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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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How to Eat like a Film Star in Toronto

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The 35th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) just got underway and runs until September 19th. During these 10 days, film lovers descend upon Toronto from around the globe to see the best from international, Hollywood and Canadian cinema. And the stars come to eat and play, too. As a helpful outreach program, I've come up with suggestions for where and what to eat for some of the biggest names attending the festival:
Natalie Portman: The star of Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan will love the delicious, raw, gluten-free and vegan dishes served at Live Organic Food Bar. Must try: garden lasagna, a raw main dish full of herbed "ricotta cheese,” fresh pesto and marinated tomatoes sandwiched between zucchini “noodles.”
Ryan Reynolds: After the premiere of Buried, I picture him tucking into a steaming-hot take-out carton of Canada’s unofficial national dish poutine—hand-cut Yukon Gold french fries topped with gravy and squeaky Quebec cheese curds. The version from Smoke’s Poutinerie is stellar.
Marion Cotillard: Here to support Les Petits Mouchoirs (Little White Lies), she should head for the elegant Italian dishes served at Buca. Must try: crisp Roman-style pizzas served on large wooden cheeseboards, some swathed with house-made charcuterie, all accompanied by a pair of scissors for pizza-snipping.
Will Ferrell: Everything Must Go is the name of his latest film, but Caplansky’s Delicatessen is where the comedic star should stop for lunch. Must try: hand-sliced pickled tongue, served hot on rye bread.
Freida Pinto: Julian Schnabel has eclectic tastes, as does the star of his film Miral. I’d send them both to Origin for international small plates. Must have: spiced chocolate pudding with fromage frais and frozen aerated milk chocolate. 
As for TIFF actor attendees Clive Owen, Ryan Gossling, Jon Hamm and James Franco? Well, they’re all invited to dine at my house!
Check back here later this week for great spots to eat and drink, in between film-going and star-gazing.

Cocktails

San Francisco Hotel Indulgence

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vitale

© JDV Hotels
Americano at the Hotel Vitale, San Francisco.



On a recent trip to San Francisco, I stayed at Hotel Vitale, which I’ve decided may be the most perfect hotel in the city. Its location is dangerously convenient to the artisanal awesomeness of the Ferry Building Marketplace—just across the street. Still, I saved room for chef Kory Stewart’s stellar food at the hotel restaurant, Americano. Stewart took over as chef about six months ago and is cooking super-satisfying Italian-inspired dishes, the type I crave nearly any time of day, like spicy parmesan shoestring fries with aioli and and pizza topped with crushed tomatoes, mozzarella and salumi. I was slighty obsessed with his breakfast menu, particularly the wild-mushroom scramble with Grana Padano cheese, truffle oil and fairy-size chanterelles fresh from the Oregon coast. A large outdoor patio was great for late-afternoon cocktails, like the signature Americano: crushed orange slices with Campari and Carpona sweet vermouth over ice.

I was able to balance out all of the indulgence by taking advantage of the hotel’s free morning yoga sessions and its great little running maps that revealed long-and-hilly or short-and-flat routes. Then there was the hotel spa, hidden away on the top floor, where three treatment rooms and deep soaking tubs surrounded by bamboo overlook the bay and feel a world away from the city.

Wine

Music, Food & Wine in Golden Gate Park

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osl

© John Margaretten
Korean tacos from Namu at Outside Lands.


This weekend I had a chance to eat, drink and see some phenomenal bands rock out in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park at the third annual Outside Lands music festival. Here, some highlights:

* Sampling insanely good food from the 34 stalls. Maverick went through 750 pounds of pig for its pulled-pork sandwiches! Other favorites included the barbecued oysters from Anchor & Hope and vermicelli noodles from Out the Door. Patrick Hallahan of the band My Morning Jacket was a fan of Namu’s Korean tacos.

* Cruising the Wine Lands tent with Outside Lands producer Rick Farman and Vintage Berkeley wine-shop owner Peter Eastlake, the wine director of Wine Lands. Eastlake lined up 25 top California wineries this year. There were 75 wines available by the taste or glass; my favorites included 2009 Wind Gap Trousseau Gris, 2008 A.P. Vin Kanzler Pinot Noir and 2008 Manifesto! Cabernet Sauvignon. (Kings of Leon were drinking Sinskey and Copain wines backstage.)

* Hanging with winemaker Jamey Whetstone (read more about him in the October issue of F&W). He was offering wines from his Whetstone and Manifesto! labels in Wine Lands, though he did manage to sneak away to see Social Distortion play.

