2009 Bentley Mega-Coupe


2009 Bentley, the mighty new Brooklands. Summer travel featuring North American adventures, three highly civilized wilderness excursions. Plus, the ultimate yacht charter and the international guide to our 100 favorite restaurants.

From This Issue

Spirit of Brooklands

The Brooklands, the new high-performance coupe from Bentley, is mechanical eye candy. The vehicle’s namesake is a defunct and dilapidated racing circuit just southwest of London that is decaying at about the same rate that it is being restored. And yet, it is no surprise that the automaker would want to forge a connection between […]

North American Adventures

Journeying into the wild need not mean sacrificing the trappings of civilization, as these three trips attest. Whether you brave the rapids of an Idaho river, hunt ducks in Mexico, or observe polar bears on the Canadian tundra, you can enjoy comfortable quarters, fine food, and maybe even a daily massage.

North American Adventures: The River Civilized

We are enjoying a 2003 Bredif Vouvray Chardonnay and awaiting the crab cake appetizer’s arrival when the maître d’ announces, “Moose.” He lifts one of his arms, which is cloaked in the sleeve of a stiffly pressed white shirt, and points to a 1,500-pound bull plodding not more than 50 yards from our linen-covered table. […]

North American Adventures: Marsh Madness

A boat engine roars, prompting thousands of birds to take flight. Their retreating formation darkens the morning sky above a lagoon where 10 hunters, outfitted in camouflage and khaki, are boarding three airboats. The boats’ captains, flanked by wader-clad guides, pull away from the marsh’s banks and speed toward a seemingly impenetrable wall of reeds […]

North American Adventures: Bearing Witness

Polar Bear Provincial Park, on Canada’s Hudson Bay, seems an unlikely spot for an extravagant wildlife safari. For one thing, the place has no visitors’ facilities, and its description on the Ontario Parks web site might deter, not encourage, guests: “Visitors to Polar Bear should be prepared for any eventuality. They should bring at least […]

Bearing Witness: Mutiny and the Bounty

Hudson Bay was the geographic heart of what has become, over four centuries, the world’s oldest continually operated corporation, the Hudson’s Bay Co. (HBC). But for its discoverer, Henry Hudson, the bay and its bitter winter added up to doom. The explorer’s last voyage was in 1610, when he sailed the English ship Discovery to […]

Art and Sole

Makers of custom shoes might employ centuries-old techniques, but their footwear still can appear surprisingly modern. Take, for instance, the shoes made by Tony Gaziano and Dean Girling of England’s Gaziano & Girling. “Instead of making a bespoke shoe that simply takes the shape of the foot, we make it a shape that enhances the […]

100 Favorite Restaurants: The Great Dish of China

The next-best thing to eating Peking duck at the Forbidden Palace—where it was invented centuries ago by the emperor’s court chefs—is savoring it at Made in China, inside the Grand Hyatt Beijing. The five-year-old restaurant cannot claim the experience of Quanjude, a Beijing establishment that has served Peking duck since 1864, but it does have […]

100 Favorite Restaurants: Vintner’s Canteen

Robert Mondavi, Naoko Dalla Valle, Ann Colgin, and dozens of other winemakers are among the regulars at Redd in Yountville, Calif. They keep coming back to his restaurant, says owner Richard Reddington (above right), because it offers what Napa Valley otherwise lacks. Reddington’s wide-ranging dinner menu includes Asian-style dishes such as sashimi of hamachi with […]

100 Favorite Restaurants: Spanish Fry

Australian winemaker Chris Ringland never had tasted paella until a business partner took him to lunch at the Paco Gandia restaurant in the Alicante hillside village of Pinoso, Spain. His meal was unforgettable. Instead of serving the familiar Valencian seafood paella, Paco Gandia specializes in arroz alicantiño—a recipe that includes sautéed chunks of wild rabbit […]

100 Favorite Restaurants: Reds, Whites, and Blue

Nadine Brown encourages oenophiles to broaden their palates without leaving this country. She is head sommelier and wine buyer at the Washington, D.C., branch of Charlie Palmer Steak, a restaurant that offers only American wines and, when possible, stocks vintages from each of the 50 states. Since the steak house opened in 2003, the 35-year-old […]

100 Favorite Restaurants: Aw, Shucks

To be the best at shucking oysters, you need power, speed, and finesse, and the staff at Wiltons, a 266-year-old seafood restaurant in London, possesses all three. Led by Patrick Flaherty, the restaurant’s head oysterman for the past 44 years, Wiltons has claimed victory at the British Oyster Opening Championships seven years running and also […]

