Sunday, March 17, 2013


Banyan Tree al Wadi – Al Mazraa; 011-971-07-206-7777;; luxurious, secluded dune-facing rooms; spa.
Sights & Sites
Dhayah Fort – 5 kms from town;; 19th Century fortress built on 16th Century foundations; served military purposes; situated on hill top, reached by concrete, winding stairway; wonderful views over coast, date palm gardens, and mountains.
National Museum of Ras al-Khaimah – Al-Hisn Road; 011-971-07-233-3411; set in imposing, 18th Century gypsum and stone building, with wonderful wind tower; former Qawassim rulers’ residence (until 1970s); thoughtfully curated collection includes exhibits on archaeology, ethnography, natural history, and Qawassim tribe; highlights include intricately patterned Iron-Age softstone vessels, 18th Century terracotta urns, and other splendid artefacts from Julfar, UAE’s biggest port from 13-18th Centuries, and Shamal.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque – Juma Sheikh Zayed Mosque Street(at Al Nahdah Street);

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Hotel des Alpes – 12 Rue de la Poste; 011-33-04-5045-0456;; clean, friendly, mom-&-pop hotel with affordable doubles.

Le Freti – 12 Rue Ste.-Claire; 011-33-04-5051-2952;; notable fondue.
Nature et Saveur – Place des Cordeliers; 011-33-04-5045-8229;; intimate, lunch-only venue serving organic dishes.

Sights & Sites
Musee-Chateau d’Annecy – Place du Chateau; 011-33-04-5033-8730;; castle that contains artifacts & contemporary art.
Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau – among city’s most beautiful streets; Rousseau lived at #13.
Rue Ste.-Claire “Open-Air Market” – Rue Ste.-Claire (old city); dates back to 12th Century; from regional cheese stalls, ask for Beaufort, sometimes called “prince of cheese.”
St.-Pierre Cathedral – Rue Jean Jacques Rousseau; 011-33-04-5033-8888.

BONNEVAL-SUR-ARC (includes Le Grand-Bornand & Lanslebourg)
Chalet-Hotel Les Fermes de Pierre & Anna – Les Plans (Le Grand-Bornand); 011-33-04-5051-5499;

Auberge d’Oul – Vieux Village; 011-33-04-7905-8799;; basement, hole-in-wall destination restaurant; fondue.
Le Criou – Vallonet; 011-33-04-7905-9711;; open year round; seasonal menus; notable for tartiflette (casserole made with reblochon).
Le Ferme de Lormay – Le Grand-Bornand; 011-33-04-5002-2429;; homey 20-seat restaurant; tartiflette.

Cooperative Laitiere Haute-Maurienne Vanoise – 36 Rue de l’Arc (Lanslebourg); 011-33-04-7905-9279;; village cheese cooperative; offers daily cheese-making tours.

Clubhouse – 74 Promenade des Sonnailles; 011-33-04-5090-9656;; feels like art deco tree-house; exterior has black forest cuckoo clock charm; just 6 guestrooms; book for at least week; 1st class bar; meticulous chef.

Le Chalet du Lac – Les Confins, “Laythet” (La Clusaz); 011-33-04-5002-5326;; wooden chalet lost in mountains.

Bars & Nightclubs
Le White – Jardin Alpin (at Cheval Blanc Hotel); 011-33-04-7900-5050;; gorgeously-designed spot with great hot chocolate.

Cheval Blanc – Jardin Alpin; 011-33-04-7900-5050;; 5-star hotel.
Le Paddock – Rue des Verdons; 011-33-04-7904-1635;; 1 of few 2-star hotels in city; affordable yet stylish; small rooms.

Il Vino – Porte de Courcheval; 011-33-04-7908-2962;; French-Italian; 1 Michelin star; affordable with extensive wine list.
La Mangeoire – Rue Park City; 011-33-06-5066-8042;; traditional French food; expensive; reputedly, hottest “party spot” in Alps; book well in advance; farmhouse-chic dining room.

Galeries Bartoux – Espace Diamant; 011-33-04-7901-0010;; art gallery with New York branch; deals in Dali, Foujita, Robert Indiana, and Picasso.

Sights & Sites
La Saulire – resort’s highest point.

GRENOBLE (includes La Grave & Vizelle)
Bars & Nightclubs
La Bois des Fees – Route Nationale 91 (La Grave); 011-33-04-7679-8103;; among more popular bars in La Grave; wide selection beers on-tap & more bottles than any fan could ever get down; house speciality is potent rum drink that will do you no favors on slopes.
La Soupe aux Choux – 7 Route Lyon; 011-33-04-7687-0567;

Hotel Castillan – Route Nationale 91 (La Grave); 011-33-04-7679-9004;

La Bois des Fees – Route Nationale 91 (La Grave); 011-33-04-7679-8103;; best pizza.
Café de la Table Ronde – 1 Ter Rue d’Agier; 011-33-04-7644-5141;; Art Nouveau-style; said to be France’s 2nd oldest café; try café crème in morning.
Hotel Castillan – RN 91 (La Grave); 011-33-04-7679-9004;; cozy, French brasserie.

