Greek Island Chic: The Stylish Parilio Hotel Opens in Paros

 

 

In the last few years, the Greek Island holiday has become de rigueur for in-the-know sorts, whatever your pleasure. But if you find the throngs of tourists in Santorini and Mykonos just a bit too much, considering joining the de-stressing cognoscenti in Paros, nestled just in-between the two. Dotted with quintessential fishing villages, pastoral farmlands, and low-key tavernas, the vibe is considerable more tranquil.

And tucked serenely away on the island’s northeastern coast, between the tiny town of Naoussa and the small sandy coves that make up Kolymbithres Beach, is the recently opened Parīlio hotel. A member of the exalted Design Hotels group, the 33 suite property marries traditional Cyclades whitewashed block architecture with touches of understated, contemporary luxury. Carved stone arches and concrete columns mix with custom furnishings by IDLaboratorium, resulting in a cooly stylish oasis with captivatingly old-world charm.

 

 

The visually appealing suites feature modern and vintage pieces with neutral colors accented by terracotta, marble and wood, and concrete bedside tables by Copenhagen 101. Some also boast mountain views.

In addition to all that peace and quiet, the hotel offers all the amenities coveted by the 21st Century epicure: a breezy terrace, pool and bar nestled amongst subdued gardens, where long, lazy afternoons turn into Instagrammable sunsets; Mr.E, a modern Greek restaurant with dishes cultivated from the bounty of the island; and a fully equipped gym and spa.

Travel + Leisure names Paros its top Greek island for 2018. And with temperatures in the high seventies and eighties throughout September and October, it remains an alluring getaway well into autumn.

 

Evocative New Book ‘Miami Beach 1988-1995’ Captures the City in All its Pre-Millennial Iconoclastic Beauty

 

 

Miami, like other major American cities in the 1970s (ahem, New York) watched helplessly as its glory days gave way to a drug-riddled war zone, one that left hollowed out landmarks and blocks of Art Deco hotels in rueful ruins. Hindered by corrupt law enforcement and a significant Latin American narcotics pipeline, it struggled along until the latter end of the ’80s, when a music/fashion driven revitalization began to at last introduce new hope.

During that time – 1988, to be specific – Barry Lewis, a London based photographer on a family vacation, was captivated by the newfound vitality and the diverse group of people that were bringing life back to the once trendsetting destination. So much so that over the next seven years, he made Miami his home base, documenting the snowbirds, the flourishing LGBT scene, the Cuban expat community and finally, the tres fashionable crowd, through his all-seeing photographic lens.

 

 

The stunning new book Miami Beach 1988-1995 is a collection of Lewis’ evocative black and white photographs from that time, that before now had never been made available to the public. From drag queens and models on the Ocean Drive party circuit, to the migration of retirees from the north and Cubans from the south, readers are taken on a visual tour of the eccentric and lovable characters that revived this tropical paradise. And to give it some palpable chronological context, this was all before the infamous 1997 assassination of Gianni Versace in front of his mansion at 1116 Ocean Drive.

No stranger to photojournalism, Lewis, who earned a humanitarian award for photography in 1990, has worked with magazines from Life to National Geographic, been exhibited at the V&A and other museums, and produced numerous films and books – this latest of which, certainly, is possessed of a particularly personal resonance.

Miami Beach 1988-1995 is published by Hoxton Mini Press and distributed by ACC Art Books.

 

 

BlackBook Exclusive: Delectable Cocktail Recipes From DC’s Sky-High New 12 Stories Bar

 

With partisan political battles raging and so many unseasonal downpours, we’re seriously ready for maximum summer fun to kick in. And as the headlines bear down, seeking solace in a fussed over cocktails with views of the majestic Potomac seems just about right. So expect to find us making haste for The District Wharf, D.C.’s much buzzed about, mile-long urban development along the river – and its stunningly conceived new Gerber Group rooftop nightspot 12 Stories.

The Wharf itself is lined with hotels, restaurants, shops and residences, a veritable waterfront city within a city. And perched, yes, twelve stories up in the plush Intercontinental hotel (also home to Kith/Kin), 12 Stories boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, and a sprawling outdoor terrace, with panoramic views ethereally taking in the Potomac and some of DC’s most iconic monuments (reminding that we once had real presidents like Jefferson and Lincoln.) The space itself is a paradigm of industrial chic, with stark concrete floors and leather, velvet, and marble accents.

