VOLANTE Lola Cristall heads upstate in New York to begin her look at luxury places to stay and dine
The beauty, serenity, tradition and remarkable historic touches immerse the Queensbury Hotel (www.thequeensburyhotel.com) in downtown Glens Falls in upstate New York. The majestic hotel, in a colonial revival style, stands tall. Walking into a vast lobby, the roaring fire beckons as the grand piano and chequered flooring lure guests into a lavish, sophisticated setting. A large oil painting on canvas depicting a scene from James Fenimore Cooper’s romantic historical novel of the mid-19th century The Last of the Mohicans proudly hangs above the fireplace. Griffith Baily Coale was commissioned to paint the mural for the hotel opening in 1926 and it has been preserved ever since, allowing guests to recognize the æsthetics that have been maintained over the years. From art and its surroundings to the hospitable front desk representatives, the Queensbury takes you back to a more elegant, more reasonably paced and gentler era.
Located minutes from the stunning Lake George, a short distance away from the wondrous Adirondack Mountains and a brief drive from Saratoga Springs, the Queensbury Hotel is a delightful home away from home, whether for a romantic weekend getaway, a mid-week solo escape or a vacation hotspot. Over the years the hotel has welcomed a slew of political, musical and television personalities including Bob Dylan, Louis Armstrong, Bob Hope and Ronald Reagan.
What started off as an idea by the Glens Falls Chamber of Commerce and city officials in 1916 turned into reality when the Queensbury Hotel opened its doors in 1926. Almost a century later, the integrity, history and beauty of the hotel are impressively preserved for returning guests and first-time visitors to continue to appreciate. As recently as 2016, Ed Moore purchased the property and continues to cherish the quality of the hotel for future generations to admire. Over the years, renovations and expansions continue to take place, providing a modern twist to the lavish, historic atmosphere.
The Queensbury Hotel has been a member of Historic Hotels of America since 2017, and while many touches of modernity have been added, the sense of history has been remained. It consists of 123 rooms including spacious suites that include a separate living room and a guest bathroom, as well as a master bedroom and ensuite for complete comfort. The views are immaculate, overlooking the mountains and nature’s tranquil surroundings. Various amenities are available, including a swimming pool and gym for guests intent on staying cool and fit throughout their stay.
Early morning fresh coffee is available along with a congenial breakfast served at Park 26 in an elegantly presented dining area where visitors can start their day. A delightful dinner option is also available at Park 26 proudly presenting their fresh ingredients in a beautifully appetizing presentation. Start the culinary journey with an artisanal cheeseboard that offers a vast selection from blue cheese to goat cheese accompanied by crisp crackers and fresh fruits; continue the experience with an Atlantic salmon on a bed of freshly made beetroot risotto topped with a watercress citrus salad and drizzled with a hint of white truffle vinaigrette. For a simple touch, opt for one of the many artisanal pastas, exclusively made in-house for the diners’ gourmet pleasure, including the buratta ravioli where each pocket of pasta dough is filled with fresh, velvety cheese and topped on a delicate English pea velouté. For a sweet touch to the culinary voyage, the ricotta cheesecake that envelopes a fresh peach with traces of rosemary, raspberry and pistachio is a profound experience that delightfully complements a meal. From a formal dining experience at Park 26 to a more casual destination, Fenimore’s Pub is available to fulfil a diner’s appetite and to quench one’s thirst in a more casual backdrop.
From upstate down to Manhattan, we celebrate the opening of the celebrated exclusive Brazilian-based private members’ club, Fasano. With more than a century of supreme hospitality, Rogerio Fasano, as well as designer Thierry W. Despont, introduce their first US-based location situated on the prestigious Fifth Avenue. The Fasano brand is the leading name in gastronomy and hospitality in Brazil, providing sleek style, distinguished elegance and appetizing innovation to each project. While hospitality is the brand’s strength, culinary decadence is also a Fasano specialty.
