They say there’s no place like home, but sometimes, it’s time to get away. Summer break need not just be for the kids. And when Long Island chefs take a vacation, they are able to—if they fancy—get inspiration for dishes back home. From the East End to Europe, these are the world’s best dining destinations, according to local chefs.
Stephan Bogardus, The Halyard
“I love a staycation as much as anyone else, but I’ve had the opportunity to go to Europe in the spring a few times, and it’s absolutely perfect.
I know there is a song about April in Paris, but I can assure you the reality is better than any song you can listen to. Be sure to get an Airbnb and hit any Michelin starred restaurant you can. In particular, Pavillon Ledoyen and Arpege were two of my favorite. I balance that out by making sure to spend a night cooking in the apartment during sunset looking out on the shimmering Eiffel Tower.
This April, I [took] a long weekend in Barcelona. We booked an apartment, dinners at ABaC, Enigma Concept and Disfrutar, and also [rented] a car to drive to elBulli (a beautiful 3-star Michelin restaurant overlooking the Cala Montjoi bay) and [spent] time at the Dali House and Picasso museums.”
Jason Weiner, Almond
“I love LA. Classic case of ‘I wouldn’t wanna live there’ but for a few days, it rocks. The low slung Venice bungalows and those kind-of seedy strip malls built in the 60s make you feel in you’re in a different time. The Hammer always has something dope going on. And of course, I could basically live at the Santa Monica Farmers Market. The food scene is real. I’m a sucker for a Korean Taco. And I know I’m not giving away any secrets here, but for brunch Gjelina is my move. Dinner go-tos: Luskshon and Son of a Gun.”
Tomoyuki Kobayashi, The Roslyn Hotel
“My favorite destination is my hometown in Yamaguchi, Japan. It’s close to my heart obviously and has so much to offer in cuisine. I try to eat tons of fresh seafood including blowfish (known as Fugu fish) in a multi-course meal from A to Z, also known kaiseki style, 12-15 courses. Another favorite is the famous noodle dish called “Kawara Soba” which means stir-fried matcha soba noodles garnished with braised beef, mushrooms, shredded cooked eggs, pickled ginger, scallions and Nori-seaweed platted on hot traditional Japanese ceramic roof tile plus delicious soy dipping sauce. This dish is served everywhere in the area of my hometown Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Pref; Japan.”
George Cosentino, Gemeli’s
“At heart, I am Italian. Everything is simple but high-quality, never fussy. I have been a New Yorker for most of my life, so I look forward to spring so I can head to Henry St. in Brooklyn for my favorite food: pizza. You think pizza is simple, but that doesn’t mean everyone does it right. Lucali’s does it right. Combine a satisfying dinner at Lucali’s, and then we make our way to walk the Brooklyn Promenade where people are out and about, the Manhattan skyline in front of you, pizza in your belly. There’s something so delicious about that.”
Ryan Keough, Spuntino Italian Wine Bar & Italian Tapas
“I enjoy spending a day all over Long Island. Some of my favorite vineyards to visit are Lieb Cellars Tasting Room, Roanoke Vineyard Wine Bar and Bridge Lane Tasting Room. They all have a relaxing atmosphere where the staff is informative, and wines are great to sip while walking around the vineyards. Heading to Greenport is always a culinary food day for me, and I love bringing some friends to happily enjoy bouncing around the farm stands along the winding roads to the many different eateries. I enjoy Lucharitos for their pulled pork pineapple tacos and coconut margaritas. Little Creek Oyster Farm and Market is a great and fun place to visit to shuck your own oysters and enjoy some small bites from local wineries and breweries. I usually head on over to Brix & Rye which is a small lounge that is tucked away under the streets of Greenport for some creative cocktails that have a modern variation of the classic drinks and live music. To watch one of the greatest sunsets I have ever seen on Long Island, I take a short ferry across the Peconic to Shelter Island and drive down to Sunset Beach.”