 

 

Of course, the aforementioned Gerber Group are behind the likes of Mr. Purple and The Campbell Bar in NYC – so creative tipples are a highlight here. Some were clearly concocted to offer relief from the summer swelter, like the zero-degree Superchilled Martini 24 and the Superchilled Negroni. But the colorful Blue Velvet tempts with its blend of Casamigos Reposada tequila, blueberry and lemon juices and soda.

One can readily assemble “dinner” from an assortment of small bites including locally sourced oysters, ceviche-style crudo, and the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich. Day drinkers should keep a watch for the soon-to-be launched weekend brunch.

The 12 Stories drinks wizards were kind enough to share with us the secrets behind some of their most coveted creations. But we highly recommend enjoying them in situ, because, well…those views.

 

Exclusive 12 Stories Cocktail Recipes

Killroy Gimlet

  • 2 oz lemongrass infused Belvedere vodka
  • .75 oz Lime juice
  • .5 oz Thai chili pepper agave syrup
  • Rocks glass. Skewered Thai pepper
Thai chili agave syrup
  • 16 Thai chili peppers, halved and macerated
  • 64 oz agave syrup (2:1 ratio)
  • Infuse 1 day. Strain off chili peppers
  • Stable: 1 month

__________

Golden Compass

  • 5 oz Brugal Anejo
  • .5 oz Velvet Falernum
  • 25 oz Ginger/Turmeric Passion Mix
  • .75 oz lime juice
  • Crushed ice in 14 oz glass tiki mug. Blue straw, paper umbrella and grated nutmeg 
Ginger/Turmeric passion Mix
  • 18 oz passion fruit puree concentrate
  • 5 oz simple syrup (1.5:1 ratio)
  • 45 oz water
  • 12 oz fresh ginger juice
  • 4 tbsp turmeric powder
  • Mix and chill. STIR BEFORE USING
  • Stable: 7 days

__________

Ube-B

  • 2 oz Ketel Botanical Peach and Orange Blossom
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • .5 oz simple syrup
  • 1 dash ube extract (1:5 dilution)
  • Coupe. Lemon twist
Ube extract
  • 2 oz Ube extract
  • 14 oz water
  • Combine
  • Stable

Above: Ube-B and Golden Compass

First Images: The Plush New Mandarin Oriental Lago di Como

 

As the shores of Northern Italy’s playground-on-the-lake awaken with the annual arrival of spring, all that glamour and style begin to radiate across Lago di Como. Set against the foothills of the Alps, all the bougainvillea wrapped villas, those rustic towns of the Lombardi region, and of course, the possibility of flitting about in the general vicinity of George and Amal, all add to the allure.

Celebrity shoulder-rubbing notwithstanding, there is no lack of Instagram worthy moments – and we will be capturing most of them from our perch at the plush new Mandarin Oriental Lago di Como.

Indeed, last week welcomed the arrival of the newest splashy luxury hotel to the lakefront – the southeastern tip, to be more geographically precise. Surrounded by lush botanical gardens, the urbane but unshowy resort is a sanctuary of calm, with a choice of 73 rooms and suites and two private villas, which all blend modern Italian elegance with a subtle Oriental charm.

 

 

For poshie summer fun, there’s a floating pool, water sports, parachuting, and horseback riding…plus a very-well-appointed spa, complete with thermal baths and Himalayan salt room. And to be honest, our visits to Lake Como are always a constant struggle between wellness and decadence.

Speaking on the latter, there’s almost nothing we treasure more than an evening of dining against those life-changing Lake Como vistas. And MO’s restaurant L’Aria boasts a breathtaking bounty of the latter, while offering such culinary temptations as risotto with yellow tomato and red prawns, or faggotini stuffed with smoked eggplant and vendace. While the fittingly titled CO.MO Bar & Bistrot will be for whiling away lazy summer afternoons with an Aperol spirtz and a dogeared copy of Where Angels Fear to Tread.

Hold all our calls, please.

