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Le Sirenuse Brings a Taste of the Amalfi Coast to California

Le Sirenuse Brings a Taste of the Amalfi Coast to California
Courtesy of Shutters on the Beach

Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica takes on an Italian air as it pairs up with Le Sirenuse (sirenuse.it), the idyllic hotel located in Positano, Italy, for a week of food and style. The culinary collaboration, involving Le Sirenuse Michelin-starred chef Matteo Temperini and Shutters executive chef Sven Mede, features dishes—served at the hotel’s One Pico restaurant (pictured above)—that not only impress but illustrate how the two escapes complement each other effortlessly.

“What is so wonderful is to see the importance given to the ingredients in both cuisines,” says Le Sirenuse owner Antonio Sersale. “Both the Californian cuisine and the Neapolitan are healthy, genuine, simple and always very tasteful.”

Dishes by chef Temperini, such as lombata di vitello (roasted veal cutlet with capers, baby onions and anchovy juice) and tortelli con Genovese di manzo agerolino alle spezie (tortellini topped with black truffles and Parmesan fondue), mix with contributions from Mede like grilled Georges Bank swordfish with crispy polenta, cipollini onions, black olives and blood oranges. Fittingly, the Amalfi Coast inspires the wines.

The experience doesn’t end with dinner. A pop-up shop in Shutters, organized by Carla Sersale, co-owner of Le Sirenuse and creator of its popular boutique, Emporio Le Sirenuse, offers a well-edited selection of items including totes, scarves, swim trunks, glassware and the hotel’s Eau d’Italie bath collection.

“[This] is an opportunity to experience a bit of the paradise that is Le Sirenuse,” says Shutters on the Beach general manager Gregory Day, “including its food, wines and the other pleasures of life on the Amalfi Coast.” Through February 26; 1 Pico Blvd.; 310-458-0300; shuttersonthebeach.com.

El Bulli from A to Z

El Bulli from A to Z
Courtesy of Phaidon

Chef Ferran Adrià closed El Bulli three years ago, much to the dismay of those never lucky enough to procure a table at the legendary Michelin three-star Spanish restaurant. But some solace might be found in elBulli 2005-2011 (Phaidon; $625), a seven-volume book set scheduled for release in March but available for preorder now.

The books, billed as “a journey inside the creative process of the world’s greatest chef,” weigh in at a hefty 50 pounds and include one volume for each of the six seasons El Bulli was open. (The seventh is dedicated to an evolutionary analysis of the restaurant.) The collection features every recipe created during that time—more than 750 of them—in categories like cocktails, snacks, tapas and “morphings.” Full-page photographs (1,400 of them in all) illustrate the dishes.

“It’s like a catalogue raisonné,” says Adrià. “The importance of this book is not a specific recipe but in the ability to make the reader understand why we acted and focused on our cooking in this way. The result of these acts and thoughts became our recipes.”

Those recipes aren’t for novices, Adrià cautions. “They can be replicated perfectly in professional kitchens,” he explains, “but it was not really made or thought for home use.”

What might be easier to digest is a traveling exhibition of Adrià’s drawings, called “Notes on Creativity,” currently on view at the Drawing Center in New York (through February 28; drawingcenter.org). Next up: the ACE Museum in Los Angeles (May 4 to July 31; 400 S. La Brea Ave.; acemuseum.org) and the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (September 26, 2014, to January 18, 2015; 11400 Euclid Ave.; mocacleveland.org).

Ladurée Opens a SoHo Tea Salon

Ladurée Opens a SoHo Tea Salon
Courtesy of Ladurée

Sweets lovers, rejoice! Famed French macaron purveyor Ladurée has officially opened its long-awaited tea salon in New York’s SoHo. The new venue—encompassing a retail bakery, a tearoom, a garden and a full-service restaurant (serving breakfast, lunch and dinner) with two dining rooms—sets a sumptuous scene, featuring details like pastel china, marble, blue velvet banquettes and a frescoed ceiling.

“Our Madison store was like a jewel box,” says Ladurée USA president Elisabeth Holder of the first New York boutique, located on the Upper East Side (864 Madison Ave.; 646-558-3157). “The new tea salon is a trip to Paris in the 18th, 19th century, inspired by our muses like [interior designer] Madeleine Castaing and [mistress of Louis XV] Madame de Pompadour.”

The menu touches on classic French dishes (lamb gigot, foie gras, vol-au-vent), savory items inspired by pastries (goat-cheese mille-feuille, truffle religieuse) and, of course, various sweet treats, including its famous rose-flavored Ispahan cake and macarons.