100 Favorite Restaurants: Taco Heaven

Isidoro Gonzalez opened La Super-Rica in Santa Barbara, Calif., 28 years ago because he wanted to serve tacos like those that he had eaten while living in Mexico City in the early 1970s. Gonzalez, who is now 58, piled grilled meats, fresh chilies, vegetables, and melted Monterey Jack cheese onto corn tortillas and quickly gained […]

100 Favorite Restaurants: Asking for Truffle

The most popular dish on Marc Haeberlin’s menu at Auberge de l’Ill, in the Alsace region of France, is an irresistible paragon of excess. Dubbed La Truffe Sous la Cendre and invented 40 years ago by Haeberlin’s now-semiretired father, Paul, it features a 1-ounce (30-gram) black Perigord truffle, which is covered in layers of foie […]

100 Favorite Restaurants: Uncorking the Possibilities

Wine and Indian food are just beginning their courtship, and Vikram Vij, a 44-year-old native of Mumbai and owner of Vij’s, an Indian restaurant in Vancouver, British Columbia, is doing his part to bring the two together. “It’s like going on a date and just having fun,” he says. “That’s all that matters.” He says […]

100 Favorite Restaurants: Feeding Desires

Te Mataré Ramírez transforms dining into an R-rated experience. Sensual artworks decorate the walls of this 13-year-old restaurant in the Palermo Soho section of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and between courses, you are treated to pornographic puppet shows and readings from erotic classics. As for the food, a meal can begin with Between Desire and Shame, […]

100 Favorite Restaurants: The Tastemakers

Each of the 100 featured restaurants was selected by one or more of the following vintners. Santiago Achával, Achaval-Ferrer, Mendoza, Argentina David Adelsheim, Adelsheim Vineyard, Newberg, Ore. Bart and Daphne Araujo, Araujo Estate Wines, Calistoga, Calif. Richard L. Arrowood, Arrowood Vineyards & Winery, Glen Ellen, Calif. Stephan Asseo, L’Aventure, Paso Robles, Calif. Bill Ballentine, William […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Let’s Play Two

The Duo Grand, a conjoined pair of 6-foot-long grand pianos from Brunswick, Germany’s Grotrian Pianos (www.grotrian.de), was designed for duets. That much is obvious. Less apparent is the soundboard bridge that connects the two instruments, facilitating the transfer of string vibration from the soundboard of one to that of the other. The oversize, single lid […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Elite Eight

1952 Siata 208S Spyder The 208S represented a reversal of roles for two Turin, Italy, automakers: Siata (an acronym for Societa Italiana Applicazione Trasformazione Automobilistiche), which once had been a source of power for Fiat, became a recipient. Siata began, in 1926, as an aftermarket firm that specialized in making Fiats faster. Over the next […]

Wings & Water: Going Global

The young customs man is at a loss. On this sweltering December afternoon in Grand Bahama Island’s Freeport Harbor, he is the only official on duty; his supervisor is visiting Miami and cannot be reached; and a green-hulled, four-deck superyacht has just docked in the marina. The arrival of this particular yacht could present a […]

Going Global: A Visit to Lo Country

Martin Lo is just one of the leaders of the Chinese boatbuilder Cheoy Lee: The others are his seven brothers. Each brother has the word Director printed on his business card. “It works better than you might think,” Lo said during a walk through the shipyard last year. “We have surprisingly few disagreements. We all […]

Leisure: Four Star Italians

Though the winemaking traditions of the Italian peninsula are almost immeasurably old, the push among vintners to produce wines of a level of quality to compete with the finest wines grown elsewhere in Europe has been relatively recent. Unlike the grand châteaux of Bordeaux and the domaines of Bur­gundy, which, in the wake of World […]

FrontRunners: Select Smoke

Although history’s most storied smoker has a cigar shape named after him, his grandson, Winston S. Churchill, felt the great man deserved something better. In 2005, the younger Churchill approached Davidoff with the idea of making a Winston Churchill cigar, and the result is worthy of its name. The cigar’s leathery Ecuadoran wrapper swathes a […]

One Last Thing…

The Item. This is the passport that Wilt Chamberlain carried during his travels to Europe and the Soviet Union with the Harlem Globetrotters, whom he joined in 1958, after his junior season at the University of Kansas. NBA rules prevented a player from entering the league before his college class graduated, so for a year, […]

