Sexy Spring Fragrances for Men
De rigueur scents evoke open air, fresh grass, and… a gin and tonic?
March 12, 2013
Spring is in the air and with it, the olfactory impetus for men to get their fragrance game on point. As any gentleman knows, smelling nice is essential to a strong first impression—not to mention a subtle and effective way to reel in potential paramours. With this in mind, we asked the experts at MiN Apothecary & Atelier to share some of their favorite spring scents. Shop curator Mindy Yang says this season is about scents inspired by the open air, fresh citrus, aromatics, vetyver, and light woods. There’s also a trend toward fragrances that evoke classic cocktails, like the gin and tonic. Here are five of Yang's favorites. Get ready for a sexy spring, New York.
St. Patrick’s Day Recommender
Where to enjoy a quiet drink on the rowdiest day of the year.
March 12, 2013
Find respite (and plenty of good years) at Tribeca's Brandy Library
Hankering for more, dare we say, civilized St. Patrick's Day festivities this Sunday? Fear not, sensitive revelers, these grown-up watering holes will whet your appetite for subdued celebration, whiskey, and all things Irish—without the unbridled madness of the masses.
Duck into this Tribeca drinking establishment and library and while away the hours sipping rare single malts or your favorite old Glenlivet. This elegant joint keeps the volume level way down and stocks its bar with bottles of every shape and size—ask a "librarian" for a suggestion. Hors d'oeuvres are just as classy; opt for a nice charcuterie tasting plate, tartare, filet mignon, or Gruyère cheese puff. 25 N. Moore St., 212-226-5545
The Dead Poet
Literature is alive, well, and hanging on the walls—in the form of poems, portraits, and inspiring quotes—at this friendly, Upper West Side Irish pub owned by a former high school English teacher. While the college crowd does linger, it's worth the company to enjoy a pint from the bar’s vast selection of premium draft beer on tap. There are lots of great Irish whiskeys, too. Bring your manuscript. 450 Amsterdam Ave., 212-595-5670
What better combination than St. Patty's Day and sports? Game day, beer, good whiskey, and Irish food specials hold court all weekend long at chi-chi sports bar The Windsor, with locations in the West Village and Gansevoort Park. In the spirit of the day, tuck into pastrami spring rolls, corned beef and cabbage, shepherd's pie, and Guinness chocolate cupcakes with Baileys buttercream. 234 W 4th St., 212-206-1208; 420 Park Ave. South, 646-380-530
Amy Herzog’s 'Belleville' Opens
An American couple living in Paris drifts dangerously apart in this Off Broadway play.
March 12, 2013
Maria Dizzia and Greg Keller star in Belleville
The quiet misery that can hide within seemingly happy romantic relationships takes center stage in Belleville, Amy Herzog's acclaimed new Off Broadway play at New York Theater Workshop. The lively drama tells the story of a young American couple, Abby (played by Maria Dizzia) and Zack (Greg Keller), living in Paris. Greg has a position with Doctors Without Borders. Abby teaches yoga, which doesn't thrill the aspiring actress as a life goal.
They seem happy and in love, but as both individuals and as a couple, they have their issues, quiet yet intense, which extend far beyond the financial strife Zack tries to hide from Abby. (Much like he tries to hide his penchant for Internet porn.) Neither Abby nor Gregg is totally happy, but they bury their discontent under booze, marijuana, and anti-depressants. Isolated overseas, their latent anger and fear builds into a sense of palpable danger that leads to the thriller's climax.
Directed by Anne Kauffman (who directed Detroit, among others), Belleville first ran at Yale Repertory Theater in 2011 with the same cast. Named after the Paris neighborhood in which the play is set, the writing is brilliant, the acting is great, and Herzog's softly dark but powerful story about humans and love will stick with you long after you leave the theater. 79 E. 4th St., 212-279-4200
Craft Gins Grow in Brooklyn
Artisanal gin distilleries are Brooklyn’s latest claim to fame.
March 11, 2013
Gin might not be the first word that comes to mind when thinking of Brooklyn, but in recent years, a new wave of quality artisanal distillers have popped up in the borough that also houses urban farmers, beekeepers, and foragers. Distilleries like Greenhook Ginsmiths, Breuckelen Distilling, and the New York Distilling Company are boosting Brooklyn’s reputation as a hotbed for craft gin.
“We thought it would be a wonderful, fun opportunity,” says Tom Potter, a co-founder of the New York Distilling Company, which opened in 2011 on (of all days) the anniversary of the repeal of prohibition. “Artisanal distilling was just beginning to blossom in the U.S., and we thought Brooklyn would be an ideal place to launch an urban distillery.”