Sights & Sites
Le Magasin – 155 Cours Berriat; 011-33-04-7621-9584;; contemporary art space in 1900 industrial building made by Gustave Eiffel’s workshop.
MC2 – 4 Rue Paul Claudel; 011-33-04-7600-7954;; public concert and theater space.
Musee Dauphinois – 30 Rue Maurice Gignoux; 011-33-04-5758-8901;
Musee de Grenoble – 5 Place de Lavalette; 011-33-04-7663-4444;; France’s 1st modern art museum; artists represented include Bonnard, Braque, Chagall, Dufy, Klee, Leger, Magritte, Matisse (Interieur aux Aubergines), Picasso (Femme Lisant), and Signac.
102 – 102 Rue d’Alembert; 011-33-04-7670-1200;; alternative performance space in former industrial building.
Parliament – Place St.-Andre; Gothic and Renaissance style.
St.-Andre Church – 6 Rue Hector Berlioz; 011-33-04-7642-3654;; 13th Century red-brick church.
Stendahl Museum – 1 Rue Hector Berlioz; 011-33-04-7654-4414;
Theatre Ste.-Marie-d’en-Bas – 38 Rue Tres-Cloires; 011-33-04-7642-0150; church-turned-performance venue.

Le Chalet – 367 Route du Cret; 011-33-04-5021-0101;; décor reduced to essentials; lovely.
Les Chalets des Fermes de Marie – 144 Chemin du Petit Darbon; 011-33-04-5090-6320;
A Coin du Feu – 252 Route du Telepherique de Rochebrune; 011-33-04-5090-6320;
Les Fermes de Marie – 163 Chemin de la Riante Colline; 011-33-04-5093-0310;; lovely.
Flocons de Sel – 1775 Route du Leutaz; 011-33-04-5021-4999;; 2 private chalets and 6 modern rooms.

La Ferme de Mon Pere – 367 Route du Cret; 011-33-04-5021-0101;; excellent.
Flocons de Sel – 1775 Route du Leutaz; 011-33-04-5021-4999;; 3 Michelin stars.
Le Lodge Park – 100 Rue d’Arly; 011-33-04-5093-0503;
Hotel Mont Blanc – 29 Rue Ambroise Martin; 011-33-04-5021-2002;

La Croix – ski shop.

Chalet Pelerin – Le Miroir; 970-349-7761;; freestanding mountain hut; stone & wood walls without, hides & soft pelts within; indoor sea-salt water pool, Finnish sauna, Turkish bath, outdoor jacuzzi, massage area, airport transfers, personal guide, staff for treatments, ski equipment, heli-skiing.

Chateau St. Philippe – 14 miles from Chambery; 310-295-1175 or 800-920-1032;; $2K per night; sleeps 20; built as priory in 1032.

Sights & Sites
Chauvet Cave – on limestone cliff above former Ardèche River bed (in Gorges de l’Ardèche);; UNESCO World Heritage Site; facsimile open to public.

Monday, March 4, 2013


International Lodging Corporation – 304 Park Avenue South, 11th Floor (New York, NY); 212-228-5900;; rents privately owned apartments, townhomes, and villas between Estepona (west of Malaga) and Marbella.

Sights & Sites
Juderia – ancient Jewish quarter.
Medina Azahara – Avenida Medina Azahara; ruined Moorish palace.
Mezquita-Catedral – Calles Torrijos & Cardenal Herrero; 011-34-957-470-512; former mosque, converted into church.

Alojiamiento el Molino del Puente – Puente de Durcal; 011-34-958-780-731;; 18th Century mill restored and turned into lodge; among most attractive regional landscapes; pool.

GRANADA (includes Loja)
Hotel Alhambra Palace – 2-4 Pena Partida, 1 Plaza Arquitecto Garcia De Paredes; 011-34-958-221-478;
Barcelo La Bobadilla – Salinas-Villanueva de Tapia (A-333) Km. 65.5 (Loja); 011-34-958-321-861 or 800-745-8883;; luxurious, former Andalusia palace with panoramic views over private 1K acre estate; exquisite winding corridors and lush tropical gardens, includes luxuriously appointed guest rooms, each individually decorated and designed, all with opulent bathrooms and bedrooms providing exceptional comfort and grace; together with vast outdoor pool, spa, stables, and 3 exquisite haute-cuisine restaurants.
Parador de Granada San Francisco – Real de la Alhambra; 011-34-902-547-979;; converted monastery near Alhambra, located on former nobles’ residence site; rooms are slightly small.

Alacena de las Monjas – 5 Plaza del Padre Suárez; 011-34-958-229-519;
Café Torcuato – 31 Calle Pagés; 011-4-958-202-818;; fixture on pretty plaza; tapas.

Sights & Sites
Albaicin (Albayzin) Area – on hillside opposite Alhambra; Granada district that retains medieval Moorish past’s narrow winding streets; world heritage site.
Alcaiceria – Calle Zacatin; 011-34-958-226-688; silk market-oriental bazaar.
Alhambra – Palacio de Carlos V Granada; 011-34-958-220-912;; Spain’s finest Moorish architecture.
Capilla Real – Plaza de la Lonja, 5 Gran Via de Colon; 011-34-958-222-959;; where Ferdinand and Isabella buried.
Generalife – Palacio de Carlos V Granada; 011-34-958-220-912;; Nasrid kings’ country estate.
Sacromonte – hillside opposite Generalife, covered with path network leading to “gypsy caves”; Troglodyte dwellings.

