeklong anniversary trip to San Francisco, Napa, and Sonoma with my husband, Lee, an academic who gets hives at the thought of anything luxurious. Keeping him comfortable meant mixing extraordinary meals with unexpected finds and cheap local favorites. Here’s the best of our high-low itinerary that kept both of us satisfied.

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Q+A: Graydon Carter Re-Opens Beatrice Inn

Graydon Carter Q+A

Graydon Carter, the Vanity Fair editor-in-chief who moonlights as a restaurateur, has a Midas touch when it comes to reviving classic New York spots. He brought the Waverly Inn back to life in 2006, and Monkey Bar shortly thereafter. His latest transformation, with partners Emil Varda and Brett Rasinski: the West Village’s Beatrice Inn (285 W. 12th St.; $$$$), a 1950’s-era Italian restaurant turned nightclub turned chophouse. Here, Carter dishes on what it takes to succeed, the perfect sound track for eating steak, and more.

What to expect at the Beatrice Inn: This is downtown, so we don’t serve traditional huge steaks. Brian Nasworthy, a former Per Se sous-chef, runs the kitchen. There are a lot of salads—my wife demanded that.

Favorite New York chophouse: Keens Steakhouse (72 W. 36th St.; $$$). It was the hot place in the late 1800's, and it is still packed. The food is wonderful, and the drinks are hearty. I have the roast beef twice a year.

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Eat Like a Local: Handmade Noodles in Philadelphia

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Prefer off-the-radar eateries to flashy, five-star affairs? That’s why Travel + Leisure and CNN teamed up for our series 100 Places to Eat Like a Local. For the next few months, we are combining iReports from you with chef and editor finds to give you tips on the best local food around.

Ever wonder where to get amazing Chinese food in Philadelphia? Chinatown might be a good guess, but how do you choose from the countless noodle houses lining the streets? Thankfully, we discovered Nan Zhou Noodle House (brought to our attention by cathybranch). Nan Zhou’s noodles are hand drawn and made to order, meaning you get to choose how you want them- broad or narrow, thick or thin. You can also pick from an array of proteins- from clam or shrimp to ox tail or lamb- to customize your dish.

Our iReporter suggests spicy pig ears to start while your noodles are being prepared. A few more insider tips- Nan Zhou Noodle House only accepts cash, so make sure to stop by an ATM on your way there. This joint is also BYOB, so while they do not sell wine or beer, you are welcome to bring your own to enjoy. Happy slurping!

Have your own suggestion for eating like a local? Share your iReport today!

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

Five New Nashville Restaurants

Nashville Restaurant: Barista Parlor

Inventive chefs have restaurants in Music City singing a different tune. Check out five of our favorite openings.

With a strong Southern food identity and a bevy of nearby farms, all Nashville needed to become a red-hot culinary destination was a dose of innovation—and it has arrived. At the Catbird Seat (1711 Division St.; $$$), chefs Josh Habiger and Erik Anderson have turned heads with their whimsical tasting menu (Wonder Bread purée, anyone?). Pizzas get a creative spin at Bella Nashville (Farmers Market, 900 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.; 615/457-3863; lunch only; $), where toppings include hummus and beets. The hip coffee shop Barista Parlor (pictured; 519B Gallatin Ave.; 615/712-9766; $$) offers more than just cups of joe: its chicken and waffles sells out in hours. Local food icon Deb Paquette goes global at Etch (303 Demonbreun St.; $$$), serving dishes such as Moroccan-spiced duck breast with harissa cranberries. Finally, Silo (1121 Fifth Ave. N.; $$) offers smoked-pork pot pie and grits with bacon jam, proof that even down-home classics can have an edge.

Photo by Caroline Allison

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