They serve comfort dishes here, but the simplicity is deceptive. The burger, for instance, is made from bacon, brisket, and chuck. Cocktails are an experience: Order absinthe and they will bring out the proper bohemian barware so you can party like it’s 1889. (604) 568-7022. As told to Rhonda May. Photo by Grant Harder. This appeared in the September, 2012 issue. See all of Savannah Olsen’s favorite places in the Gastown neighborhood of Vancouver.
New to the scene on the Southport Avenue corridor in Lakeview is Crosby's Kitchen. For years, this neck of the Chicago woods has been in dire need of some good ol' fashioned cooking. This place is just that, but with a few more bells and whistles. Upon entering you'll notice the vaulted ceilings, nice spacing between tables, an inviting bar with tastefully placed flats screens for not-to-miss events, and some sweet aromas wafting from the kitchen to greet you at the door. Compliment all this with some retroy and funky cool shades and fixtures that look like they were stolen from a copper mine, and you have the perfect ambiance to indulge in some true comfort food. Start your evening with some choice craft cocktails from the bar, or select from the eclectic wine list, either way you'll kick the night off right. Cuisine ranges from epic bbq ribs, to steak, chicken or fish (various...
You really can't ask for fresher beer than they serve at the Pike. This huge pub is actually built around the equipment that is brewing the next batch as you drink. It's the brainchild of Charles Finkel, whose passion is evident in this glorious shrine to beer, with his collections of bottles, ads and vintage merch covering every square inch of the place.
When we visited, he was actually putting up some beer-themed stamp collections on one of the few remaining patches of uncovered wall; we got chatting, and in his enthusiasm he insisted on taking us down to the basement for a tour of the workfloor. Charles just adores what he does and you can taste it in the microbrews, a selection of lovingly crafted beers that you'll struggle to find outside the Pacific Northwest. I loved "Naughty Nellie," a golden ale that slips down rather too easily, but there's more than a dozen types to choose...
Owner and chief bartender Curt started collecting single malts over 20 years ago. He merely says he has one of the best single malt collections in the upper midwest. Once when I was visiting, I met a man who travels the world sampling single malts (750 and counting) and he stated there is only one other bar in the world that compares to the Union House.
The food, wine and staff are excellent too, and Curt draws customers all the way from Chicago an hour and a half away. The crisp-skinned roast duck is the best I've ever had.
On weekend nights, The Palm Court at the Langham Hotel, London’s classic spot for afternoon tea, transforms into a speakeasy-style gin bar. Sipsmith’s Jared Brown (featured in the October 2012 issue) worked with the Langham’s mixologist, Alex Kratena, to devise a menu that gives drinkers a quirky history lesson and showcases the complexity of Sipsmith Gin. The journey begins with the story of how gin was invented to save the citizens of London from their contaminated water supply, fizzes through Jean Jacob Schweppes’s invention of carbonation (five different levels for different digestive ailments), and ends with modern mixology. Those who don’t care for history lessons might be swayed simply by the menu’s drink descriptions. The Gineveristic, for example, made with Langham tea-infused syrup, tastes of “Genever sexy citrus tea bubbles.”
1c Portland Place, 44/(20) 7636-000. Open...
A paradise of collectible and contemporary spirits awaits the serious whiskey connoisseur. The stock here includes a single malt from the tiny island of Inish Turk Beg, in handblown bottles (pictured), and an exclusive Connemara bottling aged in a sherry cask. 353/(0) 1-675-9744. This appeared in the September, 2012 issue. Read Lisa Abend's "The New Dubliners."
Lime and mint, and a soothing view of the rice fields. Worth the 800m walk in from the main road. Nice place to while away the day with a book and your own thoughts.
The baroque decor at Café de las Horas makes it a favorite among Valencianos for a cocktail (or two) before hitting clubs such as the indie Radio City or the Euro-style Giorgio et Enrico.
Calle del Conde de Almodóvar 1, 34/963-917-336. Photo courtesy of Café de las Horas. This appeared in the March/April 2012 issue.