 

BlackBook Exclusive: Tantalizing Cocktail Recipes From Downtown NYC’s Buzziest New Bars

 

We can veritably feel the electricity in the air, as the annual arrival of spring approaches (though admittedly, this was a wimp of a winter). Extended daylight, warming temperatures, and let’s face it, serious FOMO, make for the perfect inspirations to spend these more pleasant evenings sipping your way through seasonal cocktails at the newest downtown tippling hotspots.

Soho’s hotel bar scene, for one, just got much more interesting with the opening of A.L.B. at the Arlo Soho, over on the western fringe. Sitting by the floor-to-ceiling-windows facing the verdant courtyard is the perfect way to decompress after another day of soul-crushing headlines. But the East Village is also heating up, with Mr. Paradise, an Art Deco inspired boite, and Paper Daisy, a serious cocktail spot in the former Cafe Orlin.

 

A.L.B.

 

Finish the night by ducking into into the sultry Peppi’s Cellar, the bar under the new Aussie-by-way-of-Italia stunner Gran Tivoli, fittingly in NoLIta, The brick walls and moody lighting make one feel as if you’ve been transported to a Tuscan wine cellar, only with a thing for forward-looking cocktail creations.

Having made the rounds, we asked each to share with us the secret behind a favorite from their impressive drinks menus. Do try these at home – but make sure to also sip them in situ. And leave the designer parka at home.

Where’s Dallas (pictured top)

Paper Daisy, Bartender Thomas Flynn

1.5oz Spring 44 Vodka
0.5oz Lillet Rose
0.75oz grapefruit cordial
0.5oz lemon juice
grapefruit
Seltzer
Method: build ingredients, shake with ice, and fine strain into a highball glass with ice and top with seltzer

Ilegal Poker Game

A.L.B. at Arlo Soho

●      1.5 oz. Shiso infused Absolut Elyx Vodka
●      1.5 oz. K-G-L cordial (equal parts ginger syrup, kalamansi juice, and lychee syrup)
●      .50 oz. Lime juice
●      3 dashes Thai Chile Tincture
●      Glassware: Double Rocks Glass
Garnish: 3 Dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters over the Ice, Shiso Leaf, Ginger Candy
Method: Add all ingredients into a small tin. Add a small amount of crushed ice and whip until you no longer hear the ice moving. This should aerate the drink without over dilution. Strain over crushed ice. Add more crushed ice to create a cone and garnish.

 

 

The Party Lobster

Mr. Paradise, Bartender Will Wyatt

4 Dashes Fermented Habanero/Garlic Brine
1/4 oz Campari
1/2 oz Mezcal
3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1 oz Clarified Watermelon Cordial
1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila
A riff on the spicy margarita, sets your mouth on fire with habanero, but here it’s fermented and paired with savory garlic, watermelon, lime, and a blend of agave spirits.

 

Amaro-Palooza

Peppi’s Cellar, Dave Fisher, Beverage Director

0.75 oz Lemon Juice
0.33 oz Orange Juice
0.75 Simple Syrup
1 oz egg white
0.17 oz Branca Mentha
0.25 oz Triple Sec
0.25 oz Cappalletti
0.25 oz Campari
Method: Double shake and strain over cubed ice in a highball glass. Top with some. Garnish with a orange wedge

 

Peppi’s Cellar

 

First Images: Nobu Hotel Palo Alto Will Become the Palace of Zen-Minimalist Extravagance it Has Always Meant to Be

 

There’s enough money in the Silicon Valley corridor right now, that it’s not the least bit surprising a luxury brand would skip right over San Francisco, and plant its flag in the high tech corridor just to the south. And that is indeed exactly what Nobu did, taking over the Epiphany hotel in Palo Alto in 2017 – with plans just announced to last ratchet it up to the brand’s lofty level of zen-minimalist extravagance (with apologies for the seeming contradiction in terms), in the form of the rebranded Nobu Hotel Palo Alto.

Santa Monica based Montalba Architects, who designed Nobu Ryokan in Malibu, will oversee the upgrade. Keeping with the landscape’s natural theme, the light chiseled stone and golden hued wood will make for an elegant display of minimalism fit for a Wallpaper* magazine shoot. Guests will be welcomed via a floating stone and teak railed staircase to the second floor reception lounge, complete with fireplace, mid-century George Nakashima lounge chairs, and sculpted lighting courtesy of John Wigmore. And if it even need be said, a typically splashy Nobu restaurant will occupy two floors of the eight story property.

