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SLS Hotel South Beach, Miami

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, December 21 01:01 PM

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Just when we thought the food truck craze had peaked, star chef José Andrés is rolling out his own version poolside at the SLS Hotel South Beach. This Miami counterpart to the Los Angeles glamour spot opens mid-April with 142 rooms designed by Philippe Starck.

Andrés's fancy food truck has also been designed by Starck, as is the hotel's restaurant, a reprise of Bazaar's rustic-molecular mashup. Complete with some colorful touches by a graffiti artist, the truck will dispense haute grub to guests who like a side of street with their South Beach. We think this calls for a road trip.

Photo: Courtesy of SLS Hotel South Beach

Kutsher's Tribeca, New York City

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, December 15 12:04 PM

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Chestnuts roasting on an open fire ain't got nothing on latkes and sufganiyot. Who wants warm nuts when you can have a jelly doughnut? And there's no better place to gorge on Hanukkah fare than at the new Kutsher's Tribeca.

Consider it an early gift from restaurant mensch Jeffrey Chodorow in partnership with Zach Kutsher, whose family is synonymous with Catskills glamour. They're making classic Jewish fare sexy with dishes such as wild halibut gefilte fish with beet and horseradish tartare, and potato and leek knishes with house-cured pastrami. And with a retro-glam dining room courtesy of Rafael de Cárdenas (geometric Baltic birch walls and midnight blue banquettes), the festival of lights just got a little brighter.

Photo: Courtesy of Evan Sung

Sweet Cheeks, Boston

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, December 09 12:03 PM

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Great barbecue north of the Mason-Dixon Line? It's not just a Yankee myth. At Top Chef alum Tiffani Faison's debut restaurant, Sweet Cheeks, they're serving up righteous Texas-style barbecue a ball's throw from Boston's Fenway Park.

The vibe is down-home folksy, with a wink and a nod; tables are recycled from old doors and bowling alley lanes. Your meal arrives on a metal tray or butcher's paper, while beverages--sweet tea, American craft beers, and moonshine--are served in Mason jars. Tuck into sustainably raised brisket, ribs, and pork belly from Tootsie, the joint's 4,700-pound, wood-powered smoker. The meat isn't the only rib-sticking goodness--leave room for shamefully good Southern sides like slaw, hush puppies, and mac 'n' cheese (a recipe from Faison's mom). We'd call that a home run.

Photo: Courtesy of Sweet Cheeks

Little Serow, Washington, D.C.

By Conde Nast Traveler Thursday, December 01 05:34 PM

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With all the partisan bickering in Washington, D.C. these days, you have to ask: Can't we all just get along? Well, one chef is forcing politicos to do just that, over the dinner hour at least. Behold Little Serow, a new family-style restaurant from star chef Jonny Monis of Komi.

The spare, mint-colored dining room includes communal seating and a set seven-course menu of shareable plates. The northern Thai dishes might include deep-fried pork skins with green chile sauce or sausages with Kaffir lime and basil. Everything about the place is done in a spirit of equality, from the seating policy (first come, first served) to the china (fashioned to look like paper plates) to the price tag (a cool $45 for the prix fixe). Democracy never tasted so good.

Photo: Courtesy of Dakota Fine for Brightestyoungthings.com

The Dutch, Miami Beach

By Conde Nast Traveler Wednesday, November 23 12:10 PM

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When New York City's arty set flies south for Art Basel Miami Beach next month, it'll feel right at home at the new South Beach outpost of the Dutch, Andrew Carmellini's Soho restaurant. Located in the glitzy W South Beach, this cool spot combines driftwood beams with white brick and vintage photos of old Florida to create a homespun cocoon of class.

As at the Soho original, the focus here is a cross-cultural stew of culinary influences, from Morocco to Italy and the coastal South, sourced locally and tweaked to a Miami Latin palate. Think Florida avocado and citrus smoked pepper salad, lobster in a spicy coconut sauce, and sour orange pie for dessert. Cocktails nod to SoBe with pineapple-infused mezcal, house-made jerk bitters, and fresh-squeezed cantaloupe juice. A perfect toast to the avant-garde.

Photo: Courtesy of The Dutch

Whitehall, New York City

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, November 18 12:09 PM

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Whitehall, in the heart of London, is where you'll find the Houses of Parliament and the Prime Minister's digs at Number 10 Downing Street; it's also the catchall term for the seat of government in old Blighty. And now the recently opened Whitehall in New York's West Village is the seat of modern British cuisine in the city. No debate.

The folks behind NYC's Scottish restaurants Highlands and Mary Queen of Scots have crossed the border to bring you poshified British fare courtesy of Australian chef Chris Rendell. Mushy peas come as fritters topped with mint sauce, and roast chicken breast is served with goat cheese butter that's as delicious as it is artery-lining (that's the British way, of course). The industrial-chic interior has reclaimed wood ceilings, brickwork and railway tile walls, and Edison bulbs aplenty. And we love the bench seating that's straight out of Hyde Park.

Oh, and there's lots of excellent gin--over 50 types, to be exact. Chin-chin.

Photo: Courtesy of Daniel Krieger

La Cervecería and La Mar Cebicheria, New York City

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, October 28 07:00 AM

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New York has had its share of exotic love affairs--it's fallen for Japanese and Thai, Brazilian and Cantonese, Mexican and Korean. But this fall, the Big Apple only has eyes for Peru. Two of the city's new restaurants have serious South American cred: La Cervecería in the East Village and La Mar Cebicheria in Gramercy.

