Tom Colicchio’s Fowler & Wells Opens at the Beekman Hotel…at Last

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The long-anticipated opening of the much buzzed about Thompson hotel The Beekman took on sort of mythic proportions. The chatter around the plush new FiDi hotel ebbed and flowed as bits of information surfaced over the last two years. The people involved on the F&B side, Keith McNally and Tom Colicchio, certainly had much to do with that.

But at long last, the latter has just opened his rather Cotswolds-sounding Fowler & Wells (indeed, it sounds like an English hunting brand). The historic space is used to shamelessly opulent effect – those days of Craft minimalism are long behind, no? Still, this being the stomping grounds of so many Masters of the Universe, chef Bryan Hunt doesn’t try to get cute here (don’t come looking for deconstructed, gooseberry-infused foie gras). Rather, he does opulent takes on warm lobster salad, hamachi with sea urchin and matsutake, olive-oil poached halibut, and, of course, a dry-aged sirloin Madeira, as well as Oysters Rockefeller.

Expect a happening clientele, as Colicchio has a solidly a-list following. There’s a 75-seat bar for those just looking to scan the crowd over a Perfect Manhattan or two.

McNally’s Augustine will follow later in the year – which should make for a fascinating sort of high-profile food fight.

Images by Bjorn Wallander

Mikimoto and BlackBook Celebrate ‘The Pearl Necklace’ With Glamorous Bash

Eyal Arad, Sonia Nassery Cole, Anthony Todd
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A particularly well-turned out crowd assembled last evening at Omar’s Supper Club for BlackBook and Mikimoto’s launch fete for the stunning new Assouline book The Pearl Necklace. As could be expected at such an elevated intersection of style and media, luminaries from fashion, society, art and film turned out – and were treated to a wealth of eye-candy, as the exalted Japanese purveyor of fine pearls displayed some of its most ethereal pieces throughout the dinner club’s four elegant rooms. Overheard were more than a few rapturous commentaries on how said roomswere sumptuously scented by LAFCO candles.

Noting the refinement of the evening’s honoree, it was a particularly classy affair – everyone seemed to be arriving in their best black-on-black. Amongst the glittering crowd were Indira Cesarine, Paul Haggis, Samantha Angelo, Cameron Silver, Michele Hicks, Marcus Teo, Todd DiCiurcio, Luke Ditella, Xander Ferreira and George Wayne. But most eyes turned for Parker Posey, Allison Sarofim, Cynthia Rowley and Kelly Connor, who all played to theme and came fetchingly decked out in full Mikimoto. You could veritably make out the oohs and aahhs.

“I think with time, things become more beautiful,” Connor observed. “The process of creating a beautiful pearl is a long process, and it is a beautiful process and a natural process.”

Ms. Posey was also overheard philosophizing on the ethereal gem: “The only thing constant  is change. The pearl is the manifestation of change and beauty.” Who could argue?

And while so many of those present came to be fixed on the gorgeous Mikimoto display in Omar’s’ tiny but attractive outdoor garden area (observed through a glass wall), it was the intimate back room where breathing space was at a premium. Guests gathered there for the chance to indulge their most voyeuristic inclinations at the exclusive Million Dollar Photo Booth by PHHHOTO®. Vamping it up with Mikimoto pearl necklaces, the zeitgeisty device caught exhibitionists in various glamorous poses – not a stretch for the crowd, certainly. Each was then converted to an amusingly jittery GIF, and texted to their phones. (Something else to take home, along with those wonderful LAFCO candles.)

Still and all, amidst all that fabulousness, attendees were very much encouraged to get a little deeper, to recall their own personal “Pearls of Wisdom.”  To wit, Rowley offered, “I feel like [the Mikimoto pearl necklace] is the most indulgent and luxurious thing you can wear, especially if you’re a real lover of nature. It has a romance and a history for me.”

But perhaps designer David Hart, intently observing an image of a pearl-clad Marilyn Monroe with husband Joe DiMaggio, summed it up best: “When in doubt, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.”