Why now? For Potter and his peers, the question is more like, What took so long? Though Kentucky distillers dominate the industry, New York was once in the game as well, says Potter, who also co-founded Brooklyn Brewery. “Going back before prohibition, there were thousands of American distilleries, and dozens in Brooklyn. Distilling was a very important part of the economy in its early years and used to be a very big deal in New York. It was sort of an anomaly [that] we had lost our distillers.”
Recent changes in state legislation and licensing fees now make the operation of small distilleries much more viable for small business owners, adds Potter, whose company also owns The Shanty Bar, which serves many New York Distilling Company spirits. “Over the past five years, there's been a rebirth of local distillers, all of us are making different products. The brewing industry went through this renaissance about 20 years ago.”
As for the spirits, New York Distilling Company focuses on two unique gins. “We have a contemporary floral gin called Dororthy Parker, and a strong and spicy gin called Perry's Tot, named after the former commandant of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. It’s ‘Navy strength,’ which is 114 proof, and we believe we were the first American distillery to reintroduce Navy-style gin.” The intense flavor of an over-proofed gin “holds up beautifully in cocktails,” says Potter. “It makes a fantastic gin and tonic.”
And you don’t have to cross the bridge to buy New York Distilling Company spirits. They can be found in more than 300 locations throughout New York, and the company has recently expanded distribution to neighboring states, with California on the agenda for next month.
Also sold at liquor stores throughout the city, such as Sherry-Lehmann and Astor Wines & Spirits, Greenhook Ginsmiths produces several small-batch varieties of gin, including a Beach Plum Gin Liqueur made with beach plums from Long Island, organic turbinado sugar, and dry gin. Meanwhile, Breucklelen Distilling produces gin and whiskey distilled from New York wheat, rye, and corn. Their scratch-made spirits are available throughout the city, as well as in Australia and the U.K.
Down the Rabbit Hole at Cynthia Rowley
Rowley has turned an Upper East Side townhouse into a fantasyland—complete with freshly twisted cotton candy.
March 11, 2013
Leave it to mad fashion genius Cynthia Rowley to turn a retail store into a twisted wonderland inspired by cinematic fantasies in the tradition of Tim Burton and Willy Wonka. Walking into her new boutique on 78th and Madison is an escape not only from New York, but from reality. The four story townhouse devotes two floors to shopping, and two floors to Exhibition A, the online art business Rowley runs with her husband. (By appointment only.)
The first “we're not in Kansas anymore” moment comes upon entering the townhouse's gated courtyard, where a demented, brambly, fantasy garden by event designer Raúl Àvila awaits. The first floor is devoted to Rowley's signature clothing and accessories boutique, featuring all your favorite Rowley looks.
Totter up the stairs, past a dreamy mural in shades of indigo and blue, onto the second floor candy and party shop. CuRious Candy by Cynthia Rowley is full of strange, delightful, and yes, curious, offerings like custom piñatas, party décor, and hard candy figurine centerpieces. If you're in need of a nosh, freshly twisted black licorice cotton candy is free to shoppers. Rowley describes the new venture as “Willy Wonka with a dark side.” Certainly, much of the merchandise is edible; there's even a line of edible place settings. Sounds like the makings of a whimsical New York dinner party to us. 43 East 78th St., 212-288-1141
Dispatch: Early Spring Film Fêtes
Jeffrey Slonim recaps a jam-packed month of starry New York premieres.
March 11, 2013
With New York Fashion Week and Oscar week, February is always a busy month for Dispatches. Not to mention the far-flung invites that flood in during the build up to spring. I just received an invite for John Varvatos' Heartbreaker Banquet and benefit concert on March 14 at Willie Nelson’s Luck, Texas Ranch; Vanessa von Bismarck kindly invited Dispatches to Milan for the recent Santoni flagship boutique opening, hosted by Juliette Binoche; and though I was unfortunately not invited, Mark Tomlinson and Laura Bechtolsheimer wed at a fab ski resort in Arosa, Switzerland on March 2. Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge did attend. And HRH Catherine of Cambridge wore a fab MaxMara coat with fur collar. Harry and William play polo at Tomlinson’s parents’ club, and the bride, an Olympic dressage gold medalist, is a German department store heiress.
Over the last few weeks, I did manage to attend the Self magazine New York premiere of Safe Haven. The Daily News asked Josh Duhamel whom he would elect as pope, and he pointed at me. Cheers, Duhamel! On the same night, the Cinema Society and Dior Beauty premiered Beautiful Creatures. In the film, Jeremy Irons’ character lives at Lakeside, my brother Hunt’s plantation house outside of Baton Rouge. (The land was originally deeded to the Marquis of Lafayette.) At the afterparty, Emmy Rossum told me she looked around inside when they were shooting.
