Let’s Eat Out
After mastering the art of banana bread and sourdough starter during the pandemic, the appetite is certainly back for dining out. Here we round up the foodie destinations to aim for this year, with exciting openings and events celebrating their gastronomy scene
The Mediterranean island has been selected as this year’s European Destination for Gastronomy by the International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT) thanks to its rich gastronomy, local ingredients and focus on sustainability – the island was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1993, after all. To celebrate, it is holding more than 50 foodie events this year, including wine fairs, visits to tourist attractions in Alaior paired with traditional Menorcan cuisine, and a series of guided tours to the Finca Sa Bassa farm. Whatever you do, don’t miss Menorcan specialities arroz moro (Moorish rice) or caldereta, a lobster stew invented by fishermen and later jazzed up by local chefs. If you’re feeling homesick, you can even savour Gin de Menorca – a legacy of British rule in the 18th century – produced traditionally in old copper stills heated over wood fires. The Experimental group’s outpost on the Balearic Island is also worth visiting, offering fresh and seasonal produce from its on-site garden and bespoke cocktails made exclusively with local ingredients.
The Turkish capital showcases flavours from across the country as well as cuisine from the East and West. New additions to the city include Thai restaurant and bar Cok Cok, situated within the Soho House Istanbul complex and former location of the American consulate in the Beyoglu district. Adventure into the past with a visit to its bar and dining room, respectively named after Ernest Hemingway and Agatha Christie, and dine amid illustrations of tropical botanicals from the golden age of travel. The city’s new Galataport Istanbul destination in the port area also boasts 20,800 sqm of food and beverage venues – travellers can enjoy dolma, boregi and kofte at Bodrum-based restaurant Sait, or opt for the entertainment value of the gold-encrusted fare at Salt Bae Burger (an offshoot of the famous Nusr-Et Steakhouse). The district’s Post Office Fashion Galleria, formerly used as a passenger terminal, also offers the chance to purchase baklava, Turkish coffees and Turkish Delight.
This northern Portuguese city in the Douro region is brimming with riverside eateries and opportunities to taste its famed export and namesake. The latest addition to the Porto district is the £100 million World of Wine (WOW) attraction in the historic centre of Vila Nova de Gaia. Built from the area’s old Port wine cellars, it has expanded to 55,000 sqm since its debut in 2020 to include seven museums – the latest dedicated to rosé – 12 restaurants, bars and cafés, and a wine school with regular tastings and workshops. Follow up your visit with a pasteis de nata (custard tart) and a traditional hearty francesinha sandwich – the “little Frenchie” is the country’s take on the croque monsieur, with fillings of ham, sausage and steak, all topped with a fried egg and a cheese sauce (plus fries, of course). For a more gourmet experience, the recently reopened two Michelin-starred The Yeatman Gastronomic Restaurant serves up creative twists on traditional Portuguese flavours, or enjoy Vila Foz, a new addition to the Michelin guide, located in a 19th century mansion overlooking the Atlantic.
TRONDHEIM AND TRONDELAG, NORWAY
Along with Menorca, the region of Trondheim and Trondelag has been named European Region of Gastronomy 2022, marking Norway’s debut in the listing. With a landscape spanning mountains, oceans, fjords and forests, the region is filled with farm shops along with three Michelin-starred restaurants. Fagn offers both fine dining and bistro-quality food, with 10- and 20-course tasting menus on the first floor, and more reasonably priced and simple fare on the second floor. Credo, meanwhile, serves 20-25 courses from chef Heidi Bjerkan in a former tank factory amid trendy graffiti interiors. Speilsalen, meaning Mirror Hall, from chef Christopher Davidsen is located at the Britannia Hotel and features more traditionally posh interiors, reminiscent of a palace ballroom, and the Nordic region’s only caviar bar. Keep an eye out for the Trondelag Food Festival from July 28-30 which will include more than 200 local food producers and cooking classes at the Britannia Hotel.
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