Words to live, and dress by.

Parker Posey, Hunter Hill, Allison Sarofim

Images by BFA

NYC’s Howard Street Heats Up, As Nickel & Diner Opens

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Soho has been trying to regain its mojo since the art and nightlife crowds decamped post-Millennium to Chelsea and the LES, respectively. But once quiet Howard Street is now suddenly abuzz with the style set.

The big news was the opening of Aby Rosen’s 11 Howard hotel this past spring. With its fancy pants Stephen Star French restaurant La Coucou, and its happening bar The Blond (Which has Beatrice Inn DNA), it’s sort of what The Bowery Hotel was ten years ago. Other neighbors include  interior designers Roll & Hill, fashion boutique M. Crow and hip sandwich shop Smile to Go.

“Howard Street has indeed seen a flurry of activity in recent years,” notes Selwyn Chan, who with partners Ivy Tsang and Jonathan Chu has just opened the retro-cool eatery Nickel & Diner on the street. With its five-and-dime chic (by Dutch East Design), it is rife with laidback charm. But make no mistake, it is serious about its coffee program, partnering exclusively with Nobletree. And Exec Chef James Friedberg counts such haute restaurants as La Cirque and Aureole amongst his credits.

Chan notes, “The full menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner is comprised of chef-driven eclectic American fare, using the finest ingredients available – rather than what may be expected at a typical diner.”

Is this a harbinger of a full-on Soho revival? Perhaps. But says Chan, “We’re just excited to be contributing to the evolution of this emerging neighborhood, which is a true crossroads between Soho, Little Italy, and Chinatown.”


Spectacular Party Opens the New Moxy Hotel in Berlin

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Images by Adam Pollock

Last night a fabulously turned out, decidedly extravagant crowd assembled for the official opening bash for the cool new Moxy Berlin Ostbahnhof. The hotel sits perfectly between the buzzing Mitte and the ceaselessly hip Friedrichshain districts.

This being Berlin, decadence was in full flower: there was a dedicated bondage room, another suite done up for rather lascivious photo ops and, of course, a schnitzel burger food truck out back. Deconstructed fashions and gender-bending were also in abundance.

The uniquely stylish Moxy Berlin follows the opening of sister properties in Munich, Frankfurt, Milan and, in the US, New Orleans and Tempe, AZ. The forward-thinking boutique brand is planning new properties in London, New York, D.C. and Seattle, amongst others, in 2017.


The Five Hottest Restaurants In LA…Now

Sawyer, Ryan Tanaka 2016
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Los Angeles has a knack for opening stylish restaurants that bring in the cool kid crowd. But how to strike that perfect balance of food, location and vibe?

With so many new spots to sort through, we’ve whittled it down to five favorites. From open air tacos in Frogtown to bahn mi in DTLA, these spots are attracting contemporary locals and a-listers alike.


A seafood-focused seasonal California restaurant, recently opened in Silver Lake, has quickly become a neighborhood favorite. The casual setting, which seats 90 guests both inside and outside, features an airy garden atmosphere, striking tile work, butcher block countertops and tables, modern Windsor chairs, hand-painted wall accents, flowered wallpaper, a large handmade copper door, street-facing floor to ceiling windows, and a cozy back patio with olive & birch trees and roaring fireplace.
Celeb Factor: John C. Reilly, Mandy Moore, Rachel McAdams, Mena Suvari

Sawyer, Ryan Tanaka 2016

Kettle Black

This rustic Italian restaurant in Silver Lake is helmed by Executive chef Sydney C. Hunter III. The 3000 square foot space, originally home to the California Bank, features a modern approach to a rustic aesthetic, for artisanal eats and cocktails. Inside, the restaurant prominently displays an original vault from when it was first built in 1922, and focal points also include original tiles and wood beams.
Celeb Factor: Zac Efron, Kate Bosworth, Kristen Wiig, Arctic Monkeys

Kettle Black, Ryan Tanaka 2016


A new spot opened by Marc Rose and Med Abrous,  known for The Spare Room and Genghis Cohen. The modern style diner attracts a day crowd of television writers and an evening crowd local hip kids. The menu offers all the clean flavors of Southern California, a pastry/coffee bar and full cocktail bar, all brought together in a thoughtful way.



