Friday, September 23 07:00 AM
Oenophile gridlock. Dot-com blowhards pontificating on tannins. We hate to be whiny winos, but if there's one thing California wine country needs, it's a shot of tequila. Thankfully, chef Mateo Granados has answered our plea with a new Yucatán-inspired restaurant in the tony hamlet of Healdsburg.
Granados shored up his Sonoma cred with roving restaurant Tendejon de la Calle but is now ready to put down roots in a rustic-modern space heavy on salvaged materials, along with a communal dining garden. You can watch him work his magic in the open kitchen, adding French flare to Yucatán Peninsula favorites like achiote marinades, homemade habañero salsas, and pit-roasted pork. And, of course, there's the fully stocked tequila bar--just the thing to wash away grape fatigue.
Photo: Courtesy of Mateo's Cocina Latina
Wednesday, September 21 11:20 AM
We've always loved the idea of camping. But visions of cozy campfires and getting back to nature tend to dissolve into sore backs and expletives whenever we attempt to put up a tent. Now, thanks to the genius German engineering behind the new Cave tent (from $670), you can pop up an overnight abode in less time than it takes to toast a marshmallow.
Heimplanet's futuristic, igloolike structure inflates from a teeny 20- by 12-inch package to a 54-square-foot shelter in less than 60 seconds. The chic geometric frame was inspired by the molecular structure of gemstones. Gives new meaning to the term diamond in the rough, eh?
Photo: Courtesy of Heimplanet
Tuesday, September 20 12:02 PM
Americans don't always have the best reputation in Europe (who among us hasn't considered renouncing our citizenship when queried about exports like Snooki?). But there's one place that's unabashedly rolling out the red, white, and blue welcome mat with style: Stockholm's newly expanded Hotel J.
Set on the water's edge at Nacka Strand, Sweden's answer to Newport, Rhode Island, the hotel has 158 guest rooms--113 of them a Nordic homage to nautical New England, with stars-and-stripes bedding, blond wood furniture, and whitewashed moldings. The sweeping views of the Royal Djurgården, the leafy island of Lidingö, and the boats on Saltsjön bay are pure Sweden. But the friendly service extends to those of us as American as apple pie (which is served à la mode in the hotel restaurant).
Photo: Courtesy of Design Hotels
Tuesday, September 20 11:34 AM
Sure, Portland has one of the country's most innovative food scenes. But keeping up with all those craft-brew-by-way-of-locavore openings can be anything but a vacation. So for your next trip out there, we'd like to direct you to the new Salt & Straw ice cream shop, which dishes out the cold, hard (delicious) facts on Portland's food scene.
Salt & Straw's Brown Ale Bacon ice cream combines local ingredients from craft brewers Laurelwood, artisanal butcher Olympic Provisions, and the dairy Lochmead Farms. A frosty scoop of Pear and Blue Cheese mixes the bounty of Salem orchards with the bite of Rogue Creamery. It's all served up on cones made on a vintage waffle iron in an old-fashioned storefront with benches made from recycled bleachers and tables made from reclaimed barn wood. Sweet licks in cool digs--this is what Portland's made of.
Photo: Courtesy of Dina Avila
Monday, September 19 01:03 PM
We're pushovers for a provocateur, and few designers deserve that label more than Jean Paul Gaultier. Over the past four decades, he's evolved from enfant terrible to fashion's elder statesman without seeming to have aged a day (perhaps it has something to do with his boyish white-blonde 'do). And now, thanks to the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts' exhibition The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, you don't have to be a boldface name to get up close and personal with the designer.
The retrospective includes 140 of Gaultier's showstopping pieces, along with sketches, costumes, movie excerpts, and videos. And, of course, the Madonna cone bra. That's a lot of blond ambition for one room.
The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, tickets $15, through October 3 in Montréal. Subsequent tour stops include Dallas, San Francisco, Madrid, and Rotterdam.
Photo: Courtesy of Montreal Museum of Fine Arts