The former marries American craft beers with Peruvian tapas in a playful downtown setting of mod minimalism. The latter takes it up a notch, bringing South American celeb chef Gastón Acurio's modern take on Peruvian ceviches, tiraditos, and anticuchos to a fancy $5.5 million dining room. Both make liberal use of spicy little chile peppers. Because if you're gonna hook a city like New York, you've got to bring the heat.

Photo: Courtesy of La Cervecería

Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, Miami, Florida

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, October 18 01:09 PM

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It may be in the South, but Miami has always chosen hard bodies over barbecue, bottle service over bourbon shots. That's all about to change, thanks to former Top Chef-er Jeff McInnis. The Panhandle native's new Yardbird Southern Table & Bar is putting the deep-fried South into South Beach.

Within the cozy confines of the reclaimed barn-wood walls, you can throw calorie counting to the wind with sweet tea-brined ribs, skillet-fried chicken and waffles, and pimento cheese jars. Wash it all down with one of 51 bourbons, including house-made infusions such as peach or bacon. McInnis and crew are currently serving lunch and dinner, with brunch coming soon. Because nothing cures a bottle service hangover like beignets and buttermilk biscuits.

Photo: Courtesy of Yardbird Southern Table & Bar

Momiji, Seattle

By Conde Nast Traveler Monday, October 10 10:59 AM

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It seems Seattle is turning Japanese. At least it looks that way, when you see the straight-out-of-Kyoto stylings of Momiji, a blissed-out new oasis in Capitol Hill. Woodworker Craig Yamamoto constructed East-meets-Pacific Northwest furniture, including elegant tables hewn from brawny maple. Installation artist Yuri Kinoshita added whimsy, with cloudlike chandeliers and back-lit woven murals. And landscape architect Junji Miki designed a serene courtyard that's all whispering bamboo and gurgling water.

But what will really transport you is the menu. There's sushi and udon, of course, yet Momiji also offers kaiseki, Japan's artfully presented answer to Western tasting menus. Tokyo native chef Chikako Watanabe draws inspiration from Washington ingredients for dishes such as tempura seasonal vegetables with green tea salt and somen noodles with salmon roe and fresh sliced tuna. Simple and fresh, elegant and playful. Seattle and Kyoto were made for each other.

Photo: Courtesy of Momiji

The French Laundry at Harrods, London

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, September 30 07:00 AM

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Mall food is pretty much the last thing on our culinary wish list, at home or abroad. But what if that food was prepared by Thomas Keller? And what if that mall was the gilded glamour-dome of Harrods, in London? Gourmands of the world, prepare yourselves. Starting tomorrow, the French Laundry is taking a ten-day vacation to merry old England.

Through October 10, Keller and his team will be serving up a mix of iconic dishes such as sesame cones of salmon tartare and red onion crème fraîche alongside only-for-Harrods creations in nine-course lunch and dinner tasting menus. The setting will be an exact replica--from trellises to stone, cutlery to crystal--of the Napa Valley original. Take that, Panda Express.

Photo: Courtesy of Harrods

Mateo's Cocina Latina, Healdsburg, California

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, September 23 07:00 AM

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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

Salt & Straw, Portland, Oregon

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, September 20 11:34 AM

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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

Romera, New York City

By Conde Nast Traveler Friday, September 16 10:39 AM

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It's no secret that New Yorkers can be a little crazy sometimes. Thankfully, at the new Romera restaurant, the doctor is in as of today.

Neurologist turned star chef Miguel Sánchez Romera gets inside your brain at his eponymous restaurant in the Dream Downtown hotel with what he calls neurogastronomy. But fear not, his 12-course, $245 tasting menu isn't just foams and mirrors. Romera thinks about how diners experience food and is known for creating multisensory experiences. Here, you'll see that approach in everything from waters infused with greenmarket bounty to a fragrant herb garden that climbs a wall of the dining room. And all that indulgence? Low-cal! Just what the doctor ordered.

Photo: Courtesy of Romera

Ink, Los Angeles

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, August 23 07:00 AM

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Chef Michael Voltaggio knows a thing or two about ink: Not only are his arms covered in the stuff, but plenty has been spilled over his talents, thanks to star-making stints at José Andrés's Bazaar at SLS Hotel and Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen. (Did we mention he also won the sixth season of Bravo's Top Chef?)

Come September, the 32-year-old chef is opening the doors to his long-awaited signature restaurant--called, you guessed it, Ink--on L.A.'s Melrose Avenue. While the menu is still under wraps, expect unorthodox creations like Voltaggio's cult pigeon pastrami. And an eight-person omakase-style bar off the main dining room will offer a prix-fixe chef's choice tasting.

Can't wait until September to get your Ink fix? Mosey down the block to newly minted sandwich shop Ink.Sack, serving up banh mi (Voltaggio's version uses chicharrónes) and Reubens made with corned beef tongue. Grab a pen, you'll want to write this one down.

Photo: Courtesy of Bart Nagel

Barn and Company, Chicago

By Conde Nast Traveler Tuesday, August 16 12:44 PM

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Chicago newcomer Barn & Company is the pits. Delicious, meaty, hickory-smoked pits, that is. And we're fired up about its country-crossing menu referencing barbecue traditions from Texas to Memphis to Kansas City.

The dining room has a rustic city slicker vibe with reclaimed barn wood walls and rusted tin ceilings installed to add a bit of patina to the space. It's the ideal place to down brisket, ribs, pulled pork, and links. Tables look onto the open kitchen where chef and BBQ expert Gary Wiviott mans the smoker and mixes up sauces. If you can't stand the heat, order up a jam jar of beer or a Redneck Sangria. Pork plus bourbon-spiked wine? That's our idea of a pig out.

Photo: Courtesy of Barn & Company

 

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Prices and other information were accurate at press time, but are subject to change. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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