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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine


Where to Eat in Mykonos


I just returned from an incredible trip to Greece. If you go, here's where you should eat and drink at my first stop, Mykonos:

* We stayed at the Mykonos Grand Hotel, which shares a beach with three tavernas. The one farthest from the hotel has amazing platters of sea urchin. Eat sea urchin, Greek salad and grilled octopus for lunch, washed down with a carafe of house white wine, while looking out over the water.
* Have drinks at Katerina's, a restaurant and bar in Little Venice. It's the ideal spot to watch the sun go down over the sea. Get there early, because there are only six seats on the balcony. After sunset, walk down to Sea Satin restaurant, pick your fresh fish and watch it being grilled before eating it at a seaside table right under the famous Mykonos windmills.

* Rent a scooter or ATV and ride to the peaceful beach at Panormos Bay. Just north of there, you will find a tiny beach called Agios Sostis, which is home to Kiki's, the best place I ate in Mykonos. It has no sign or telephone number and is only open from 1-5 p.m., but it is well worth seeking out. Order anything grilled-octopus, pork chops, feta. Round out the meal with Kiki's homemade salads, like dilly potato or lentil.


Celebrating Craft and Canned Beers


This Friday kicks off the second annual New York City Craft Beer Week, a 10-day event that includes incredible beer-pairing dinners hosted by top New York state brewers and star New York City chefs, as well as tastings, seminars  and bar crawls. Next month, a new type of beer-appreciation event will take place in Reno, Nevada. On October 23, the city will host the first-ever international canned beer festival. But don’t expect to find PBR or Miller. The event, dubbed Canfest, brings together a growing number of craft breweries, like Reno’s Buckbean Brewing Company, Maui Brewing Company and Oskar Blues, that eschew bottles for eco-friendly (and, some argue, more beer-friendly) aluminum cans. Celebrities from the beer world will serve as judges. The daylong festival will also include beer-and-food pairings and seminars with brewers.







Miami's Excellent Eos


© Jen Murphy
The Fresh Pepper cocktail at Eos in Miami

Before flying back to NYC after my quick trip to Miami last week, I made sure to check out Eos, the new restaurant from star chef Michael Psilakis (of NYC's Kefi, Mia Dona, Anthos and Gus & Gabriel Gastropub. Eos is on the 15th floor of the new Viceroy Hotel, which combines the whimsical design of both Kelly Wearstler and Philippe Starck. The food was exceptionally tasty and beautifully plated—from the orange marlin sashimi with speck, apricot and pistachio butter to the ultratender smoked octopus to the decadent lobster-and-sea-urchin risotto with caviar, fried herbs and egg yolk. Another surprise: an ambitious cocktail list. I politely declined the server’s top pick, the Pepper Fresh, but she sent me one anyway and it was one of the most unusual drinks I’ve ever tasted—a mix of vodka and freshly squeezed lime and yellow bell pepper juices muddled with spearmint. Bell pepper juice in a cocktail? Somehow it worked geniously. 



Miami's Awesome Scarpetta


Last week I jetted to Miami and, in less than 48 hours, had two stellar meals in hotel restaurants launched by star NYC chefs: Scott Conant and Michael Psilakis, both F&W Best New Chefs. I always get nervous when a chef I adore opens an outpost far away: It’s so easy for the quality or service to slide. But these two new Miami restaurants rival their spots in Manhattan.

Conant, who owns Scarpetta in NYC, opened his second Scarpetta in Miami Beach's legendary Fountainbleu hotel, which was fabulously renovated earlier this year. A true glutton, I tried nearly every dish on the menu. Conant’s signature dishes, like his supersimple spaghetti with tomato and basil and his roasted capretto (baby goat), were perfect. The Miami Scarpetta has more seafood options than the NYC one, including a crisp-skinned branzino served on top of saffron-ricotta gnocchi, cauliflower and lobster fricassee. After sampling six pasta dishes (I’m training for the NYC Marathon, which gives me an excuse to eat more pasta), I told myself I’d only taste the branzino, but somehow it vanished completely from my plate.

Check out this blog later today for details about my incredible meal at Psilakis’s Eos.


Fall's Best Foodie Internships


Summer is usually internship season. But summer is nearly over and  fewer than a fifth of recent college graduates have job offers. Now TravelOregon (the state's tourism organization) has launched an internship contest; the seven winners will work alongside a top Oregon rancher, distiller or chef for a week. Applicants have until September 18 to submit a short video and make a case (in 140 words or less) for why they are worthy of the all-expenses-paid internship. A few of the opportunities:
 *Work alongside Food & Wine Best New Chef 2007 Gabriel Rucker, at Portland’s awesome Le Pigeon restaurant.
 * Explore the art of vineyard-designate winemaking from Lynn Penner- Ash, winemaker at Willamette Valley’s Penner-Ash Wine Cellars.

 * Make artisanal cheese with David Gremmels of the excellent Rogue Creamery.
 * Turn hops and grains into craft beer with brewmaster Jamie Emmerson of Hood River’s Full Sail Brewery.
 * Learn about craft spirits and get a degree in mixology with distiller Jim Bendis of Bendistillery.


Six meals for $60 in Portland, Oregon


I just got back from a long weekend in Portland, and I'm still recovering from the affordability of it all. Here's a perfect one-day itinerary.

8 am: Pine State Biscuits
Breakfast no. 1: Pine State Biscuits' awe-inspiring The Reggie ($7) — fried chicken, bacon and cheese on a house-made Carolina-style biscuit — along with a tall glass of The Champ's Gourmet Chocolate Milk ($2), custom-blended by local chocolatier Xocatlatl de David (whose online store will be live in just a few weeks).

10 am: Voodoo Doughnut
Breakfast no. 2: the surprisingly incredible chocolate-glazed yeasted vegan donut ($1.20).

Noon: Pok Pok
Andy Ricker just opened Ping, but who can resist the lunch special at his original Pok Pok: half a grilled hen and the impeccable green papaya salad ($6.50).

4 pm: Departure
The swankified new restaurant/lounge on the roof of Portland's luxury hotel, The Nines, serves a refreshing spicy-citrusy Tasho Macho ($9) with Thai chile ginger vodka and Thai basil, along with terrifically meaty black-soy edamame beans ($5) from Japan.

8 pm: Beaker & Flask
For a relative splurge at $25, try chef Ben Bettinger's grilled sturgeon with incredibly juicy mussels, squid, fennel and green beans ($17). For a cocktail, Joe McCarthy's Ghost, with Krogstad Aquavit, Carpano and apricot brandy ($8) is extra-licorice-y.

Midnight: Biwa
This cozy subterranean Japanese bar serves many delicious small plates, but their yakitori of thinly slivered chicken hearts is just like the menu says it is: "Wow." ($4)


A Pacific Northwest Foodie Island


Last week I was sailing through the Pacific Northwest and fell in love with Lopez Island and its food. The island, located north of Seattle, is relatively remote and can be reached by ferry or sea plane. After docking, we waited in line with the locals outside of Holly B’s Bakery to fill up on their almond-studded cinnamon rolls, warm baguettes and crumbly cheddar-herb biscuits. Next door, lattes made with Graffeo beans beckoned us to recaffeinate at Caffe la Boheme. We headed out of town on bikes and stumbled upon Lopez Island Farm’s store, where the cash box was (trustingly) left out for us to ring up our purchase. I scooped up some marionberry syrup, which was perfect with our pancakes the next morning, and a goat cheese spread with apricots and pistachios that became our preferred snack for refueling after hikes. I only wish I had put ice in my day pack, so I could have brought back some of their beautiful lamb sausage to grill as well.

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.