December 19, 2013
Courtesy of Crossroads
Crossroads, a fine-dining vegan hotspot in Los Angeles, is adding something new to its menu this winter. On December 15, chef/co-owner Tal Ronnen kicked off a new Sunday Supper series (5–10 P.M.; $80, $110 with wine pairings), which will run every week in collaboration with a range of visiting chefs.
“I started missing other foods that I used to cook,” says Ronnen of the inspiration behind the dinners. “The series allows me to deviate from our traditional Mediterranean menu.”
Each prix fixe is themed according to the guest chef’s expertise. Celebrity chef Art Smith’s inaugural southern-style tasting menu featured highlights like sweet-potato biscuits with maple butter and ricotta fried green tomatoes. Other notable chefs will include Theo Schoenegger of Sinatra (located in Encore at Wynn Las Vegas) and his classic Italian fare (February 16); Adam Fleischman of Umami Burger (February 23); and Ricardo Zarate (of Paiche, Picca and Mo-Chica in California), who will offer a Japanese-Peruvian–inspired spread (March 2).
And while the series will add diversity to the touted contemporary seasonal cuisine at Crossroads, it won’t abandon the eatery’s vegan ethos. “It gives people a chance to try plant-based dishes from a professional or highly respected chef or restaurateur who is not recognized for cooking this way,” says Ronnen. “It is a one-of-a-kind experience.” 8284 Melrose Ave.; 323-782-9245; crossroadskitchen.com.
December 19, 2013
Courtesy of Brooks Brothers
With a combined 695 years of experience between them, Beretta, the oldest industrial company in the world, and Brooks Brothers, one of the country’s most iconic clothing brands, has collaborated on outerwear that is as hardy as it is stylish.
The fall line features two designs: the Cordura ($700) and the Wax Jacket ($400, pictured above), both lined with Brooks Brothers' signature tartan and sporting technical Beretta elements that come in handy whether you’re in the field or in the city.
Look for fleece-lined handwarmer pockets, a hat tucked into an inner pocket and hands-free shoulder straps (so you can slip out of the jacket without it falling on the ground) on the Cordura; brave the conditions in the waterproof, windproof Wax Jacket, complete with rainproof inner cuffs, front-bellow pockets and a specially designed clean-feeling waxed-cotton fabric. Can’t get enough of the looks? The two brands are planning another collection for spring. beretta.com; brooksbrothers.com.
December 16, 2013
Courtesy of Christie’s
Christie’s will host an inaugural art sale in India on December 19, becoming the only international auction house to do so in the country.
Christie's has a nearly 250-year history of promoting South Asian art—James Christie offered “four fine India pictures painted on glass” at auction in 1766—and the sale, held at Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Palace (Apollo Bunder; 91-22/6665-3366; tajhotels.com.), presents a curated survey of South Asian modern and cutting-edge contemporary artworks by the greatest artists of the last hundred years.
Highlights include works acquired from the estate of Mumbai-based gallerists and tastemakers Kekoo and Khorshed Gandhy, who have supported emerging artists since the 1940s and are among the most central players in developing India’s modern art scene. Featured works include important paintings by abstract specialists Vasudeo S. Gaitonde and Ram Kumar and Indian modernist M.F. Husain.
Also of note are pieces by six of the nine artists whose compositions are defined as “National Art Treasures,” including canvases by Nandalal Bose, Jamini Roy, Amrita Sher-Gil and relatives Rabindranath, Abanindranath and Gaganendranath Tagore. The works, which are exceptionally important to Indian national culture, are non-exportable and must remain in the country when sold.
“We wanted to trace a complete overview of the development of Indian art in the past 100 years,” says Sonal Singh, Christie’s specialist and head of sale, of the 83-lot collection, which is expected to fetch between roughly $6 million and $8.5 million. “We hope to give Indian art another international push.” christies.com.
December 16, 2013
Anglophiles, rejoice: The recently opened Flat 128, in Manhattan's West Village, has made it possible to find certain exclusive, British-made products without traversing the Atlantic. While its inventory is largely devoted to statement jewelry (like designs from Imogen Belfield and Anabel Campbell), the boutique also stocks stylish accessories from English heritage brands (Fox Umbrellas and Johnstons of Elgin cashmere, to name two) as well as handsome magazines (such as The Gourmand and Library Paper). Walls covered in rich blue felt and a stately marble fireplace create an inviting space reminiscent of an eccentrically decorated English home—just don’t expect a spot of tea. 15 Christopher St.; flat128.com.
