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Vietnamese mortadella, pork meatballs, and spicy Thai bird eye chili sambal at the Honey Paw. (Photo: Zack Bowen/Knack Factory.)

Fall is nearly upon us, which means class is back in session! We’re studying up on a dozen oysters, building brick ovens and discovering new flavors. We dug deep into why so many great restaurants are closing in New York City, found out where our sushi tuna is coming from and put together a list of fall beers to try. Speaking of fall, we’re dreaming of upcoming travel and compiled an eating and drinking guide to Portland, Maine. All that and more in this week’s Hot Topics.

  1. Great NYC restaurants are closing, but high rent isn’t the only reason.
  2. Don’t just blindly slurp down those oysters! Get to know these 12 varieties.
  3. ‘Tis the season for fall travel, and Portland, Maine, is the place to go.
  4. Need a weekend project? Try building your very own brick pizza oven.
  5. Move over, umami. “Starchy” is the newest flavor.
  6. Is your tuna sushi farm-raised or wild-caught? And where is it from?
  7. We spiced up our chicken game in our Test Kitchen. Here’s the Thai-inspired recipe.
  8. Give your kitchen Morocco flair with tagines, tea kettles, couscoussiers and more.
  9. Sick of pumpkin ale? Here are four other beer styles you can sip all fall long.
  10. These shiny snap peas with crispy broken rice will satisfy your crunch craving.