* Watching Gogol Bordello while eating Hawaiian poke and Baja-shrimp ceviche from Pacific Catch restaurant.

* Checking out the on-site farmers’ market next to the stage where the Rebirth Brass Band performed.

* Going backstage after the Kings of Leon show for the late-night after-party, which included spiked hot chocolate and massive oatmeal-raisin cookies.

Restaurants

Rio de Janeiro's Newest Hotels

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© Courtesy Hotel Fasano
Fasano's rooftop pool

With both World Cup and the Olympics coming up for Rio de Janeiro in the next six years, the city is getting ready to host a slew of travelers. Rio's hotel scene runs from large chains to the old guard Copacabana Palace—as well as two relatively new boutique hotels: the Fasano and the Hotel Santa Teresa. The three-year-old Fasano, Bohemian Ipanema's first luxury hotel, is right on the waterfront. It's designed by Philippe Starck, but with a casual, beachy feel, it's more understated than many of his other projects (each guest is given a pair of Brazil's national flip-flop, Havaianas). The food is no afterthought: Fasano Al Mare, a Mediterranean seafood spot, is the work of Luca Gozzani of Michelin three-starred Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence. The year-old Hotel Santa Teresa is located in another artsy neighborhood, the up-and-coming hillside community of Santa Teresa, which is a maze of galleries, charmingly run-down mansions and art studios. The property was a former coffee plantation and houses another ambitious restaurant, the French-Brazilian Térèze, from Frenchman and Alain Ducasse alum Damien Montecer.

Travel

Eat, Pray, Love Escapes

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© Denzil Sequeira
Elsewhere, Goa

With so much hype leading up to last weekend's opening of Eat Pray Love, the film may have already reached its saturation point. Whether you love the book and its film adaptation or not, I can’t think of three more fabulous destinations than Bali, India and Italy. Below, see my picks on great escapes in each. I can’t guarantee Javier Bardem or James Franco run-ins, but all three will deliver incredible food experiences and instant relaxation.

Bali: F&W’s Gail Simmons recently returned from a stay at the Alila Villas Uluwatu, a new superluxe small resort on the southern tip of the island. The young Dutch chef who heads up its restaurant, Warung, reinvents traditional Indonesian food with modern techniques and local ingredients.

Italy: F&W’s executive wine editor Ray Isle just returned from his own epic eating and drinking adventure in and around Rome. You can read about it in the October issue. For now, avoid the city's Eat Pray Love crowds and escape to Tuscany’s stunning new Il Salviatino resort. The restored palazzo is tucked away in the hills of Fiesole. The chef at its restaurant, La Terazza, worked with local grandmothers to develop dishes like ricotta-and-spinach gnudi and pici with bread crumbs.

India:
Earlier this year, I was in India and found my perfect paradise at a dreamy place called Elsewhere on the beach in northern Goa. The scattering of houses and tents are part of Indian fashion photographer Denzil Sequeira’s family property. The location is so remote that it won’t show up on GPS. Highlights included learning how to prepare a Goan feast with Elsewhere’s cooks, riding an elephant at a nearby spice farm and practicing daily yoga on the beach.

Farms

Rio de Janeiro's Markets

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Ipanema's Fishmonger

© Ross Todd

I was in Brazil earlier this week and fell hard for Rio de Janeiro and its feiras, or markets. I spent plenty of time wandering the aisles of Zona Sul, the local supermarket chain, picking up cachaça and cheese-filled pastries, but the best part was the farmers’ markets in Ipanema. The fishmonger's catch was incredibly fresh-smelling and beautifully displayed, with tiger-striped fish and pale pink eels. The fruit was also spilling over counters, the more exotic the better: papayas, coconuts and my new favorite, custard apples, which look like artichokes but are filled with large black seeds and a white, creamy flesh. We took one home and ate it in the morning with granola and yogurt for the perfect tropical treat. Does anyone know of any way to get them stateside?

Restaurants

Eat, Pray, Love Inspirations

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eat, pray, love

© Fresh
Fresh's Eat, Pray, Love fragrance collection



Writer Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling memoir, Eat, Pray, Love opens in theaters this Friday and travel agents are betting that it will inspire and empower single women across the country to book a flight to India, Bali, Italy or perhaps all three. The movie even partnered with Lonely Planet, which has created a website recommending sights and hotels following Gilbert’s life-changing journey.

