Openings & Closings
With Christie's auction house right around the corner and the Queen’s palace not too far away, Avenue restaurant on the posh St. James Street in the heart of Mayfair, has re-launched, bringing a distinctive Manhattan power-dining scene to London. Everything from the Prohibition era cocktails to the wine list to the menu to the portion sizes to the friendly service is done with a nod to England’s former colony across the pond. This trend toward all things American is not new in London. Every other opening recently has been some variety of burger shack, hot dog stand, or BBQ joint, but Avenue offers a more upscale take on Americana. You get two cornmeal crusted soft shell crabs for a starter and they’re crispy and lovely with the spicy mayo sauce that accompanies them. Meanwhile, the very large lobster macaroni and cheese is positively packed full of lobster meat and the aromas wafting from the “pig” loaf at the next table made me swoon. With reasonable prices and many more items on the list I’d like to try, Avenue made this American girl feel very much at home.
Sally Hurst is a chef and food writer based in London. You can follow her on Twitter at @chefsallyjane.
Photo Courtesy of D&D London
Miami’s SLS Brickell hotel won’t open its doors until 2015, but elaborate plans from designer Philippe Starck already have us obsessed.
Like Starck’s existing properties in Beverly Hills, South Beach, Las Vegas and New York, the SLS Brickell will flaunt a playful-but-polished vibe, attracting Lincoln Road regulars and an artsy crowd from the nearby Perez Art Museum Miami and upcoming Brickell CitiCentre complex.
After decades of directing lavish motion pictures such as The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge, Baz Luhrmann is turning his attention to a different kind of spectacle: the Faena Saxony Hotel, set to open later this year in Miami Beach. Along with his wife and collaborator, Catherine Martin, Luhrmann will lead the design efforts as a creative director for the hotel, which is just one element of a massive complex developed by industrialist Len Blavatnik and real estate tycoon Alan Faena, who is known for his buzzy, Philippe Starck–designed boutique hotel in Buenos Aires. The project will also include an arts center by architect Rem Koolhaas and residences by Foster & Partners. T+L talked with Luhrmann about his plans—and his inspirations.
There may be no greater reason for cultural travel now than the extraordinary new pavilion designed by Renzo Piano for the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. The building plays a compliment in design and spirit to architect Louis Kahn's celebrated original structure, a modernist masterpiece of travertine and concrete, renowned for its deployment of natural light. Yet, the Piano Pavilion is its own distinct achievement. It sits on the lawn across from the Kahn and, like it, follows a tripartite plan, distinguished by an arrangement of bleached Douglas fir beams, transparent end walls, and galleries with a roof of fritted glass through which light imparts a singular luminous quality to exhibition spaces. For the next several weeks, much of the Kimbell's permanent collection—a veritable treasury of masterworks—is showcased in the Piano building.
St. Petersburg’s first Fabergé Museum, a must see, has opened at the Shuvalov Palace, 21 Fontanka Canal, close to the Imperial Anichkov Palace and a 10 minute walk from the Grand Hotel Europe. Access to the museum will be by appointment only this year and to the general public beginning January 2014. It houses the celebrated Fabergé collection of the Link of Times Foundation owned by Russian Entrepreneur Viktor Vekselberg, which, with its over 1500 choice pieces, now easily outranks the comparatively small collection of the Kremlin Armoury Museum. Mr. Vekselberg has assembled the most formidable collection in the world of works by this great Russian master craftsman, best known for his celebrated million dollar Imperial Easter Eggs.
The U.S. ramen scene is booming—and it’s about to get even more exciting with the arrival of one of Tokyo’s hottest noodle gurus, Ivan Orkin. The New York native—who earned serious food cred in Japan at his two Ivan Ramen restaurants—is returning to his roots, bringing two outposts of his cult brand to Manhattan. Here, Orkin, whose first cookbook is out this month, gives us the lowdown on the soup that made him famous.
Q: How did you break into the Tokyo dining scene?
A: It was a crazy idea for a white guy from New York to open a ramen restaurant there. But in Japan, people respect passion and a good work ethic, and I think that came across. Also, when I started, making your own noodles was very uncommon, and I decided to do mine in house.
These days, you mostly hear about chefs in Copenhagen—not those who choose to leave. But in 2011, Paul Cunningham shuttered his Michelin-starred The Paul and headed to what he calls “Denmark’s wild West Coast,” turning the 200-year-old former coaching inn Henne Kirkeby Kro into a 12-table restaurant with five individually designed guest rooms. “It was the stress of city life,” he says. “I wanted something smaller, less mainstream.” Cunningham raises his own livestock, cultivates a kitchen garden, and serves whatever inspires him—from a simple, perfectly roasted lamb to langoustines with crushed tomato and garlic confit. Now he’s opened the first new building on the site in two centuries, Jægerhuset (hunters lodge). The seven rooms—including one named for Jóhannes Larsen, the renowned nature painter who vacationed here in the 19th century—are outfitted with pieces by iconic Danish designers (Hans Wegner; Finn Juhl). As for the handmade-brick exterior, Cunningham—ever the chef—likens it to blocks of nougatine. $$
Photo by Paul Cunningham
In 1923, the driven but humble Salvatore Ferragamo came to Hollywood and became the shoemaker to the stars, cutting his teeth by fitting the weary feet of beautiful film actresses of the day. The love affair with the shoe whisperer and Hollywood continued throughout his career and so it is fitting that the brand has come full circle with a pop-up shop with exclusive goodies for all extremities of fashionable women. The empire has expanded to jewelry, handbags and clothing along with shoes.
New York City and Macy’s Herald Square recently unveiled a new Visitor Center, housed inside the world's largest store.
Over the past two years, NYC visitor numbers have broken records, with 52 million in 2012. To help accomodate tourists, one of the city's most-visited (and shopped at) sights, Macy’s Herald Square, has stepped up with partner NYC & Company to unveil a revamped, user-friendly visitor center.
Flanked by curved staircases on either side, the white-tiled mezzanine sits above cosmetic brands like Chanel and Dior. Four touch-screen kiosks resembling giant iPhones allow visitors to plan their next move, with extensive attraction, dining, and nightlife listings. Nine languages are available—including Mandarin and Portuguese—while Google Maps provides step-by-step directions that can be printed on the spot. By Nov. 1st, you'll even be able to purchase attraction tickets (Empire State Building Observatory; Circle Line cruises) directly through the kiosks.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, based in the tiny town of Milton, Delaware, is now venturing into the travel world. In late spring 2014, these brew masters plan to open Dogfish Inn in downtown Lewes, at what is currently the Vesuvio Motel. The 16-room motel, which sits halfway between Dogfish’s brewpub and distillery in Rehoboth Beach and their production brewery in Milton, will serve as a warm welcome to visiting beer-lovers. Locals are buzzed about the opening as well—with no pub or restaurant on-site, nearby venues will be providing snack-relief.
Designers from Studio Tack in Brooklyn and Lighthouse Construction in Magnolia, DE will renovate the space, which promises to bring some laid-back “Dogfish vibes” to the beach town. Sound too chill? Pedal down the Breakwater Trail to reach the brewpub for a taste of those famed IPA’s—and opt for a taxi ride on the way back.
Maria Pedone is part of the digital team at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian.
Photo courtesy of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery