CITY GUIDE

In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention.

Pico Iyer

LUXURY IS IN THE DETAILS.

A close listen in a conversation can reveal a great deal about a person – what they need, what they are lacking. Do you have an upcoming business trip that would be more exciting with company for a night or two? A weekend or extended holiday that let’s you truly unwind, be yourself, as we decadently treat our minds. bodies and souls. Let’s make it happen.


OLIVIA’S LIST – GREAT DATE IDEAS

NYC

Weekend brunch on a sailboat enjoying oysters on the half shell at Grand Banks, An evening tour of European wines by the glass at Aldo Sohm or bourbon at Bemelman’s. Don’t forget, Sunday’s are for Dim Sum. Spring and Fall enjoying a bit of natural beauty at the botanical gardens. I love sports…are you a Rangers or Yankees fan? Epicureans in the city are like kids in a candy store… Mexican? Italian? Spanish? BBQ? Perhaps a night cap at the Rose Bar or Salon De Ning?

HOTTEST HOTEL ROOMS BASED ON THE SHOWERS

The Park Hyatt is pretty damn awesome and so isn’t the Four Seasons. Head down on Wall Street, the Andaz is roomy. The Beekman is chic. You get the steam picture… so to speak.

CHS

One of my favorite southern cities, Charleston. Low country charm, sophisticated cuisine. How about dinner at Wild Olive or The Ordinary? They have the best fried oyster. Let’s enjoy reggae, beer and ramen at Chico Feo. We could meet for lunch at Leon’s. They have a shrimp roll to die for and the freshest salads. The Shellmore also comes highly recommended for its daily changing menu.

Let’s get down in the low country.

CARMEL

The only reason to love California. The Carmel/Monterrey area, which technically is part of Big Sur, is a little peaceful slice of heaven. Wine tasting at Boekenoogen, a family owned winery dating back to the 1840s. Lets enjoy an intimate lazy lunch at La Balena or Roux after a fun day at Laguna Seca or hiking at Point Lobos. I feel the need…the need for speed! Wind down the day with dinner at Bernardus in the Valley, or Cafe Rustica.

HOTELS WITH A KILLER VIEWS.

The Carmel Valley Ranch is nestled in the valley, with vineyard views, bathtubs on decks of certain suites with two-sided fireplaces and gorgeous bathrooms. Their bath products are heavenly, made with lavender grown on site. Though I haven’t stayed there, the Quail Lodge is also recommended, especially for golfers. The Highlands Inn, has breathtaking views but the rooms are outdated.

CHI

Admittedly, its been about 4 years since I’ve visited the Windy City. However, it is on my list of places to visit post-pandemic. Let’s go Americana at the the RL Grill. The Manager’s special – steak tartare with jalepenos is to die for. Should we sink our teeth into some meat? The best burger (topped with foie) in Chicago is at Au Cheval. I love surprises. Let’s paint the town red, while you show me your city.

TO

It is hard to believe that our sister city to the north is only a 45 minute flight from the big, juicy apple. When I am in Toronto, I am a creature of habit, so I only eat at two places…D Bar/Cafe Boulud and Sassafraz. I know there are many cool parts of this eclectic city but usually I am there for 24H so I stay in Yorkville. Since I am usually in town during CFB season, Real Sports is a good choice.

Help me break my habit. What restaurants do you love?

PHL

The city of brotherly love has come a long way. I lived here before moving to NYC 15 years ago. Many undersetimate it but Stephen Starr, Jose Garcas, Greg Vernick and olds school South Philly, keep the love growing. When I am in town I head to Parc, A Kitchen and Bar, and if I can get in, Vernick. Haegele’s is a must stop, family -owned German bakery with amazingly fresh desserts. Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar and the Rooster are fun places to let your hair down. Craving a real taste of Europe? Monk’s Cafe is a Philly Institution.

MSP

The twin cities are worth a mention. I visit several times a year. I love its old school flavor mixed with modern cuisine. The St. Paul Grill is my go-to. The bartender gave me her secret recipe for curing a cold….and they have a fantastic chicken pot pie. Sadly, my favorite restaurant, Bachelor Farmer closed its doors as a result of the pandemic. We can sink our teeth into a Juicy Lucy…let’s head over to Matt’s! Im also down for a trip to Stillwater – the birthh place of Minnesota!

BOS

Another city close to my heart. The only restaurant that really stands out hear is Neptune Oyster bar. I know it seems like I am cutting the city short but therein lies your challenge! Show me your favorites!


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