MALAGA (includes Casares & Ronda)
Finca Cortesin – Carretera de Casares, km 2 (Casares); 011-34-952-937-800;; boasts one of Spain’s best golf courses but isn’t bland hotel frequented by old men in lemon slacks and Pringle sweaters; design incorporates both Castilian and Moorish elements; comfortable and glamorous, genuine destination stay; ask for either spacious Junior Suite in Andalucian-inspired building that wraps around cloistered courtyard (come with own entrance hallways and are intriguing blend of Asian-themed decor, Provençal furnishings, and comfortable Spanish style; also Executive Suite 74 overlooks gardens, pool, and sea (has own kitchen); 3 pools (1 indoor (heated, art deco-style) & 2 outdoor (both lined with beautiful blue-green mosaic tiles)); own Beach Club (1km away) with infinity pool, beachside restaurant, and plenty of sun loungers; home to best spas in region; 4 restaurants.
Hotel la Fuente de la Higuera – Partido de las Frontones (Ronda); 011-34-952-114-355;; affordable; bare-bones (handcrafted antique furniture) in Andalusian mountains on 7 acres; farm-to-table dinners served nightly at outdoor restaurant; shady pool.
Parador of Ronda – Plaza de Espana (Ronda); 011-34-952-877-500;; luxury hotel in old town hall on gorge edge (El Tajo); next to Puente Nuevo.
Hotel Reina Victoria – 25 Calle Jerez; 011-34-952-871-240;; Rilke stayed here; Room 207 contains museum dedicated to him.

Schilo Restaurant – Carretera de Casares, km 2 (Casares); 011-34-952-937-800;; formal.
Tragabuches – 1 Calle de Jose Aparicio (Ronda); 011-34-952-190-291;; finest and most creative cuisine in Ronda; 2 dining rooms, each with stylish, contemporary decor (white walls, tables decked out with pastel cloths and seat covers); try cochinillo asado (grilled suckling pig) or rape en salsa de vinagreta, pulpo y verdura (monkfish in vinaigrette sauce with octopus and fresh vegetables); starters include cheese taco or tasty liver pâté.

Finca Cortesin – Carretera de Casares, km 2 (Casares); 011-34-952-937-800;; spa.

Sights & Sites
Museo Picasso Malaga – Calle San Agustín (at Buenavista Palace); 011-34-952-127-600;
3 Bridges – Ronda; Puente Romano (also known as Puente San Miguel) is oldest and smallest; Puente Viejo (also known as Puente Árabe); & Puente Nuevo (commenced in 1751 and took until 1793).

MARBELLA (includes Benahavis)
Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Churreria Ramon – 1 Calle Valdes (Plaza de los Naranjos); 011-34-952-7-785-46;; churros and hot chocolate.

Bars & Nightclubs
El Bigote – 1 Urbanizacion Colorado; 011-34-952-815-535; affordable and simple.

La Fonda – Plaza Santo Cristo 9-10 (Old Town); 011-34-952-123-840;; Relais & Châteaux property boasting history that dates back to 16th Century; 3 “dining spots”; restored to former glory, launching into 21st Century with contemporary design, exclusive amenities & understated modern elegance.
Marbella Club Hotel – Bulevar del Príncipe Alfonso von Hohenlohe; 011-34-952-822-211;; Andalusian-style, coastal, former royal residence; property full of trees; walking distance from ocean; spa.
Hotel Villa Padierna – Carretera N-340, km 166 (Los Flamingos, Benahavís); 011-34-952-889-150;; Michelle Obama stayed here; prestigious vantage point on Costa del Sol; situated just outside Marbella; can see over Mediterranean and over to Morocco; 3 golf courses; luxury Thermae Spa and fitness centre, gourmet restaurant (La Veranda) and own Roman Amphitheatre.
Purobeach Marbella – Playa El Padron, Laguna Village; 011-34-952-800-015;; ridiculously hip.

El Bigote – 1 Urbanizacion Colorado; 011-34-952-815-535; affordable and simple.
Calima – Calle Jose Melia (at Gran Melia Hotel); 011-34-952-764-252;; Chef Dani Garcia is among Spain’s most highly regarded chefs.

Hotel Villa Padierna Thermal Spa – Carretera N-340, km 166 (Los Flamingos, Benahavís); 011-34-952-889-150;

Deja Vu – 8 Calle Pedraza; 011-34-952-825-521;; vintage boutique.

Sights & Sites
Iglesia Mayor de la Encarnacion – Plaza de la Iglesia; 011-34-95-277-3136;
Old Town – cobbled, narrow streets; chic boutiques and local cafés, side by side; Old Town heart known as El Casco Antiguo lies around Orange Square, where tourist office is; cross road from Alameda Park fountain and walk through Orange Square, past old castle wall and into impressive Cathedral; 2nd week of June each year is Marbella feria.

SEVILLE (includes Carmona & Cazalla de la Sierra)
Carmona Parador – Calle Alcazar; 011-34-95-414-1712;; 14th Century Moorish citadel.
Hotel EME Fusion – 27 Alemanes; 011-34-954-560-000;; cluster of 13 18th-19th Century houses in city’s heart, ingeniously cobbled together into 70-room property; shaded patios; stunning rooftop pool terrace with bar and drop-dead cathedral views; tranquil spa and 4 restaurants; cutting edge design; ask for Room 219, which wraps around interior courtyard and feels more like chic pied-a-terre than hotel room; 6 suites and 2 superior rooms have terraces with private Jacuzzis.
Hotel Alfonso XIII – 2 Calle San Fernando; 011-34-954-917-000;; Moorish landmark near major sights; gorgeous lobby; at restaurant, order cola de toro (bull’s tail with sherry).
Trasierra – Apartado de Correos 26 (Cazalla de la Sierra); 011-34-954-884-324 or 011-44-7887-646-336;; 20-room hotel; country house retreat in rolling hills around Seville.

