In this issue: Chicago, Rome, Scottsdale, and Las Vegas…
When your family owns one of the city’s oldest meatpacking houses, it’s only a matter of time before your downtown restaurant flaunts a gourmet burger list. At Viand, in Chicago, Chef Steven Chiappetti has introduced half-pound burgers to his bar and lounge menu in decadent varieties like the “Cubano,” topped with chimichurri, onions and black bean purée; and the “Fondue,” smothered in gruyère, Riesling and apples. On Tuesday nights they’re only $2; other nights $6.
Drink: When in Rome, drink tea
The art tour of Rome just never stops, not even at tea time. Inside the Cavalieri Hilton, three paintings by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, purchased by the hotel for a whopping $8 million, grace the lobby gallery. The paintings are the centerpiece of the hotel’s new Tea with Tiepolo, where you can sink into a velvet sofa, sip exotic Chinese teas and savor quail eggs with caviar and black truffles. Daily April-May from 4 p.m to 6:30 p.m. €42 per person.
Stay: An urban-desert hideaway in Scottsdale
Bougainvillea “gates” and a carpet of stenciled leaves lead the way to Scottsdale’s own Garden of Eden, or at least designer Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz’s interpretation of that lush paradise. The Mondrian Scottsdale, the latest project from the Morgans Hotel Group, is a sensual feast. In the resort’s lobby, Ortiz sets the stage with a long serpentine-shaped bench and billowing white curtains while the scarlet-hued Red Bar boasts floating cherubs and a forbidding apple as its centerpiece.
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Shop: NYC’s upscale shoe shrine
Roger Vivier, who made Catherine Deneuve one belle de jour when he dressed her up in buckled square-toe flats, has proven you don’t need height to be chic. At New York’s new Roger Vivier boutique, on Madison Avenue, an array of ballerina flats, from shimmering silver to bright red, steal the show (prices start at $525). Decorated like Vivier’s Paris apartment and laden with antique mirrors and tables, the welcoming tri-level space also has pillow bag purses, and glamorous sunglasses.
See: Designs on San Francisco
British shopgirl-turned fashion designer Vivienne Westwood has become an icon, both for her avant-garde interpretations of tradition and for introducing the 1970s to punk rock glamour. San Francisco’s handsome de Young Museum, in Golden Gate Park, is honoring Westwood with a clever show, Vivienne Westwood: 36 Years in Fashion, which offers a firsthand glimpse of her elaborate designs, which include whimsical-patterned tutus with Victorian crinoline, and pre-washed overprinted fabrics bearing images from the movie Blade Runner. Through June 10.
Play: A day at the beach in Vegas
Tired of that stale casino air? Pencil in some Las Vegas pool time. The owners of the 42,000-square-foot TAO Asian Bistro and Nightclub, at the Venetian, are launching TAO Beach in early May. By day, lounge poolside on a white day-bed and sip a Tao-tini. Or for a mere $500 you can rent one of seven plasma TV-outfitted luxury cabanas and catch up on DVDs. At night, the space becomes an open-air nightclub where you can dance around towering columns of fire.