Think Vietnamese food, personal shoppers, petiquette classes, and more. Read all about it. By Becca Hensley
San Francisco, California
In an urbane South of Market locale, Bong Su (311 Third Street, 415-536-5800, www.bongsu.com) waitstaff in Calvin Tran-designed uniforms serve small plates to communal tables. Chef Tammy Huynh's cuisine (such as lemongrass bass that's boned, seared, and served with garlic, chiles, and turmeric) honors the eclectic elegance of traditional Vietnamese fare while simultaneously redefining it with an artistic, novel preparation. Nearby, at Prana (540 Howard Street, 415-978-9953, www.pranasf.com), chef Jamie Lauren affirms Indian fusion as the new comfort food. Against the backdrop of an authentic sixteenth-century temple's facade, diners nibble on recipes that showcase the 14 "superfoods" - from blueberries to walnuts to salmon - prepared with an unmistakably Indian accent.
New Orleans, Louisiana
For adult hydration, hurry to the Savvy Gourmet's Friday afternoon happy-hour cocktail classes. A new twist on the long-savored tradition of unwinding at the end of the day, these courses combine learning with libations. Local foodie Lorin Gaudin instructs thirsty participants on how to make everything from the Sazerac to the Ramos Gin Fizz. 4519 Magazine Street, (504) 895-2665, www.savvygourmet.com
Don't feel like heading to the golf course? Then languish in a limousine that's loaded with shopping bags acquired during a four-hour private shopping tour led by an expert shopping guide. Personal itineraries developed by Spree! might include stops at stores such as the trendy Ames at the Borgata or the always-classic Louis Vuitton at Scottsdale Fashion Square. And it's your call whether it's a before- or after-hours shopping spree. $495. (480) 661-1080, www.azshoppingspree.com
Pamper your puppy when he accompanies you on your next golf vacation. The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples offers guests and their dogs petiquette classes and turndown amenities that leave nothing for furry companions to sniff their long canine snouts about. Obedience courses, maps with Fido-friendly parks, and doggie treats that come personalized with your pooch’s name keep you out of the doghouse. From $290 per night; $150 nonrefundable pet deposit includes the petiquette class. 2600 Tiburon Drive, (239) 593-2000, www.ritzcarlton.com
When you’re in South Beach, head to Barton G. the Restaurant’s Below Zero Nitro-Bar, where mixologist Richard Blais, a practitioner of molecular gastronomy, turns bartending into an act of alchemy. Imagine martinis topped with a thin crust of alcohol, calling to mind the way crème brûlée is topped with caramelized sugar. Consider a Manhattan on the rocks in which the ice is the bourbon. Or perhaps you’d prefer a smoking Cosmo? 1427 West Avenue, (305) 672-8881, www.bartong.com