One of the buzziest restaurants on the east side of Los Angeles right now. Nestled in Frog Town, between Griffith Park and the LA River, Salazar offers up elevated Mexican mesquite grilled dishes. Chef Esdras Ochoa, who grew to cult acclaim via his taco concept Mexicali, highlights true Sonoran-style BBQ. Beverage Director Aaron Melendrez concocts inventive cocktails with dynamic Mexican flavors, including a boozy horchata, as well as limited run beers from local LA breweries.
Celeb Factor: Carrie Brownstein, Kiernan Shipka, Busy Phillips


Little Sister Downtown 

This French colonial jewel box is housed near the corner of 7th Street and Grand Avenue in the heart of Downtown. A reimagined interpretation of its Manhattan Beach counterpart with a lighter aesthetic and expanded menu options, it introduces Angelenos to the cultural and culinary influences of imperialist rule in Vietnam during the 19th century. Highlights of the 50-seat restaurant include Vietnamese-style breakfast with housemade breads, porridge (congee) and banh mi.



Manuela Restaurant Opens at LA’s Hauser + Wirth Schimmel Gallery

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Niles Crane once sniffed that art in restaurants is on par with food in museums; but trends would now prove him decisively wrong. To wit, at Hauser + Wirth’s LA gallery, former Soho House NY chef Wes Whitsell has opened the sleek New American eatery Manuela – named for the Manuela Wirth – to rapturous excitement.

Open just for lunch and brunch for now, it plays to Whitsell’s Texas heritage, starting with the gorgeous interior. M. Winer Design somehow managed to marry mid-century modern with old southern charm, resulting in a room that might just as easily be in downtown Savannah. The brass and marble bar adds a Continental sophistication.


And the food? More cheeky winking to the south, with raw and cured offerings including a meat plate called Redneck Sampler, and a menu that boasts braised collard greens, trout roe egg salad, duck breast BLT and blackberry cobbler. But the sourcing is seriously local: there’s an on-site herb, fruit and vegetable garden and, well, a designer rare breed chicken house.

Just need post-art cocktail conversation? Order up a few rounds of Nightshades or Rattlesnake Roundups and discuss the future of culture.

Currently showing at the gallery is MARIA LASSNIG. A PAINTING SURVEY, 1950 – 2007.


‘Carrie’ Cast Attending 40th Anniversary Prom Party at the Ace Hotel LA

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The weSpark, Ace Hotel and Scream Factory are teaming up to celebrate the 40th anniversary of one of the most iconic horror films in cinematic history. Based on Stephen King’s debut novel, the film directed by Brian De Palma still holds a spot in horror fans’ hearts.

This Friday, Ace Hotel in Los Angeles will host an anniversary screening and prom with the cast and crew. The ‘70s themed event will include a costume contest, a photo booth, “Bloody Carrie” cocktails, and a live DJ. Tickets are still available online for general admission and VIP.

Black Pulp! Art Show Opens at the ICP

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Tonight marks the opening reception for Black Pulp!, a new art exhibition documenting shifting black identities in America since 1912. The show includes artwork by 21 contemporary leaders of black art, as well as selected printed media from the past century.

Paired with modern photography, books, and paintings are vintage comics, newspapers, and other print media relevant to American black identity. Free programming will be included with the exhibit, including a panel on October 22 titled Strategic Existence: Satire, Comics, and Authorship at the School of Visual Arts.

