Fashion Forward

Overview

High-preformance clothes, cars and more. America's finest dining includes 57 of our favorite restaurants, plus adventures in the Andes and Scotch with a French twist.

From This Issue

Collectibles: What the Doctor Ordered

Dr. C. Keith Wilbur’s collection of antique medical instruments indicates that 150 years ago, his was not a profession for the fainthearted. The physician’s interest in these items first was piqued in 1983, when one of his patients gave him a wood-handled steel implement that neither she nor he could identify. Wilbur, who, prior to […]

Feature: Not-So-Ole Miss

Windy Hill, A Grand Manor in Mississippi, conveys the immediate impression that it has presided for centuries over the 2,000-acre property on which it stands, secreting the tales of the family it has sheltered for generations. It appears as though it was a simple farmhouse originally, built in the late Renaissance period and then expanded over […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Venetian Find

However striking a fazioli piano (www.fazioli.com) may appear, the instrument’s truly distinguishing component is the red spruce soundboard that lies under the strings. The company—which conservatory-trained pianist and mechanical engineer Paolo Fazioli founded in 1981 in Sacile, Italy, near Venice—sources the wood from the Val di Fiemme in the Italian Alps. Antonio Stradivari once harvested […]

FrontRunners: Taste Chest

If it had been introduced in the age of ocean liners, the $15,000 Chocolate Picnic Steamer Trunk from the MarieBelle chocolate company (www.mariebelle.com) would have been ideal for a world traveler with an insatiable sweet tooth. Now it serves as a unique way to package 350 pieces of MarieBelle chocolate ganache, five pounds of dark […]

FrontRunners: Cool Video

Regardless of how you stock it, LG Electronics’ (www.lgusa.com) new refrigerator will be more interesting to look at than in. The door to the 26.2 cu ft LG LSC27990 ($3,600) incorporates a 15-inch, high-definition LCD television that plays HD and standard-definition programming, while a second, 4-inch LCD screen on the freezer door controls refrigerator functions, […]

FrontRunners: Prison Reform

When the Liberty Hotel (www.libertyhotel.com) opens this summer at the foot of Boston’s Beacon Hill, its guests are sure to have more enjoyable stays than did any of the celebrities who lodged in the building during its former incarnation, as the Charles Street Jail. Anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, Malcolm X, and Albert DeSalvo […]

FrontRunners: Neo Bohemia

Early last year, singer/songwriter Edwin McCain released a tune that described the Gramercy Park Hotel (www.gramercyparkhotel.com) as a place for “the beggar’s life”—but it seems he sang too soon. Hotel and nightclub magnate Ian Schrager has transformed the New York City landmark, a haven for rockers in the 1960s and ’70s, into a place rich […]

Home Electronics: Power Player

Just a few weeks before the original Woodstock festival in August 1969, the concert organizers faced a dilemma: The event, they realized, would draw hundreds of thousands of people, not the tens of thousands they initially had expected. In those days, few audio systems were designed to deliver clear, high-quality sound over an area large […]

Home: Suite Sensation

When Bottega Veneta first collaborated with the St. Regis Hotel, New York, it was to create a handbag commemorating the Manhattan establishment’s 100th anniversary, in 2004. At the time, the Italian manufacturer, which had originated in Venice as a producer of fine leather goods nearly four decades earlier, happened to be working on its first […]

Journeys: Above the Noise

The 44-foot ketch Bonita, built in the shipyards of Buenos Aires in 1982, cuts through the water of Lago Nahuel Huapi. The snowcapped Andes of northern Patagonia—a region Argentines call the Lake District—reflect off modest ripples as the sailing and motor yachts docked at Porto Pañuelo recede aft. “Handkerchief Port,” says my guide, Nahuel Alonso, […]

Travel: Twin Peaks Rising

The mountainside dirt road leading to Anse Chastanet, a resort on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, is barely wide enough to accommodate two-way traffic. Vehicles approaching from opposing directions will pass within inches of each other; the driver on the road’s outer edge cannot yield too much, lest he tumble his car down a […]

Journeys: Above the Noise: Lake District Lodging

The resort town of San Carlos de Bariloche sits on the southeastern shore of Lago Nahuel Huapi, two and a half hours southwest of Buenos Aires by plane. Bariloche’s surroundings, which have been protected as national parkland since the 1930s, include Andes peaks, glacial lakes, ski areas, and small towns with a surprising number of […]