El Rinconcillo – 40 Gerona; 011-34-954-223-183;; classic, tapas hole-in-wall founded in 1670.
La Carboneria – 18 Calle Levies; 011-34-954-214-460;; call ahead for dates and times for flamenco.
Rio Grande Restaurante – 41010 Calle Betis; 011-34-954-278-371;; little bistro in Triana district; on candlelit veranda planted with lemon trees; executive chef, Nacho Martinez; globe-trotting sensibility layered over traditional Andalusian menu; fresh seafood in countless original ways (e.g., black-rice paella with lobster and jumbo prawns).

Sights & Sites
Alcazar Palace – Plaza del Triunfo; 011-34-954-502-324;; royal palace in Seville (alcazar means palace, from Arabic); originally Moorish fort; Almohades are 1st to build palace, called Al-Muwarak; palace among best remaining mudejar architecture examples; upper levels still used by royal family.
Barrio Santa Cruz – historic walking area; originally, Seville’s Jewish quarter.
Catedral de Seville – 21 Avenida de la Constitución; 011-34-954-563-150;; largest Gothic cathedral and 3rd-largest church in world; at completion in 1500s supplants Hagia Sophia as world’s largest cathedral; Christopher Columbus’ burial place.
Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporaneo – 2 Avenida Américo Vespucio; 011-34-955-037-070;; in Carthusian Monastery.
Metropol Parasol – Plaza de la Encarnacion;; world’s largest wooden structure; must be seen to be believed; designed by J. Mayer H. architects.
Museo de Baile Flamenco – 3 Calle Manuel Rojas Marcos; 011-34-954-340-311;
Parque de Maria Luisa – Avenida de las Delicias; 011-34-954-221-404;; donated to city by Infanta María Luisa in 1893; private Palacio de San Telmo garden part; has 400Km extension; intimate arbors and luxuriant vegetation; 1929 Iberoamerican Exhibition site.
Reales Alcazares – Plaza Triunfo; 011-34-954-502-323 or 011-34-954-502-324;; former Moorish palace.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


(includes Klosters)


KaffeeKlatsch – 72 Promenade (Platz); 011-41-081-413-3016;; for good simple breakfast or brunch, as well as best coffee in town; 2 stories; try for corner table by window with view.
Schneider’s – 68 Promenade (Platz); 011-41-081-420-0000;; baked goods, chocolates & coffee.

Chämi Bar – 83 Promenade (Platz); 011-41-081-413-5555; chä; smallish; popular with locals.
EX Bar – 63 Promenade (Platz); 011-41-081-413-5645;; since 1965.
Pöstli Club – 42 Promenade (Platz, at Morosani Hotel); 011-41-081-415-4500;; winter-only nightclub open Thursday to Saturday nights.
Tijuana – 15 Talstrasse (Platz); 011-41-081-413-2410;
X-Ray Bar – Schatzalp (at Hotel Schatzalp); 011-41-081-415-5151;; in former sanitorium x-ray room; worth special trip.

Hotel Flüela – 5 Bahnhofstrasse (Dorf); 011-41-081-410-1717; more than 150 years after its opening, this solidly-built, thick-walled hotel still managed by same family; focused entirely on winter (not summer) lodgings; unadorned beige facade conceals elegantly cozy and rustic interior with comfortable and well-furnished bedrooms, each fitted with cozy appointments and state-of-art plumbing; most bedrooms renovated.
Grischa Hotel – 3 Talstrasse (Platz); 011-41-081-414-9797;; 93 rooms and suites.
Morosani Posthotel – 42 Promenade (Platz); 011-41-081-415-4500;; 3 buildings connected by rustically decorated, underground tunnel; cozy lobby has open fireplace; bedrooms are spacious.
Steigenberger Belvedere – 89 Promenade (Platz); 011-41-081-415-6000;; most famous and prestigious hotel in Davos; light-gray neoclassical building on main road; originally built around 1875, purchased in 1980s and lavishly upgraded; interior has intricately carved fireplaces, ornate ceilings, and well-polished bar; choose modern, Belle Epoque, or regionally-decorated room (many with furniture crafted from arvenholz, local wood); visit pool for murals: Tahitian lagoon with flamingos and lifelike jungle plants that sway in imaginary breeze and seem to grow out of pool.
Hotel Schaltzalp – Schatzalp; 011-41-081-415-5151;; about 950' above town on quiet, car-free slope; spectacular hotel transports back to grand spa days, when once used as sanatorium; decorated in elegant, Belle Epoque style, though many salons have modern touches like exotic fabrics & contemporary furnishings; described in Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain, vast hotel has grounds to match, with fun features like long, hillside slide in summer & 2½-km sled run in winter; all south-facing guest rooms have balconies overlooking looming mountain range; spend summer afternoons enjoying breeze on long veranda or visiting hotel’s botanical garden (high-altitude plants from 5 continents); alternatively, relax in 1 of 3 sauna & steam rooms; accessible only by own funicular, Schatzalp-Bahn, 4-minute ride from Davos-Platz near Hotel Europe; slopes above hotel host Europe’s 1st “slow mountain” for ski/snowboard enthusiasts who don’t feel need for speed.
Hotel Seehof Davos – 159 Promenade; 011-41-081-417-9444;; among most traditional hotels in Alps; imposing exterior view; located next to famous railway station Parsenn for over 140 years; 3 restaurants, spa, swimming pools, sauna, gym, relaxation room with fireplace.
Walserhof – 141 Landstrasse (Klosters); 011-41-081-410-2929;; hospitality, personal service, and joie de vivre; intimate hotel, located in region’s most beautiful site; ski resort with idyllic village charm; excellent restaurant.

