Local Food – Flora Bar – New York

Local Food You really get to know a city by tasting Local Food.

New York- restaurants change by the minute in the Big Apple; luckily my 212 friends are unabashed foodies thus my visits result in nightly expeditions to the latest hottest Dining Temples. One of my long time colleagues and her daughter belong to this ‘Food Tribe’ and they, knowing my lack of geographic prowess, often attempt to meet me at the hottest restaurant near my hotel and they always make sure I am in a taxi back to whatever hotel I might be in that particular night…I had heard of Flora Bar and they agreed, hot and they hadn’t visited yet…

Flora Bar – New York

So I asked my friend, David Tanis if he knew the owners – why yes, would you like a reservation? Please! As I made my way toward the Met Breuer where Flora Bar is located, Jen called me and said the Maître D wants to know HOW you know David Tanis? Really, they made quite a fuss when she checked i

n under his name. I arrived and said, you may not believe this, but I am David Tanis – instant third degree – How do YOU know David Tanis?? You may sit at any table, what suits you best? Again, who knew David Tanis was King of New York, I do now.

Famous chefs all communicate in a secret society.

Flora Bar – New York

Flora Bar in the Met Breuer. Knowing that Ignacio Mattos was a Chez Panisse alum and had cooked with the famed Francis Mallmann in Argentina, is all I needed to know. Yum, as usual when we are presented with small plates, we over order, where is the Chef tonight to guide us? Five guests, 15 plates? Each sharable bite is presented as a circle or a perfect square. Executive chef Jake Nemmers dazzles and delights. A simple circle of lobster crudo with chopped shiso arrives with a dab of flavored mayonnaise. The scrumptious tuna tartare was topped with toasted flax seeds and crunchy fried shallots, what one would think of as an odd combination hits the mark perfectly. We loved the thin slices of steak lathered in dribbles of Béarnaise. Blue shrimp were equally as heavenly in a spicy cocktail sauce. The menu is similar to a tapas bar, small bites meant to be shared.

Flora Bar – New York

Flora Bar – New York

The museum space is as dramatic as the dining. Downstairs from the Met Breuer, floor to ceiling windows look out at the patio.Wait staff are attired in blue jackets that I have now seen worn by some of my hip designer friends. To me, they looked like blue mechanics jackets, but I am not overly hip.

History – Restaurateur Thomas Carter and chef Ignacio Mattos, the partners behind Estela and Café Altro Paradiso, opened Flora Bar and Flora Coffee at The Met Breuer in Fall 2016. Flora Bar takes inspiration from lively, approachable restaurants in New York and Europe and is open beyond museum hours. The menu emphasizes seafood and vegetables and strives to be tasty and playful. You can stop in for a full dinner, a small bite or a drink at the long bar—anything you want, really.

Carter, Mattos, and their Matter House team aim to create an atmosphere of accessibility and fun similar to what they’ve cultivated downtown. The partnership with the museum came about from The Met’s desire to bring the Estela team’s light and ethereal tone—and perhaps foremost its sensitivity to the setting and location of a space—to the iconic Breuer building.

Thomas Carter
Co-Owner and Director of Beverage and Service
Before Estela and Café Altro, Thomas was beverage director at the award-wining Blue Hill at Stone Barns for six years. He has also worked in wine service for Alain Ducasse at the Essex House, and as a cook at New York restaurants including Le Bernardin, Mercer Kitchen and Union Pacific. He holds degrees from Columbia College Chicago and the Culinary Institute of America. Thomas found Ig through a truffle guy.

Flora Bar – New York

Ignacio Mattos
Co-Owner and Chef
Ignacio was born in Uruguay and learned to cook in the kitchens of grilling master Francis Mallman and Slow Food legend Alice Waters. At Estela, he has earned acclaim for bold, Mediterranean-inspired cooking. With Altro, Ignacio returns to Italian cuisine, which was his focus for several years as the chef of Il Buco. Ignacio was nominated for a James Beard Best Chef: New York award in 2014. In that same year, Bon Appétit declared that “you’ll see and taste his influence on American cooking for years to come.”