If the whole-Prohibition-era cocktail trend is starting to tire you out, well, you've got to perk up: The Drink, an East Williamsburg watering hole, serves up not shaken or stirred cocktails, but instead, big ol' bowls of punch. Mind you, these libations go beyond '70s era Tang-and-vodkas. With drinks such as the Dutch Rudder (a refreshingly acidic libation of Damrak gin, Bols genever, cherry juice, vanilla tea, lemon, spiced cranberry bitters) and the Close Haul (a pleasingly cool concoction of Damrak gin, cucumber juice, lemon, chamomile syrup, meyer lemon bitters), hazy and lazy New York summers are made just a bit more bearable. The rotating daily punches can be ordered for a reasonable $5, served in adorable-yet-twee punch glasses, or you and your first mates can go whole hog and order a $43 bowl from the standing menu, which serves ten. Each punch is crafted from fresh juices,...
I do not recommend going to Sydney for the Mexican food. It has pretty much nailed every other cuisine, but in the year that I lived there, I didn't ever satisfy my 'south of the border' cravings. I did, however, quench my tequila thirst—and then some—thanks to this lovely gem, Cafe Pacifico. It has almost a hidden feel as it's located down one of Darlinghurst's side streets. When you get inside, you walk up this dark stairway and find yourself in a chaotically charming restaurant with sombreros, maracas, and every kind of Dia de los Muertos decor you could imagine.
The bartenders know their stuff here. It was the first time I had "tasted" tequila as opposed to taking shots. They have over 100 to choose from (pictured above), some over 100 years old. We sipped on all kinds of agaves, as well as tried some inventive cocktails, including one that tasted like coffee! Delicioso, mate!
I wasn't too impressed with the food in Guanajuato, but Las Mercedes restaurant up on a hill outside town was a refreshing finale. The mushroom soup, poured over avocado and tortilla strips at the table was excellent, as was my chicken with pistachio mole and this interesting cocktail made with red wine and jicama-infused Mezcal.
A Sazerac is composed of whiskey and absinthe and nowhere has classier digs for this signature cocktail than the Sazerac Bar of the Roosevelt Hotel in downtown New Orleans where the low lights flow over heavy wood tables and the big leather armchairs are usually occupied by business men making world altering deals. The Sazerac is a simple cocktail and one of America's oldest with the merest hint of an exotic history since the US ban on absinthe was only recently lifted. Now that it's all legal, NOLA visitors can sink into the soft leather chairs, order a Sazerac and start planning their own world domination.
South East Asia is hot and humid. So finding this little Swimming pool and bar was a lifesaver when my wife and I were traveling through Luang Prabang, Laos.
We walked from central Luang P. but if it is too hot or you're not up for the exercise take a tuk-tuk.
The pool is located in the Ban Phone Pheng Village, from the main street in LP (where the night market is located), keep walking past the post office and continue for roughly 10 minutes. Turn left at a Shell Station and continue walking straight for a few blocks, before taking the first street on your right. Walk up a small hill and take your first left (at this point you should start seeing La Pistoche signs). Continue walking for 5 minutes and La Pistoche is on the left.
The Lao-lao (traditional Lao moonshine) Mojito will make your walk well worth it (I also recommend walking because you will get to see how Lao people live, as...
Whether it be fried empanadas from a street vendor one day or Foie Gras en Terrine from a three Michelin Star restaurant the next, the food we eat when we travel often defines a culture in our memories. To us, the people of Costa Rica will always love rice and beans, almost as much as the people of Maine love lobster rolls.
They go hand-in-hand, like hotels and room service.
Bed sheets and black lights.
Long flights and plane farters.
But the drinks?
The drinks have a habit of becoming memory erasers -- inhibition blotting courage juice that, while it might help us make new friends, might not help us remember their names the next day.
It’s time, I think, to change the status quo. To learn to appreciate the art of a delicious, well-crafted cocktail. To taste the unique liquid flavors of a region. To learn a bartender’s story.
Because while food is most often a barometer for travel...
The basement of the historic and stately Grandhotel Pupp is dedicated to Becherovka. The extensive menu of cocktails includes a dozen or so made with Becherovka, some of which, including the Midnight Pupp, are signature creations of the bar. Grandhotel Pupp, Mírové náměstí 2, 420/353-109-111, pupp.cz.
Photo by João Canziani. This appeared in the July/August 2012 issue.
Venturing to the other side of Harbour Island, I stumbled into The Landing just when they were beginning to infuse a new batch of Afro Head vodkas and rums by hand. Brilliant timing!
I was quickly invited to partake in a little side-by-side tasting: off-the-shelf vs. handcrafted. The difference blew my mind. Truth be told, I have been back for their hand-infused vodka cocktails (especially the sweet revenge!) a few too many times since...
