Immersive Design Dazzles at the New W Bellevue Seattle

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Though Seattle gets branded by its tech industry, coffee culture and grunge bands (admittedly its last marquee musical moment), it’s actual a strikingly visual city surrounded by majestic lakes, something that has influenced the region’s casual-chic lakehouse aesthetic.

One of the prettiest Eastern “boomburbs” that has recently come into its own is Bellevue, French for beautiful view, it’s the perfect name for this bougie nabe overlooking Lake Washington. It’s now considered the “tech playground” of the Pacific Northwest. And every tech hub needs a good scenester hotel – a role now filled by the irreverently stylish new W Bellevue. Curiously enough, it’s actual the first W hotel to open stateside in seven years – and so was given a splashy opening bash (which we flew out to be a part of) replete with avant-garde performers and a live set by Aussie pop songstress Betty Who.



Paying homage to the aforementioned lakeside culture of the neighborhood, the design plays with that idea all throughout the hotel. The lobby, endearingly named The Living Room, features A-frame beams inspired by traditional log cabins, with a mélange of 70s inspired vintage furniture, and velvet sofas decked with vintage wool plaid throws. Just off that space is The Porch, an expansive alfresco bar with lakeside views warmed by a roaring outdoor fireplace, and boasting romance-inspiring contemporary porch swings created from fishing rope.

“Our design process has evolved to center around each destination’s respective history, environment and culture,” Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader of W Hotels Worldwide, told us. “And with Bellevue as a center for innovation in its own right, we are thrilled to unveil this new W.”

No surprise, The Lakehouse is their signature restaurant, serving a Pacific Northwest sourced farm- (okay, lake- ) -to-table menu, created by James Beard winning chef Jason Wilson. Designed as a sort of rockstar’s lakeside pad, the airy and mod space is divided into a garden room, butler’s pantry, “wild modern” private dining room, “wild primitive” dining room and plain old chef’s counter.



25 of the 200 guest rooms have a modern industrial open plan design, with grey hardwood tiled floors and “concrete wallpaper,” with glass showers and soaking tubs in the bathroom. Nodding to the region’s nautical history and its wine country, bedrooms feature a cabernet stained carpet – which, admittedly, might be going a little too “local.” Cool headboards are inspired by inflatable floats – fun!

If your app just got funded, splash out on the 2,300-square-foot, two-bedroom Extreme WOW Suite. Views of sparkling Lake Washington? Hanging bed? DJ booth with a killer sound system, pool table, and open plan jacuzzi? Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes.

But being the culture vultures that we are, we loved the entryway installation illustrating the evolution of the region as seen through the eyes of renowned street artist Gaia. Within it is the entrance to Civility & Unrest, a “secret” lounge offering seasonally inspired cocktails alongside rare scotches and vintage whiskeys in a cozy but, of course, rustic setting. Art pieces by Lady Aiko and Zio Ziegler make for dramatic showstoppers throughout the rest of property.

Best of all? In perpetually rainy Seattle, there’s finally a hotel you might not even have to set foot outside of. Bless.


BlackBook Exclusive: Tagliatelle Bolognese Recipe From the New La Pecora Bianca Midtown

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Perhaps you’ve spent all summer avoiding bread and pasta? OK, fair enough – but the first breezes of autumn surely signal a well-earned return to our favorite, and comfortingly heartier, Western European cuisines?

For italophiles, NoMad’s La Pecora Bianca has been a favored destination since its high-profile opening in 2015. Now they’ve expanded the empire to a new location on East 50th, with a chic white interior, complemented by herringbone flooring and stylishly adorned shelving – which all feels a bit like Capri.

But, oh the food. From the butternut squash arancini to the market vegetable crudo to the 28-day dry-aged bistecca to the classic pasta dishes like strozzapretti cacio e pepe and porcini papardelle, this is the sort of menu we’d gladly hop a flight to Roma for. (And seriously, how could one possibly resist the cauliflower carbonara?)

To fete the opening, we asked chef Cruz Goler (a vet of Mario Batali’s exalted Lupa and Del Posto) to exclusively share one of his fave – and very seasonally appropriate – recipes. Buona mangiata!



