Toys of Summer


Amazing machines from Maserati, Ducati, Marquis Yachts & more. Also the Ferrari FF, Maranello's new four-wheel-drive four-seater. Plus, splendid spirits, the season's coolest thirst quenchers. With your purchase of Robb Report’s Annual July Toys of Summer Issue you also gain access to Six Splendid Outdoor Parties from the Summer 2011 Host’s Guide.

From This Issue

Braking Good

Ferrari had not generated this much second-guessing and gossip fodder since 1963, when founder Enzo Ferrari said he was selling his company to Ford—a dubious declaration, it turned out. So was the January announcement true, that the company—creator of sports cars of astounding performance and winner of world racing championships and grand prix by the […]

The Robb Reader: Barton G. Weiss

Barton G. Weiss certainly knows how to put on a show. The owner of the Villa by Barton G in Miami—named one of Robb Report’s Best of the Best hotels in the June 2011 issue—started his career as a professional ice-skater before migrating into theatrical and event production, restaurants, and now hotels. The Villa by […]

From the Editors: A Meaningful Meal

A last-minute invitation can be interpreted in a variety of ways, few of which flatter the recipient. To divert my attention from the passenger seated beside me during the flight from Los Angeles to Barcelona—a restless Eastern European woman who executed a series of peculiar, in-seat calisthenics that greatly enlarged her personal space at the expense […]

Autos: Small Change for the Better

Judging from the bridled alterations that Bentley has made to the original Continental GT, the automaker knows not to mess with success. Before the first-generation model arrived in showrooms in 2004, Bentley sold roughly 1,000 cars worldwide annually. A year later, annual sales skyrocketed to more than 6,500 cars—most of them Continental GTs. As Bentley […]

Motorcycles: Pedigreed Power

Even if he never builds another of his Concept Ten motorcycles—one-off designs created around engines from classic British bikes with racing pedigrees—Ian Barry still will possess a Hall of Fame batting average with these machines. Thus far, he and his crew at Falcon Motorcycles in Los Angeles have produced three solid hits in the Bullet […]

Home: French Revival

Since its origin as a saddle maker in 1837, Hermès has been regarded as one of the world’s premier sources of exceptionally crafted leather goods. In 1924, this reputation led French interior designer Jean-Michel Frank to call on the company to create sleek leather coverings for his furniture collection. The pieces—created in part by Hermès […]

Health: Body and Seoul

My routine exam at the Chaum Center in Seoul, South Korea, began with a nurse instructing me to disrobe. Next, she ordered me to assume various positions on colored markers on the floor—Have I played this game before?—as she took notes about my circulation. This introduction to the Chaum Center’s services was not entirely surprising: […]

Dining: From Beach to Table

When Cindy Hutson serves yellowfin tuna tartare at Ortanique, her restaurant in Coral Gables, Fla., it is pressed into a ring mold and topped with a layer of guacamole. But today Hutson is on Grand Cayman, and she is scooping the gleaming fresh tartare into crisp breadfruit cups. And because breadfruit is in season, she […]

Travel: Laid-Back on the Ranch

It was about 10:30 on my first morning at Rancho Pescadero when I asked a resort staff member if the art galleries in Todos Santos would be open yet. “It’s capricious,” replied the woman, a tanned thirtysomething wearing wide, dark sunglasses. Next I inquired about the hotel’s Internet service, wondering when it would be back […]

Golf: High Societies

Originated in Scotland in the 18th century, golfing societies have long been popular in the British Isles. But the concept—a membership group that hosts matches and other events, and offers access to various courses—has never caught on in the United States, where the local country club has been the affiliation of choice. In recent years, […]

Collectibles: Tales from the Hood

Kewpie dolls, comets, airplanes, dogs, Indians, policemen, birds, butterflies, devils thumbing their noses, and nubile women in varying states of undress were among the nickel-plated brass or bronze figurines that decorated the radiator caps of cars during the early years of motoring. These automotive mascots—the European term for what became better known as hood ornaments […]

Home Electronics: Stars Align

The formation of Constellation Audio in 2008 sent audiophiles’ expectations sky high. The Southern California company’s founders, Australia-based financiers Murali Murugasu and David Payes, launched the venture on the heels of their success with Continuum Audio Labs, producer of a $150,000 reference turntable system that attained legendary status among aficionados. “There was a lot of […]

Watches: A Well-Timed Goal

The sport of polo has made several sartorial contributions to Western culture. When Sir Pratap Singh—a son of the Maharaja of Jodhpur and an avid polo player—attended Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897, he brought with him his entire polo team, whose members wore an adaptation of traditional Indian trousers with flared hips and tapered […]