After a long and arduous day of driving hours over bumpy roads and climbing up and down the pyramids at Caracol, my wife and I were dying for some relief. We were about half way back to San Ignacio, Belize when we saw the famous Blancaneaux Lodge. I looked over to my wife and suggested we pull over and get a cocktail and relax for an hour, before subjecting ourselves to the relentless washboard road again.
Anyhow, one drink led to another and before we knew it, neither of us could drive or even wanted to get up. So, we ended up paying for a very expensive night at this posh, Coppola owned resort. Coupled with the night we already paid for at our original lodge and these cocktails really added up. We put the cost of our "travel emergency" out of our minds for the rest of the evening and enjoyed the luxurious confines to the fullest.
Coworth Park, a gorgeous 240-acre property just 45 minutes outside of London in the town of Ascot, is the perfect place to live out your British countryside fantasies. It's the only hotel in the UK that has its own polo fields and some of the rooms used to be stables. I'd end my days in the Barn, a casual gastropub appropriately housed in an old converted barn. They take the horse theme to the extreme, even serving the warm bread in feed bags. The second-floor bar has horse tacks on the walls and chandeliers made from cooking pots. It also has one of the best selections of gin I've ever seen. When I told the bartender I was a negroni fan he made me this riff on the classic cocktail.
by Jason Lampkin
“Frank’s is the real deal—the kind of old-school New York bar found only in period films. On Friday nights, there’s a dance party upstairs with live house music.” 660 Fulton St., between S. Elliott Pl. & Lafayette Ave., (718) 625-9339.
As told to Linda Dyett. Photo by David Land. See all of Jason Lampkin’s favorite places in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. This story appeared in the July/August 2011 issue.
Without a doubt, I miss Moroccan mint tea. Not only do I often think back on that perfectly brewed, overly sweetened cup of gunpowder green tea brewed with fresh spearmint leaves, but I remember the ritual itself. When I traveled in Morocco, our group had several opportunities to visit local families in their homes where we could converse (through a translator) over mint tea and biscuits. Those visits were surely a highlight of the trip. One element that's often lacking when we travel is the chance to experience first-hand how the locals live, and to participate in their customs. But the Morocco trip was different, thanks to our guide, who wanted us to be exposed to as much of the culture as possible. It was a special experience, seeing the residential neighborhoods, admiring the beautiful decorations in the homes, looking at family photos, and learning which soccer team was the...
With the US travel restrictions to Cuba recently relaxed, I was able to realize a lifelong dream and visit that enchanting tropical isle under an official educational license for "people to people" travel. There were so many highlights, I'll never be able to post them all. But let me get back on topic. In between the fascinating meetings with locals and the exhilarating live music and the walking tours of colorful colonial neighborhoods, I was also on a mission to decide who made the best mojito in Cuba. To be honest, I also sampled my share of Cuba Libres, but in the interest of stress-free travel, I was only judging the mojitos. And... the award for best mojito in Cuba goes to... the lobby bar at Hotel Meliá Cohiba in Havana. From the generous portions of rum and perfectly muddled spearmint to the exact balance of sweetness versus lime-ness, we have a winner! For any like-minded...
The drink- batidos (in this case one banana and one guava) - these are a beloved drink of the Cubans- a kind of fruit milkshake. Due to shortages in supplies the ingredients vary somewhat from vendor to vendor.
The place - the poolside bar at the Hotel Nacional in Havana Cuba, itself an institution.
What to do- order, relax while waiting, drink slowly, savoring the sweet delicious concoction and continue relaxing.
If this doesn't satisfy completely there are two options: 1. order another or 2. switch to the hotel's renown pina colada and start the process over!
and he might even have slept here- this place is world famous for two things - its Hemingway connection (Papa still resides in the corner of the bar in a life sized bronze) and it is reputed to be the home of the original daiquiri. what I can say is they make a mean one and the place is always hopping - live music adds to the atmosphere of the party hearty past when all of pre 1959 Havana was a playground for tourists.
so walk the streets of Old Havana and follow the music from bar to bar but end your evening here- with Papa and his favorite drink.
I was fortunate enough to live in Singapore for a four-month internship, and I never ceased to be amazed at the fantastic hawker food there. One of the best hawker centres that I visited was the Old Airport Road Food Centre. I couldn’t get enough of their dragon fruit juices or chocolate avocado smoothies!