Inthis issue: Paris, Las Vegas, New York, Provincetown…
Made-to-Order: Not your mother’s ice cream
Good luck trying to get back into the groove of plain old chocolate and vanilla after sampling one of the new ice creams on the menu at Hotel Le Bristol in Paris. Pastry chef Laurent Jeannin’s gourmet creations feature unusual pairings, like a spicy raspberry sorbet with fondant and bubbly meringue, or peaches poached with blackcurrant, mint sorbet, and frozen mousse. Order the desserts (22 euros) all day from the bar, but to truly savor summer, enjoy yours amid magnolias and an 18th-century fountain out in the parasol-lined 13,000-square-foot garden. (photo, right)
Eat: Japanese sweets in a futuristic NYC lounge
Forget everything you think you know about tofu. The pallid protein on grocery store shelves has nothing in common with the silky, rich artisanal product made daily at Kyotofu, a new Japanese dessert lounge in Hell’s Kitchen. Tofu is the secret ingredient in Kyotofu’s award-winning chocolate cupcakes, which many consider to be New York City’s best. Other can’t-miss desserts include toasted walnut-vanilla parfait, and sansho pepper-spiked cheesecake. Outfitted in warm woods and white leather banquettes, Kyotofu is a stylish stop for late-evening cocktails or post-theater noshing. Try the sparkling sake or a tantalizing yuzu-kumquat caipirinha.
Stay: A boutique hotel grows in Brooklyn
With stellar restaurants popping up in Brooklyn and tour buses now wending their way through the trendy borough, it was only a matter of time before a boutique property like Hotel Le Bleu debuted here. All stainless steel and glass on the outside, this modern hotel, opening in Park Slope in two weeks, has an industrial feel. Each of the 48 guest rooms has ergonomic beds, plasma TVs, iPod chargers and docking stations. Later in the year, a restaurant/bar will open on the rooftop. Now don’t think because it’s Brooklyn it’ll be cheap. Average price per night is $250-$300.
Play: An afternoon swim in Vegas
During the summer in Las Vegas, weekends tend to begin on Friday afternoons. As if you needed another excuse to get an early start on the revelry, there are now “Ditch Fridays,” $20 pool parties at The Palms Pool & Bungalows. On-stage, international DJs mix beats while ladies show off their bikinis and sip raspberry mojitos. After splashing around in one of three pools, guests can dry off in a private VIP cabana with daybed. The action begins around noon and ends just in time for happy hour.
Shop: High design in Provincetown
Laidback Provincetown has long been a summer getaway, but for those who can’t make do without designer goods even when on vacation, Marc Jacobs has come to the rescue. Robert Duffy, Jacobs’ business partner, dwells part-time in the seaside neighborhood, so introducing a Marc by Marc Jacobs store to the vacationing masses was natural. The men’s and women’s collections are the same as you’ll find in all the designer’s outposts, but in a nod to P-Town’s beachy roots there are also plenty of T-shirts, flip flops, and bathing suits.
Drink: West Virginia nightcap
The beloved Greenbrier Resort, in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, has undergone a $50 million renovation, adding a sexy new cocktail lounge and nightclub to boot. The sprawling 38°80, with its dark woods and mosaic tiles, will be the place to unwind when it opens the last week of July. On any given night, DJs or bands will get the party going, while guests sit on colorful couches and imbibe inventive cocktails like the Italian Sidecar, with vanilla-infused brandy liqueur, or a frothy Lemondrop Martini made with fresh lemons and egg whites.