Aviation: Next Up

Flight Options clients who travel in one of the company’s Nextant 400XTs might find the light jet familiar if they have ever flown in a Beechjet 400A or Hawker 400XP. Nextant Aerospace, an aircraft-remanufacturing company based in Cleveland, is refitting these models with new avionics and new engines to create the 400XT—a faster, longer-range, and […]

FrontRunners: Free Bird

The big sound of floor-standing loudspeakers by French hi-fi manufacturer Focal is now available in a desktop-size wireless package. The Focal Bird audio system (, which has a starting price of $995, incorporates a new wireless technology from the Kleer brand that transfers audio signals at the CD-format quality of 16 bits/44.1 kHz. The 2.1-?channel […]

FrontRunners: Gold Standard Time

Chopard’s collaboration with Kiichiro Masumura, a master of the Japanese lacquering technique called urushi, was originally intended to produce nine one-of-a-kind dials for the Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi ( series of watches. But now the companies are expanding the collection and plan to contribute a percentage of its proceeds to the Japa­nese Red Cross, which […]

FrontRunners: Sounds Good

The AE+Y cell phone ( has no GPS, no camera, and no Angry Birds. But it does work great as a phone, which was the aim of industrial designer Yves Béhar, who designed the AE+Y over a two-and-a-half-year period with mobile-phone maker Aesir Copenhagen. Swiss watchmakers created the phone’s miniscule screws and crystal components, and […]

FrontRunners: Feathers and Fringe

Fashion-industry veteran Wilfredo Rosado (, whose career has included work for Armani and Versace, has designed his first fine-jewelry collection. Imaginative and slightly edgy, the pieces range in price from $12,000 to $140,000. They include white-gold-and-diamond earrings with dangling feather plumes; ebony blackamoor figures dressed in royal, urban-style garb made of gold and gemstones; and […]

FrontRunners: Hometown Heroes

The David Oscarson Lewis and Clark pens ( commemorate the duo’s expedition to the Louisiana Territory, which began in 1804 from St. Louis, the home of the pen-making company. The instruments’ designs incorporate an enamel-on-etched-metal guilloche that the company employs on all its pens. The Meriwether Lewis pen is red and gold with engravings of […]

FrontRunners: A Step Up

The custom shoes and accessories in a new, limited-edition line from George Esquivel ( are made with the last of the leather from Borge Garveri, the Norwegian tannery that had supplied Louis Vuitton and Hermès since 1889. When Borge Garveri closed last year, Esquivel acquired a portion of its remaining supply of vacquetta leather. “I […]

FrontRunners: Porsche 918 Spyder

Though just an experimental vehicle when featured on the November 2010 cover of Robb Report, the Porsche 918 Spyder ( already is becoming a production-line reality. Porsche is accepting orders now for the $845,000 hybrid supercar and expects to begin manufacturing it—in a quantity limited to 918—in September 2013, at the company’s main factory in […]

Summer Sips

VODKA VARIATIONS Vermont Spirits Gold Vodka The Green Mountain State of Vermont is more widely known for its maple syrup than for its vodka; however, this artisan distillery has successfully combined the two in this very limited 80-proof spirit, which is triple distilled from the fermented sugar of raw, 100 percent pure maple syrup, then […]

Journeys: Bond Yields

In the distance the Caribbean surf broke over a coral reef and rolled gently onto the beach before returning to the ocean with what sounded like a muted sigh. Farther inland a channel led past a dock where Chris Blackwell sat straddling a Jet Ski. A rangy Brit with a wispy white goatee and a […]

Wheels: Rolling A7

It seems as though every year Audi introduces a new model that rises to the top of its category. In 2007 the R8 mid-engine sports car debuted. The latest generation of Audi’s best-selling A4 sports sedan arrived a year later. In 2009, the Q5 became king of the crossovers. The S5 Cabriolet, a top-down temptress, […]

Summer 2011 Host’s Guide: Fête Champêtre

Back to SUMMER 2011 HOST’S GUIDE > A modernist’s version of the elegant summer picnic on the lawn. The supreme summer pastime of dining outdoors reached a pinnacle in the 17th century, when Louis XIV transformed the fête champêtre from a simple, if stylized, outdoor meal into a series of grand garden parties at Versailles. […]

Summer 2011 Host’s Guide: Fête Champêtre: Cocktails

Back to SUMMER 2011 HOST’S GUIDE > Assembling the ingredients for a freshly made artisanal drink can be a challenge, but Francesco Lafranconi argues for acquiring those hard-to-find liquors and liqueurs. “You’re investing in your bar. If these liquors are properly stored, they won’t diminish in quality at all,” he says. In fact, most specialty […]