Highly Recommend- do go with a Foodie Tribe, so you can taste everything on the menu!

The Faena – Miami

My previous posts on the Faena Empire and the sophisticated theatre, C’est Rouge! and one of their star performers Irina Kazakova, https://www.instagram.com/sunallure/?hl=enn didn’t include a review of the hotel or the spa.

Travel Mantra: a hotel for each and every client – this is not your ordinary Miami hotel, I would recommend to very specific clients. Imagine if you collaborate with Baz Luhrmann and his wife Catherine Martin as creative consultants; Catherine, an Academy Award winning designer. Imagine grand theatre, imagine a contemporary art filled property, jazzy soundtracks, a Cathedral arrival foyer studded with shimmering gold-leaf columns and surrounded by dramatic neo-romantic floor to ceiling frescoes painted by Spanish artist Juan Gatti…and that is just the entrance. Happily, there are small velvet covered settees to catch your fall as you strain and bend to take in the amazing Cathedral entrance. The walls echo a story, of course, as Alan Faena is The Most Contemporary Storyteller – Gatti’s story revolves around a Journey of love, science and nature.https://i1.wp.com/www.faena.com/miami-beach/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2016/11/Faena_hotel2_05_Cathedral_HOME-1920x704.jpg?resize=584%2C214

At every corner, hallway, restaurant and outdoor terrace, be prepared to be wowed, dazzled and inspired by spectacular artistic design. From the Cathedral foyer gaze out to the shimmering blue sea, your view is interrupted by a 10,000 year old woolly mammoth skeleton dipped in 24karat gold – a Damien Hirst sculpture entitled “Gone But Not Forgotten,” encased in a larger-than-life temperature controlled glass box. Faena Hotel is not designed for the timid traveler!

The over-the-top Living Room Lounge is furnished in opulent and silky claret and tiger patterned prints with a breathtaking gold chandelier. Dinner upstairs at Pao is managed by James Beard Award-winning chef Paul Qui. The Pan-Asian cuisine is served at glammy candlelit tables directly below another spectacular painted bronze and gold leaf Damien Hirst unicorn sculpture, Golden Myth. Inspired dining, inspired interiors.https://i1.wp.com/www.faena.com/miami-beach/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2016/11/Faena_hotel_PAO_MAIN-1920x1470.jpg?resize=584%2C447

Los Fuegos Francis Mallmann Death by Steak!

Glamorous dining at Los Fuegos Faena Hotel

The Faena is an inspirational foodie centric destination. My favorite Argentine chef, Francis Mallmann hosts his first U.S. restaurant here, Los Fuegos. Mallman is the legendary asado grill master who made his fame in Latin America. My son & I made mecca visits in Buenos Aires and Mendoza to his temples of asado – he texted me while I was dining: send me photos! My enormous rib eye with chimichurri was easily the most scrumptious cut of meat I’ve ever tasted, sandwiched by the Mallmann famous square cut potatoes, it was a bit much, but a couple of glasses of fine Malbec kept me alive!https://i2.wp.com/www.faena.com/miami-beach/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2016/11/FAENA-HOTEL-MIAMI-122115_%C2%A9Todd-Eberle__T6A2562-Pano-2_FINAL-1920x1470.jpg?resize=584%2C447

The 169 rooms and suites (plus 13 penthouse residences) continue the visual delights; the aesthetic flair is echoed in each and every detail. Colorful, bright and bold artistic visuals – permeated by ruby red accents, most rooms contain small terraces. I would opt for the rarely viewed Penthouses, which are cavernous and could easily host a raft of friends.https://i1.wp.com/www.faena.com/miami-beach/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2016/11/Faena_Suite_Bedroom-1920x1470.jpg?resize=584%2C447

Lounge at the glamorous Art-Deco pool topped by colorful red & white striped umbrellas, or pad out to the beach and be spoiled by the hotel beach guardians who provide sun cream and fruit infused chilled water.

Did I mention the spa? Separate post coming – oh my! How could this hotel hotel get any more decadent? Think Shaman spiritual spa advisor!

The Faena Hotel, Miami

Outrageous opulence with no apologies at the Faena – it’s fun and festive and flamboyant!