“We provide the Ladurée dream, which consists of the French art de vivre in every detail,” says Holder, “from food to decor.” 398 W. Broadway; 646-392-7862 (boutique), 646-392-7868 (restaurant); laduree.com.

Trunk Show Debut: Bespoke Suits from Down Under

Trunk Show Debut: Bespoke Suits from Down Under
Courtesy of P Johnson Tailors

One of the top tailors Down Under is bringing his expertise stateside for the first time. Patrick Johnson of Australia-based P.Johnson Tailors (29 Thomas St., Melbourne; 61-4/8820-7240; 46 Liverpool St., Sydney; 61-2/9966-7548) will host trunk shows in New York February 17 to February 19 at The Towers at the New York Palace Hotel (455 Madison Ave.).

Known for impeccable fit and sharp details, Johnson’s suits (from $1,100) pair artisanal techniques (sewing and pressing by hand) with modern technical upgrades (proprietary pattern-making software) that result in garments with both character and precision. (P.Johnson will return for follow-up fittings every seven weeks.) It is an approach that the tailor is eager to share.

“It’ll be great to see our existing clients, but we’re also keen to show U.S. men who we are and what we do,” says Johnson (pictured above), who champions a “reduction and refinement of the wardrobe.” “We want them to see that a simple, clean and fresh approach to dressing makes it easier to have an effective look.”

P.Johnson will move on from New York to a three-day stint in Chicago, February 20 to February 22. To schedule an appointment, e-mail bonnie@pjohnson.com.au; pjohnson.com.au.

Palm Springs Modernism Week Kicks Off

Palm Springs Modernism Week Kicks Off
Courtesy of Palm Springs Modernism Show

Design buffs are descending upon Palm Springs for the desert oasis’s annual Modernism Week (February 13–23). Celebrating the city’s roots in midcentury architecture, design and culture, the 11-day extravaganza features more than a hundred events ranging from a twilight tour and wine reception at the Edris House (February 20), a private home built in 1953 that is impressively integrated into its rocky surrounds, to a sneak peek at the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center (psmuseum.org), which is set to open this fall.

This year’s docket includes a slew of architectural tours by double-decker bus, offering a glimpse of the Southern California design destination’s 20th-century architectural gems, including the Neutra Kaufmann Desert House and the homes of Elvis and Frank Sinatra. And those in the know have already scored tickets to the Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale (February 14–17), now in its 14th year. Held at the Palm Springs Convention Center, the event features more than 85 world-renowned exhibitors, including well-known midcentury design dealers Mark McDonald of New York, Southern California–based Off the Wall and (new this year) Alexandre Huygevelde of Paris. (Exhibitor Timeless Modernism’s Barcelona chairs and Tugendhat table by Mies van der Rohe of Metallwerkstätten Berlin are pictured above.)

But for perhaps the ultimate ode to the 20th-century movement, head to the city’s first Modernism Week show house, dubbed the Christopher Kennedy Compound after the locally based designer who spearheaded the project. Here, his talents and those of his contemporaries like Celerie Kemble, Thomas Lavin and Trina Turk converge under one roof to create a stunning homage to California glamour and the laid-back vibe of Palm Springs. The house goes on the market following this year’s festivities so you, too, will have the opportunity to own a slice of modernist heaven. 760-799-9477; modernismweek.com.

Artist Matthew Barney’s Latest Film Premières at BAM

Artist Matthew Barney’s Latest Film Premières at BAM

River of Fundament, the long-awaited, six-hour film event by artist Matthew Barney and composer Jonathan Bepler debuting February 12 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) Harvey Theater, is an epic of reincarnation and rebirth set against the rusting backdrops of American industry. The story is loosely based on Norman Mailer’s novel Ancient Evenings (1983), his take on the Egyptian Book of the Dead. It was considered one of Mailer’s most impenetrable books, and the River of Fundament experience isn’t so much one of precise comprehension as it is one of submission and absorption.

Barney, who climbed to fame unintentionally in 1991 when he used two ice hooks to scale the walls of New York’s Barbara Gladstone Gallery wearing nothing but a harness, is one of few true multimedia artists. He’s worked to great acclaim exploring bodies and sexuality through film, sculpture and drawing.