Midtown New York welcomes the lavish Fasano restaurant (www.fasanorestaurantny.com) in what was formerly known as the Four Seasons. Fasano is reminiscent of European haute glamour. The discreet entrance leads the way to an intimate lounge area before arriving at an expansive dining space beyond an extensive hallway. The truly professional and attentive staff provide each guest with their undivided attention, ensuring a memorable dining experience. The northern Italian cuisine is an absolute treat for the senses, as each course is beautifully presented and elegantly plated. Chef Nicola Fideli transforms traditional northern Italian cuisine into an epic culinary experience that radiates with taste and exudes a delightful journey in each bite. Keep it simple with a mixed salad and organic vegetables or take the culinary journey a bit further by starting with an arugula salad with ever-so-delicate artichokes and a hint of parmigiano–reggiano. A variety of pastas, fish, meats and risotto are some of the many delectable options. Select a beautifully presented dover sole à la meunière with a distinct flavour of sage and lemon; or the intriguing veal cho in an exclusive Fasano fashion. The dishes rely on distinct high-quality ingredients with bold flavours while fulfilling one’s appetite for a memorably inviting experience.
The touch of luxury continues along Manhattan and arrives at the much acclaimed Michelin-starred restaurant Caviar Russe (www.caviarrusse.com) that has expanded their Madison Avenue flagship space to include a notably designed raw bar, champagne and cocktail lounge located on the main floor. Make your way through the immense glass door where an extensive 14-seat bar area with a 28-seat surrounding lounge, embraced by subtle artwork by David Drebin, await.
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The Bar at Caviar Russe is an experience like no other as guests prepare for savoury fresh bites that proudly flaunt the touch of caviar on each morsel. Executive chef Edgar Panchernikov offers upscale gastronomy that is sure to be an exciting experience for the senses. The highly well versed staff is available to provide insight on the variety of drink and food offerings, while sharing some insight on various caviars of interest, taking into account size, texture, colour and, of course, taste.
Caviar Russe takes the caviar experience to the next level, applying a traditional touch to their imported caviar that is sustainably farmed at their own small-batched farm in Germany. Caviar that is served must meet particular Caviar Russe standards. Start the caviar journey with the small homemade-everything bagel topped with smoke salmon, pickled shallots and caviar; continue the culinary escape with toro tartare nori cornet, dashi and topped with caviar before choosing the lobster rolls with a delicate touch of caviar. Step away from the caviar realm with bao buns, foie gras, eel and shiso or opt for a simple crudité selection with a truffle miso aioli dipping sauce for a touch of toothsome sophistication.
Diners can quench their thirst with an extensive list of drink options directly from the menu, or rely on the bartender to create an outstanding concoction. Desserts are available from bite-size freshly baked homemade madeleines to a notably rich chocolate cremeux, both intending to serve as lovely palate cleansers after an intense caviar expedition.
Continuing the concept of traditional gourmet attributes with a modern twist, Thierry Atlan (www.thierry-atlan.com) has landed in Lower Manhattan, offering guests a delicious taste into his chocolate, ice-cream and macaron universe. Atlan is a true master of his trade as the French chocolatier uses quality ingredients in each bite, exuding profoundly robust flavours and a long-lasting positive impression that lingers on the palate.
Atlan was awarded the prestigious title of Mealier Ouvrier de France Chocolatier in 1997 and is currently the only gourmet talent in the US who holds such a distinguished role. Starting in the French Air Force, he continued to carve his culinary path at the celebrated École Lenôtre in Paris, then as chef chocolatier at Disneyland Paris, before serving as an international consultant for chocolate companies on a global scale. From working predominantly behind the scenes, in 2015 Atlan decided to take centre-stage launching his own company. Along with his daughter, Julie Atlan, they are both intent to introduce the world to sheer perfection in each delectable sweet bite that look and taste more like chef d’œuvres.
Speaking with the skilful chocolatier, he has a deep appreciation and an extensive passion for excellence. His premises’ atmosphere is a beautifully lavish escape from the stressful city vibes. Guests are lured into a clean and crisp realm, reminiscent of a Parisian destination. The familial ambiance provides a welcoming location in the heart of Soho, a boutique set out to satisfy anyone’s throbbing sweet tooth while offering elegant options from mouthwatering ice-cream and gift boxes to chocolate tablets and bite-size chocolate-induced snacks. •
Lola Cristall is Paris editor of Lucire.
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