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Best of the Best 2002: Home & Design: Best Kitchens & Baths

Italian Scallions

Sistema ES isn’t just another great design from the Italian kitchen com-pany Snaidero. It’s the first collection ever designed to be completely freestanding. No walls need apply. (A patent is pending for the “auto lift system” that secures the upper cabinets.) Conceived for a new Europe that is joining the rush to large, flexible kitchens, Sistema ES is a natural for customers Stateside who want their ranges, sinks, preparation/dining islands and cabinets to look like gorgeous pieces of furniture in their own right.

CEO Dario Snaidero’s goal was a kitchen for the present. “Our clients want technological advances, but never at the expense of ease,” he says. Designers Paolo Orlandini and Roberto Lucci, whose work is in the permanent collections of MoMA and the Louvre, produced sleek units dominated by a sexy S-curve motif. Modular cabinets and islands in steel, wood, and glass combine in infinite variations on the undulating theme. “Although the design appears to be purely aesthetic,” says Snaidero, “it is, on the contrary, a maximally func-tional, ergonomic space.” Viva Italia! —Christian Gulliksen

Snaidero, 877.SNAIDERO, www.snaiderousa.com

The Big Grill

For the home chef who loves to entertain outdoors—at any time of the day or night—the new Epicure 52-inch outdoor grill by Dacor is a must-have for the ultimate alfresco kitchen. This stainless steel gas grill boasts two unique attributes: a pair of built-in halogen lights that illuminate the cooking surface when the sun goes down; and a Perma-Flame instant reignition system that automatically restarts the burner at the exact level it was set to, should it blow out.

The grill’s ample width can easily accommodate the most ambitious dinner. The main grilling surface is powered by three industrial-grade burners for even heat distribution. The rotisserie is ideal for spit-roasted meats and the two side burners for just about everything else. There’s a two-position warming rack and a removable stainless steel cover for the burners that doubles as a serving tray.

The Epicure grill was designed for a custom patio installation or to fit into Dacor’s new freestanding stainless steel cart. Besides being equipped with a central power source to facilitate electrical hookup, the cart can be outfitted with the company’s new indoor/outdoor warming oven. Dacor thoughtfully suggests that the oven can do double duty by keeping pool towels warmed to the perfect temperature.  —Linda C. Lentz

Dacor, 800.772.7778, www.dacor.com

Wine on Wheels

Flexibility is the latest buzzword in the kitchen—no one wants to be constrained by built-ins or anything anchored to the walls. Staying ahead of the pack, Sub-Zero has just introduced its first freestanding wine storage unit. Wrapped inside a stainless steel exterior is a compact five-shelf movable unit that can hold 46 bottles, half bottles, or magnums. Behind the glass door (all the better to show off your Puligny-Montrachet and Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame), which is ultraviolet-resistant to prevent wine spoilage, is an array of gadgetry, including an electronic touchpad that controls the two temperature zones and keeps the humidity at 60 degrees to prevent corks from drying out. The unit also features rustproof metal shelves and an option that allows it to be tied into your home security system. Sub-Zero even offers a high-altitude model. —Adele Cygelman

Sub-Zero, 800.532.7820, www.subzero.com

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