FrontRunners: Best of Show

For close to 20 years, Robb Report’s sister publication ShowBoats International has hosted the ShowBoats International Awards and Rendezvous (www.showboats.com), a gathering of yacht owners, designers, and builders in Monaco. The event’s highlight is the ShowBoats International Awards, presented to the owners of the finest megayachts launched during the previous year. It also features a […]

FrontRunners: Salon Culture

The Massachusetts-based boutique speaker company Revel kept its original Salon speaker unchanged for eight years while it waited for significant technological improvements to emerge. The wait clearly was worth it, for the new Revel Ultima Salon2 (www.revelspeakers.com) displays extraordinary engineering. The speaker, priced at $22,000 per pair, features a tweeter made from beryllium, an exceptionally […]

FrontRunners: From the Robb Cellar

Life’s finer things sometimes have dubious origins. Such is the case with Springbank Distillery’s whiskies, originally produced from an illicit still run in Campbeltown, on the southwest coast of Scotland. The enterprise begun by Archibald Mitchell achieved legitimacy in 1828 and has remained in the family since. The distillery’s medium-peated, honey-colored whiskies have delighted both […]

FrontRunners: Grand Event

During the week beginning July 20, as many as 12 wine lovers will have a chance to sample each of Burgundy’s 33 grand cru varietals as they cruise along the canals of the region, from Mâcon to Dijon, aboard the barge Napoléon. In addition to stops at various towns and vineyards, the Orient-Express Semaine des […]

FrontRunners: Ghost Rider

This summer, Rolls- Royce Motor Cars will begin production of the Phantom Coupé (www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com), a hardtop sibling to the Drophead Coupé. The Phantom Coupé features rear-hinged suicide doors and an optional brushed stainless steel finish, and it has the same 6.75-liter V-12 that powers the convertible. However, increased structural rigidity and stiffer rear dampers produce […]

FrontRunners: Third Impressions

Through June 6, Adelson Galleries in Manhattan is offering a collection of artworks by the American Impressionist Mary Cassatt (1844–1926). Over the past eight years, art dealer Warren Adelson has sold more than 300 works on paper by Cassatt. The pieces belonged to the estate of Cassatt’s French dealer, Ambroise Vollard. Mary Cassatt: Prints and […]

FrontRunners: Ferrari Auction

An exceedingly rare 1960 Ferrari 246S Sport Dino Fantuzzi racecar could fetch as much as $6 million on May 18, when Ferrari hosts the second annual Leggenda e Passione classic car auction at its headquarters in Maranello, Italy. The racer, one of only three built, was damaged in a pit-lane fire during a race at […]

FrontRunners: Sporting Life

Cirrus Design cofounder Dale Klapmeier says that when he thinks of the Cirrus SRS sport plane (www.cirrusdesign.com), he envisions children pressed against an airport fence, dreaming about flying. “It will generate that kind of excitement,” he says. The piston-driven, fiberglass composite craft, which he expects will achieve 135 mph, should reach customers next year, at […]

FrontRunners: Arms and the Man

Call it sculpture for your wrists. Armrevolution (www.armrevolution.com), a design firm with offices in London and New York, has debuted a line of futuristic, mechanical-looking cuff links and is working on other men’s accessories that will have very little resemblance to your father’s accoutrements. The Perpetual cuff link series consists of six designs in stainless […]

Watches: Performance Art

Atop a table in Geneva’s Grand Théâtre and surrounded by dozens of male dancers, Elisabet Ros moved to the measured crescendo of Ravel’s Boléro. The performance by Ros, principal dancer for the Béjart Ballet Lausanne company, was part of a private program, staged in January, for a few hundred guests of Fawaz Gruosi, the founder […]

Motorcycles: Positive Charge

The bicycle jockey was working so hard at being good. Perspiring profusely, he downshifted and then stood up to grind his pedals as he approached the Broadway Bridge in Portland, Ore. I waved and smiled while I shot past him on the Enertia, an electric motorcycle that eliminates the guilt from vehicular pleasure. It is […]

Autos: Exemplary Feline

Gently prod the start button and it glows red, then pulses, like a beating heart. Touch it again and the overture becomes a performance as the cushioned explosion of a big V-8 smoothes into a grumble. Now the Jaguar XF sedan is poised to romp, and to deliver more élan—with higher levels of luxury, exclusivity, […]

Aviation: Material Benefit

A mock-up of the spn, the upcoming light business jet from Grob Aerospace, displays one of the aircraft’s main attractions. The cabin, created by Porsche Design Studio, is unusually roomy for a light jet, especially in this six-seat executive configuration. (The standard configuration seats eight passengers.) Grob currently is taking the mock-up on a tour through […]

