Hotspots for New Year’s Eve
Five cities, 15 tips for the days around New Year’s Eve. We’ve scoured Munich, Berlin, New York, Miami and London for the latest hotspots for your New Year’s parties – and hotel rooms to match, of course, for (a late) breakfast on 1/1/2016.
Munich: Sustenance at Eataly, dinner at Nobu, sleep at Flushing Meadow
Oscar Farinetti has enjoyed global success with his Italian delicatessen chain Eataly since 2007. There are already branches of the gourmet supermarket with regional, sustainable produce in Istanbul, Tokyo, Moscow, New York and Los Angeles. In November the first branch opened in Germany – in Munich’s Schrannenhalle, right by the Viktualienmarkt. Spread across 4,600 square metres, its concept is a mixture of shopping, eating and learning. Gourmands can choose from over 10,000 different products ranging from fruit and vegetables to pasta, olive oil, sausages and bread at the stands of Eataly’s Munich branch. 16 restaurants – including a fish restaurant by Italian celebrity chef Lucio Pompili – are located between the shelves.
Tip #2: new Nobu. Nobuyuki Matsuhisa’s triumph began in California’s Beverly Hills in 1987. Better known as Nobu, he proceeded to win the hearts of the world’s gastronomes with his Japanese-Peruvian fusion cuisine. Since November Munich’s residents have been enjoying classics like “Black Cod Miso” and yellowfin tuna sashimi with jalapeños at the Matsuhisa restaurant in the newly designed dining area of the Mandarin Oriental. By the way: we would spend (what’s left of) the night at the chic Flushing Meadow Hotel in the Glockenbachviertel district. There’s also a hip bar there to celebrate New Year’s Eve – a very worthy back-up plan.
Berlin: Reserve a table at Nobelhart & Schmutzig, book a room at Amano Hotel
“Brutal & local” is the motto of Billy Wagner’s first restaurant – and the multiple-award-winning “Sommelier of the Year” (Weinbar Rutz) takes that rule seriously. What can’t be found in or around Berlin simply isn’t served. Olive oil, pepper, nutmeg, citrus fruits: look for them in vain on the menu, because they aren’t grown locally. Wagner opened the Nobelhart & Schmutzig together with chef Micha Schäfer (formerly at Villa Merton). Instead of à-la-carte dishes, the Nobelhart & Schmutzig menu contains complementary ten-course dinners. Beverages include craft beer, naturally produced juices, freshly brewed filter coffee and regional fruit brandies.
Afterwards, we recommend the Skybar at the new Amano Hotel at the Hauptbahnhof (main railway station), the hotel’s third branch in Berlin after the address on Rosenthaler Strasse and the Mani on Torstrasse. For those who like things Austrian, our advice is to go wine tasting with Sebastian Bliem at Cru, enjoy a schnitzel and a Veltliner wine at the Cordobar by Gerhard Retter and Willi Schlögl, and go fine dining at the Horváth by Mödling-born Sebastian Frank.
Miami nice: Organic meals and an overnight stay at 1 Hotel South Beach
In the US hotspot of Miami (now a direct flight from Vienna with Austrian Airlines) there is simply no contest. We recommend 1 Hotel South Beach. For his latest project, the 1 Hotels, hotel founder Barry Sternlicht put his name down for an entire block of houses in Miami: between 23rd and 24th Street, Collins Avenue on the one side and almost 200 metres of Atlantic beach on the other. The oversized number one in front of the “I-want-one-too” living room-style lobby pops up again and again throughout the hotel. See it as a rating awarded with a clear conscience for its inviting atmosphere and green approach: there is a fleet of Teslas waiting in front of the main entrance for your trips, and the restaurant Beachcraft serves you organic meals. With his high-end eco hotel, Sternlicht wants to connect Miami’s two beaches: the area of decadent nightclubs and eateries around South Beach and the elegant restaurants in up-and-coming Mid-Beach.
New York: Mexican food in a strip club, a room at a legendary hotel
A Mexican restaurant in a former strip club? That’s badly lit and so expensive that you can’t get away with paying under $200 for dinner for two? Yes please, said New York, and promptly stampeded Cosme – because its head chef is Enrique Olvera. He is the owner of the restaurant Pujol in Mexico City, which is currently ranked the “20th Best Restaurant in the World”. Lovingly called the “Corn Whisperer” by insiders like Olvera. Make sure you try the “Mole Madre”, a sauce made from 300-day-old roasted nuts and seeds.
For your well-earned New Year’s sleep, we recommend Knickerbocker Hotel. In the early 20th century everyone knew the building as the 42nd Street Country Club. Lots of successful businesspeople and stars – including opera tenor Enrico Caruso – had their private residences at the south-eastern corner between Broadway and 42nd Street. Legendary parties were celebrated there, but nevertheless the hotel had to close after 15 years. Gabellini Sheppard Associates are now breathing new life into the revered walls. They are bringing some old-world glamour back to Manhattan to replace the stale office air of recent decades. Bonus: the rooftop bar, an espresso bar, and head chef Charlie Palmer cooks in the award-winning restaurant.
London: Party at Hotel Chantelle, fine dining at Casa Cruz and Pils at Alan Yau’s
If you want to hang out with pop stars and actors in New York, you go to Hotel Chantelle in Manhattan. Katy Perry, Channing Tatum and Sophia Bush have all been seen partying on its Parisian-style roof terrace. Now London has its very own Hotel Chantelle, on Orchard Street. Above the Bonbonniere Club, which is located in the hotel, it has a roofed garden with streetlights, park benches and luscious greenery. Executive chef Seth Levine (known from the TV show Hell’s Kitchen) serves lobster Benedict, French toast and Bloody Mary chicken.
Transforming a shabby pub into a luxury restaurant coated in copper takes deep pockets. A factor that’s not an issue for Juan Santa Cruz, a Chile-born former investment banker. He has opened his fourth Casa Cruz in West London (the other three are in Buenos Aires), where the classic cocktails, jazz and low-carb cuisine have won over locals. The Argentinian steak from the Josper grill is popular with male guests, while women seem to prefer the ceviche with raw fish.
Alan Yau not only founded London’s top Chinese restaurants Hakkasan and Yauatcha, he has also won a Michelin star and was awarded an OBE in 2006. And he has added another location in London’s Soho to his (by now) international portfolio. The Duck and Rice is a combination of pub (downstairs) and chop suey restaurant (upstairs). On the ground floor Pilsner Urquell is poured from huge copper tanks, while modern Chinese cuisine is served on the first floor.