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Chazz Palminteri's Second Act: Restaurateur

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Resident big-screen tough guy Chazz Palminteri—of A Bronx Tale and The Usual Suspects fame—recently added restaurateur to his resume, bringing a slice of his New York neighborhood to Baltimore’s Harbor East area. Aptly named Chazz: A Bronx Original, the family-friendly Italian spot is a partnership between the Oscar-nominated actor and the local Vitale family. Palminteri paid a visit to the Travel + Leisure offices to talk about his latest venture.

Q: What inspired you to open a restaurant?

A: “I always wanted to open a restaurant. But we all know the story: Hollywood actor partners up with aspirational childhood friends, opens to media attention, and the restaurant fails because of management or food issues. I always knew I had to find the right partners—serious restaurateurs who knew how to put out great food consistently, but also manage the restaurant professionally. And I finally found that in the Vitale brothers, Sergio and Alessandro. They grew up in the restaurant business and run one of the best Italian restaurants I’ve ever been to, bar none—Aldo’s in Baltimore—and they shared my vision. Also, food has played an important role in my life since I was young and living in the Bronx. I would wake up and smell the sausage and peppers coming through the windows and wanted to share that experience with everyone else. When you walk into Chazz, you walk into a little piece of my life—the sights, the smells, the tastes—and I’m so happy to share that.

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Rome's Newest Restaurants

restaurants in Rome: L'Asino d'Oro

Italy’s top chefs seem to agree that all roads lead to you-know-where, with a clutch of new restaurants relocating to the Eternal City.

Chef Oliver Glowig was the first to make the move to Rome with his namesake restaurant at Aldrovandi Villa Borghese (dinner for two $250), serving inventive Mediterranean dishes, including spaghetti all’amatriciana with prawns and tomato sorbet.

Chef Lucio Sforza relocated his renowned L’Asino d’Oro (73 Via del Boschetto; 39-06/4891-3832; dinner for two $160) from the historic Umbrian town of Orvieto. Tables at the 40-seat restaurant—known for rustic regional specialties such as wild boar—have become the most requested in town.

Up-and-comer Giuseppe De Rosa made a shorter journey—just across the city—to open the sleek Brò Porta Portese (2-3 Largo Alessandro Toja; 39-06/581-3500; dinner for two $140), which showcases his distinctive takes on local favorites such as smoked eggplant with roasted octopus and crisp Parmesan chips.

Photo by Laissez Fare

Gastón Acurio's Favorite Restaurants

Gaston Acurio

Gastón Acurio dishes on his favorite places to enjoy the big blue’s bounty.

With 30 restaurants worldwide, 20 books, and a weekly TV show to his name, celeb chef Gastón Acurio has become something of a seafood hero. Fresh off the opening of New York’s La Mar Cebicheria Peruana (11 Madison Ave.; 212/612-3388; dinner for two $100)—the seventh outpost of his hit Lima restaurant—he filled us in on his favorite seafood spots around the globe.

Lima, Peru
“At Chez Wong, a tiny ten-table dining room by the side of his own house, chef Javier Wong uses just two ingredients, flounder and octopus, and one knife and one wok.”
Don’t Miss: “Everyone gets a flounder ceviche starter; then he will talk to you about your life, and prepare the main course especially for you. He never repeats a recipe.”

New York City
“Chef Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin is a reference point when you talk about excellence in fish. He’s about elegant simplicity and coaxing out different flavors within the same ingredient.”
Don’t Miss: “The fluke ceviche sampler, which moves from light to complex flavors. It was such an experience to have one kind of fish presented in a variety of ways.”

Getaria, Spain
“At Elkano, a family-run place on the Basque coast about an hour’s boat ride from San Sebastián, they work with the catch of the day and respect it so much they serve every part of the fish, from the muscles in the mouth to the belly.”
Don’t Miss: “The specialty is turbot. You might get the head in white wine, then the tail grilled.”

Photo by Ines Menacho

The Rise of Sydney's High-End Food Courts

You won’t find McDonald’s here.

Sydney is joining the ranks of various Asian cities by giving the bland, cafeteria-style food court some high-end treatment. Think classy food bars and chic décor inviting shoppers to actually linger over lunch instead of wolf it down.

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Gerhard Richter Retrospective Opens at The Tate

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This year marks the 80th birthday of abstract German painter Gerhard Richter, and London’s Tate Modern is paying homage with “Gerhard Richter: Panorama,” an expansive retrospective of the artist’s career across the past five decades. Richter’s work can’t easily be pegged to one aesthetic, and the exhibit (opening October 6) — featuring photograph-based portraits, landscapes, glass constructions, works on paper and color charts—displays the full range of his often politically-charged collection.

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London's Latest: Pop-Up Bar on a Parking Garage Roof

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Have you ever wondered what it may be like to sit and enjoy a drink from the top of a multi-storey car park? Probably not, but if you have then you can indulge your musings now through Sept. 30 at Frank’s Café atop a car park in South London's Peckham neighborhood. Classy!

Frank’s Cafe and Campari Bar is situated amidst the Bold Tendencies Sculpture Project atop a parking garage overlooking the city. (It's also part of the Henry Moore Foundation Year of Sculpture 2011). Designed by Practice Architecture, Frank’s Café and Campari Bar occupies a temporary building alongside the sculptures on the roof. And yes, parking is available.

Photo courtesy of Frank's Cafe and Campari Bar

Korean Food Gets Mod Makeover in Seoul

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Leading Korea's new culinary wave is Jung Sik Dang, where chef Jung Sik Yim takes local ingredients to prepare dishes like kimchi consommé, pork jowl with yuzu, and even an amuse bouche with grasshoppers. Less experimental is Bistro Seoul, which presents Korean standards in an austere space. While Japanese and Chinese have long happily paid through their noses for expensive renditions of their cuisines, Koreans—like Thais—are just experiencing the phenomenon of taking familiar fare, gussying it up, and serving it in lovely locations. It’s not fusion, but modernization. You’re seeing this elsewhere in Asia—KL has some notable modern Malay restaurants. And while the Thais are kicking and screaming about this trend, other parts of Asia are embracing it.

Jennifer Chen is Travel + Leisure's Asia correspondent. You can follow her on Twitter at xiaochen6.

Photo of Jung Sik Dang courtesy of TomEats/www.tomeats.com

We Want Your Job, Diego Felix, Nomad Chef

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Is ordering delivery to the office your idea of going locavore? Do your culinary travels consist of drive-thru windows after a long day of work?  If yes, then we invite you to put down the plastic fork and check out this different kind of job: meet Diego Felix, nomad chef.

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Rogue 24: A New 24-Course Tasting Menu in D.C.

Last month saw the opening of Rogue 24, a new restaurant by James Beard Award-winning chef RJ Cooper, in Washington D.C. Chef Cooper, previously the chef de cuisine at D.C.’s acclaimed Vidalia, was inspired to create his own restaurant concept after “going rogue” at his former post—creating a new, 24-course tasting menu for Vidalia diners.
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Just Back: Tacos in Tamarindo

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If you follow the dusty, pebble-scattered dirt road to Playa Langosta from Tamarindo on Costa Ricas dense Pacific coast, youll observe a small stop sign jutting from tropical foliage, demanding you to halt—for tacos. The sign serves equal parts recommendation and warning, as its the last place to catch a bite before Tamarindos ubiquitous eateries give way to Langostas private beach estates.

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