Escape to New York
By: Mary Jo Almeida-Shore
With the holidays barely over and the credit card statements trickling in it seems that nightlife in Miami has settled into a lull as we gear up (read purge and fast) for South Beach Wine and Food Festival in a few weeks. Yet the 2011 social calendar is slowly starting to unfold (check out Don’t Miss!). This leaves us reminiscing about our New York escape over the holidays and planning a prompt return- should the blizzards cease in the near future. Yes, the lights and giant snowflakes have been taken down from Fifth Avenue, and Rockefeller Center no longer sports a giant tree, but New York City still has plenty of sparkle to offer. Aside from the basic musts: the major shopping streets, ice skating in the recently upgraded Wollman Rink, traipsing through Central Park, riding the elevators at the Marriott Marquis, visiting the museums and the top of the Empire State building, discovering hidden gems in Soho and the Village and eating all of the delicious street foods, here are a few spots that caught our attention on our last visit.
NYC’s “It” chef, John DeLucie, founding chef and partner of The Waverly Inn, recently opened The Lion, which attracts the beautiful people and celebrities and those who love them. In honor of DeLucie’s rock star following, he became the first Celebrity Chef honored at the MTV Movie Awards in 2009 and again in 2010. The Lion is housed in a landmark brownstone which evokes an old-world New York feel featuring a grand dining room with a soaring double height ceiling, a massive domed antique skylight, a 20 foot stone fireplace and a highly eclectic mix of art on the walls. An open kitchen separates the Tavern from the Main Dining Room. The Lion has already been lauded in numerous publications. On the night we were there, Fran Drescher sat next to us and Naomi Campbell held a party in the upstairs loft. Fortunately for those who can’t escape to New York any time soon, DeLucie just opened the Royal at the Raleigh, right in our own back yard. For more information, visit: www.thelionnyc.com.
Back in September we told you about LAVO New York City, a Southern Italian bistro/state-of-the-art nightclub owned and operated by nightlife masterminds, Noah Tepperberg, Jason Strauss, Marc Packer, Jayma Cardosa and Rich Wolf, the hospitality impresarios behind LAVO Las Vegas, TAO, Avenue, Stanton Social, Rue 57, Goldbar and Avra and most recently Marquee Las Vegas. The space is stylish and gorgeous- think Prime 112 meets The WALL, with the former stacked atop the latter, and the food, service and atmosphere are top-notch. Big and bustling- and packed to the rafters every night, the fantastic ambiance is rivaled only by the excellent food. Hitting the town for dinner during a post-blizzard clean up is not an easy task-just catching a cab is a Herculean undertaking, but our dinner at LAVO was well worth it. The Las Vegas import located in Midtown is the perfect setting for people watching as you enjoy the scrumptious menu the ground-floor bistro has to offer. The Wagu-blend meatballs doused in homemade “stick to your ribs” sauce with a side of garlic bread for dipping made for a perfect start to our extensive dinner. To follow: lobster bisque that warmed us to the core, and crispy truffle French fries. The piece de resistance was the filet, cooked to perfection. The service was outstanding, especially considering the 20 inches of snow with which New York had been slammed the previous day. LAVO is located at 39 E. 58th St. Read all about the grand opening on http://miamisocialholic.com/09/hot-new-york-minute/.
Newly opened in the Park Central Hotel, Cityhouse is a typical New York bistro, which offers a wide variety of dishes, to appeal to just about any palate, and is a great hang-out for NYC natives and tourists alike. The expansive, family friendly restaurant is decorated in rich charcoal interiors and offers floor-to-ceiling views of Seventh Avenue. We enjoyed a terrific New York strip (how cliché) and fought over the lobster bisque. But the place also offers lots of fish, seafood, salads, you name it. What the place lacks in boldfaced names, it makes up for in its prices- dishes are below 30 bucks. Cityhouse is located at 870 Seventh Avenue, just a short jaunt from the M & M store and Marriott Marquis.
Paris hotspot, Le Baron took over Le Bain on the night we were there- giving us déjà vu, as we had barely recovered from late-nights-turned-early-mornings at the Parisian outpost during its Florida Room takeover during Art Basel. Aside from the sweeping views, this Meatpacking hotspot draws a gorgeous crowd and a line-up of terrific DJs every night.
We felt right at home at the Soho House from the second we walked in- as the New York version is the darker, more sophisticated sister of our beloved hang-out here at home. We couldn’t resist a trek upstairs to the rooftop pool (from which Samantha and her Sex and the City cohorts got kicked-out), despite the frigid temperatures. The “house” is currently undergoing renovations so we look forward to the seeing the updates on our next visit.
SIDEBAR: For excellent Babysitting service- in New York City and throughout the world at large, contact Miami-based and licensed, The Babysitting Company, http://www.thebabysittingcompany.com/
The owner, Rachel Charlupski, is as knowledgeable and experienced as the wonderful girls with whom she works. You will receive a detailed summary with photo about your sitter. Believe us, your kids will beg you to go OUT! **contributions by Maryanne Salvat
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