Leisure: Top of the Barrel

Lined up along one wall of the Glenmorangie warehouse in the Scottish Highland town of Tain, Ross-shire, are a number of barrels with heads (the whisky-making parlance for lids) that have been painted blue. The barrels represent the distillery’s attempts to create new tastes for its single-malt whiskies by employing novel finishing techniques. “These are […]

The Collector: A Winning Hand

  Its OwnerBill Mastro is the chairman and CEO of Mastro Auctions, a Chicagoland consignment auction house that specializes in sports-related items.     Its Significance A long-running but now defunct periodical, Baseball Magazine, commissioned the print for a series in which Alice Denton Jennings, a palmist from Atlanta, scrutinized the hands of famous players. […]

From The Editors: Raising the Steaks

Why, the journalist in the dinner party asks as he finishes his green turtle soup au clair, while one waiter removes the oyster trays from the table and another opens a bottle of amontillado, would the murderer cut the throats of his two victims if he already had strangled them? Because, answers one of the […]

Contributors: Old Favorites and New Fashions

If some readers disagree with the judgment we exercised in an instance or two when assembling “America’s Finest Dining: 57 of Our Favorite Restaurants” , senior editor Sheila Gibson Stoodley will not be surprised. “This list is subjective,” she says, “but that’s good.”   Gibson Stoodley equates a fine dining experience with a night at […]

FrontRunners: From The Robb Cellar

Seduction, a Bordeaux-style blend from O’Brien Family Vineyard, derives its name from one of the English language’s more treacherous verbs, a word that combines a sense of peril with a powerful allure. The wine justifies its moniker on a number of levels, beginning with its black box, which bears a letter “O” that suggests a […]

FrontRunners: Select Smoke

The importance of a cigar’s wrapper is demonstrated by the H. Upmann Signature (www.altadisusa.com). It comes with one of two wrappers, a maduro one grown in Mexico’s San Andres Valley or a Nicaragua-grown, Connecticut-seed natural one. The Mexican wrapper delivers the dark-chocolate maduro taste, while the Nicaraguan leaf has a spicier, more intense flavor. We […]

America’s Finest Dining: The Northwest

San Francisco Treat Restaurant Gary Danko, San Francisco If he wished, Gary Danko could make this San Francisco restaurant the flagship of a celebrity chef–driven empire. But instead, he concentrates his talents here, and his patrons savor the benefits. Menu highlights include an appetizer of glazed oysters with osetra caviar, salsify, and lettuce cream, and […]

America’s Finest Dining: The Southwest

Friendly Fire The Anasazi Restaurant, Santa Fe, New Mexico     The Anasazi Restaurant. (Click image to enlarge)     Martin Rios’ menus showcase the chilies of New Mexico in such dishes as cinnamon-chili-rubbed beef medallions and roasted polenta with ancho chilies. The 92-seat restaurant’s wine cellar provides an intimate setting for as many as […]

America’s Finest Dining: The Midwest

Taking the Plunge Alinea, Chicago Grant Achatz does not serve comfort food. On the contrary, he sometimes wants diners to fear his cuisine. The 32-year-old chef considers dinner a theatrical experience, and so he wants to stir you as well as feed you. He does this by presenting such oddities as a clear horizontal tube […]

America’s Finest Dining: The South

Creole Classic Arnaud’s, New Orleans Arnaud Cazanave opened his doors in 1918 intent on offering New Orleanians a spot where they could, in his words, “throw all care to the winds, relax completely, and dine leisurely and well.” His philosophy continues to pervade the restaurant, which is the birthplace of Oysters Bienville (a dish that […]

America’s Finest Dining: The Northeast

You Must Try This Al Forno, Providence, Rhode Island Nothing bars patrons from sharing dishes at top-tier restaurants, but few of these establishments are suited to the practice. Often, one or more ingredients are missing: The portions are not the ideal size, the menu is insufficiently varied, or the atmosphere is discouraging, striking sharers with […]

Golf: Direct Hits

Archerfield Links in the village of Dirleton, Scotland, sits on land where bowmen once pitched their tents while helping Edward I of England earn the nickname the Hammer of Scotland during a punitive military expedition in 1298. In the ensuing centuries, Englishmen hauling all manner of intentions have journeyed north to this craggy coast, located […]

FrontRunners: Reel Good

The formidable line of custom fly-fishing reels from Hatch Outdoors (www.hatchoutdoors.com) has a new top end. The 9 Plus Pulse ($725), built for saltwater big game, joins three other reels, including the redesigned 3 Plus ($400), made for trout. The reels’ one-piece design eliminates corrosion points, and their sealed drag mechanisms require no lubrication to […]