Tagliatelle Bolognese

Chef Cruz Goler
Serves: 6
21 oz tagliatelle, fresh or dried
1 tbsp finely chopped onion
1 tbsp finely chopped carrot
1 tbsp finely chopped celery
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup ground beef
1/2 cup ground veal
1/2 cup ground pork
1/2 cup red wine
4 chicken livers, chopped
Pinch of juniper berry
Pinch of clove
Pinch of rosemary
1 qt canned tomato sauce
2 tbsp heavy cream
1. In a large sauce pot over low heat, sweat the onion, carrot and celery in olive oil for 10 minutes, until completely tender. Remove from the pan and set aside in a small bowl.
2. In the same sauce pot over high heat, add the ground beef, veal and pork and gently sear and caramelize, 10 minutes.
3. Add the onion, carrot and celery back to the pot. Deglaze with red wine.
4. Add chicken livers, a sachet with juniper berry, clove and rosemary, cover with canned tomato sauce and simmer until very tender, about two hours. Finish with two tablespoons of heavy cream.
5. Cook the pasta in simmering water salted like the ocean for 3-6 minutes for fresh, 8-12 minutes for dry, until just before the desired toothsome bite is achieved. Drain, reserving some of the pasta water, and place in the pot with the sauce, adjusting the consistency by adding pasta water to the pot as needed. Serve.

Paul Sevigny Paintings to be on Show at NYC’s Café Henrie

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As part of a somewhat ideological new art series, downtown’s most inimitable nightlife impresario and Renaissance man Paul Sevigny (brother of Chloe) will show 15 of his paintings for the first time ever.

Taking place October 19 at NYC’s Café Henrie, and in conjunction with Bill Powers’ Half Gallery, the concept is actually fairly simple: one artist, a limited number of works, and displayed for just four hours. (The inaugural show on 9/28 featured Austin Eddy.) Probably little known to those who have long followed Sevigny as a DJ and promoter – and have shaken their groove things to his sets at fashion parties, at Sway and most recently at Paul’s Cocktail Lounge at the Roxy Hotel – he has actually been painting for the better part of two decades. So this is a long awaited…coming out, of sorts.

Yet Sevigny had only this to say: “I’m not an artist, I’m a painter.” (Despite the brevity of the show, he was thoughtful enough to give it a title: Sunday Painter.)

Café Henrie is located on the LES (Powers’ Half Gallery was originally located next door, Sevigny was its first customer) and is lorded over by Paris nightlife galvanizer André Saraiva – so expect a bit of a who’s who crowd. Nevertheless, the event is open to the public.


Wylie Dufresne’s Du’s Donuts Will Have a Limited-Run Home in Soho This Fall

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There’s a great scene in the Simpsons episode The Day the Earth Stood Cool, where Homer’s new hipster friend Terrance explains to him that when his painfully hip, sold-from-a-truck Devil Donuts are sold out, they’re sold out – utterly baffling the more-is-more Homer.

Wylie Dufrense’s Du’s Donuts & Coffee, now a fixture of the Brooklyn indie culinary scene, will be bringing the same philosophy to Soho as of Friday, October 6. Indeed, a pop-up outpost will be the new feature of Chefs Club Counter at 62 Spring Street, seven days a week this autumn. And in true hipster fashion, each day, when they’re gone, they’re gone. (Take that, mass-marketed pastry industry.)

Expect all those mind-altering, taste-bud-bending flavors like Peanut Butter & Yuzu, Brown Butter Key Lime and Honey Fennel Pollen…along with a few surprises, surely.

Dufresne, of course, won post-Millennial plaudits with his avant-garde cooking at WD-50 on the LES – which closed ceremoniously in 2015. Like so many of his contemporaries, he has gone and ditched the high-concepting for something decidedly more fun and comforting. And surely, we need Banana Melt donuts more than ever.


