Montreal’s Restaurant Delmo is a dollop of cosmopolitan chic just blocks from the Basilique Notre-Dame…
Vegas’ Relaxing Getaway
Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa. In many ways, Red Rock is the antithesis of Las Vegas. The resort was completed in spring 2007 and sits 12 miles west of downtown, near the Red Rock National Conservation Area, a popular spot for hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing. Outside, the property incorporates natural stone and open vistas with views of the ochre Spring Mountains. The casino and sports book are airy; rooms are modern and spacious. On-site restaurants, including a new sushi bar, cater to a mix of well-heeled visitors and locals. Pros: lavish spa and outdoor pool; a 72-lane bowling alley; proximity to recreational activities in nearby conservation area. Cons: a stoplight-heavy, 30-minute drive to the Strip. 11011 W. Charleston. 702/797-7777 or 866/767-7773 (ph.). www.redrocklasvegas.com. 814 rooms. In-room: safe, DVD, Ethernet, Wi-Fi. In-hotel: 9 restaurants, room service, bars, pools, gym, spa, bicycles, laundry facilities, laundry service, concierge, executive floor, public Internet, public Wi-Fi, airport shuttle, no-fee parking, some pets, no-smoking rooms. AE, D, DC, MC, V. Rooms start at $219.
In NYC, Middle Eastern Eats
Ilili. Famed Washington D.C. restaurateur and chef Philippe Massoud brings his culinary talents to New York City with this bi-level, 400-seat eatery that showcases cuisine from his native Lebanon. The menu includes standard Middle Eastern fare — hummus and lamb kebab, for example — but also unexpected dishes like Wagyu beef kebab and black cod with pomegranate molasses. Waiters never fail to refresh that basket of hot, fluffy, baked-in-house pita bread. A glass of Lebanese or French wine is a nice accompaniment to the cuisine. Late-night entertainment includes belly dancing. 236 5th Ave. Flatiron District. 212/683-2929. www.ililinyc.com. AE, D, DC, MC, V. Closed Sun. No lunch. Median entrée price: $15.
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New and Improved in Montréal
Delmo. New owners and a $3 million renovation have put the shine back on this classic Montréal restaurant a few blocks away from Basilique Notre-Dame-de-Montréal. The restaurant now boasts an intimate second floor dining room, which can be reached via a sweeping staircase that wraps around an enormous sculpted chandelier. A mostly local crowd comes for bistro food with a flare — rich bouillabaisse with aioli, rib steaks, warm oysters with Madras curry, and deliciously chewy rice pudding made with risotto — courtesy of new chef Bruno Le Foll, former sous-chef at the renowned L’Express. The setting is casually elegant with white tablecloths, rich wood paneling, walls the color of burnt persimmon, and soft illumination from a dozen overhead lights. Don’t miss Delmo’s signature poached salmon and cream of tomato soup. 211 W. Notre Dame St. Vieux Port. 514/448-1869. www.delmo.ca. AE, MC, V. Median entrée price: CAD$20 (approximately $20.24 USD).
A Baltimore Hot Spot
Cinghiale. The spotlight is on wine at Cinghiale (pronounced “ching-GYAH-lay”), Baltimore’s newest upscale spot for Northern Italian fare. The restaurant is an open, inviting space with tall, wide windows. The wine list is vast — more than 400 bottles are available, listed by region. The service is sharp and unpretentious, but can be slightly overbearing at times. Cinghiale is split into two sections, the elegant osteria and the less formal enoteca. Opt for the latter, where you can nibble on small plates, sample one of the city’s best wine collections, and rub elbows with the professional set. 822 Lancaster St., Harbor East. 410/547-8282. AE, D, MC, V. Closed Sun. Median entrée price: $28.
Spanish Fare in Los Angeles
Tinto. With its mismatched crystal chandeliers, worn brick, and generous use of black leather, Tinto is a sultry place to enjoy authentic Spanish fare, whether seated at the stylish tapas bar or in the intimate dining room. Among a lengthy list of tapas are croquetas de jamón, tortilla Española, and a rich gratin of bay scallops and Serrano ham. Paired with Spanish wines, these small plates can make a filling meal. Besides tapas, the menu includes paella Valenciana with saffron-scented rice, chicken, squid and shrimp, stuffed piquillo peppers, and truffle-scented lobster. Polish off your meal with crema Catalana (Spain’s equivalent to crème brûlée) or the rich flan. 7511 Santa Monica Blvd. West Hollywood. 323/512-3095 (ph.) Reservations essential. AE, D, DC, MC, V. Closed Sun. No lunch. Median entrée price $29.
In Paris, a Designer Hotel
Le Bellechasse. French designer Christian Lacroix helped decorate all 34 rooms of Le Bellechasse, which is located just around the corner from the Musée d’Orsay. Guests enter a refreshingly bright lobby decorated with black slate floors, white walls, mismatched velour and leather armchairs. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook an elegant patio courtyard. The rooms are each uniquely designed, featuring an eclectic mix of fabrics, textures, and colors as well as Lacroix’s whimsical characters screened on the walls and ceilings. Some rooms have a contemporary style and others are filled with antiques. Most guestrooms have an open-concept bathroom, with the bathtub and sink in a corner and a separate toilet. Four rooms have doors leading to the patio courtyard. Pros: central location near top Paris museums; unique sense of style; spacious and bright; Anne Semonin toiletries. Cons: street-facing rooms can be a bit noisy. 8 rue de Bellechasse. Invalides. 01/45-50-22-31. www.lebellechasse.com. 34 rooms. In-room: safe, free WiFi, Ethernet. In-hotel: room service, bar, laundry service. AE, V, DC, V. Rooms start at €340 (approximately $500 USD).
Contributors: Karen Catchpole, Roger J. Grody, Sam Sessa, Heather Stimmler-Hall, Matt Villano, Shivani Vora