Sport: Showing His Handiwork

An unfinished poker table made of mahogany, ebony, maple, and satinwood sits in the center of Mark Lackley’s workshop in the Vermont village of Quechee. The walls of the shop are hung with sheets of wood and a framed portrait of Elvis Presley. “I grew up in the South,” Lackley explains, “so it makes me […]

Watches: Evolution Theory

De Bethune’s latest watch models could be viewed as a bow to the modern, technical designs that now are in vogue among Swiss watchmakers. With asymmetrical angles and multipart dials, the new timepieces stand in stark contrast to the decidedly classical collection with which De Bethune debuted only three years ago. Company founder and president […]

FrontRunners: Secrets of the Rose

In 1477, Austrian archduke Maximilian I (not yet head of the Holy Roman Empire) presented Mary of Burgundy with the first recorded diamond engagement ring. Such rings remained uncommon until 1948, when the N.W. Ayer & Son ad agency coined the slogan “A Diamond Is Forever” for South Africa’s De Beers (www.debeers.com). Now, of course, […]

FrontRunners: Chimepiece

When Harry Winston (www.harrywinston.com) recently opened its first London store on New Bond Street, it also unveiled the limited-edition Westminster Tourbillon. With the passing of each quarter-hour, the watch chimes the same four notes sounded by the clock tower at Westminster Cathedral. The watch’s flying tourbillon, which appears to float within the dial, charms the […]

Feature: Modern Marvels

Belvest’s new spring linen suits and blazers appear to be classic warm-weather standbys, but the Italian manufacturer washes the material with enzymes that render it virtually stain resistant. Ferragamo, Dunhill, Canali, and other clothing companies are blending linen with wool, cotton, or silk to make it more impervious to wrinkles, and Corneliani is fabricating slacks […]

Wardrobe: A Classic Remake

In the context of men’s apparel, Rome and Naples are famous for their tailors and their handmade suits. Milan, on the other hand, is most closely associated with Armani, Prada, and Versace. “When we speak about Milan, we think about designers, not tailors,” says Luca Trabaldo Togna, whose family owns one of Italy’s most prestigious […]

Motorcycles: Attention, Chopper Shoppers

One-of-a-kind, custom-built chopper motorcycles are commonly referred to as hogs for good reason: Their rudimentary suspensions offer limited creature comforts. If demonstrating your individuality is absolutely essential, comfort may not be a critical criterion. However, if your ego can withstand compromise better than your back can, then the moderately priced ($7,350), mass-produced 2007 Kawasaki Vulcan […]

Autos: It’s Snow Bull

As I downshift into third gear and push the throttle to the floor, the 2006 Lamborghini Gallardo charges down a back road near the foot of New Hampshire’s Mount Washington. Gripping the steering wheel on this late December day, I take a corner at close to 100 mph, skip across a bridge that traverses a gorge, […]

Feature: Motown, California

The noise will not surprise the folks toiling in a strip of auto repair shops here in the San Francisco suburb of Burlingame, Calif. But as Ian Wright eases his vehicle out of his garage and into traffic, his passenger, having just been introduced to the Wrightspeed X1, has no idea what to expect. After […]

FrontRunners: Steeped in History

Since 1957, when Queen Elizabeth II presided over its opening as a museum next to London’s Greenwich Pier, the Cutty Sark—the world’s only remaining tea clipper—has attracted more than 15 million visitors. Last fall, maritime conservationists launched a $49 million restoration of the 137-year-old ship, a project the Cutty Sark Trust (www.cuttysark.org.uk) says will repair […]

FrontRunners: Space Ship

At February’s Miami International Boat Show, Outer Reef Yachts (www.outerreefyachts.com) of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., debuted its most spacious vessel yet. The $3.4 million Outer Reef 80 provides room for three staterooms with en suite baths, crew quarters, a lounge, and a 20-foot tender and other watercraft, and its entertainment deck can accommodate as many as […]

Boating: Military Might

As smugglers of drugs and other contraband ply the Mediterranean, they often have unpleasant encounters with patrol boats built by Italy’s Rodriquez Cantieri Navali. When marine mines appear in global hot spots such as the Persian Gulf, minesweepers made by Rodriquez arrive to clear them away. Since the 1950s, Rodriquez also has built public ferries—first […]