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June 01, 2011

An Invitation to Pig Out With Me in N.Y.C.

Landmarc_Tribeca Will you be in New York City next Thursday, June 9? Condé Nast Traveler is throwing an all-night Global Feast, and there are still four tickets left to the dinner they've asked me to host: A Pig Trot Around the World. The evening will start with a cocktail gala at the Gansevoort Park Avenue, leading into a one-night menu dreamed up by celebrity chef Marc Murphy at his downtown restaurant Landmarc Tribeca. The food-and-drink-pairing adventure includes takes on pork from around the world (here's the menu). Dessert is--I kid you not--an American hot fudge sundae made with bacon and served with Moo Thunder Stout. I'm bringing my camera! 

Tickets are $130 per person and include everything: drinks and appetizers at the cocktail party, transportation from there to Landmarc Tribeca, and all food, beverage, tax, and tip. Also included, of course, is the free travel advice from yours truly. If you do end up snagging one of the last tickets, let me know at wperrin@cntraveler.com, so I can be sure to find you either at the cocktail party or the dinner and answer whatever travel questions you might have. Hope to see you there!

November 12, 2010

Recipes from Jean-Georges Vongerichten's restaurant Dune in the Bahamas

WP & Jean-Georges Vongerichten Nov 4, 2010

The nicest world-famous chef you'll ever meet: Jean-Georges Vongerichten, with yours truly at One&Only Ocean Club, November 4, 2010.

While I was down at Atlantis last week, I happened to get invited to the 10th anniversary party for Dune, Jean-Georges' restaurant at One&Only Ocean Club (which is owned by the same company that owns Atlantis next door). Did you know that Jean-Georges now has 27 restaurants, from London to Vegas to Shanghai to Bora Bora?  I've eaten in only five of them...which might make my global culinary To Do List a bit longer than yours. 

At any rate, the party took place in the three-bedroom villa that was the setting for several scenes in Casino Royale, the 2006 remake of the James Bond film.

Ginger cosmopolitan at One&Only Ocean Club, Bahamas
My shot of the villa's pool just before sundown hardly does it justice. See that thing on the horizon line? That's a cruise ship leaving Nassau harbor. And see those drinks? That's Dune's signature cocktail: the ginger cosmopolitan.

So I didn't exactly pick up any travel secrets at this party, but I did pick up some recipes. 

Here's how to make that ginger cosmo you see above: Mix 3 oz. cranberry juice, 2 oz. vodka, 0.5 oz cointreau, 0.5 oz ginger base, and a touch of lime juice in a shaker. Serve in a martini glass.

More recipes from Jean-Georges, after the jump:

Continue reading "Recipes from Jean-Georges Vongerichten's restaurant Dune in the Bahamas" »

July 20, 2007

How To Get The Best Deal On LuxuryLink

Pool_room_four_seasons_restaurant
WHERE'S BROOK? contest winner Susan Cory (middle), Brook (right), and I had lunch in Manhattan last Friday, July 13, 2007.

by Wendy Perrin

Okay, gamesters: Wanna guess where WHERE'S BROOK? contest winner Susan Cory and Brook and I ate last week?  Susan, a residential architect, chose the restaurant because she's a fan of its modernist architecture.

Dover_sole_at_four_seasons_restau_4
Here's another clue: Note the plate that Susan's Dover sole arrived on.

You may recall that Susan and I had lunch last month when I was up in Cambridge, Mass., where she lives. It ended up hardly being a proper contest-winner lunch, however:  Thanks to a delayed train to Boston, I was so rushed that we had time only for a burger.  And of course Brook was dying to meet Susan too.  Plus Susan has so many great travel tricks up her sleeve that I wanted to hear more.  We needed a do-over.  So, when everyone's paths crossed in Manhattan last weekend, we had a proper celebration. It also just happened to be my birthday.

Cotton_candy_at_four_seasons_rest_6 The main topic of conversation was LuxuryLink, a Web auction site that Susan swears by. She's scored huge bargains at first-rate hotels and resorts.  Three years ago she paid $800 for three nights, including tax and breakfast, at La Samanna, the posh resort on the Caribbean island of St. Martin. Two years ago she paid $900 for five nights, with breakfast daily and one dinner, at the Grand Hotel in San Remo, Italy.  And in October she's headed to St. Petersburg, Russia, where she's bought a five-night package for two at The Astoria for $1,264, which includes tax, daily breakfast, one dinner, and an hour-long massage for both her and her husband. Considering how crazy expensive St. Petersburg is, that's a steal. The retail value quoted on LuxuryLink is $3,534.  You go, Susan!