 

 

The 73 Asian influenced and tech enabled rooms will be outfitted with Alexa for smart commands over various fixtures (designed to impress a steady parade of Silicon Valleyites), Toto Neorest, washlet toilets, and floor-to-ceiling glass windows with private patio access. (Special bonus: views to the ethereal Santa Cruz Mountains.)

For a distinctive Nobu experience, book one of the Ryokan traditional Japanese styled rooms, which will feature high ceilings, slatted teak wall paneling, 90” televisions (especially important to Game of Thrones fans, surely), and a freestanding wood soaking tub.

Other amenities will include a 24 hour in-room Nobu dining menu, and a state-of-the-art fitness studio with Peloton bikes.

Considering all the free-flowing expense accounts, expect other super-luxury hotel brands to be currently scouting Silicon Valley locations. For its part, the new Nobu Hotel Palo Alto will be unveiled in early 2020 – with a $500- $700 price tag on the rooms.

 

BlackBook Exclusive: Sublime Velvet Chicken Recipe From the New Philippe Chow Downtown

 

Arriving from Hong Kong in the late ’70s, Philippe Chow was quickly swept up into the new upscale Chinese dining trend. He would go on to spend 25 years working in the kitchen for the already legendary restauranteur Michael Chow (no relation), at the NYC outpost of the super swanky celeb-magnet Mr. Chow.

A decade ago, the by-then celebrated Chef Philippe opened his first namesake restaurant on New York’s Upper East Side, and has been serving up Beijing-style dishes to a distinctly cosmopolitan crowd – it remains an uptown hotspot. So it made sense then, that he would eventually make his way down below 23rd street – and so the dazzling new Philippe Chow Downtown arrived this month to much fanfare.

 

 

The subterranean location at the Dream Downtown hotel, is a visually decadent oasis, with a mirrored staircase, gold leafed ceiling, bold red accents – which signifies good fortune and joy in Chinese culture – a dark, sexy bar area and, naturally, a gold bamboo encased DJ booth. The all day and late night menu features Chow’s signature classics like salt and pepper lobster, peking duck carved table side and served with freshly made pancakes, and dim sum options made from hand-pulled noodles and dumplings.

The great culinary master was kind enough to share with BlackBook his inimitable recipe for Chow’s Velvet Chicken. But we highly recommend visiting Philippe Downtown post haste, to enjoy it in the proper surrounds.

 

Chow’s Velvet Chicken

Ingredients:
– 2 chicken breasts
– 1/2 of a carrot
– 2 celery
– 3 Chinese mushrooms
– 3 tablespoons of Chicken broth
– 1 teaspoon of salt
– 1 teaspoon of corn starch
– 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
– 2 pieces of Chili (optional)
Instructions:
  1. Cut up 2 chicken breasts into strips.
  2. Chop 1/2 of a carrot, 2 pieces of celery, and 3 Chinese mushrooms into small pieces.
  3. Put 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil in the wok and heat it up for 1 minute.
  4. When the oil is heated, put the chicken strips into the wok.
  5. Put 3 tablespoons of chicken broth into the wok.
  6. Then, put the chopped carrots, celery, and mushrooms into the wok.
  7. Stir it for 30 seconds.
  8. Then put 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch into the wok.
  9. (Optional) If you would like the velvet chicken spicy, place 2 chopped chili peppers into the wok.
  10. Cook for 5 minutes.

 

BlackBook Rooms With a View: The Stylish New AC Hotel New York Downtown

 

It’s a thing with us: admittedly, we’re sometimes more taken with what we see outside our hotel window than what’s actually there between the four walls. And a recent stay at the new AC Hotel New York Downtown did, indeed, find us pressing nose to glass, taking in the august tableaux of the afternoon sun glinting off the towering edifices of Lower Manhattan.

AC, if you didn’t know, is a Spanish hotel company (partnered up with Marriott in 2011) that has always put design at the center of its singular ethos. Last summer, the jaw-dropping AC Hotel by Marriott New York Times Square debuted across from The New York Times Building, with one of the more fabulous rooftop scenes in the city. Its recently opened, dramatically glass-clad downtown cousin, perched on a low-key corner of Maiden Lane, is a more intimate affair, though hardly less disposed to good looks.

