Remarkable Wines in NYC and a Taste of Spain at Home

Plus, fried chicken in Vancouver, green-tomato carpaccio upstate, and a sublime cheeseburger in a space once frequented by John and Yoko.



A Chef’s Guide to Sardinia

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A Taste of Capri in NYC and a Flavorful Find in Paris

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A Tasting Menu as Dynamic as Southern California

Chef William Bradley earned three Michelin stars by crafting an inventive menu...

ON MY LAST night in Spain this past spring, I went to a place in Madrid called Corral de la Moreria that was part restaurant, part flamenco club. I had salmorejo, an Andalusian cold tomato soup thickened with blended bread, followed by tender slabs of lamb, and a cold glass of hierbas, an aniseed-flavored Spanish liqueur, to digest. Then the show began. Lights dimmed and a cantaora came out singing a cappella, a hair-raising weep growing in power and volume, followed by the bailaora — a barefoot dancer in a blood-red dress. I was mesmerized. A guitarist joined, fingers flying across his strings. It was the most moving night of the trip, and the restaurant was also the stage for a goodbye, this being the last meal I shared with my partner before our breakup. Looking back, I can still taste that cold soup, sweetened with Spanish olive oil, and still hear the beautiful cries of the cantaores. Restaurants will always be emotional vessels. So whether you’re eating and drinking to celebrate or to grieve, to forget or to remember — make sure it’s delicious. Or at the very least, bittersweet. — Sophie Mancini

Abuzz with Culture

One White Street, New York City

If this address sounds familiar, One White Street was the nineteenth-century townhouse that John Lennon and Yoko Ono later claimed as the embassy of “Nutopia,” their imagined country with no borders or laws “other than the cosmic.” Or perhaps you’ve heard the buzz about Chef Austin Johnson. The menu is based on rotating, seasonal ingredients from the restaurant’s Hudson Valley farm and has already earned Johnson a Michelin star. On my way to the second floor, I eyed each table, hoping to get a glimpse of what was in store. Of particular note: the focaccia and the smoked carrots, rich from the harissa and red grapes. The 1WS cheeseburger and shaved fennel are not to be missed either. I ended the night well-fed with the passion-fruit meringue. — Lisa Lok


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A Chef’s Guide to Sardinia

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A good place to come with someone special and melt into the couch.

A Seductive Entrance

Madeline’s Martini, New York City

Recently I interviewed the founders of the interior design firm Roman and Williams, and they talked about the importance of an impactful entrance. I thought about this while entering Madeline’s Martini, a new bar in Manhattan’s Alphabet City. A red orb light marked “MM” dangles over a graffitied door. The entrance glows blood-red like the mouth of the underworld. Inside is a candlelit, velvet banquette-lined anteroom, with a whimsical peacock mural. Patrons sip martinis, as they should — martinis are the bar’s namesake and specialty. The Martini by the Sea (mezcal, sea lettuce brine, and Cocchi Americano) is a savory delight. It pairs well with the caviar sandwich from the small but satisfying snacks menu. The whole thing is a seductive departure from the chaos of life. A good place to come with someone special and melt into the couch. — Sophie

A Notable Wine List

Justine’s on Hudson, New York City

When I was in middle school, Friday afternoons were for Starbucks. My friends and I would shuffle over to the one on Houston and West 10th with our giant backpacks for Frappuccinos. Posted up with drinks in hand, Maroon 5 bopping on the speakers, it’s what I imagined clubbing to feel like. Fast forward to now, the spot’s gotten even better with this fabulous family-run French-Filipino restaurant and wine bar now in Starbucks’ old place. Dishes are all seasonally driven, with vegetables from the family farm, and prepared in the open kitchen; a chef’s counter surrounds the perimeter with a few tables sprinkled throughout. Come for a special night and ask the sommelier lots of questions — the entire wonderful wine list is sourced from owner Justine Rosenthal’s father, wine-world legend Neal Rosenthal. — Sophie

Colorful Americana

Nat’s Mountain House, Catskills

I met a friend at Nat’s Mountain House — the latest concept from Strange Bird Hospitality (the folks behind Nat’s on Bleecker, Nat’s on Bank, and The Orchard Townhouse). We started off with fresh East Coast oysters doused in mignonette sauce. After that, we moved on to cucumbers seasoned with chili, mint, and sesame — one of the most unexpected delights on the menu. The ’nduja (Calabrian spreadable pork sausage) and burrata were a slightly spicy and satisfyingly creamy combination. For entrees, we had the steak frites and Nancy’s chopped salad, which was packed with bites of salami, chickpeas, and provolone, making it quite hearty. We finished off the meal with slices of Mom’s devil’s food cake and coffee. I’ll be coming back to this massive, quirky, and colorful space with my family to take advantage of their expansive backyard and patio, ice-cream sundae bar, and pool tables.
Hailey Andresen