December 16, 2013
Five-time Grammy Award–winner James Taylor is taking to the high seas next summer aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 for a pair of concerts during the ship’s eight-day transatlantic journey from New York to Southampton, England, via Halifax, Nova Scotia.
“We always aim to create a one-of-a-kind ambience onboard our ships,” says David Dingle, CEO of Cunard. “So having the rare chance to get up close and personal with a legendary musician like James Taylor is exactly the kind of experience that we love to bring to our guests.”
Tickets for the cruise (August 27 to September 4; from $1,698) officially go on sale December 19; members of the luxury travel agency Virtuoso (virtuoso.com) can book ahead through December 18.
Considered the most magnificent ocean liner ever built, the sophisticated ship features onboard amenities like five swimming pools, a Canyon Ranch spa, six dining options (chief among them chef Todd English’s award-winning restaurant), a planetarium and highly personalized service. How sweet it is, indeed. 800-728-6273; cunard.com.
December 12, 2013
Courtesy of Ani Villas
This time of year often centers on excellent gifts and plans to spend time with family and friends. An exclusive beach escape to Anguilla—a partnership between Àni Villas and Moët Hennessy—offers the ultimate combination of the two.
The retreat for up to 14 guests (available now through 2014) includes round-trip private-jet service, a weeklong stay in a pair of five-bedroom villas overlooking Anguilla’s Little Bay, a custom list of Champagnes and wines curated by a Moët Hennessy Champagne expert and exceptional dining experiences designed by a private chef. (For example, the Rosé Sunset Cruise, a jaunt by sailboat to a private island for a freshly caught seafood dinner, is paired with Ruinart Rosé Champagne and select Cloudy Bay and Numanthia vintages.)
“Guests at Àni Villas are discerning travelers who value high-end unique experiences,” says general manager Felix Pina. “As a result, we wanted to find a way to complement their villa experience with luxury indulgences prior, during and after their stay.”
The estate values privacy and features infinity pools, indoor and outdoor dining options and a full-service team—from concierges to butlers to. Guests can enjoy a tennis court, a full gym, mountain bikes and paddleboards, as well as yoga and a variety of spa services. Add in your favorite people and it’s one lovely package to put at the top of your wish list. From $250,000; 264-497-7888 (ask for Ira Bloom); email@example.com; anivillas.com.
December 12, 2013
Ellerman House, one of South Africa’s preeminent boutique hotels (the recent Africa issue of DEPARTURES gave it a nod), has much to offer its guests. But one major highlight has finally been put on proper display.
“Up to now we’ve been committed to sharing five things: our location, our gardens, true South African hospitality, cuisine and art,” says Lindsy Marais, sales and marketing manager. “The one aspect that was missing was showing and sharing our incredible South African wine collection.”
The collection—7,500 bottles strong—is now part of an all-encompassing wine destination comprised of a gallery tasting room and the brand-new three-bedroom Villa Two (from $4,100), the second villa on the property.
Amid the cutting-edge architecture and design, guests will find a Champagne cellar, a maturation center and a wine library. An interactive app can help with navigation, and there’s even a brandy tasting lounge for those interested in the more spirited side of wine.
But the focus is on the natural aspects of the surrounding land and the use of similarly organic materials. A spiraling, carbon-fiber wine rack (designed by industrial designer Brian Steinhobel) is a riff on a corkscrew, curving more than 19 feet in length with a capacity to hold 1,500 bottles. The South African–granite floors (polished for a raw-yet-refined look) are inset with copper strips in a design inspired by Fibonacci’s golden-ratio theory. A wall of soil samples, culled from a hundred farms and arranged in rammed-earth formations within copper frames, stands as a map of the area's terroir.
“It was a massive collaboration between artists, artisans and materials,” says Marais. “The brief to the design team was to come up with something that has never been done before, and they managed to do just that.” 180 Kloof Rd., Bantry Bay; 27-21/430-3200; ellerman.co.za.