Panorama – Schatzalp (at Hotel Schatzalp); 011-41-081-415-5151;; tables overlook mountain range.
Bistro Gentiana – 53 Promenade (Platz); 011-41-081-413-5649;; in gold-colored building opposite Hotel Schweizerhof; known for 10 different fondue dishes, as well as for unusual dishes prepared with snails; bustling and unpretentious, cozy, alpine environment; desserts include local pears in cinnamon syrup, honey-flavored ice cream, and chocolate mousse; make sure to at least see 2 formal upstairs dining rooms, whose focal point is blue-toned Ernst Ludwig Kirchner painting.
Bündnerstübli – 1 Tobelmuehlestrasse (at Central Sport Hotel); 011-41-081-415-8200;; for capuns (dumplings made from dried meat, wheat flour, eggs, and herbs, all wrapped in Swiss chard) and pizokel (dish somewhere between German spaetzle and noodle-based hash).
Pulsa Fonduestube – 3 Talstrasse (Platz, at Grischa Hotel); 011-41-081-414-9797; fondue.
Fondue-Stübli – 4 Berlistutz (Platz, at Hotel Alte Post); 011-41-081-413-5403;; for fondue, raclette, capuns, and pizokel.
Schneider’s – 68 Promenade (Platz); 011-41-081-420-0000;; for capuns and pizokel.

Davos to Klosters Train – 4 Talstrasse (Platz); 011-41-081-288-3250;
Davos-Dorf Tourist Office – 67 Promenade (Platz); 011-41-081-415-2121;
eau la la – 90 Promenade (Platz); 011-41-081-413-6463;; spa.
Kutschen-Zentrale Davos – 31 Hofstrasse (Platz); 011-41-081-413-5000;; sleigh rides.

Bundnerland Davos – 73 Promenade (Platz); 011-41-081-413-1470;; gift shop, market & specialty foods.
Gourmet Kach – 74 Promenade (Platz); 011-41-081-413-0805; cheeses.
Kindschi Distillery Shop – 13 Seehornstrasse (Dorf); 011-41-081-410-1616;

Berghotel Schatzalp – Schatzalp; 011-41-081-415-5151;; extensive hiking trails; do waterfall loop; 116 acres.
Biervision Monstein – 36 Hauptstrasse (Monstein); 011-41-081-420-3060;; brewery-distillery.
Davos Sports Centre – 41 Talstrasse (Platz); 011-41-081-415-3600;
Kirchner Museum Davos – 82 Promenade (Platz); 011-41-81-413-2202;
Schatzalp Funicular – Schatzalp-Strela Bahnen (Platz); 011-41-081-415-5280;
Vaillant Arena (Eisstadion Davos) – 41 Talstrasse (Platz); 011-41-081-415-3600;


Ballinderry Park – Kilconnell; 011-353-90-968-6796;; elegant.