Susan's tips for getting the best price via LuxuryLink:

Continue reading "How To Get The Best Deal On LuxuryLink" »

July 08, 2007

WHERE'S WENDY? Contest: And The Winner Is . . .

Ash2_1088
Grand finale: "Trio of Miniature Housemade Gelato Cones" at John Ash in Santa Rosa, CA., July 5, 2007.

by Wendy Perrin

The results of the WHERE'S WENDY? contest have been tallied, and it should surprise nobody that the  grand prize -- a free three-night stay in a deluxe room at the J.W. Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa -- goes to Tracker1312.  Anyone who's been following our game from the start -- and, if you haven't, you can click here to replay it in its entirety --  knows that Tracker's ability to divine where on earth I am at any moment is superhuman.  Some WHERE'S WENDY? players even wondered if Tracker was hiding in my suitcase. Personally, I was most bowled over when she guessed which cruise-ship cabin I was in!  Tracker, please shoot me your address and I'll mail you your prize certificate.

The title of Runner-up goes to LoriB, who won 3 rounds and showed great sportsmanship throughout. LoriB, you get lunch or dinner with me at the restaurant of your choice. Honorable mention goes to the two players from New Zealand, Kiwiwriter and TheGlobalTraveller, who hung in there till the end, despite sleep and travel schedules that made any thought of winning virtually impossible.

Good job, everybody, and happy travels until our next contest!

July 06, 2007

WHERE'S WENDY? Final Round, Take 2

Inside_john_ash_santa_rosa_californ
The dining room at John Ash & Co., where I always dine when I'm in Sonoma County, CA.

Cocktail_3_4

Ash_1086_2

by Wendy Perrin

Congrats to LoriB, who aced half of the final round of the WHERE'S WENDY? contest by guessing I was at John Ash, a culinary mainstay of Santa Rosa, CA.  But nobody has managed to guess what I was drinking. In other words, I finally stumped the WHERE'S WENDY? crew  --  about time, huh? -- and I did it by choosing a cocktail that is no longer on the menu!  Pictured at left is the mystery drink, should anyone care to take another stab at it.  At right: Another treat not on the regular menu: peach, plum, and apricot crisp with vanilla gelato. And, below, one of my favorite things on the menu:

Ash_1084
The Ahi Tuna Tartare Tower, comprised of wasabi potato salad and guacamole topped with tuna and tobiko caviar, and served with wonton chips. Yum!


June 18, 2007

TRAVEL TIP OF THE WEEK

Travel expert Wendy Perrin serves up another Tip of the Week: take pictures of your meals, remembering to include cutlery and glassware for a sense of scale Shoot food. Too many people come back from a trip raving about a restaurant or meal, but with no photos of what they ate.  When photographing food, shoot close-ups.  And include glasses or silverware in the frame to give a sense of scale.  To show you what I mean, here are a few pics I snapped last month at Esca, a Manhattan seafood restaurant:

Travel expert Wendy Perrin serves up another Tip of the Week: take pictures of your meals, remembering to include cutlery and glassware for a sense of scale
This photo captures the table but tells you little about the octopus salad, right?

A close-up of the octopus salad at Manhattan seafood restaurant Esca
NOW you get a sense of the octopus salad. Only a close-up adequately preserves the memory of a dish.

Continue reading "TRAVEL TIP OF THE WEEK" »

June 11, 2007

Where In The World Did Wendy Lunch?

Burgers_for_lunch
This is Susan Cory, the winner of last month's WHERE'S BROOK? contest. Can you guess where we ate lunch on Friday?

by Wendy Perrin

Remember how the prize for winning the WHERE'S BROOK? contest was lunch with either me or Brook at the restaurant of the winner's choice?  I'm the one who lucked out: This past weekend I happened to be visiting the very city where winner Susan Cory lives. We ate at one of its institutions:

Mystery_restaurant
So much local paraphernalia hangs on the walls of this eatery that if I were to show you more than this section of it, I'd give away the location.

