Scarpetta, New York.
When Scott Conant left L’Impero and Alto, New Yorkers wondered when they’d get their next fix of seasonal Italian cooking from this popular chef. The waiting game is now over with the opening of Scarpetta, located adjacent to the glitz of the Meatpacking District. Walk past the bar into the polished dining room, where orange belts loop around mirrors and a retractable roof ushers in natural light. For a refreshing start, try the chilled summer pea soup, poured over a mound of crab before enjoying one of the house-made pastas, like the al dente tagliatelle laced with strands of tender lamb ragu. Save room for dessert: the honey-caramel gelato that accompanies the polenta crust apple “pie” brings a là mode to a whole new level. 355 W.14th St., Meatpacking District. 212/691-0555. www.scarpettanyc.com. No lunch. AE, D, DC, MC, V. Median entrée price: $27
Anchor & Hope, San Francisco.
This third restaurant from the trio behind the locally loved Town Hall and Salt House is a delightful seafood spot tucked away in a SoMa alley. The spacious room, a former automotive garage, has vaulted ceilings and an easygoing, rustic fish shack design. Classic starters like super-fresh oysters and fried Ipswich clams are offered alongside inventive dishes like the show-stealing warm sea urchin. Main dishes range from a well-seasoned lobster roll or battered halibut to an elegant stuffed breast of guinea hen. Industry folks perch at the lengthy bar, where they can choose from the impressive list of white wines by the glass. 83 Minna St., SoMa. 415/501-9100. www.anchorandhopesf.com. AE, MC, V. Median entrée price: $25.
Subtle, smoky aromas from a wood grill will make your stomach growl at this modest Bucktown restaurant. A large chalkboard, which displays chef-owners Rob and Alli Levitt’s daily menus, doubles as the dining room’s main design element. Equally understated dishes showcase locally grown or raised foodstuffs, such as radishes with creamy salted butter; wood-grilled mushrooms; and slow-cooked pork belly. Small portions encourage menu exploration, and the best bet is to start with a few antipasti-like ricotta-topped bruschetta with hazelnuts and arugula to share. Although desserts change constantly, seek out Alli Levitt’s shortbread cookies when available. Mado is waiting for its liquor license and is temporarily BYOB; call ahead to see if status has changed. 1647 N. Milwaukee Ave., Bucktown. 773/342.2340. www.madorestaurantchicago.com. Closed Mon. AE, D, MC, V. Median entrée price: $18.
Pike Street Fish Fry, Seattle.
Michael Hebberoy, dubbed by Food & Wine magazine as a “food provocateur,” takes simple fish-n-chips street food to semi-haute cuisine at Pike Street Fish Fry. The made-for-a-hangover menu features up to six fish and seafood options, each of which are selected according to the criteria published by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program. Ling cod, halibut and oysters were on a recent menu. Le Pichet alum Chef Monica Dimas serves everything tempura-battered and fried, simply fried, or grilled— either as a standalone dish or as a sandwich. Dress up your selection with house-made tartar, smoked-chili mayo, or lemon aioli, and pair it with a side of perfectly crispy fries, fried asparagus, or Spanish-style potatoes. The battered and fried lemon wedges that accompany every order are unexpectedly delicious. Wash it all down with a beer, wine, or a syrupy sweet Mexican Coke. Fish-phobic diners don’t fret: there’s a decent grilled steak for just $9. Dining is limited to standing room only— your best bet is ordering these fried delights to go. 925 E. Pike St., Capitol Hill. MC, V. No reservations. Closed Mon. No lunch. Median entrée price: $10.
Hotel Terra Jackson Hole, Jackson.
The Hotel Terra is the place to stay for eco-conscious, savvy travelers. This compact condominium-hotel is LEED certified, which means that the building promotes design and construction practices that reduce environmental impact. The decor features natural elements, such as bamboo, marble and granite chips, crushed glass, and stone. Large windows provide natural light and furnishings are upholstered with graphic, organic fabrics. The youthful, friendly staff is eager to please, and a casual demeanor prevails. Located at the base of Rendezvous Mountain at Teton Village, Jackson Hole’s challenging, premier ski resort, the hotel is minutes away from Grand Teton National Park’s soaring peaks and alpine lakes. During the summer, Teton Village offers a variety of outdoor activities, including parasailing, hot air ballooning, riding and mountainside tram rides. Jackson Hole’s business and cultural center, the town of Jackson, is just 12-mile drive south; take your car, a taxi or the local START bus. Pros: The relaxing and airy top-floor “Chill Spa;” The “Tree House Boutique” offers great snowboarding and biking accessories. Con: The hotel’s ‘Phase II’ construction site is adjacent to the property. 3335 West Village Dr., Teton Village, Wyoming, 83025. 307/739-4000 or 800/631-6281 (ph.). 307/739-4001(fax). www.hotelterrajacksonhole.com. 72 rooms. In-room: High-speed Internet, Wi-fi, safe, refrigerator. In-hotel: 2 restaurants, spa, Jacuzzi, laundry, concierge, executive floor, airport shuttle, parking (fee), no-smoking rooms. AE, D, DC, MC, V. Rooms start at $329.
Hotel Monaco, Alexandria.
Set in the heart of charming Old Town, the Hotel Monaco is an ideal destination for families, pet owners, and couples alike who may be looking for an alternative to staying in downtown D.C., which is just a short drive or Metro ride away. Guests are greeted by a friendly doorman before entering the stylish lobby, which is done in an unexpected mix of colors and patterns, from vibrant teal walls, to a leopard-print painted fireplace, to plush suede green couches scattered throughout. The rooms are decorated in a soothing palette of cream, black, and charcoal, with clean lines that complement the modern amenities such as bedside iPod docking stations, flat-screen TVs, and high-quality bath amenities. Families with children will appreciate the weekly Saturday movie night; pet-owners will love the “Doggie Happy Hour” held in the hotel courtyard every Tuesday and Thursday evening from April through October. Pros: centrally located on King Street, the hub of Old Town; in-house destination restaurant, Jackson 20. Cons: small elevators fill up quickly; a bit of a hike from the closest Metro stop. 480 King St., Alexandria, VA, 22314. 703/549-6080 (ph.). 703/684-6508 (fax). www.monaco-alexandria.com/index.html. 241 rooms. In-room: safe, minibar, Wi-Fi. In-hotel: 1 restaurant, room service, bar, pool, gym, childrenâ€™s programs, laundry services, concierge, public Wi-Fi, no smoking rooms, some pets allowed, parking (fee), airport shuttle. AE, D, DC, MC, V. Rooms start at: $169.
Contributors: Alia Akkam, Tammy Christel, Emma Fox, Marcia Gagliardi, Carolyn Galgano, Kate Leahy