Sport: Shark Bytes

The St. Johns river in DeLand, Fla., is not a good place to tip a rowing shell; it is home to countless alligators. It also was the host site, during a week in January, for the All-American Rowing Camp, an event that serves as one way for Northern scullers such as myself to get in […]

Golf: Power Play

The 16th tee of the Powerscourt Estate’s West Course invites lingering. You will want to stop at this hillside spot 12 miles south of Dublin, Ireland, and enjoy the sweeping views across the valley to the 1,700-foot-tall Great Sugarloaf Mountain. You also might need a minute or two to compose yourself before confronting the 574-yard […]

Dining: Cultivated Risks

The Garden at Arrows, the Ogunquit, Maine, restaurant run by chefs Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier, offers pleasure for both the eye and the belly. The three-quarter-acre plot is the source of at least half of the chefs’ ingredients in early spring and late fall. And in summer, just about every component of any meal […]

Spirits: Pot (Still) of Gold

Too many chefs usually spoil the pot, but this was not the case during the blending of the Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve. So claims Dave Quinn, the master of whiskey science for Jameson, the Irish whiskey maker. Quinn collaborated on the blend with Barry Crockett, Brendan Monks, and Billy Leighton, Jameson’s masters of distilling, maturation, […]

Art: Handy Man

It is January, and David Calvo’s studio is quiet, just as he prefers at this time of year. The two craftsmen he employs are not working on any wood-carving, bronze-sculpting, or furniture-making projects. Instead, Calvo has given them the month off, as he does every January. “I have to have time alone to design. I […]

Music: Sound Goods

“Why don’t you play something for us?” asked Dan DeMars, owner of DeMars Guitars, an instrument maker from Norwich, Vt., that was among the roughly 1,500 companies displaying their wares at January’s International Music Products Association trade show (commonly known as the NAMM show) in Anaheim, Calif. I initially declined the invitation, but when DeMars […]

Collectibles: The Wizard of Odd

William Jamieson’s wares are not for the faint of heart. His 6,500-square-foot triplex apartment in Toronto that doubles as his showroom displays 12 genuine shrunken heads, an unwrapped Egyptian mummy, and a 19th-century self-defense kit for vampire hunters. The kit, which was made by a London firm that called itself the Lord’s Protection Co., contains […]

Home: The Latest Dish

When Traditional Arts made its debut on January 31, 2007, the London-based tableware maker kept a low profile. The Prince of Wales announced the start-up to just 80 guests during a dinner at his London home. The invitees—patrons of the prince’s School of Traditional Arts, which, as part of his charitable foundation, teaches the arts […]

Contributors: Feeding a Taste for Adventure

Last year, Robb Report’s inaugural dining guide, “America’s Finest Dining: 57 of Our Favorite Restaurants” (March 2007) highlighted some of the finest restaurants in the United States. We extended the geographic parameters this year and invited a trusted group of winemakers to nominate their favorite eateries. The result is “Wine & Dine 2008” (page 148), […]

From the Editors: Soul Food

“I am a great artist.” This declaration issues from the lips of the Communard refugee whose gastronomic tour de force furnishes the title for Isak Dinesen’s “Babette’s Feast.” After regaling her humble employers’ guests (a group of Norwegian Protestant ascetics, except for the worldly General Loewenhielm) with a regal pageant of courses that includes terrapin, […]

100 Favorite Restaurants

Elite winemakers cannot afford to let their knowledge stop at the cellar door. Just as they tend the grapevines, they must tend to restaurants as well, to ensure that their vintages gain places on the right wine lists. Paying frequent visits to restaurants is the sacrifice that most make to remain current. This chore can […]

100 Favorite Restaurants: A Lotus Blooms in the Vegas Desert

With all due respect to Joël Robuchon, Thomas Keller, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and other world-renowned chefs who have flocked to Las Vegas, some of the city’s greatest meals are off the Strip. The best Thai restaurant in Las Vegas—and maybe in the entire country—sits a mile east of the aging Sahara Hotel & Casino, among dingy […]

Keep on Playing Together

The way the owner of Mine Games sees things, a yacht’s sundeck should be more than just a place to get a tan. For the sundeck of his new, 164-foot, four-deck megayacht from Mississippi-based Trinity Yachts, the owner had interior designer Patrick Knowles create spaces that would facilitate conversations between passengers—large groups of them. Hence […]