And on Tuesday that week, I interviewed every last Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue model (tough job, I know) at Crimson. They were off to Vegas the next day. Also that night, I made it to the Ziegfeld in time for Beyoncé’s Life is But a Dream documentary. She said, “Hi.” Yep, that was the full interview. But the film was seriously personal. And the audience went wild when Blue Ivy appeared onscreen.
The Cinema Society, Food and Wine, Jeff Bridges (hair pulled back in a bun), and Tom Colicchio screened A Place at the Table, at the MoMA on February 27. The film documents families struggling with hunger in America, but the feast that Colicchio set out at Riverpark, his modernist restaurant on far East 29th Street, was one of the best feed lines ever—stone crab, oysters, barbecue pork ribs.
Stoker, which debuted the same night as A Place at the Table, is a sinister tale starring Matthew Goode (the altitudinous Brit brother in Match Point) and Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Alice in Wonderland). Goode, neat as a pin, was wearing McQueen. “Have I played a deranged character before? No, not on film . . . bit of a first,” he noted. And doing scenes with Nicole Kidman, not present, wasn’t the draw for Wasikowska. “She hadn’t even signed on at that point,” said the actress. “I liked the character.”
The Cinema Society and Make Up For Ever hosted the New York screening of Electrick Children on March 4. Julia Garner, a newcomer who has been highly sought after since Sundance, plays a young Mormon who believes she got pregnant by listening to rock and roll. Billy Zane (Titanic), who plays her dad, mentioned that the director was brought up Mormon, so she gave them pointers. But more importantly, would he take a cruise on Titanic II, an ocean liner that an Aussie billionaire plans to build? “Depends [on] how many lifeboats they’ve got,” quipped Zane.
To the disappointment of many, there was no Dorothy in Oz The Great and Powerful, which the Cinema Society and Gucci debuted the next night. The film, starring James Franco, tells the story of how Oz (Franco) ended up in the Emerald City. “It’s a precursor,” said Franco. “I walked on the yellow brick road. And there is a good flying monkey, a little girl made out of porcelain called the China girl, who actually stole the show. And I’m going to L.A. tomorrow to get my Hollywood star.”
At the Paris Theater the next night, CNN shared Girl Rising, documenting the powerful stories of girls from nine countries, and the way education and spirit can lift the human condition. Cate Blanchett, Selena Gomez, Salma Hayek, and Meryl Streep narrate. On her way into the theater, Girls star Allison Williams looked pristine in a strapless Dior. I also spotted Lauren Bush Lauren and her mother, Sharon Bush. Sharon indicated that Lauren became a vegetarian at a young age after making the connection between adorable farm animals and a restaurant where they ate. The FEED organization that Bush Lauren later founded now feeds underserved women around the globe.
Parea Goes From Bistro to Steakhouse
The Gramercy stalwart has beefed up its menu and wine list.
March 08, 2013
A bountiful raw bar menu and Pat LaFrieda’s Himalayan salt room-aged steaks and chops are among the impressive highlights of Parea Prime, a new Gramercy steakhouse that's essentially a rebranded version of Parea Bistro. But the restaurant, owned by Peter Pappas and a triumvirate of brothers (George, Jimmy, and Peter Pantelidis), has kept one element of its previous iteration intact: its Greek roots. They've also brought on Five-Star Diamond Award-winning general manager Jean Christophe Villard, born in Greece and raised in Paris, to ensure smooth sailing in the dining room and the kitchen.
Helmed by executive chef Ioannis Benetos, the kitchen's traditional Greek specialties—grilled octopus, vegetable moussaka, oven roasted lamb, and spanakopita—complement the new steakhouse menu. Standouts include a pinot noir-braised short rib served with cheese polenta and a grilled Atlantic salmon. The Kurobuta (Japan’s answer to the Berkshire pig) grilled pork chops with roasted apples are another house favorite, along with a bone-in rib-eye steak with foie gras and sweet sherry glaze. In addition to these hand-picked cuts from Pat LaFrieda & Sons, there are some pretty great vegetarian dishes, too. Dig into fire-roasted gigante beans in light tomato sauce; vegetarian moussaka; and a host of veggie-based spreads like eggplant purée, tzatziki, and spicy feta htipiti.
