RISK-TAKER + WING WALKER
THE ART BUNKER
REBELS + WING WALKER
GREAT TALKS / THE NEXT COMMUNICATION
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After 34 years, a Michelin star, and a few James Beard Awards, chef Alfred Portale has left the kitchen at Gotham Bar & Grill in order to open his solo venture, Portale. The contemporary Italian venue will aim for a more fun and relaxed vibe and will boast an in-house milling program to create its own flour for house-made bread, polenta and pasta.
Portale, 126 West 18th St.
Soho's upcoming Greek eatery, Lola Taverna, seems slated to become quite the trendy hot spot (all the cool kids are going Greek these days). The brainchild of restaurateur Cobi Levy (Little Prince, Babu Ji and Black Seed Bagels), Thanasis Panourgias (Nammos, Yves), and Will Makris (Socialista, Broken Coconut), the spot will highlight laid-back Greek island fare in a minimalist, ceramic-filled space. Bonus points for outdoor seating and three floor-to-ceiling windows.
Lola Taverna, 210 6th Ave.
The mastermind behind world-renowned restaurant Manu, in Brazil, is landing in New York City, and just about every foodie is excited about it. Chef Manoella Buffara is set to unveil her upscale Brazilian spot in Chelsea this November, which will focus on sustainability and locally-sourced and organic ingredients in plates made to be shared.
Ella, 436 W 15th St.
[Photo via @manubuffara]
THE RED ROOM / MARK‘S CLUB LONDON
Mark’s Club carries emotional resonance for its members. For many of those returning, there may be a fear that Superman’s cape has received a tug or the Lone Ranger’s mask has been pulled off. But most will be pleasantly surprised.
Designer Rifat Ozbek at Loulou’s, to which he has just finished adding new interiors elements | Image: Neale Haynes/Contour by Getty Images
“There were several ‘non-negotiables’ for the club,” explains Caring, “such as keeping the porter’s box in reception and the iconic William Morris wallpaper that graces the reception and travels all the way up to the top floor.” Birley’s comforting, magpie-like visual sensibilities are still evident: shot-silk pleated walls, paisley carpets and Moroccan side tables. Regulars will be delighted that the red dining room is still clad in red Fortuny fabric, and that the moody, gigantic 1920s oil painting In Time of Peace,by Scottish artist Robert Gemmell Hutchison, of scarlet-coated military men in rows of pews, is still upstairs, adjacent to a grand new humidor.
The Deli-Bar at 12 Hay Hill, which opened in September | Image: Andy Sheppard
“The club had become something of a wilted flower,” says Zervudachi. “We ordered rich coloured silks and weaves for new upholstery and created a recessed coloured-glass light box in the ceiling of the rear dining room.” Dubens called on Zervudachi after the designer had created interiors for his private homes, and he sees the club as an extension of its members’ houses. “Mark Birley’s original idea was that this was going to be a beautiful place for people to enjoy during the week, and then at the weekend they went to their country homes,” says Dubens. “His level of detail was amazing. But there wasn’t a single comfortable chair here before. I flew to Paris with Tino when he was working with the upholsterers and sat in every single chair before it came to the club. Now everything is elegant and comfortable.”
12 Hay Hill’s co-founder and designer Anton Khmelnitskiy
There have been many changes at Mark’s, including the addition of a third-floor private dining room, but the club is not chasing trends. “The club feels fresh, while still being quintessentially ‘Birley’,” says Caring. A cappuccino comes in a Limoges cup and saucer with a magenta floral pattern on it; a Warhol sketch of a pink angel hangs against pink and blue Liberty wallpaper; the bar manager wears a bow tie, and his staff immaculate off-white blazers designed by textile specialists Scabal. From a theatrical Linley backgammon table to the collection of Salon champagnes and the Empire-style bronze chandelier above the bar, Mark’s Club is a modern classic – a place to go for a homemade pizza in the bar upstairs as much as the formal dining it was previously associated with.
The red dining room at the recently reopened Mark’s Club | Image: Simon Brown