Bars & Nightclubs
Backstage Bar at Monroe’s Live – Upper Dominick Street (West End); 011-353-91-583-397;; live music venue with bar literally backstage.
Black Cat – 179 Upper Salthill; 011-353-91-501-007;; jazz, tapas, and wine in homey, Georgian town house.
Club Aras na nGael – 45 Dominick Street; 011-353-91-567-824;; eclectic, Irish-language social club; enter through arched blue doors into dark, narrow pub space; Gaelic classes (some nights), step-dancing, and international D.J. nights; Saturdays usually feature traditional music; English speakers are welcome, but bartender may insist on imparting few words in old language before you get your Guinness.
Crane Bar – 2 Sea Road, 2nd floor (West End); 011-353-91-587-419;; hop to traditional Irish music.
Krcma – 163 Upper Salthill; 011-353-91-582-233;; soccer on projector screen and Zlaty Bazant on tap; Slovak-owned pub and central European gathering place.
Oslo – Upper Salthill; 011-353-91-448-390;; locally brewed porter in former dance hall reborn as microbrewery.
Roisin Dubh – Lower Dominic Street; 011-353-91-586-540;; known especially for live music.
Sheridans‘ Cheesemongers – 14-16 Churchyard Street, 2nd Floor; 011-353-91-564-829;; wine bar.
Wilde‘s – Henry Street (West End); 011-353-85-852-1335;; drag queens sing jukebox tunes at this gay bar.
Ballynahinch Castle – Recess (Connemara); 011-353-95-31006;; fabulous, 450 acres, book recently renovated river view room.
Cashel House Hotel – Connemara; 011-353-1-95-31001;; antique furnished rooms; hiking on nearby coast and Twelve Pins Mountains.
G Hotel – Wellpark; 011-353-91-865-200;; opulent; interiors by Galway County-born, haute couture hat designer, Philip Treacy; 3 see-&-be-seen lounges connected by long, pink carpet.
House – Merchants Road; 011-353-91-538-900;; boutique.
Hotel Meyrick – Eyre Square; 011-353-91-564-041;; formerly, this 19th Century, limestone building hotel hosted Charles Lindbergh, Prince Louis Napoleon, and John Wayne; onetime railroad hotel still offers prime location, with breakfast.
Ard Bia at Nimmos – Spanish Arch, Long Walk; 011-353-91-561-114;; contemporary restaurant in quaint, stone building opposite museum; low ceilings and wood tables in setting resembling country kitchen; refined seasonal menus that emphasize local ingredients like pan-fried Irish hake with chorizo, mussels, clams, coriander seed potatoes, and samphire (coastal plant).
Aniar – 53 Lower Dominick Street; 011-353-91-535-947;; aniar is Gaelic for “Western”; intimate restaurant offering locavore-focused food in artful presentations; Irish meats (free-range duck, wild venison), fresh seafood, and vegetables; all prepared with local ingredients like gooseberries, ramson buds, seaweed, and sheep’s yogurt.
Kai Cafe & Restaurant – Sea Road; 011-353-91-526-003;; kai is Maori for “food”; New Zealander chef Jess Murphy has won acclaim for inventive dining spot set in stone-walled former flower shop; daily-changing menu features Kiwi-meets-Eire dishes.
Martine’s – 21 Quay Street; 011-353-91-565-662;; French fries and oysters.
Monroe’s Live – Upper Dominick Street (West End); 011-353-91-583-397;; pizza joint buried within turns out good pies.
Charlie Byrne‘s – Cornstone Mall, Middle Street; 011-353-91-561-766;; sprawling bookshop specializing in Irish history, novels, and Irish-language poetry journals; select modern literary magazines like Crannóg.
Galway Market – Church Lane (in front of St. Nicholas’ Collegiate Church);; weekend farmers’ market; showcases fresh flowers and produce, as well as everything from samosas to sushi.
McCambridge‘s – 38-39 Shop Street; 011-353-91-562-259;; family-owned deli since 1925; inventory fit for modern foodies.
Sheridans‘ Cheesemongers – 14-16 Churchyard Street; 011-353-91-564-829;
Sights & Sites
Druid Lane Theater – Druid Lane; 011-353-91-568-660;
Galway City Museum – Spanish Parade; 011-353-91-532-460;; in glassy, moern facility; exhibitions on notable locals; on rainy days, settle into 2nd level area armchair with waterfront view.
Hall of Red Earl – Druid Lane;; crumbling 13th Century power seat remains discovered during recent construction project.
Kylemore Abbey & Victorian Gardens – Pollacappul (Connemara); 011-353-95-41-146;; Benedictine monastery founded in 1920 on Kylemore Castle grounds; abbey founded for Benedictine Nuns who fled Belgium in WWI.
Latin Quarter –; city’s most popular bar area.
Monroe’s Live – Upper Dominick Street (West End); 011-353-91-583-397;; often photographed for classic, world-weary facade; traditional ballads and music; only pub in city with regular Irish dancing; pizza joint buried within turns out good pies.
Salthill Promenade – Salthill; place to people watch on rare warm, sunny days.
Shed – Middle Pier, Galway City Harbour; 011-351-91-773-046 (ArtSpace);; 4K' square industrial warehouse set on pier jutting into harbour; visual arts exhibition space.
Shop Street – shops are largely chains and souvenir hawkers; worth stroll to see buskers displaying their talents at bagpipes, fiddles, etc.; also, as Shop Street runs into William Street, note bench built into statue of Oscar Wilde and his Baltic contemporary, Eduard Vilde, gift from Estonian city Tartu.
Spanish Arch – Spanish Parade; looms over grassy patch of waterfront.
Town Hall Theater – Courthouse Square; 011-353-91-569-777;; 1820s courthouse-turned-town-hall-turned-cinema reimagined this time as performing arts complex; supports gatherings like annual Galway Arts Festival and Galway Film Fleadh; hosts nightly events year-round: stand-up comedy, visiting Polish cabaret act, plays, etc.
West End – over Corrib River;; bar cluster in otherwise unsavory area.

Delphi Lodge – 011-353-954-2222;; barebones but nice fishing lodge with stunning mountain locale.


Dukagjini Burektorja – 758 Lydig Avenue (Pelham Gardens); 718-822-8955;; near Bronx Zoo; 5 small tables; Albanian and Kosovan versions of filled savory pastries known as bureks (golden-blistered, butter-laced crusted pie that melds phyllo’s crispness with strudel’s elasticity); these bigger-than-dinner-plate pastries arrive from oven poufed tall with fragrant steam; sliced into wedges, reveal 1 of 4 delectable fillings: spiced meat; slightly sweet feta-ricotta; chopped spinach; or pumpkin; eat with knife, fork, and generous dollop of lush, tangy yogurt; beyond bureks, shop features only Coke, espresso (which is excellent), and Italian sodas.
Liebman’s Delicatessen – 552 West 235th Street (Kingsbridge-Riverdale); 718-548-4534;; since 1953.
Madonia Brothers’ Bakery – 2348 Arthur Avenue; 718-295-5573;; cannoli.
188 Bakery Cuchifritos – 158 East 188th Street, #1 (Fordham Heights); 718-367-4500;; Puerto Rican.
Terranova Bakery – 691 East 187th Street (Belmont); 718-367-6985;; baking using old methods; fresh focaccia and pizza bread.

Bronx Opera House Hotel – 436 East 149th Street (Melrose, Hub);; not open yet.

