The Hot List: In this issue: Montreal, Chicago, New York, and Los Cabos….
Eat: Daniel Boulud goes north
Montréal is known for its frigid February temperatures, but the food and libations at the Wine and Dine Experience will warm even the coldest soul. The series of dinners, guest chef appearances, and market events are part of the Montréal High Lights Festival, which runs February 22-March 4. Daniel Boulud leads this year’s group of featured New York chefs, which includes Dan Barber of Blue Hill and Kurt Guttenbrunner of Wallsé. Boulud will be a guest in the kitchen of the acclaimed Toque! restaurant on February 23.
Drink: 10,000 calories and counting
Winter in Chicago can also be a chore, but the five varieties of hot cocoa at the appropriately named Hot Chocolate, a Bucktown cafe and dessert emporium, promise to bring some cold weather cheer. Hot chocolate choices ($4) include Light (with white chocolate and cocoa nibs) and Dark (made from 72% French chocolate), which both pair well with signature desserts such as warm brioche donuts and banana cream pie. Seeking heartier fare? Chef Mindy Segal (formerly of MK and MK North) offers comfort food like tuna melts and homemade mac and cheese.
Shop: You can take it with you
Hotel chains like Westin and Ritz Carlton have long sold their signature beds and sheets so that guests can slumber as well at home as away. Now, smaller operations are getting in on the act, like the exclusive Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, California. The inn’s mattresses, comforters, and organic cotton bedding are available on-site at the Post Ranch Mercantile shop, or online. Prices range from $13 for a boudoir sham to $4,941 for a king-sized wool pillow-top mattress set.
Play: From infamy to Broadway
One of London’s hottest plays debuts on Broadway next month. Ironically, the subject matter is uniquely American. Frost/Nixon revisits the post-Watergate interview between Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) and English talk-show host Sir David Frost (Michael Sheen), the only person who was able to draw an apology from the disgraced president. Previews begin at the Jacobs Theater on March 31, and the play opens on April 22 for a 20-week run. Tickets are $76.25 to $96.25 at the box office or through www.telecharge.com.
Stay:Table for two
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s time to focus a little attention on your other half. The Romantic Indulgence package at the Casa del Mar Beach, Golf & Spa Resort in Cabo San Lucas promises to make a lasting impression on your valentine. Work up a sweat on the tennis courts and then relax with a Guerlain Imperiale massage for two at the new Spa Chakra. Finish the day with a romantic candlelit dinner at El Tapanco restaurant. The three-night package costs $819 per night (double occupancy) through March 31.
Made-to-Order: The whole world…in your hand
Can’t find your way from Notre Dame to the Sacré-Coeur? Paris’s Plaza Athénée hotel comes to the aid of direction-challenged Paris travelers with its Virtual Concierge PDA. The hand-held device is programmed in four languages and features a pronunciation guide, Global Positioning System (GPS), and interactive map. The PDA also has cultural tours of monuments and historical sites, as well as 1,000 addresses for shops, museums, and theaters. The cost: 30 Euros a day.
—Charlotte Kaiser Weinberg