New York, someone said, is a concrete jungle where dreams are made. That is, if you know where to go. Now you do.
The Store: Dedegumo
Time and place converge at Dedegumo’s new Lower East Side boutique, which showcases 150 customizable styles that have never before been available outside Japan. The watches are made completely by hand in a glass-enclosed front workshop on-site, where six Kyoto-trained artisans craft the brass-and-copper-clad timepieces, which come in traditional cedar masu cups and are wrapped with red furoshiki cloths. Watches start at $350; 188 Orchard St.; dedegumo.com.
The Restaurant: La Petite Maison
To any habitué of the Côte d’Azur, the coquettish moue of Nicole Rubi, patroness of Nice’s La Petite Maison, is an expression well known and beloved. For 23 years, La Petite Maison—which everyone calls LPM—has served simple Niçoise cuisine brilliantly prepared to the tanned and lovely. Now LPM moves to New York, in a beautiful town house behind the Museum of Modern Art. Though Nicole stayed in Nice (can you blame her?), her portrait and spirit pervade the place. In the kitchen is the outrageously handsome Alain Allegretti, who brings his own twist to favorites such as burrata
and head-on shrimp. And the crowd, though likely not as relaxed, is nonetheless just as high-powered. Dinner starts at $60; 13–15 W. 54th St.; lapetitemaisonnyc.com.
The Hotel: The Setai
Fifth Avenue, the one by which all others are measured, has no lack of luxury. But the newest player, The Setai, which opened in November 2010, is more than a hotel. Call it a 60-story luxury complex. Owned by the Milanese group Bizzi & Partners, the 214-room property brings Italian luxury, from Chef Michael White’s lauded restaurant to the Calacatta-marble bathrooms and handsome Italian walnut in the guest rooms. Rooms start at $595; 400 Fifth Ave.; setaififthavenue.com.
25th–27th Floors: The Penthouses
Three 1,900-square-foot penthouses feature sweeping views, two bedrooms and the use of a personal assistant.
4th Floor: The Spa
A hammam, a coed lights-and-music shower, plus Julien Farel’s tremendous salon.
2nd floor: The Restaurant
Michael White’s haute Italian Riviera cuisine at Ai Fiori includes a White Label cheeseburger ($20) and the expertly prepared seafood for which he is known.