Susan is a residential architect . . . not to mention a saint: First she picked a restaurant conveniently close to the place where I had to be at 2:00 p.m. -- another of this city's institutions. Then, when I accidentally missed my 6:14 a.m. Amtrak train on Friday (who knew Amtrak's EWR station cannot be driven to in a car?!?  I should have, of course!), which meant I was going to be half an hour late for lunch, Susan generously offered to pick me up at the train station in her car so I wouldn't have to spend time on the subway.  After lunch -- during which we discussed Susan's upcoming trip to Russia -- it was just a short walk to the building where I was scheduled to speak on a panel at 2:00.

Mystery_interior
Susan Cory in the place where I served on a panel entitled "The Changing Media Landscape" on Friday.

This old building used to be dark and dingy. Then, a few years ago, it was renovated in much the same way that Susan renovates old houses: Sunlight was brought in and it was redesigned to be far more user-friendly. This building happens to be down the street from the graduate school where Susan got her architecture degree.

Okay, all you clever travelers and Googlers out there:  I've given you enough clues to figure it out. Where did Susan and I eat lunch?

June 11, 2007

Anchorage, Alaska: Best Dinner

View of Cook Inlet, Alaska
The view from my table at the Crow's Nest restaurant at 9:00 p.m., June 7, 2007.

By Tara Kyle

The finale of my week in Anchorage was dinner at the Crow's Nest, which sits atop one of the towers of the Hotel Captain Cook.  This is the place for the city's best meal with a view.  We asked for a table overlooking Cook Inlet (see photo), but the view of the Chugach Mountains behind the city is lovely too.  There truly is no bad table.  Entrees are pricey — in the $30 to $40 range — so if you're traveling on a budget, consider swinging by the bar either pre- or post-dinner for a cocktail with a panorama.

crab soup at the Crow's Nest
The coconut curry and crab soup is, according to our server, the most popular thing on the menu "by far."

Continue reading "Anchorage, Alaska: Best Dinner" »

June 05, 2007

Street Food in New York

Sammy's Halal

Smells like chicken: At the award-winning "Sammy's Halal" in Queens.
Photo: Beyond the Buffet

By Tara Kyle

New York City's summer tourist season is gearing up, which means the sidewalks will soon be crawling with even more people looking to stretch their dollar in our famously expensive city. Wendy recently highlighted a list of things to do in town for free, but even if you spend nothing on activities, a meal or two in Manhattan's pricey restaurants is enough to blow a travel budget.

Fortunately for those of us without an expense report, there's a great way to get a taste of New York's global flavors without breaking the bank. Just as Manhattan has some of the best and most varied restaurants in the world, it also has a veritable fleet of international street food stands to write home about. Where to find them and how much will they set you back? I talked to Sanjay Surana, Conde Nast Traveler's Ombudsman (and resident street food expert) for his top three picks around Times Square, home to the magazine's offices, and tourist central ...

Continue reading "Street Food in New York" »

April 07, 2007

Where In The World Did Wendy Lunch?

Mystery restaurant
Where did I take WHERE IN THE WORLD IS WENDY? contest winner CoralsO (above, center) to lunch two days ago?

by Wendy Perrin

Remember how the WHERE IN THE WORLD IS WENDY? prize was lunch with me at the restaurant of the winner's choice?  Well, can you guess from the photos which restaurant CoralsO, the first of the three winners, chose?

What's amazing about CoralsO is that she managed to guess my WHERE'S WENDY? locations not because she's been to them but because she is unbelievably Web-savvy and knew which magic cybertools to use to pinpoint where I was. A student in Chicago, she was able to respond to the clues so quickly because she is on her computer in class all day.  Because her classes are such a yawn, she sits there behind her laptop, listening to the professor with half her (substantial) brain and exploring cyberspace with the other half.

Foie gras
"Elevages Perigord" Foie Gras: Terrine with Four Story Hill Squab and Spring Vegetables -- the first course of our five-course tasting menu.

Aperitif
The aperitif served with the foie gras was a Pineau des Charentes (J. Normandin-Mercier, Reserve Privee).

Continue reading "Where In The World Did Wendy Lunch?" »

March 07, 2007

Hawaii's Best Shave Ice

Matsumoto shave ice in Haleiwa, Hawaii By Wendy Perrin

Question from reader AGupta:

"We are going to Hawaii (Kauai, Maui, and the Big Island) in August. Where can we find the best of those shaved-ice snow-cone things for which the islands are famous?"