 

 

Indeed, a sprawling, living-room-chic second-floor lounge-bar has the cool residential feel of your Wallpaper*-reading friend’s very smart apartment. It’s a comfy place for work and meetings by day, a very stylish spot for cocktails in the evening.

But the minimalist elegance of the rooms, with their warm woods and sharp, clean lines, also includes impressive floor-to-ceiling windows, even in the bathrooms (so you can shave and primp to a spectacular view). On a clear day, the skyline reflections are literally breathtaking. And with the AC’s reasonable rates, splurging for a King Terrace River View Room will kick that visual dazzle up several notches – especially on a clear day.

With the banks all leaving and the former Financial District going much more residential these last few years, as well as the location just a couple of blocks from the newly fashionable Seaport District, the AC Hotel New York Downtown is definitely our pick for aesthetes traveling on a less-than-five-star budget.

 

BlackBook Exclusive: Chinese Deep Fried Flounder Recipe from American Son Chef Tim Ma

 

Venerable D.C. chef Tim Ma’s new restaurant American Son (opened last August) is a collaboration of his experiences growing up as a Chinese-American in the U.S. during the 1970s. Located in the lobby of the also new-ish Eaton Hotel D.C., the 150 seat eatery is both airy and modern, outfitted with garage doors that roll up to the city sidewalk, as well as chrome and leather seating, an expansive open kitchen, and plenty of greenery.

American Son – aptly named, as it was how his parents often referred to him – serves comfort food from Ma’s global perspective. The menu, which gives vegetables a prominent stage, focuses on seasonal and organic fare to mesh with the hotel’s wellness (of both mind and body) ethos. Among the bites, plates, and large format dishes, definite highlights include the house made ricotta with lavender honey; tofu gnocchi with white miso beurre monte, apple, sunchoke, chive, and black truffle; and spaghetti squash ssam with buttered lettuces and ssam Korean sauces.

Though a genuine Ma signature dish is the deep fried flounder, a homage to one of his best NYC memories, when his family would drive into NYC on the weekends for the the flounder and snails at Hop Kee, the iconic 50-year-old restaurant in Chinatown. Loaded with a handful of Chinese spices and sauces, it is definitely worth breaking your New Year’s diet resolution for.

Chef Ma was generous enough to share the special recipe with BlackBook.

 

Image by Adrian Gaud

 

Chef Tim Ma’s Deep Fried Flounder

“This dish is inspired by the iconic NYC restaurant  Hop Kee on Mott Street in Chinatown, which celebrated 50 years in operation this year. I fondly remember this restaurant because my parents would drive us from Pleasantville, NY every weekend to have this flounder and the snails. Also because one of my best NYC memories is the Chinatown gangs having a fireworks battle on the rooftops as my parents shielded us and we sprinted to get out of way.”
1.5 # Whole Flounder (S & G)
2 cups Rice Flour
2 cups Corn Starch
1/4 cup Chinese 5-spice
1/4 kosher salt
Chili Garlic Sauce
20 red thai bird eye chilli, chopped
10 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 cup ginger, minced
1/2 cup shallots, minced
2 tbsp palm sugar
2 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp sesame oil
4 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp fish sauce
Pickled Ginger
1 quart peeled ginger, julienned
2 cups rice vinegar
2 cups water
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/8 cup sugar
For the pickled ginger:
1. Heat rice vinegar, water, salt, sugar until salt and sugar dissolve.
2. Pour over julienned ginger
3. Cool down and refrigerate over night
For the Flounder
1. Slice 3 or 4 cuts on each side of the flounder, all the way to the bone
2. Mix the rice flour, corn starch, 5-spice, and salt together
3. Dredge the flounder and completely coat in the rice flour mixture
4. Fry at 350F for 6 minutes or until fish is fully cooked
For the Chili Garlic Sauce
1. Mortar and pestle the chiles, garlic, ginger, shallots, palm sugar, kosher salt, sesame oil together to form a paste.
2. Whisk in the rice vinegar, fish sauce, and tamari to the paste.
3. Pour sauce over fish, serve with pickled ginger, lime wedges, and some sprigs of cilantro
4. Make sure to eat the FINS.