As with the artist’s renowned Cremaster Cycle video series, it is difficult not to see in River elements of the Wagnerian ideal Gesamtkunstwerk, a total work of art that includes all art forms. Barney and Bepler (longtime collaborators) think of the film as at least part opera. Three of its climactic scenes were live, elaborately staged events in Los Angeles, Detroit and New York, which involved a 1967 Chrysler Imperial, rivers of molten metal (including parts of the car) and a battle between the Egyptian Gods Set and Horus (played by Brennan Hall, pictured above) in a New York dry dock.

The fugue-like narrative winds around an imagined wake for Mailer, who died in 2007. Attendees include characters from Ancient Evenings (two are played by Paul Giamatti and Maggie Gyllenhaal), Mailer’s friends and widow (portrayed by Joan La Barbara) and three incarnations of Mailer himself—one of whom is played by his son, John Buffalo Mailer. The gathering takes place in a replica of Mailer’s New York apartment, which was constructed on a barge complete with the author’s original library and floated down the East River. Portions of the apartment will be reassembled as a sculpture to be shown at Munich’s Haus der Kunst next month (opening March 15; hausderkunst.de).

The film, which has two intermissions, is at once dark and comic, an intrepid exploration of mammalian bodies in various stages of life, death—in its first act, John Buffalo Mailer guts a cow and crawls inside its carcass—and birth that is both fascinating and uncomfortably close to home. We all have bodies, after all, and sometimes we need to be reminded. February 12-16; 651 Fulton St., Brooklyn; bam.org.

 

Celebrating 100 Years of Beverly Hills

Celebrating 100 Years of Beverly Hills
Courtesy of Peninsula Hotels

In celebration of Beverly Hills and its centennial, five of the city’s renowned hotels will dedicate one suite to a specific decade from the past 100 years—and from March 7 to December 30, guests have the chance to experience these Suite 100s.

“So much of Beverly Hills’ history is rooted in this love affair that the entertainment industry has had with our destination,” says Julie Wagner, CEO of the Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau. “Each suite personifies those relationships by focusing on the stars of each era and their influence on the most popular trends and styles.”

The suite at the Montage Beverly Hills (from $1,914; 225 N. Canon Dr.; 310-860-7800; montagebeverlyhills.com) reflects the sultry mood of 1940s noir with Art Deco–inspired furniture and authentic period touches (vintage artwork, a phonograph). Evoking the Golden Age of the 1950s, The Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows suite (from $3,795; 9641 Sunset Blvd.; 310-276-2251; dorechestercollection.com) pays homage to Marilyn Monroe, with original artifacts from her estate and decor featuring black lacquer finishes, tropical prints and shag carpets.

Inspired by a mix of 1960s rebellion and refinement, L.A.-based Tom Ford Designs brings Hollywood Regency style to The Beverly Hilton (from $1,914 for the first night; 9876 Wilshire Blvd.; 310-274-7777; beverlyhilton.com). L’Ermitage Beverly Hills (from $1,914; 9291 Burton Way; 310-278-3344; viceroyhotelsandresorts.com) re-creates the ’70s disco era with nods to Andy Warhol’s Factory (a foil-lined room) and Halston (vintage clothing in the closet). And the glamour of awards seasons is manifest at The Peninsula Beverly Hills (pictured above) (from $7,000; 9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd.; 310-551-2888; peninsula.com), where full-length mirrors and photographic murals of a red-carpet gala adorn the suite's walls. lovebeverlyhills.com/suite100.

Philip Glass, Patti Smith and More Play for Tibet House

Philip Glass, Patti Smith and More Play for Tibet House
Steve Pyke

The annual Tibet House benefit concert at Carnegie Hall is a music-filled affair looked forward to by both fans and the artists who take the stage alike. This year’s installment (March 11), which, as always, supports the work of the nonprofit, is no exception.

“Every year we are very fortunate to have the finest performers, from legendary artists to the most exciting emerging musicians,” says event artistic director Philip Glass (pictured above), an original Tibet House founder. “Collaborations are always part of the concert, and every year I'm amazed at the chemistry the evening produces.”

This year’s lineup, which promises more than a few sparks, includes Iggy Pop; Patti Smith & Her Band; Matt Berninger, Aaron Dessner and Bryce Dessner of The National; American composer Nico Muhly; and Tibetan folk singer Techung. And performance poet Mike Garry will pair up with British composer Joe Duddell on a musical version of Saint Anthony, a poem by Garry about Anthony H. Wilson, the late owner of the now defunct British indie record label Factory Records. The new rendition is inspired by the song "Your Silent Face" by New Order, which was one of the bands Wilson signed; New Order's Bernard Sumner will help perform the work.

