The Harry Cipriani, Fifth Avenue, New York City.
Timeless swank is what Cipriani’s is all about. Carrying the torch that was lit in 1931, back in Venice, Italy by Giuseppe Cipriani. Just off the Piazzo San Marco, Giuseppe opened the famed Harry’s Bar and gifted the world with his inventions. Carpacio, now a generic term used globally to describe thinly sliced rw meat or fish and nowadays even fruit, to his infamous pink Champagne cocktail, the Bellini. Another Subtle treat he left us with are his pale aqua menus, brimming with the most delectable Italian fare. The Tiffany-like color of this tableau of quintessential Italian dishes has become the trademark of the Cipriani brand. This location is a must for people watching, socializing, imbibing and dining. The staff is at the top of their game and no glass goes unfilled under the watchful eye of the exceptionally hospitable dining room staff. If lucky, you may bump into Cipriani’s great-granddaughter, Anna, who can give you the most lovely family details and bring the entire evening together. Oh, and it’s most definitely a New York standard. This is a place to see and be seen! cipriani.com
Field of Light by Bruce Munro, Uluru, NT, Australia
The dazzling stars above Uluru, the mystical mesa-top monolith in the Northern Territory, now have competition. Running through March 2017, the solar-powered installation Field of Light illuminates the remote, rugged desert on a monumental scale at Ayers Rock Resort. Artist Bruce Munro conceived the idea in 1992 while visiting Uluru, then first mounted the installation in 2004 at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and in southwest England before touring. Finally, it returns to its spiritual home. In keeping with the desert’s vast scale, Munro team installed more than 50,000 slender stems crowned with radiant frosted-glass globes. These colored spheres, connected via illuminated optical fibers, bloom as darkness falls. Pathways draw viewers into the installation, accessible via several passes from $35-$235. ayersrockresort.com.au
FnB, Scottsdale, Arizona
Scottsdale has long been a Hollywood hideaway: Bing Crosby, Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh were among the regulars. The past decade has seen a downtown renaissance with burgeoning arts, dining and nightlife scenes. FnB’s energetic voluble co-owner Pavel Milic entertains diners with a running commentary on everything from leftist politics to the locavore movement. A big champion of Arizona wines (he makes four himself under the Los Milics label at renowned facility, Dos Cabezas), his true farm-to-table experience includes such local artisanal products as MJ Breads and Queen Creek Olive Oil: “I’m bringing Arizona viticulture and cuisine out of the closet!” He pours his new rosé, a blend of Grenache and Picpoul Blanc. “Like drinking clouds,” he promises… and delivers. Among James Beard-nominated chef Charleen Badman’s winners: house-cured Meyer-lemon salmon with potato bread and garlic-spiked cream cheese (“our lox and bagel”) and Creekstone ribeye simply grilled with salt and pepper atop a bed of local greens with foraged mushrooms. fnbrestaurant.com
Rivea, Las Vegas, NV
A vertiginous glass elevator with views of the fabled Strip zooms to the 64th floor of the Delano where top toque Alain Ducasse rebranded his Mix as Skyfall Lounge and Rivea. Recessed glowing ovals dangle from Skyfall’s ceiling like clouds; small seating areas line the floor-toceiling windows opening onto more vaunted Strip views. The seasonally changing cocktails incorporate craft products made in-house. Rivea features sweeping mahogany banquettes, whimsical retro “bubble” chandelier and a “Wave Wall” resembling a 3D mosaic with hundreds of glass tiles that mimic the lapping water. The gorgeously textured and presented food channels the sunny, vibrant colors and flavors of Provence. Sharing plates is the way to go: the signature Ducasse cookpot of farmer’s vegetables, faro and quinoas; chickpea fries like puffy ethereal clouds; amazing asparagus-and-ricotta ravioli; glorious paccheri served with a daube-style ox-cheek sauce that conjures memories of Marseilles; lovely lush lobster risotto; gossamer gnocchi perfectly contrasted with parmesan crisps; sea bass crudo with grapefruit and lemon (sublime with a grassy Sauvignon Blanc); and scallops primavera with lima beans, broccoli and peas – summer on a plate. It’s that rare room with a view whose fare is as elevated as the restaurant itself. alain-ducasse.com
Roxy Lounge, New York, NY
Cool design touches abound in the Roxy Hotel’s eponymous lounge: a Steinway grand piano amid a mix of fun funky vintage sofas and chairs from Brimfield Flea Market and 1stDibs. Tiered-banquette seating flanking the elevated stage offers prime perches for live jazz and blues performances, many curated by Lady Gaga’s jazz bandleader, Grammy-nominee Brian Newman. There’s also a (literal) buzz from such cutting-edge craft cocktails as the Roxy (5yo El Dorado Rum, sour cherry cordial, cinnamon, lime and pineapple juices) and my choice, the smashing Dirty Harry (raisin-infused Bulleit Rye, Miracle Mile pecan bitters, demerara with coffee beans)… Yes, I was smashed after two. Chef Joseph Abbruzzese dishes out locally sourced and organic food, including fab fried oysters and beef tartare. And pigs in a blanket: Over a three-day period, the meat is cured, processed, then rolled in house-made dough and sprinkled with Nigella black onion seeds, caraway seeds and Maldon sea salt. Pig out indeed. roxyhotelnyc.com
Sheer Rocks, Antigua, West Indies
Past a sparkling spillover plunge pool high above the turquoise sea lies Sheer Rocks, a glamorous treehouse-like multi-tiered café. I meet with the Chef who explains Sheer Rocks’ philosophy: serving simple yet exquisite tapas ranging from tuna carpaccio to sticky pork. Each treat perfectly complements the refreshing atmosphere in the warmth of this tropical paradise. When the sun heats up I carry my mojito to the cliff-side pool for a dip. One can never get enough of this view – this chic locale is the perfect place for a casual drink, or even to lounge around until the sunset… and beyond. Sheer heaven. sheer-rocks.com
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