Boy are you in luck: I've gotten your question answered by none other than the Materialist herself. A fellow editor and blogger at Conde Nast Traveler Magazine, the Materialist is also a Honolulu native with impeccable culinary tastes who has brought her exacting standards to bear on your search for the perfect Hawaiian snow cone.

Photo courtesy of Matsumoto Shave Ice.

Continue reading "Hawaii's Best Shave Ice" »

February 26, 2007

Just Wild About Harry and the Natives

Roadside restaurant in Hobe Sound, Florida
One of my favorite Florida hangouts is on U.S. 1 in Hobe Sound. Feb. 25, 2007

By Wendy Perrin

As I sit here in snowbound N.Y.C. dreaming of the Sunshine State I just left, I realize I neglected to post photos from Harry and the Natives, one of my favorite roadside breakfast and burger joints. I'm no food critic--colorful local atmosphere matters more to me than gourmet cuisine--so for a reliable review you can read TCPalm or PalmBeachPost. (Why there's only one measly mention of Harry's on Chowhound is a travesty.)

1950s Ford pickup truck transformed into barbecue grill
At Harry's they've transformed the hood of a 1950s Ford pick-up truck into a barbecue grill.

Continue reading "Just Wild About Harry and the Natives" »

January 27, 2007

More L.A. Hot Spots

People stand outside Toast Bakery Cafe in Los Angeles
The typical scene outside L.A.'s Toast Bakery Cafe, on Third St. & Harper

By Wendy Perrin

The last thing I did in L.A. before heading to the airport this morning for my flight home was to eat a scrumptious breakfast at Beverly Hills hot spot Toast.  Angelenos reading this will be shocked when I say that there was NO LINE.

The scene inside Toast Bakery Cafe in Los Angeles
It seems the way to get an instant table at Toast is to show up at the decidedly unhip hour of 8 a.m. on a Saturday.

Continue reading "More L.A. Hot Spots" »

January 27, 2007

Art and Pizza in L.A.

Magritte-and-Contemporary-Art 
The Magritte and Contemporary Art exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Photo: LACMA (L.A. County Museum of Art)

By Wendy Perrin

On my flight to L.A. yesterday, I happened to share an empty middle seat in coach with Milton Esterow, the editor and publisher of ARTnews. He was on his way to L.A. to give a lecture at the Los Angeles Art Show on "How to Look at Art Without Feeling Inferior." The topic of his speech was on my mind today as I tried to make sense of the cryptic curatorial explications at LACMA's exhibition on Rene Magritte, the Belgian surrealist painter. The show's highlight, in my opinion, was the guards dressed in bowler hats, dark business suits, and red ties to look like the famous bowler-hat men of Magritte's paintings. Never before have I seen museum guards costumed to match the theme of an art exhibition!

After LACMA, I took the advice posted on this blog yesterday by L.A.-based reader Crashbpm:

"The best new restaurant here is Mozza, which Mario Batali opened with
Nancy Silverton. Great for a late lunch (it opened in December and is PACKED at night)."

Mozza_1 
Hot new pizzeria Mozza at Melrose and Highland, Los Angeles, Jan. 26, 2007

Crashbpm, you'll be happy to know I ate lunch there today at 2:30. First I swung by the offices of Variety and asked Dana Harris, who writes The Knife -- the restaurant blog for Variety's movie-mogul readership -- what to order. She insisted we try the bruschetta with chicken livers, pancetta, and capers; the littleneck clam pizza; the prosciutto and arugula pizza; and, for dessert, the butterscotch budino (pudding). She was right on target, as were you in recommending the restaurant. Many thanks for the excellent tip!

Dessert 
Dessert at Mozza: butterscotch budino (left) and caramel coppetta, Jan. 26, 2007


December 09, 2006

Cruise-Ship Cuisine And Cocktails

Img_1742
Me and a "Seafood Martini" at the restaurant Barton G. in Miami Beach.

By Wendy Perrin

How many calories can one consume in a day?  If you're judging a Bacardi Bartender & Chef Cruise Competition in Miami, about 10 million.

Continue reading "Cruise-Ship Cuisine And Cocktails" »

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