An organization with a sole mission to preserve Tibetan culture, Tibet House began in 1987 as a direct request from the Dalai Lama. Headquartered in New York, it continues to garner support, celebrity (Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard and Chuck Close are this year’s honorary chairs) and otherwise—proving a good cause never goes out of style.

“The Tibetan culture is a priceless treasure,” says Glass, “and one worth saving.” Tickets for the show and the dinner reception start at $500; 881 Seventh Ave.; 212-807-0563; boomset.com.

Three Must-Try Ramen Restaurants

Three Must-Try Ramen Restaurants
Courtesy of Ippudo

Perfect ramen is well worth the wait, proven by the lines of hungry New Yorkers who frequently stand by for an hour or more for springy, chewy noodles nestled in rich broth. The three restaurants below are at their soul-satisfying best during the cold winter months—pick up your chopsticks and get ready to slurp.

Ippudo
Upscale Ippudo is an import from Japan with an original East Village outpost (65 Fourth Ave.; 212-388-0088) and a second midtown location (321 W. 51st St.; 212-974-2500). Go early—possibly a couple of hours before you actually want to eat. (The restaurant will text you when a seat is vacant.) The minimal dining room has an open kitchen and a helpful staff that will walk you through the menu. Best known for the Japanese-style tonkotsu pork broth (pictured above), Ippudo serves up rich, intensely satisfying bowls with thin, straight noodles made in-house. ippudony.com.

Totto Ramen
A line of Japanese expats often forms before Totto Ramen (366 W. 52nd St.; 212-582-0052) even opens its doors. Write your name on the clipboard outside and join the queue or venture a few more blocks to its second location (464 W. 51st St.; 646-596-9056), which has more seating and shorter waits. Here the popular paitan ramen gets its intense flavor from a rich yet light chicken stock that cooks for hours. The noodles are spot on. Our paitan topped with chicken, kikurage mushrooms and bamboo shoots made an ideal Saturday lunch. tottoramen.com.

Yuji Ramen
The mezzanine level of the Whole Foods Market Bowery is the unlikely home of one of New York’s most exciting bowls of ramen. After sparking long lines at Smorgasburg (a massive food market held in various Brooklyn locations), Yuji Haraguchi found a home for his popular mazemen—a newer style of ramen made without broth—in the grocery store. This no-frills counter promises a flavor-packed experience. Order the mazemen with smoky bacon, a poached egg and thin ribbons of kale, stir all the ingredients together and dig in. 95 E. Houston St., 2nd fl.; 212-420-1320, ext. 281; yujiramen.com.

A Recipe for the Chinese New Year

red bean pudding
Photo by InterContinental Hong Kong - Yan Toh Heen

In celebration of the Chinese New Year, which began on January 31, the InterContinental Hong Kong’s Michelin-starred restaurant Yan Toh Heen (18 Salisbury Rd.; 85-2/2313-2323; ihg.com) is offering an authentic way to experience the holiday. As a follow-up to the special New Year meal Yan Toh Heen hosted in-house, the restaurant offered a selection of homemade desserts, led by pudding with red beans served with Japanese brown-sugar syrup. Common year-round in China, the pudding is particularly popular during New Year festivities.

Thanks to chef Lau Yiu Fai, adventurous cooks can attempt to recreate the seasonal dish at home using his traditional recipe. (Ingredients can be found in most Asian grocery stores.)

New Year Pudding with Red Beans
makes 2 puddings

26.5 oz (about 5.5 cups) glutinous rice flour
8.5 oz (about 1.75 cups) yam flour
20 oz (2.5 cups) coconut milk
8 tsp peanut oil
25 oz (a bit over 3 cups) water
10.5 oz black cane sugar
19 oz yellow cane sugar
8.5 oz (about 2 cups) cooked red beans

Mix the glutinous rice flour, yam flour, coconut milk and peanut oil in a bowl. Set aside. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the black and yellow cane sugars and stir until the sugars are completely dissolved. Pour the water mixture into the flour mixture and add in the cooked red beans. Mix thoroughly. Lightly grease 2 equally sized pans and divide the mixture evenly between them. (If using aluminum-foil pound-cake containers, do not fill them to the top with the mixture as the pudding may not cook through completely.) Cover the pans and place on a rack over a pot of boiling water or in a steamer. Steam for 80 minutes. Cool completely and cut into squares. Serve.

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