Perfect for spring, the raw bar menu promises jumbo tiger shrimp, Maine lobster, Blue Point oysters, and stone crab, amongst other East and West Coast fruits de mer. Parea Prime's wine list also dresses to impress, featuring more than 200 selections from around the world, plus a sommelier to help you choose. 36 East 20th St., 212-777-8448
What We're Reading
The new Facebook, Mila Kunis' best interview ever, the Torrisi team’s buzzy new spot…
March 08, 2013
From the team behind Torrisi, Carbone is the weekend's top reservation.
Open for dinner tonight, Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone’s new restaurant, Carbone, on Thompson Street, features art curated by Julian Schnabel’s son, server uniforms by Zac Posen, flooring inspired by The Godfather, and fine dining takes on Italian-American classics. [Eater]
Mila Kunis proves to be the coolest chick ever in this hysterical BBC interview that's gone viral this week. She bonds with a nervous young reporter who confesses this is his first celebrity interview and proceeds to invite Kunis to the pub, a football match, and a wedding. Check out Hollywood Life’s take on the exchange, complete with video link. [Hollywood Life]
The infamous Higgs Boson particle, “aka the God particle,” is swiftly becoming science's new rock star. In The New York Times, writer Dennis Overbye offers a fascinating, demystifying look at the stakes faced by the dueling “armies of scientists” trying to figure it out first. [The New York Times]
Facebook has a sleek new look as of yesterday. The design change, which is currently being rolled out, features larger images, more white space, and additional feeds (music, photos, close friends, etc.). It’s all very “mobile-inspired.” Buzzfeed has the visuals. [Buzzfeed]
The Mediterranean diet, full of fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, garlic, olive oil, lean fish, and wine (in moderation) has long been associated with longevity and good health. As New York Times writer Gina Kolata explains, a new study proves this diet is as effective as drugs in preventing “heart attacks and strokes and deaths from cardiovascular disease.” [The New York Times]
Get to know Johnny Harrington, the ex-carpenter turned bearded model who started the beard trend in Londontown. You may recognize Harrington from Billy Reid’s 2013 fall show during New York Fashion Week. [Vogue]
photography by Daniel Krieger VIA
8 New Spring Sweets at Dominique Ansel
Stop by the Soho pastry shop this weekend and taste them all.
March 08, 2013
Dominique Ansel Bakery introduced a stunning new line of spring desserts this week. Whimsical and light is the overarching theme, and with everything from a matcha pudding to a grapefruit tart to a rhubarb fromage blanc cake, it’s virtually impossible to pick a favorite. So here they are, all eight of them.
Weekend Recommender: March 7–10
Sunday supper by the fire, Nordic dance at Joyce Theater, and The Armory Show.
March 07, 2013
Rashaad Newsome's works at The Armory Show are not to be missed.
Armory Show Pick: Rashaad Newsome at Pier 94
Through March 10
A video installation of Rashaad Newsome's recent San Francisco Museum of Modern Art performance, Shade Compositions, as well as some of the artist's new collages are just a few of the reasons to head directly to Booth 611 at Pier 94 this weekend. That's where the Marlborough Gallery Chelsea invites the ticketed public to view the African America artist's acclaimed work. Twelfth Ave. at 55th St.
Get it Out There: Live Comedy at BAM
March 7, 8 p.m.
The Independent Film Channel and Brooklyn Academy of Music join forces this Thursday night at the BAMCafé for a rollicking showcase of emerging comics who dare to test out new material. Hosted by Emily Heller, this week's all-female lineup includes Nikki Glaser, Marina Franklin, Kendra Cunningham, Naomi Ekperigin, and Heather Lawless. Best of all, admission is free. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9. 30 Lafayette Ave, Brooklyn, 718-636-4100
Nordic Dance at The Joyce Theater
March 7-8 at 8 p.m., March 9 at 2 and 8 p.m.
Finland, Denmark, and Norway are putting their best dance routines on the New York stage in a festival called Ice Hot, which showcases the countries’ top companies. This weekend, the stage belongs to Tero Saarinen, whose solo piece, HUNT, celebrates the centenary of Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. The program's other piece, Scheme of Things, is a technically demanding work about relationships. 175 Eighth Ave., 212-242-0800
Sunday Supper at Crown
March 10, 5 p.m.
Move over Sunday brunch, it's Winter Sunday Supper at Crown. From 5 to 9 p.m. every Sunday, Crown Group Hospitality's Upper East Side restaurant now offers a special Sunday roast dinner served by the warmth of the fireplace in Crown's main dining room. Created by chef and proprietor John DeLucie and executive chef Jason Hall, the $42 prix fixe menu features a rotating cast of traditional roast meats that change every month, plus delicious sides. 24 East 81st St., 646-559-4990