Spain at Home

Mercado Famous

I once flew across the country to teach a charcuterie-board styling class for the staff of a prominent tech company. Needless to say, cured meats and artisanal cheeses are kinda my thing. It’s my easiest hosting trick, my go-to potluck dish, and my meal of choice when I’m left to my own devices. So when I stumbled on Mercado Famous, I was intrigued. Not only is their branding spot-on, but 100% jamón ibérico sourced from Spain delivered to my mailbox? I had to try it. I picked up some Manchego, olives, and cornichons, along with a round of Kunik cheese from the folks at Nettle Meadow Farm to pair with it. I placed all of the ingredients on my cutting board — sprinkling pistachios, dried apricots, and sliced Pink Lady apples throughout. The result was divine. Fresh, quality cured meat with my tried-and-true cheese board staples. When I closed my eyes and ignored the sounds of my kids and puppy, I felt like I was actually in Madrid for a moment. — Hailey


Unexpected Canadian Fare

Nightingale, Vancouver

I met a sommelier while traveling through British Columbia, and when I asked her where I should eat in Vancouver, she told me, without hesitation, to go to Nightingale. Downtown Vancouver is dominated by skyscrapers and high-rise condos, so Nightingale’s building, which looks like an old, elegant bank, is a reprieve from the rush of modernity. The interior was designed by Studio Munge and is somehow both grand and reminiscent of Scandinavian minimalism with its use of neutral tones. The menu, which was inspired by Gjelina’s in Los Angeles, leans heavily on pizza. The one with the chorizo, peperoncini, and honey was excellent. When I planned my trip to Vancouver, I never thought I’d be eating fried chicken, but Nightingale’s version of the dish, topped with crunchy pickles, was pretty close to perfect. Don’t forget your reservations. I came at 11 a.m., and the multistory restaurant was already packed.— Laura Smith

Chleo has branded itself as a wine bar, but as a non-drinker, I can tell you that they are this and more.

More Than a Wine Bar

Chleo, Kingston

Chleo is back after closing due to a fire. When I went, the space was buzzing with energy with every seat taken. Now, back at home, I can’t stop thinking about their green-tomato carpaccio. The tomato floats in olive oil and is topped with fennel, capers, red onion, salt, and pepper — it’s an exceptionally balanced and creative take on the normally meat-driven dish. The space is hospitable and warm. In the open kitchen, you can hear the staff working through their queue of tickets among the guests’ chatter and clinking of glasses, often with a loud, “Yes, Chef!” Chleo has branded itself as a wine bar, but as a non-drinker, I can tell you that they are this and more. I particularly enjoyed their verjus and soda — a mocktail I haven’t had anywhere else. — Hailey

See and Be Seen

The Golden Swan, New York City

A prime corner location in Manhattan’s West Village with resplendent interiors and a shroud of see-and-be-seen buzz? For all these reasons, I had mild trepidation about what the food might be like at The Golden Swan, a new bar and restaurant that’s already a bit of a media darling. But I was wrong to judge a book by its cover. Yes, the intimate upstairs dining room glints with an old-world glamour (white tablecloths, jacketed front-of-house staff, mirrored walls). Yes, every table is filled with well-heeled diners. But most notably? The food is great. They had a beautiful crudo that night: soft, thin, and laden with red caviar. Tender asparagus is topped with their take on a scotch egg. Their duck has an herb-encrusted, salty skin and succulent meat below, perfect for mopping up its jus. Put on a fun shirt and go. — Sophie


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Our Contributors

Sophie Mancini Writer

Sophie Mancini is an editor at Departures. Born and raised in New York City, she holds a degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University and has a background as a writer in brand and editorial.

Lisa Lok

Lisa Lok is the visuals director of Departures. A Brooklyn-based creative, she enjoys collaborating with photographers and illustrators from around the world.

Laura Smith Writer

Laura Smith is the deputy editor of Departures. Previously, she was the executive editor of California magazine and has written for the New York Times, the Guardian, the Atlantic, and many more. Her nonfiction book, The Art of Vanishing, was published by Viking in 2018.

Hailey Andresen Writer

Hailey Andresen is the guides editor at Departures. A New York–based writer and editor, she founded the digital lifestyle publication Household Mag and has spent more than a decade in the hospitality industry.

Jess Rotter Illustrator

Jess Rotter is a Los Angeles–based illustrator and artist. Rotter’s work has frequently featured in the Washington Post. Her clients range from Natalie Portman to Questlove.


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