Ann & Tony’s Restaurant – 2407 Arthur Avenue (Belmont); 718-933-1469;; Italian-American; quiet restaurant that serves Neapolitan, classic dishes with finesse.
Coconut Palm Bar & Grill – 2407 Westchester Avenue (Westchester Square); 718-597-8700;; Guyanese; great Caribbean culture melting pot; referred to by regulars as “Cove”; wide liquor selection; absolutely stunningly beautiful Puerto Rican and Dominican staff; bar gets 4 stars; 5 star “grannies kitchen” type food, covering Indo-Caribbean & Chinese-Guyanese.
Com Tam Ninh Kieu – 2641 Jerome Avenue (Bedford Park, Kingsbridge Road & 193rd Street); 718-365-2680;; specialty is broken rice (Com Tam means “broken rice,” Ninh Kieu is southern Vietnam waterfront in Can Tho); “broken rice” “lowliest rice,” grains splintered in milling process, shunted aside & sold cheap (until rich realized what they were missing); turns out fragments are clingier & earthier than grander, polished cousins, all better for soaking up flavor; adornments include suon nuong, pork chop flat as plank and fantastically saturated with lemon grass, fish sauce & liquid caramel; apart from broken-rice dishes, menu consists almost entirely of noodle soups.
Cozy Cottage – 4105 Boston Road (Eastchester); 718-882-3040;; sandwiches and old-fashioned American standbys; Greek, Italian food, too; working man’s lunch place and family dinner spot; breakfast.
Giovanni’s Brick Oven – 2343 Arthur Avenue; 718-933-4141;‎; pizza by slice; very popular.
Jimmy’s Café – 905 White Plains Road (Castle Hill); 718-319-1200;; 24-hour service; breakfast all day.
Liebman’s Delicatessen – 552 West 235th Street (Kingsbridge-Riverdale); 718-548-4534;; since 1953; pastrami is tasty but lacks tenderness and kick; briny corned beef is step-up; multi-layered combo sandwiches are messily satisfying; real strength is straight-from-shtetl home cooking; chicken soup has deep, focused flavor; matzoh ball has just right texture and heft; stuffed cabbage’s tender leaves filled with meat and rice in sweet and tangy tomato sauce is delicious.
Louis Seafood Restaurant – 3478 East Tremont Avenue (Schuylerville); 718-822-4600;; scenes from Godfather I.
Mario’s Restaurant – 2342 Arthur Avenue; 718-584-1188;‎; pizza by slice; very popular.
188 Bakery Cuchifritos – 158 East 188th Street, #1 (Fordham Heights); 718-367-4500;; Puerto Rican cuisine; cuchifritos, often known as “Puerto Rican soul food” includes variety of dishes including, but not limited to, morcilla (blood sausage), papas rellenas (fried potato balls stuffed with meat), platanos rellenos (stuffed plantains), chicharron (fried pork skin), and various other pig parts prepared in different ways; derives its name from word cuchí short for cochino (“pig“) and frito (“fried“).
Prime Cuts Irish Butcher Store – 4338-A Katonah Avenue (Woodlawn, between East 238th & 239th Streets); 718-324-9262;; Irish cooking; specializes in home-cured meats and home-made pies.
Siam Square – 564 Kappock Street (Riverdale); 718-432-8200;; Thai curries.
Xochimilco Family Restaurant – 653 Melrose Avenue (Melrose); 718-402-5400;; southern Mexican food.
Zero Otto Nove – 2357 Arthur Avenue; 718-220-1027;‎; pizza by slice; very popular.

Calabria Pork Store – 2338 Arthur Avenue (Belmont); 718-367-5145;; “Playboy Mansion of Pork”; salamis hanging from ceiling.
Randazzo’s Seafood – 2327 Arthur Avenue (Belmont); 718-367-4139;; for alici, crabs, scungilli.
Teitel Brothers Wholesale & Retail Grocery Co. – 2372 Arthur Avenue (Belmont); 718-733-9400;; for Francesconi San Marzano canned tomatoes and olives.
Terranova Bakery – 691 East 187th Street (Belmont); 718-367-6985;; baking using old methods; fresh focaccia and pizza bread.

Arthur Avenue & East 187th Street – Fordham area;; considered by some the “true” Little Italy; lined with bakeries, cafes, delis & various Italian merchants.
Bronx Zoo – 2300 Southern Boulevard; 718-367-1010;
Edgar Allen Poe Cottage – 2640 Grand Concourse (Bedford Park); 718-881-8900;; only open Saturdays & Sundays at different hours (check website); Edgar Allan Poe spent life’s last years (1846-49) here; small wooden farmhouse built about 1812, which once commanded unobstructed vistas over rolling Bronx hills to Long Island shores; one-time bucolic setting in which he penned many works, including Annabel Lee, Bells, and Eureka; film presentation and guided tour.
New York Botanical Garden – 2900 Southern Boulevard (Fordham Manor); 718-817-8777;; among nation’s premier botanical gardens; 250 acres in Bronx Park; make sure to see 15-acre Benenson Ornamental Conifers.
Woodlawn Cemetery – Webster Avenue & East 233rd Street (Norwood, Jerome Avenue at Bainbridge Avenue); 718-920-0500; and (walking tour ideas); take #4 train to Woodlawn; Augustus D. Juilliard, F.W. Woolsworth, J.C. Penney, Fiorello La Guardia, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis; make sure to see statue, Outcast.