December 12, 2013
Courtesy of Scott Rudd
With the re-opening of the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park last month, a different interpretation of an art institution began to emerge in New York’s largest borough.
After seven years of construction and a $69 million renovation to the museum’s original New York City Building (first constructed for the 1939 World’s Fair), the space has doubled in size and scope, thanks to a 50,000-foot expansion by Grimshaw Architects.
Evoking the idea of a town square or a public forum—“true places where public discourse exists,” says David Strauss, director of the museum’s external affairs and capital projects—the renovated building is a medley of glass, steel, LED lights and open spaces.
It’s an ethos that is integral to its mission to be a community institution, with programming that goes far beyond the banner of art, and one that’s committed to reflecting its location in the most ethnically diverse county in the country.
“We take both ‘Queens’ and ‘Museum’ seriously, seeking to activate conversations that span the art world and real world,” Strauss says. “What we are doing as an institution is setting a new paradigm for what a 21st-century art museum can be in an urban setting.”
That includes a wide range of exhibitions—the first solo show of Bread and Puppet Theatre founder Peter Schumann and “The People’s United Nations” (an exploration of diplomacy and conflict resolution) by artist Pedro Reyes kicked things off—as well as programming offered by a team of art therapists, educators and community organizers.
“We do see ourselves as an alternative space,” Strauss says. “The role of the traditional art museum is played to perfection by our sister institutions, which allows us to forge our own path. We learn from their example in certain practices, and hopefully along the way they can learn from us as well.” Flushing Meadows Corona Park; queensmuseum.orgcom.
• “Do you want the cosmetic version or do you want the real deal? Los Angeles Poverty Department (1986-2013)”: The first museum survey of the LAPD, a performance group founded by artist, director and activist John Malpede. Opens February 2, 2014.
• “Andy Warhol’s 13 Most Wanted Men and the 1964 World’s Fair”: Marks the 50th anniversary of the first showing of the mural 13 Most Wanted Men, which was first displayed 200 yards from the new museum’s location. Opens April 20, 2014.
December 09, 2013
Courtesy of Abercrombie and Kent
Forget what you know about traveling the world in 80 days and its medley of challenges. Passport to the World, the newest collaboration between private-jet company Flexjet and award-winning travel outfitter Abercrombie & Kent, offers adventurers a premier opportunity to circumnavigate the globe by private jet.
The 14-day itinerary takes up to eight people aboard a dedicated Challenger 605 aircraft, stopping in seven celebrated cities. The setup allows guests to travel with just their intimate group (versus people they don’t know) and to leave on dates that work best with their schedules instead of pre-planned departures.
In Japan, shop stores in the Nishi-Umeda district of Osaka and dine at Kyoto’s Michelin three-star restaurant Arashiyama Kitcho. In China, learn tai chi from a resident master at the Temple of Heaven in Beijing and cruise Hong Kong’s famed Victoria Harbor at sunset. India brings the Taj Mahal in Agra; a private tour of Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia museum marks Turkey; and Paris offers after-hours access to the Louvre.
“One-of-a-kind travel experiences are the new luxury,” says Flexjet president Deanna White. “We’ve created a turnkey solution to an incredible private-jet experience our owners would never be able to plan on their own. There is no limit to the unique offerings we can craft.” From $1.5 million; 800-554-7016; abercrombiekent.com.
December 09, 2013
Courtesy of Edmundo Castillo
Winter is almost here, but Edmundo Castillo has warmer weather on his mind. With the launch of his new Spring 2014 collection, the Puerto Rican-born designer brings together an assembly of modern and graphic silhouettes in bright, bold colors. Inspired by 1970s contemporary furniture, the designs incorporate exotic skins and come embellished with organic elements like wood, raffia, resin and oversized metal paillettes for an au natural appeal.
A highlight? The Barby ($1,295; pictured above), a flat sandal made of jade calfskin suede, cracked gold leather and hand-cut metal anaconda embroidery paillettes. “I love the simplicity of its silhouette,” Castillo says. “It’s all about the work on the shoe—the embroidery is like a piece of the tail of a golden mermaid.” Available starting December 15; Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills (9700 Wilshire Blvd.; 310-550-5900) and Bal Harbour (9700 Collins Ave.; 305-865-6161); edmundocastillo.com.