Old Rose is Bringing the (More Neighborly) Buzz Back to the Jane Hotel

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In what was probably the last great flameout of outré New York City nightlife, the Jane Hotel – specifically its opulently histrionic Lobby Bar – arrived on the scene in 2009 and sent the West Village neighbors into an amusing tizzy over all the all-hours fashionista partying. A good deal of it was by those left stranded by the looming demise of The Misshapes – that other last-great-NYC-flameout.

These days, despite the opening of a groovy rooftop bar in 2014, The Jane isn’t causing all that much trouble. And so into the void left by the dissolution of its Cafe Gitane eatery, comes the chic-but-charming, comfy-but-cultivated Old Rose restaurant.

From those purveyors of culinary-cool over at The Smile, it taps the trend of “light Italian” – though we’d specifically recommend the fried egg sandwich with mortadella for breakfast, burrata with house made sourdough for lunch, and clam pizzas for dinner. And like all the best Italian joints, it’s all kept super simple and very tasty.

But seriously, don’t come looking to tear it up – about as wild as it gets is negronis on tap. Which, to be honest, is totally fine with us.


Making Cereal Hip? Milk Tavern Opens in LA

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Back in 2015, anti-gentrification protestors vandalized the admittedly stupidly-named Cereal Killer Cafe in Shoreditch, London. The reason was that its overpriced bowls of store-bought cereals represented a new sort of absurdity in the moneyed-takeover of their neighborhood.

The owners of LA’s new Milk Tavern will suffer none such fate. After all, it’s located in Koreatown, which has carefully balanced hipster encroachment with the existing traditions and citizenry of the old neighborhood. And, well…Los Angeles actually seems like the right place for an unapologetically trendy dessert bar.

This is a strictly grownup affair, as its #olderkidsonly manifesto and, well, booze, would decisively testify. But you’re definitely coming here to throw off the stresses of the oppressive adult world. So plan to grab a glass of bubbly and some liquor-infused (kahlua, Maker’s Mark) ice cream; or perhaps order up a soft serve Captain Crunch cone and beer float, and head for the ping-pong table. The space is sexy, fun, and even has a gorgeous plant wall, as well as classic video game machines.

And really, as the world comes apart all around us, what could be more comforting than games, cereal and champers?


Weekend in Stockholm: An Autumn Guide to a Stylish Stay in the Swedish Capital

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As surely the most comely Scandinavian capital, there are always so many reasons to love Stockholm. Picture perfect, and with beautiful inhabitants to match, it boasts 13th century medieval castles and jaw-dropping architecture, spread over an expansive archipelago of islands. Its cutting edge design, vibrant culinary scene and legendary nightlife continue to make it an imperative destination for the style set.

Here are some of the highlights from our most recent visit.


ABBA: The Museum

For campy fun, visit the museum that houses the world’s largest collection of everything about Sweden’s most famous musical export. Marvel at the music, films, memorabilia and, especially, those ’70s fashions. It’s a fully interactive experience.


Though the 17th century war ship at the center of this maritime museum sank less than 30 minutes into its maiden voyage in 1628, it was dredged up in its entirety 333 years later and restored to its glorious splendor. Predominantly intact after laying underwater for over three centuries, this is a fascinating time capsule of Sweden’s nautical history.




The lovely Djurgarden was formerly the royal hunting grounds, and now a national park – where you will feel worlds away from the pace of the city center, which is just across a short bridge. Visit the Rosendals Trädgård, a fascinating biodynamic farm and greenmarket which grows its own flowers, fruits, vegetables and herbs. Relax over a fika – the Swedish version of a coffee break – at their café, which serves casual farm to fork fare. For something a little fancier, book ahead for the opulent 19th century Villa Godthem, which was the former private residence of opera singer Carl Johad Uddman – and now serves classic Swedish cuisine in a plush setting.


One of Scandinavia’s top photography museums, its current Autumn Salon exhibition focuses on nature and climate change. Its award-winning namesake restaurant is run by notable chef Paul Svensson, whose specialty is vegetarian seasonal dishes built on sustainability – and here, they come with panoramic views.