Gilbert loyalists have apparently already begun to descend upon the Roman gelateria that appears in both the book and film.

Anyone looking for a taste of Eat, Pray, Love closer to home should check out some of these inspirations:

Florida’s Little Palm Island Resort is offering an “Eat Pray Little Palm Island” package: five nights in a luxury thatched-roof bungalow suite with daily yoga, guided meditation and dinner and cooking classes with the resort’s chef.
 
The entire city of San Antonio is billing itself as an Eat, Pray, Love destination this summer with nearly a dozen travel packages themed around the film.

The Ellis Hotel in Atlanta has created an Eat, Pray, Love package that includes dinner (eat), a copy of the book, The Prophet (pray), and a one-night deluxe room accommodation (love), plus a copy of Gilbert’s book.

And for those who won’t be leaving home, Fresh has created a trio of fragrances inspired by Eat, Pray, Love. Eat has notes of Italian lemon, basil and bergamot; Pray has notes of incense, peony and patchouli and musk; and Love has hints of mango blossom, jasmine and velvet amber.

The more adventurous can check back tomorrow for my Eat, Pray, Love restaurant and hotel picks in India, Italy and Bali.

Cocktails

A Community-Supported Restaurant in Vermont

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gazpacho

© Chelsea Morse
Gazpacho at Claire's Restaurant & Bar

Food & Wine’s food-obsessed features intern, Chelsea Morse, admits that she is is occasionally guilty of thinking that Manhattan is the only place where interesting food trends take off. “It's a dangerous trap,” she says. A recent trip to Vermont has her reconsidering.

Here's her big discovery:

Claire's Restaurant & Bar in Hardwick is a CSR (community-supported restaurant). More than 100 individual donors provided all of its start-up funds and eighty cents of every dollar that is spent on food stays within 15 miles of the restaurant—year-round. (Translation: incredible tomato gazpacho all summer, but no green salads in January). The restaurant is even moving its bar program toward local ingredients as much as possible. Vermont chefs and bartenders manage to sneak maple products into everything, and Claire's Dark & Stormy (their version of my go-to summer cocktail) features a dash of a local maple liqueur. Heaven. I can't wait for my next trip north.
 

Wine

Food, Wine & Rock Stars

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outside lands

© Outside Lands
Wine Lands at San Francisco's Outside Lands Festival.



Chefs and winemakers are truly having their rock-star moments this summer as some of the country’s biggest music festivals have added stellar food, wine and beer lineups to complement the concerts’ real rock-star performers.

Earlier this year, winemaker Karl Wente of Wente Vineyards was cruising the shows at Austin’s South by Southwest festival in his Discover the Wine Discover the Music bus, pairing wines with emerging artists playing at the festival.

In June at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, not only was there a craft beer tent with 20 different microbreweries like Magic Hat, Asheville, Blue Grass and Ommegang, but beer sommelier Samuel Merritt of Civilization of Beer was running classes like beer history.

Chicago’s music-obsessed chef Graham Elliot has taken on the roll of culinary director for this weekend’s Lollapalooza concert. Here's a list of the killer local restaurants he’s gotten onboard to create food for the festival.

And the most ambitious of all might just be the upcoming Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco, which will have an entire wine tent, dubbed Wine Lands. The festival’s wine director, Peter Eastlake of Vintage Berkeley, has lined up some of Napa and Sonoma’s best wineries, including Robert Sinskey, Bonny Doon and Long Meadow Ranch. The food lineup, which will include dishes from Bay Area favorites like Maverick (they will be serving their barbecue pulled pork sandwich), was announced even before the music lineup. Are the musicians worried the chefs and winemakers are going to steal the show? I posed the question to Nathan Followill, drummer of the festival’s headlining band, the Kings of Leon. Check back tomorrow to see his response.

For now, check out some of F&W's favorite playlists:

For a small dinner party
For a birthday party
For a cocktail party
For a summer grilling party
 

Travel

Waikiki for Cooks

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The new Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk is the first luxury beachfront hotel to open in Waikiki in 20 years. But what makes me want to stay there isn't its location but its amenities for cooks. The kitchen puts my Brooklyn one to shame: a Wolf range, Bosch appliances, a Sub-Zero wine chiller, and a Sub-Zero fridge that their concierge will fill with all of our Hawaiian favorites, like pog and poke, before you arrive. For guests who want to barbecue, there are barbecues on the beach. The hotel staff will set up the meat and vegetables of your choice. When finished, just give them a ring and they'll clean it up, too.

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