DepartmentsFood & Wine

Of Note: New Year, New Opportunities to Travel and Dine Well

by Trevor Felch

With another turn of the calendar year come promises of a fresh start and green juice cleanses. That sounds nice and virtuous, but let’s also make sure to indulge in a nice meal on occasion as well as safely see new places in 2022. From gorgeous Caribbean resorts to notable airport hotels — yes, airport hotels! — here are some good reasons to put that reservation app to use or pack your travel bags.

Woof, Woof, It’s Yappy Hour

It’s been challenging for all of us to travel in these pandemic years — and the same goes for our fur babies. On January 18, from 4 to 6 p.m., pups are invited to take a field trip to Union Street to support Muttville, a local rescue for senior dogs, and partake in a special Yappy Hour at Cow Hollow’s hip Peruvian restaurant and bar, Jaranita. Humans are invited for cocktails, with $1 from every drink benefiting the nonprofit.

Kitchen Changes at a Sonoma Coast Icon

Timber Cove Resort has a new executive chef for its Coast Kitchen restaurant. Brendalee Vialpando was previously the executive chef at Bodega Bay Lodge and a chef at two of Las Vegas’ premier restaurants. Her local seafood- and produce-focused menu includes mouthwatering dishes like soy-marinated black cod with dashi broth, shiitake mushrooms, crispy leeks and shiso.

Merchant Roots. | Photo courtesy of Hardy Wilson.
Merchant Roots. | Photo courtesy of Hardy Wilson.

A Gastronomic Fillmore Folktale

Travel can refer to geography — or it can be time travel–focused, as is the case with Merchant Roots’ nine-course Stone Soup menu running through February 19. The classic European folk story of the same name, which teaches the value of sharing, is the muse for this season’s imaginative dining experience by chef-owner Ryan Shelton. Right now, diners at the Fillmore Street restaurant can delight in clever creations such as a grilled cheese “stone.” A clay-based glaze gives the mini sandwich the appearance of a rock when toasted.

Round House. | Photo courtesy of Equator Coffee
Round House. | Photo courtesy of Equator Coffee

Caffeine Fuel at the GGB

Here’s good news for your next trip across the Golden Gate Bridge — the historic Round House Cafe at the San Francisco entrance to the landmark is now operated by Equator Coffee. Tourists and locals alike can now enjoy excellent, locally roasted brews along with those iconic views.

Beach Time and Fine Wine on St. Martin: For a quiet, luxurious Caribbean getaway this winter, consider the La Samanna, a Belmond Hotel on St. Martin’s splendid Baie Longue beach. From January 28 to 30, chef David Waltuck (of the muchmissed Chanterelle in NYC) will craft a special menu as part of the resort’s monthly La Cave Under the Stars series that centers on fine dining and pairings.

Wine and Dine in the Desert: Bay Area travelers to Arizona frequently visit the state’s “Big Three” destinations — Phoenix/Scottsdale, Grand Canyon and Sedona — but often overlook Tucson. No more! The city is near several great wineries and, on cue, the chic Tuxon boutique hotel has an impressive wine country package, including round-trip transportation and a picnic lunch, available through January. Tucson also has one of the best coffee and craft beer scenes in the country, and it’s a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, too.

The Next Colorado Hot Spot: Move over, Aspen. The latest top spot to stay in Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley is one town away in artsy, relaxed Carbondale. The Marble Distillery Co. & the Distillery Inn is the rarity — a distillery-luxury hotel that is part of a gorgeously designed complex. And of course it’s a natural choice for an après-ski drink.

New Tastings, Same Great Wine Country: If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to shake up your weekend wine-tasting experiences, you’re in luck. Bacchus Landing, Healdsburg’s new marquee collective of tasting rooms, showcases a handful of small wineries on the same grounds. And over in the Napa Valley, the legendary Heitz Cellar debuted its elaborate Tasting Salon late last year, while Burgess Cellars (whose old winery sadly burned down in the 2020 Glass Fire) has a new winery and tasting room on the Silverado Trail.

Cleared to Land at an LAX Rooftop Pool: Travelers to Los Angeles usually can’t wait to leave the hectic LAX area. However, that was before the airport-adjacent sibling duo of Hyatt Place LAX/Century Blvd and Hyatt House LAX/Century Blvd debuted, crowned by a beautiful rooftop bar and pool. They’re a smart hotel choice for avoiding the dreadful 405 traffic — or if you’re lucky enough to attend Super Bowl LVI next month at nearby SoFi Stadium.

Luxury by the Vines in Calistoga: The spectacular Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley is now open on the Silverado Trail. Along with the beautifully designed rooms and suites, the property includes its own winery, Elusa; the seasonal Californian-inspired Truss Restaurant Bar; and the splendid Spa Talisa, which offers several relaxing Calistoga mud treatments.

Related Articles

Back to top button