Langa Raden at Hotel Skeppsholmen

Greater Stockholm consists of 24,000 islands in a vast archipelago; the idyllic Skeppsholmen is one of the most picturesque, in the heart of downtown, and offering beautiful views. Taking advantage of the scenery is the gorgeous restaurant Langa Raden, located in the Hotel Skeppsholmen. Enjoy trad Swedish fare with a contemporary twist in a lush garden setting, right on the water’s edge. It dates back to the 17th century.


Offering panoramic rooftop views over Stockholm, this newly opened bi-level hotspot is helmed by Sweden’s rising newcomer Chef Frida Ronge. Trained in the fine art of the cuisine of Japan, she has gained numerous accolades for her Nordic-Japanese creations, which use seasonal local ingredients. When it’s not too cold, the alfresco rooftop terrace turns into an all-night party.


Tweed Bar

(To properly navigate Stockholm’s electric nightlife scene, we enlisted the help of Ricardo Dynan, the Global Brand Ambassador for Absolut Vodka.)
Located in the oldest part of the city, Gamla Stan, Tweed resembles a vintage British gentleman’s club, with Chesterfield armchairs set amongst antique nautical décor and plaid-lined walls. Its known for its extensive cocktail list, curated by Hampus Thunholm, who also created the beverage program for Fäviken (recently featured in Netflix’s Chef’s Table series).



Linje Tio

Recently named the 25th best bar in the world by Drinks International’s “World’s 50 Best Bars.” Has all the proper bells and whistles of a Brooklynesque hotspot, and is appropriately located in the hipster hood of Hornstull/Sodermalm. The creative cocktail menu changes seasonally; expect Negronis made with strawberries and saffron, and a beet-infused Absolut Vodka mixed with coconut, ginger, lemon and nutmeg. The front houses a barber shop which functions as an overflow lounge during peak hours.

Haktet Vänster

Roughly translating to “jail cell on the left,” this stylish “speakeasy” is fitted into two neighboring townhouses off Sodermalm’s busy Hornsgaten. Sip custom craft cocktails in a cozy space decorated in vintage kitsch, mixed with 18th century antiques spread around tufted banquettes. Though the menu features a bevy of original concoctions, the knowledgeable bartenders are always up for mixing something based on your taste preferences. It’s accessible only by an intercom.



Getting There: SAS Air

The easiest way to arrive into Stockholm is via SAS Airways, who offer the most non-stop direct U.S.-to-Scandinavia flights. They recently redesigned their long haul Airbus 330-300 aircraft with ultra-modern, hi-tech cabins, including SAS Business (fully flat beds), SAS Plus (Premium Economy) and SAS Go (Economy). SAS Plus cabins also feature spacious seats and free WiFi, large entertainment screens, in addition to lounge access, and extra luggage allowance. All travelers can enjoy onboard cell service. The seasonally changing Nordic themed culinary program was also redesigned by celebrated head chef Peter Lawrence. And through a partnership with Danish brewer Mikkeller, passengers can also select from more than a dozen craft beers, brewed with high-elevation in mind. Roundtrips from Newark start at just $549.

Stay: Downtown Camper

Stockholm’s latest hospitality hotspot – located in the downtown neighborhood of Brunkebergstorg – it’s themed around “glamping,” playing to Swedes’ love of nature and the outdoors. The lobby is reminiscent of a hip tech company’s HQ, with design nods to sustainability, and a skylit concrete lobby adorned with usable kayaks. Exuding that invariably chic Nordic minimalist aesthetic, the cozy rooms are awash in a neutral gray with wool throws and a window box couch to stretch out on after a day of exploring. Refuel in their signature restaurant, aptly named Campfire, which serves delicious and unfussy Scandi comfort fare amidst sumptuous sofas and tufted chairs.


Paris’ Prince de Galles Hotel Opens Exhibit of Ali Mahdavi Celeb Photographs

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In a city of fabulous photographers, Ali Mahdavi stands apart for his ability to capture something just a bit more exquisite, even supernatural in his famous subjects. The outré Iranian shutterbug has shot everyone from Tilda Swinton to Marilyn Manson to Charlotte Gainsbourg; actress and burlesque star Dita Von Teese is his most favored muse.

