Something is happening on the second floor of the Carlton Hotel. Hot is colliding with cold, Asian is merging with French, and tuna is appearing in dishes where steak once reigned. Welcome to Millesime, where ambition and simplicity emanate from chef Laurent Manrique’s lauded kitchen. With a career that began at the Waldorf Hotel’s Peacock Alley, and is dotted with Bon Appètit’s "Rising Star Chef Award" and Michelin stars (his cooking earned San Francisco’s Aqua three and a half stars), Manrique is back in New York and shaking up the French scene with his signature class and innovation.
Yes, we know: Le Jules Verne at the top of the Eiffel Tower. But assuming you’re not proposing this time around, here are eight other international top spots to enjoy breathtaking views while you fill your belly.
Restaurant Georges at Centre George Pompidou, Paris: By the time you hit the third set of escalators going up to this museum’s roof, it should be clear you’re on your way straight to the top. Enjoy a drink on the terrace and watch the Eiffel Tower scintillate, then settle into the modern, aluminum-lined space for delicious takes on French classics, like the champagne-poached cod.
Rhodes 24, London: Located in the City of London’s tallest building, Tower 42, the restaurant has held onto its Michelin star since 2005, for Gary Rhodes’ traditional British cuisine, privileging quality products over fancy preparations, and letting the view add the sparkle.
WP24, Los Angeles: Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck has become so ubiquitous, it’s refreshing to see him get back to what he does best: modern, Asian-inflected cuisine that made him famous. Opened in 2010, WP24 was named one of the best new restaurants in America by multiple critics, not least for the spectacular view of the LA skyline from the 24th floor of the Ritz-Carlton hotel.
A Voce Columbus, New York: The panoramic view of Central Park, accented by the glittering whirl of Columbus Circle, is only slightly more all-encompassing than the delights of chef Missy Robbins’ pasta dishes, which are delicious enough to eat every day and deceptively simple enough to make you think you actually could.
The View Bar, Sao Paulo: The 30th-floor lounge of The View Bar is as exciting inside as the city view is outside, with visitors mingling happily with Brazilian locals over a coupe of champagne, and couples sharing a meal of small plates with local influences.
Michel’s, Hawaii: About to celebrate its 50th year this January, Michel’s at the Colony Surf on Waikiki claims to have the island’s best view, both of the ocean waves and the lights of Honolulu. Live music, fresh fish, and some of the world’s best sunsets make this destination justifiably famous.
Aqua, Hong Kong: Victoria Harbor at night is the focal point of every major building that has access to it for a reason — the multicolored lights and visually thrilling skyline add glamour to rooms that are already luxe. Aqua’s combination of Italian and Japanese food is appropriately international for the setting in the luxury shopping development One Peking Road.
Top of the World, Las Vegas: Located in the Stratosphere (literally; that’s the name of the tall building towering over the Strip) this restaurant prides itself on creating a menu of American classics with unique accents—as unique as the restaurant’s own signature feature, which is the entire space’s 360 degree revolution every 80 minutes.
Vena Cava is continuing its push into more affordable markets with its latest expansion, a capsule collection for Bloomingdale’s in-house line, Aqua. Fashionista has a first look at the line, which includes a black-and-white print silk tee, a double-breasted and belted black sweater coat, and a gray tee with a see-through back. The small but solid collection is slated to hit racks in September and its price point is, surprisingly, said to be less than that of Vena Cava’s other lower-priced line, Viva Vena. The good news for Vena Cava fans not residing in major fashion capitals: the collection will retail both at Bloomingdale’s and at Bloomingdales.com come fall.
In other lower-priced news, Scott Sternberg’s Band of Outsiders is launching another collection under its well-tailored umbrella. The latest addition to the BoO family is girl, an “entry-level womenswear line,” according to Business of Fashion. Expect a lot more specifics to drop sometime around NYFW.
For the love of Gina G., is it 1997 again? It was fine when the Spice Girls did the whole comeback thing because they were arguably The Beatles of their heyday. Also they looked quite good coming back for one last can-can. It was also fine when Robyn came back, because she waxed reflective on her past as a tween poppet. I’m even willing to grant clemency to Take That, Kim Wilde, and All Saints. Those were welcome flashbacks to a golden part of pop’s past. But there’s an incongruous trio of pop zombies that make us scratch our heads, look back at the ’90s and ask why. As in, why should we humor Dave Matthews Band when we already have John Mayer?
The answer is simple. We shouldn’t. Really, even with the whole harmonica-and-guitar thing and with DMB’s recent surprise Billboard coup, there’s absolutely no reason why a band who inspired its legions of followers to don pukka shell necklaces and screen-printed Abercrombie tees with mid-level AC rock should be foisted, once again, onto unsuspecting listeners. Even if they hearken back to the long-lost glory days of Rolling Stone.
But more deplorable is what nefarious plans the Backstreet Boys are hatching. Never mind the absurdity of men in their 30s referring to themselves as “boys.” “But what about the Spice Girls?” you might ask. Well, they had the feminist insight of Betty Freidan to fall back on.
However, a bizarre by-product of the same pop movement was Aqua. Surprise! They’re alive! One of them even did a solo jaunt that involved BDSM once. But now, they’ve fully reformed and returned with a new single all about how life used to be in the 80s. The irony! The tune not only counts, “Back when Michael Jackson’s skin was black” as one of its lines, but a #1 ranking in Denmark among its virtues.
So how to cope with this sputtering, turbulent ride on the Pop Flux Capacitator. Beats me. But as long as this spate of comebacks means that sometime call girl Billie Piper won’t be returning to her pop roots, we can all sleep soundly.
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