Friday, March 1, 2013


(includes Saint-Émilion)


L’Apollo Bar – 19 Place Fernand Lafargue; 011-33-5-5601-2505;; retro-trendy bar.
Azuli – 55 Cours d’Alsace-Lorraine; 011-33-5-5679-3946; electronic house music club.
Bar a Vin – 3 Cours du 30 Juillet; 011-33-5-5600-4347; wine bar.
L’Ibaia Café – Quai des Chartrons; 011-33-5-5600-4535;; on Garonne River’s left bank; in front of Place de la Bourse, with its ultra-thin miroir d’eau (water mirror); pulsing house music.
Ice Room – Hangar 19, Quai des Marques; 011-33-5-5700-1015;; vaulted white club that has parka-clad waitstaff serving icy vodka drinks; try Sex at H19 (vodka, Chambord, Midori, pineapple juice, and cherry juice).
Max Bordeaux Wine Gallery & Cellar – 14 Cours de L’Intendance; 011-33-5-5729-2381;; vending machines dispense cards that entitle you to 8 tastings of varying qualities, depending on how much you pay.
Le Seeko’O Bar – 54 Quai de Bacalan; 011-33-5-5639-0707;; popular watering hole looking over Garonne River.

L’Avant Scene – 36 Rue Borie; 011-33-5-5729-2539;; stylish 9-room hotel in 18th Century stone town house just off waterfront.
La Chartreuse – Cos Sud (Saint-Estephe); 011-33-5-5673-1550;; charming 5 bedroom, 19th Century house located on elevated situation at village edge with views to Gironde Estuary; small vineyard adjacent to garden; costs $19K to rent whole structure; email to find out about individual rooms; 2 suites; 6 guestrooms, indoor pool; Indo-Asiatic theme.
Regent Grand Hotel Bordeaux – 2-5 Place de la Comedie; 011-33-5-5730-4444;; presides over Bordeaux’ most famous square and houses Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Presoir d’Argent.
Seeko’O Hotel – 54 Quai de Bacalan; 011-33-5-5639-0707;; modern, high concept; flat screen televisions, wifi, etc.

L’Autre Petit Bois – 12 Place du Parlement; 011-33-5-5648-0293; décor inside consists of canopy or artificial trees; wine bar and light food.
La Brasserie Bordelaise – 50 Rue St.-Remi; 011-33-5-5787-1191; try bouef de Bazas.
CAPC – 7 Rue Ferrere; 011-33-5-5600-8150;; modern art museum with sunny rooftop café.
Le Gabriel – 10 Place de la Bourse; 011-33-5-5630-0080;; Michelin starred; chef Francois Adamski has been awarded both Bocuse d’Or and Meilleur Ouvrier de France (only 1 of 2 chefs ever to be so honored); try risotto-stuffed squid and lamb – regardless of how prepared.
Le Presoir d’Argent – 2-5 Place de la Comedie (at Regent Grand Hotel Bordeaux); 011-33-5-5730-4444;; presides over Bordeaux’ most famous square; Michelin-starred.
Septieme Peche – 65 Cours de Verdun; 011-33-5-5606-4216;; jewel-box of restaurant; excellent.
Utopia – 5 Place Camille Julian; 011-33-5-5679-3925;; art-house cinema and café in old church.

La Cour de Josephine – 26 Rue des Remparts; 011-33-5-5644-1677; sells 18th Century-inspired frocks by local designers.
Cour Mably & Salle Capitulaire – 3 Rue Mably; 011-33-5-5644-0158; indoor-outdoor art gallery in 17th Century Dominican convent.
Florence Kooijman – 13 Rue des Remperts; 011-33-5-5648-2095; bespoke shoes.
Le Garage Moderne – 1 Rue des Etrangers; 011-33-5-5650-9133;; junk-filled hanger with auto repair shop and raw art gallery.
Hotel Lulu Mode & Chocolat – 011-33-2-9806-1851; vintage clothing.
M. le Macaron – 38 Rue des Remperts; 011-33-9-6423-6465;; reinvented delicacy chocolates.
Maison Larnicol – 1 Cours de l’Intendance; 011-33-5-5658-7829;; designer chocolates.
OK Daddy – 31 Rue Ste.-Colombe; 011-33-5-5681-0220;; bookshop, clothing, and gallery that sells clubwear by Kulte.
Le Rayon Frais – 31-33 Rue St.-James; 011-33-5-3351-1055;; streetwear shop that sells black jeans from Bleu de Paname and flannel shirts by Berangere Claire.
Tsim-Tsum – 15 Place Fernand Lafargue; 011-33-6-6155-7297; boho frocks and designer jewelry.

Arret sur L’Image – Hangar 2 Quai Armand Lalande (Bassins a Flots); 011-33-5-5669-1648;; gallery specializing in works on paper and furniture design.
Bassins a Flots – once seedy harbor, now cleaned up and home to city’s most innovative galleries; take tram to get there.
CAPC – 7 Rue Ferrere; 011-33-5-5600-8150;; modern art museum with sunny rooftop café.
Chateau Cheval Blanc – 1 Cheval Blanc (Saint-Émilion); 011-33-5-5755-5555;; designed by French architect Christian de Portzamparc; new extension on 181 year-old winery is artwork: smooth sculpture rising from earth like concrete sails.
Fonds Regional d’Art Contemporain – Hangar 2, Quai Armand Lalande (Bassins a Flots); 011-33-5-5624-7136;; gallery run by regional governmental body that collects works by contemporary French artists, as well as foreign.
Miroir d’Eau – Place de la Bourse; part fountain and part art installation that reflects lit-up facades of adjacent palace.
Musee des Arts Decoratifs – 39 Rue Bouffard; 011-33-5-5610-1400; both period rooms filled with dainty dollhouse artifacts, like harpsichords and vases, as well as 20th and 21st Century design.
Sunday Markets – Marche des Quais (Quai des Chartrons); 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; flea market: Marche St.-Michel (near St.-Michel Church); 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.