[SANTIAGO, CHILE] — There are lots of great neighborhoods in Santiago — take some time to read about each one — I was just in and out for a night on each end of my trip to Chile, but these are some of my favorite places I stumbled onto. Santiago is so cool. Lots of barrios, each with their own personalities. And so clean. Everyone’s well-educated, with great style and gathering together to talk about what’s happening in the world. And Chile. And one thing I walked away with was the power that the internet has had on the world. Our world used to be dependent on manufacturing and industry, now all these great capitals are thriving with thousands of internet, app and web design firms popping
[FERNANDO DE NORONHA, BRAZIL] — As a still developing tourist destination..and only 450 tourists allowed on the island a day… the restaurant scene on Fernando de Noronha still has some ways to go. But there are some incredible standouts I tried. And am still thinking about. About the most dramatic is Merhulhao, right overlooking the harbor. Perfectly positioned to catch the full length of the island at sunset, you just can’t beat the view….maybe one of the best in the world. Clouds, currents, boats sailing in and out, awesome chill music, extremely nice young couple that runs it. Oh…and the food. Perfect, clean, simple seafood. Excellently prepared. Man, the energy of this place is just really remarkable. And one of the coolest coffee preparations I’ve ever
(Sao Paulo) — Nicely tucked into the leafy Jardins neighborhood is the famous restaurant Figueira Rubaiyat, an outdoor restaurant set under about the biggest tree I’ve ever seen — a 300 year old fig tree. There must be seats for a couple hundred people underneath its limbs, with an ingenious glass canopy built under it all. I first noticed it while taking a short walk from the Fasano, right around the corner and instantly knew I had to come back. I was there over a Monday lunch, and as I sat there a host of SP’s business elite came to have long lunch meetings over grilled steak and some of the most attentive service I’ve seen at any restaurant….I take a dip of the appetizers
(BARCELONA) — El Born is a cool, quiet neighborhood away from the crazy crowds. Perfect for walking around, cool shops, mellow restaurants and beautiful streets. There’s a great little square with four or five outdoor cafes, perfect to just sit and watch Barcelona go by. Go here. Here’s a good article from The Guardian. Last visited July 2015
(Garzon, Uruguay) — About 40 or so miles inland from the surf of Jose Ignacio is a sleepy little town called Garzon. There, in the middle of gaucho country and home to Uruguay’s famous grass-fed beef, Francis Mallmann (my favorite restauranteur in the world) has created a true destination place, El Garzon. I first ate at his famous restaurant Los Negros in Jose Ignacio several years ago and was immediately hit over the head with his incomprable design style, intense focus on every detail and his complete dedication to cooking with fire. Los Negros was built around a horno, a large clay oven, where nearly everything was cooked around the high temperature wood fire. He has since closed Los Negros, but I’ve sought out his other
(Paris) — My Francophile friend Rex turned me onto this great little hip place on Rue Christine, just blocks south of the Seine. Small, casual, affordable. Cool fork. Cool spoon. And some awesome bottles of wine-smoked sea salt on the tables. Simply named Le Christine. Very nice and patient service. Check out this amazing smoked salt, Sel de Chateau.
(London) — When you’re out and about in SoHo in London, look for these simple places. Fernandez & Wells. Nothing fancy, just a beautiful little shoebox of restaurants, with simple sandwiches and espresso. Dramatic simplicity at it’s best.