The problem with our Internet-saturated, 24-7 culture? Too many choices. Now we need help winnowing down the options. Here, some focused guidance from skilled curators on food, wine, shopping and travel.
Tastes to Try Now
F&W's Executive Food Editor, Tina Ujlaki, tastes dozens of new foods each month. Her favorites:
Dried chickpeas. © Petrina Tinslay.
Dried Chickpeas These Idaho legumes have a fantastically fresh flavor and make amazing broth. $7 for 2 lbs; chefshop.com.
Salumi Newcomer Olli Salumeria's entire range of cured meats is incredible, especially the salamis and the Mangalitsa lardo. From $10.50; ollisalumeria.com.
Toma Cheese Point Reyes's new mild and buttery semihard farmstead Toma is the perfect breakfast cheese. $20 per lb; pointreyescheese.com.
Crostini Superthin, crisp crackers in savory-sweet flavors (like cranberry, rosemary and pecan) from a Bay Area bakery. $7 for 4 oz; rusticbakery.com.
Bacon jam. © Petrina Tinslay.
Bacon Jam Skillet Street Food's condiment is a meaty hit of smoke and sweetness in a jar. It's great with goat cheese and mesclun on a toasted baguette, left. Try it on turkey or grilled cheese sandwiches. $14 for 8 oz; skillet baconjam.com.
© Petrina Tinslay
Couscous Salad with Zucchini and Roasted Almonds Bklyn Larder sells fantastic prepared foods and locally sourced products. This recipe is from its upcoming cookbook.
© Petrina Tinslay
Warm Scallop Salad with Mushrooms and Zucchini Jon David Headrick imports boutique Loire Valley wines. F&W's Marcia Kiesel pairs scallops with his 2009 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre Blanc.
Here, F&W Style Editor Jessica Romm's top new finds for the table (starting at $26), and the items that two global tastemakers are bringing through customs now.
Global Style Finds
Courtesy of Antonio Perez-Marquez
Curator Jessica Romm travels the world for photo shoots, shopping as she goes.
Photos below (l to r) courtesy of: Sieger, Gretel Home, Normann-Copenhagen, Thomas Eyck.
Sieger by Furstenberg's whimsical porcelain plate designs now include butterflies in the company's signature cobalt blue. $300; fitzsu.com.
U.K. designer Michael Angove prints digital drawings on trays. From $32; gretelhome.com.
A German-designed nylon model folds for easy storage. $26; normann-copenhagen.com.
Dutch designer Aldo Bakker makes each pourer by hand in silver. $4,125; thomaseyck.com.
Indian Style Finds
Courtesy of Jon Robshaw
Curator Textile genius John Robshaw has a new online shop, Souk. johnrobshaw.com.
Photos below courtesy of Jon Robshaw.
Fit for a raja: This hand-carved chair is coated in stamped metal; its cushion is covered with Robshaw's block-print fabric. $1,400.
Marble Nagfani pots are from the Indian province of Nagaland. From $450.
European Style Finds
Courtesy of Europeanmarket
Curators Ex–magazine editors Chris and Sue Ellibee run europeanmarket.us.
Photos below courtesy of Europeanmarket.
Weekend Tote Discovered in Switzerland: canvas mailbags turned into duffels with leather handles and piping for durability. $184.
Milk Chocolate Switzerland's Aeschbach blends excellent chocolate with sea salt. $6 for 3.5 oz.
Antique Cruet The Ellibees found this 19th-century blown-glass cruet in a Paris antiques market. $27.
D'Arbo Fruit Jam A not-too-sweet Austrian spread; great for breakfast with a semihard, mild cheese. $5.
Courtesy of Wanderlust Hotel
Loh Lik Peng commissioned a different firm to design each of the four floors of his 29-room Singapore hotel, Wanderlust. The glam lobby includes wallpaper made from packaging from local shops.
Courtesy of Little Bookroom
Paris: Made By Hand, an adorable shopping guide from Australian stylist and photographer Pia Jane Bijkerk, focuses on "enclaves of artisans, fabulous cafés and small boutiques," Bijkerk says. "Paris is one of the last international cities that strives to protect and nurture her artisans." $19.
Web Travel Gurus
Courtesy of Fathomaway.com
Courtesy of Fathomaway.com
Pavia Rosati (above left) and Jeralyn Gerba just launched the tip-filled fathomaway.com. Here, Rosati shares insider ideas for three top destinations.
1. Rome "Dario Alfonsi's leather shop makes the most amazing chairs—you pick your leather, your finishes, and two weeks later, this amazing handmade chair with beautiful stitching is shipped to you." Via dei Chiavari, 40.
2. Tokyo "Escape hectic Tokyo on a day trip to Kamakura, a coastal town that's a short train ride from the city. You can rent a bike to tour the bay and watch the sun set over Mt. Fuji."
Retro-Modern General Stores
1. Brook Farm General Store; Brooklyn, NY Though it's in the hipster-filled Williamsburg neighborhood, this shop feels like an idealized country store: There are beautifully simple, utilitarian kitchen utensils, smooth white dinnerware and no-nonsense office supplies. brookfarmgeneralstore.com.
Courtesy of Labour & Wait
2. Labour and Wait, London A horse-hair mushroom brush is just one of the many task-specific tools at this shop full of "timeless, functional products for daily life," as its website boasts. Other highlights: enamel cookware and sturdy gardening gadgets. labourandwait.co.uk.
Three spots with tightly edited wine lists, not a phone book of options.
© Jeffery Owens
Pause Wine Bar, San Francisco
Chris Tavelli specializes in eco-friendly wines (just 30 bottles) to go with the seafood-centric menu at his spot on the edge of Hayes Valley. pausesf.com.
Little Bird; Portland, OR
A traditional bistro with an all-French list, plus French-inspired local wines, like a custom white by Belle Pente. littlebirdbistro.com.
Lukshon, Los Angeles
Sang Yoon's sleek new pan-Asian restaurant zooms in on Riesling and other aromatic Germanic whites—including some served on tap.