Eating and drinking are the focus of all my travel planning. Sure, there are other things I might take into consideration (weather, ease of getting there, kids’ interests), but the most intense research is devoted to restaurants and other epicurean destinations (a perfect cheese shop, a great bakery). I always canvas the most informed sources I know, the magazine’s friends and contributors, to make sure I’m prepared. For anyone who likes to travel the way I do, with recommendations firmly in hand, we present The Go List, our annual guide to 335 of the most outstanding restaurants in 40 cities around the world.
One restaurant trend still going strong is superstar chefs expanding their global empires. F&W contributing editor Jean-Georges Vongerichten, for instance, plans to open 10 outposts of his Manhattan restaurant Spice Market. In this issue we travel to Bora Bora with Jean-Georges to visit his new Lagoon restaurant at the St. Regis Resort, where he fishes, Jet-skis and creates new recipes. One of my favorites made our cover: grilled shrimp wrapped in bacon and served with Polynesian passion fruit mustard.
Local foods and traditions become ever more important as we all become citizens of the world. I hate to be sappy, but we need to honor our differences instead of denying them! Salma Abdelnour’s essay, "The Insidious Rise of Cosmo-Cuisine," addresses globalization better than I ever could.
In a totally different take on the subject, our Test Kitchen team of Marcia Kiesel, Grace Parisi and Melissa Rubel developed recipes that are true to a sense of place using the most universal protein: chicken. My favorites are the roasted chicken flavored with Indian spices and the Thai curry chicken. Until I can travel to Mumbai or Bangkok, I plan on making these recipes in my kitchen, all the while knowing "The Go List" will be there for me to take firmly in hand when I need it.
Where I’m Coming From
Notes from my recent expeditions.
New York City
Highlights from a spectacular meal: "bacon and eggs" with tuna bacon; squid ink linguine. Details 35 W. 64th St.; 212-724-8585.
The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills
Tried a nutty, paradigm-shifting Gorgonzola Cremificato DOP from Italy. Details 419 N. Beverly Dr.; 800-547-1515.
New York City
Loved the spicy beef and pomelo at this Vietnam-via-Tribeca restaurant by Drew Nieporent and chef Michael Bao Huynh. Details 186 Franklin St.; 212-431-0606.
What fabulous food city would you like us to add to next year’s "Go List"?