Featured artists: Derrick Adams, Laylah Ali, Firelei Báez, Nayland Blake, Robert Colescott, Renee Cox, William Downs, Ellen Gallagher, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Lucia Hierro, Yashua Klos, Kerry James Marshall, Wangechi Mutu, Lamar Peterson, Pope.L, Kenny Rivero, Alexandria Smith, Felandus Thames, Hank Willis Thomas, Kara Walker, and Fred Wilson.

The exhibition runs through December 3rd at the International Print Center New York, located at 1114 6th Ave. For more information, check out

The Ham Yard Hotel Guide to London’s Soho

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Above image: Simon Brown

To understand London’s Soho, you have to think of it as a sort of strange and wonderful mashup of theatre district, louche sex parlours, and iconoclastically trendy nightlife. And as with all of Central London these days, some, naturally, fear the loss of the latter 2/3 to gentrification.

It’s also home to our current fave sleep in the capital, the Ham Yard Hotel – from these faultless purveyors of recherché style, Firmdale (Designer-proprietor Kit Kemp’s new book, Every Room Tells a Story, came out late last year). Nestled around a courtyard just off buzzing Rupert Street, it was conceived as a sort of urbane hamlet – its on-site Ham Yard Village features such cultivated shops as Brummells of London, Bloomsbury Flowers and Anabela Chan. There’s also an Eyewear Concierge, a Press Juice Bar, a cinema, a fantabulous basement bowling alley, and the cleverly monikered Soholistic Spa. Fancifully stylish rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, with the best looking out over the twinkling lights of the hotel’s courtyard.

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Images by Simon Brown 

As with so many Firmdale Hotels, the most pulsing energy can be found in the eponymous bar and restaurant – which winds out through two natty lounge areas during afternoon tea and into the courtyard when weather allows. And you can always count on something smart, fun and zeitgeisty going on, like the rooftop event Inside The Hive, on October 10th.

And though you genuinely may not want to leave the hotel, BlackBook and Ham Yard here share some of our fave spots in its resolutely groovy neighborhood.



Perched dramatically above Regent Street, this is the oldest – dating to 1926 – Indian restaurant in the capital (and sister to Mayfair’s Chutney Mary). Amidst the stunning, Maharajah inspired décor – indeed, this is a London date night spot, par excellence – classical dishes are reinvented in startlingly modern ways. To wit, the crab & ginger soup, green herb paneer tikka, Tandoori roan, Kerala prawn curry, and Hyderabadi lamb biryani. Thematic cocktails like the 1926 and the Bombay Blush only serve to add to the dazzle.



Chef Jason Atherton has taken New York by storm with his Clocktower restaurant at the EDITION hotel. But his Social Eating House remains a London hotspot, with sharing jars and an 8-course tasting menu. Pop upstairs to the Blind Pig for a smart post-prandial tipple.


A Soho House production. Draws a parade of celebs – Kylie, Gwyneth, Rita Ora – for buzzy brunch and Brit/Continental classics (old spot pork belly, confit duck leg) at dinner. Great for propping up at the bar for a bloody mary and a side of endlessly entertaining people watching.

DeanStreetTownhouse interior


Sister restaurant to hotshot chef Alan Yau’s Yauatcha right next door, the Duck & Rice is a hip pub downstairs (beer cocktails, anyone?) and a sort of avant Chinese gastropub upstairs. Trendy dim sum fiends flock to it.


Just down the block from the Ham Yard, the Archer is an urbane spot for sophisticated cocktailing. And come holiday time, its seasonal basement lounge Piste will be done up like a Swiss après-ski lodge, complete with vintage skis, fireplace, and themed tipples like the Avalanche.



Still the most sophisticated European style jazz club in the capital. Everyone from Ella to Nina to Hendrix to Cassandra Wilson has graced its stage. Don your best threads for a supremely cool night out.


One of the last great indie record shops – and a promised land for vinyl heads. The essence of Soho.


The shambolically cool Vintage Magazine shop sells just that: a head spinning collection of retro mags, plus posters, art prints, and cheeky t-shirts. Be prepared to spend hours.

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