Summer 2011 Host’s Guide: Fête Champêtre: Wine

Back to SUMMER 2011 HOST’S GUIDE > Diatom 2009 Huber Vineyard Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay Greg Brewer, cofounder of Brewer-Clifton, one of Santa Barbara County’s most respected and collectible producers, has developed a style of California Chardonnay all his own under the Diatom label. In this release, flashes of lime, pear, and lemon dance like […]

Summer 2011 Host’s Guide: Barbecue Bonanza

Back to SUMMER 2011 HOST’S GUIDE > An opulent interpretation of the all-American gathering. It is hard to think of a food more beloved, more redolent of our national history, more American, than barbecue. “It is a totemic food of the South,” says John T. Edge, director of the Southern Foodways Alliance at the University […]

Summer 2011 Host’s Guide: Barbecue Bonanza: Cocktails

Back to SUMMER 2011 HOST’S GUIDE > Hosts who serve out-of-the-ordinary cocktails demonstrate that they have thought out every detail. Still, before your bartender starts multiplying recipes, Francesco Lafranconi has a bit of advice: “It’s very important to make the recipe at least once, to learn how the ingredients taste.” Though cold beer is always […]

Summer 2011 Host’s Guide: Barbecue Bonanza: Wine

Back to SUMMER 2011 HOST’S GUIDE > Spring Mountain Vineyard 2009 Sauvignon Blanc The 845-acre estate on Napa Valley’s Spring Mountain is home to three historic 19th-century wineries: La Perla, established by Charles Lemme in 1873; Chateau Chevalier, founded by Fortune Chevalier, a Frenchman who had come to California during the Gold Rush; and Miravalle, […]

Summer 2011 Host’s Guide: Tapas Under the Stars

Back to SUMMER 2011 HOST’S GUIDE > A balmy evening on the patio, with sparkling Spanish bites. When John Rivera Sedlar, chef and owner of Rivera and Playa in Los Angeles, created a tapas menu for a warm summer night, he began by envisioning that time of year in Southern California, when the golden twilight […]

Summer 2011 Host’s Guide: Tapas Under the Stars: Cocktails

Diners on the streets of Barcelona know that tapas represent a leisurely style of eating small servings, not a specific type of cuisine. Shared plates, finger foods, and small portions also provide a way for epicures to enjoy several food-and-cocktail duos in one sitting. “Every 20 years, we have a revolution in food and beverage,” […]

Summer 2011 Host’s Guide: Mediterranean Yacht Party

Back to SUMMER 2011 HOST’S GUIDE > Cocktails on deck with a menu inspired by the great ports of call. The flavors of the Mediterranean—the piney rosemary and bright citrus, the dusky spices, sweet honey and rosewater—evoke sun-drenched days and leisurely nights, and a kind of eating that is slow, luxurious, and entirely devoted to […]

Summer 2011 Host’s Guide: Mediterranean Yacht Party: Cocktails

The intrepid traveler cruising the Mediterranean experiences many diverse flavors, but one ingredient endures: the lemon. Yet its juice, as well as those of its citrus brethren, is fragile, which is why Francesco Lafranconi recommends presweetening lemon or lime juice unless it is going directly into a drink. “Minutes after citrus is squeezed, it starts […]

Summer 2011 Host’s Guide: Mediterranean Yacht Party: Wine

Freeman 2008 Pinot Noir Akiko’s Cuvée Vintners Akiko and Ken Freeman produce this remarkable Pinot Noir from the vintage’s best barrels. In 2008, the Keefer Ranch fruit dominate the blend, which is deeply aromatic, conjuring scents of lavender, brown spice, and mushrooms. The palate is rich yet refined, combing luscious acidity with layers of cherry […]

Summer 2011 Host’s Guide: Ultimate Lobster Bake

Back to SUMMER 2011 HOST’S GUIDE > Once more, to the shore: a stylish take on the New England tradition. The New England clambake, as the tale goes, is a Native American ritual taught to the early colonists—a gathering ’round a deep pit dug into the sand, filled with the ocean’s bounty, and cooked over […]

Summer 2011 Host’s Guide: Ultimate Lobster Bake: Wine

J Vineyards 2008 Chardonnay Russian River Valley Geologist-turned-vintner Judy Jordan’s J Vineyards & Winery focuses entirely on Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay, producing refined yet effusive sparkling wines and elegant table wines. This Russian River Valley white is redolent of lemon blossoms, conjuring flavors of summer peach, ripe lemon, and nutty nougat. Fermentation in […]

Summer 2011 Host’s Guide: Ultimate Lobster Bake: Cocktails

Master mixologist Francesco Lafranconi of Southern Wine & Spirits recommends anticipating the desires of every guest when planning a meal such as a lobster bake with a modern twist. Though he has conjured unique cocktails to accompany the menu’s appetizers and layers of seafood, he says, “There are certain courses that deserve a wonderful wine.” […]