And Mlle Von Teese is one of those featured featured in his new exhibition “Glamorama: Celebrities by Ali Mahdavi,” at the equally glamorous Prince de Galles, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Paris. Other famous faces among the 40+ images include those of Monica Bellucci, Arielle Dombasle, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Donatella Versace and Karl Lagerfeld. It will be on display through October 23.

“Glamour is all the strategies that are used to achieve an ideal of beauty,” he explains, “that is not necessarily, and far from it, an ideal of conventional beauty – but an idea of personal beauty that corresponds to our own vision of this. Which is the beautiful.”

We asked him to give his most ethereal explication of three of his most exalted subjects.




Dita von Teese

“Dita is my ultimate muse, but she is also a close and very loyal friend. Fifteen years ago, Mr. Pearl and Suzanne von Aichinger introduced us to each other, and I immediately fell in love with her. She embodies the ideal woman that I drew since I was five years old. What I love about her is that she is the embodiment of glamour. At the beginning, she was the beautiful American blond next door, but she decided to become a brunette goddess of glamour! She transformed herself into the most glamorous woman on the planet by using all the tools of glamour inspired by the golden age of Hollywood. She always quotes a fabulous sentence from Helena Rubinstein: “There is no ugly woman, but there are lazy women!” She deserves her beauty that she creates, she is a magical bird of paradise. We did more than 20 sets of shooting, five film, film hologram for Louboutin, a video mapping, some numbers at Crazy Horse. She inspires me because she always drives me to somewhere unexpected! We evolved together and I hope we will continue until we are 80 years old. At this age, she will still be a beautiful woman with long white hair.”

Monica Bellucci

“Monica is my ultimate friend and fantasy. People all around the world ask me questions about her, because she is a fantasy, an ideal woman for any person, an all man’s desire. She is all women, but in an ultimate vision: the Virgin Mary, Maria Magdalena…and also she reminds me of the goddess Hera / Junon. Monica has the same attitude for a big luxury campaign as she does for a more small personal shooting: always chic and elegant with everybody. That is what makes her a big star. After being a supermodel with many campaigns with great photographers [D&G by Helmut Newton, Steven Meisel…] she also became a great actress. There is always a change with her, she is hypnotized by the lens and drives you into new adventures.”

Arielle Dombasle

“While Dita is my brunette muse, Arielle is my blond muse – they are my favorites! She is the most delightful woman on the planet, not only because of her beauty, but all about what she is. Arielle is divine, she is a goddess, she is also someone that you fall in love with immediately, because she is super clever, spiritual and so surrealistic with a huge sense of humor. And more than all, she is a loyal person with whom I have a long relationship with for more than ten years. We had more than ten shootings, four music videos. It is impossible to separate our friendship and our artistic relation. She inspires me because of her surrealism and her strong character.”





Italophile Alert: Identità Golose To Bring Epicurean Italy to NYC, Chicago + Boston

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Surely the name could easily pass for a lost Harry Potter character. But Identità Golose is actually a rather prestigious Italian culinary organization, founded in 2004 by journalist Paolo Marchi. They launched an eponymous event in Milan in 2005, and then brought it successfully to New York in 2010.

If you can do the math, you’d know it means that 2017 marks the eighth anniversary – and it will thusly perform a “takeover” of Eataly in the Flatiron from October 10-12. IG will also be marking its fourth year in Chicago (October 7-8), and debuting in Boston (October 13), setting up shop in the respective Eataly outposts in each of those cities.



The mission, especially dear to lovers of Italia such as ourselves, is to highlight the singular epicurean bounties of each region of Italy. (Seriously, we can barely contain our excitement.)

What to expect?

Six-course “Dine Around” dinners, prepared by exalted Italian chefs the likes of Corrado Scaglione, Massimo Bottura and Caterina Ceraudo; exclusive seminars given by culinary luminaries Ana Roš, Caterina Ceraudo, Enrico Cerea, and even Eric Ripert; a Pizza Master Class; and an unparalleled opportunity to bond with fellow Italophiles over all things commestibili e italiane.

Reserve tickets ahead, spaces go fast.