September Hit List

THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBS LAY DOWN WHAT TO DINE ON, DRINK AND DO– COAST TO COAST.

September may mark the end of summer and the inevitable return to the office grind, but between New York Fashion Week, the dinner party we co-hosted with our Baja East buds, Scott Studenberg and John Targon, and kicking it with this month’s seriously cool contribs, we (thankfully) can’t say we’ve been all work and no play. First, TOME designers Ramon Martin and Ryan Lobo brought us to one of their favorite L.E.S. staples, Cafe Henri, where their CP portrait would be taken (and later, they’d host their own NYFW party) and then, we flew to LA where Monique Lhuillier welcomed us into her Westwood home to talk dancing, décor and dress design (this was almost too perfect given our Editorial Director, Alexandria Geisler is currently planning her own wedding). When it came time to sit down with celebrity stylist Micaela Erlanger on the eve of the Emmys no less (aka one of her busiest nights of the year), her position on meditation and dirty martinis became clearer as we learned just how many actresses she’d be dressing (FYI, she advocates for both, though we might need more than a stiff drink and a mental detox should we ever find ourselves flanked by Erlanger-level stress). Lastly, we sat down with Hollywood makeup artist Pati Dubroff, who among other things, taught us that contouring is criminal, beach burritos are epic, and brunettes (colored by this particular hairstylist) have just as much fun. Here are the can’t-miss recommendations from our aforementioned September contribs, as well as a few of our own– right here, right now.

Dine

Inside Maude

Inside Maude

Fall’s Flavors | Maude, LA
*Recommended by Monique Lhuillier
“It’s a tiny restaurant with only 24 seats and the menu constantly changes as they only use seasonal ingredients,” Lhuillier divulged as we chatted LA’s best-kept secrets over tea at her home. And as the first solo project by celebrity chef Curtis Stone, we were surprised we hadn’t heard of Maude before. “Snagging a table is tough so I shouldn’t even be telling you this!,” laughed the designer. The restaurant offers a set 12-course tasting menu only, and it is always devoted to one, in-season ingredient— whether that be butternut squash or root vegetables— prepared in a myriad of ways (think poached, sous vide, fried, shaved, smoked, etc.). In its three years of business, Maude has never served the same dish twice. At the moment, the restaurant’s key ingredient is the grape with menu highlights including grape miso soup with black truffle, lobster with sorrel and grape jus, and short rib with bone marrow and simmered grapes— the consecutive courses truly taste like those first real moments of fall. Tables may be hard to come by, but Maude is worth the wait. (MAP IT, BOOK IT)

Cool Weather Classic | Raoul’s, NYC
*Recommended by Ramon Martin, Ryan Lobo and Micaela Erlanger
“There are so many places to try that our go-to restaurants seem to change every week, but…,” Lobo pauses, then adds, “the burger at Raoul’s will always be a favorite.” In truth, we feel just the same. As cooler fall days begin to become commonplace, there’s little more we crave than a good, old-fashioned brasserie dinner– there’s just something inherently cozy about a big, bold red and a plate of steak-frites. If you ask us, Raoul’s is the place for nights like this– your only predicament? Whether to order that steak or its life-changing burger topped with triple-cream cheese and served with a cognac-au poivre dipping sauce (the restaurant serves just 12 a night and at the bar only; it is, in our opinion, NY’s best). (MAP IT, BOOK IT)

Eat, Pray, Love | Little Artesia, LA
*Recommended by Pati Dubroff
Leave it to celebrity makeup artist Pati Dubroff to introduce us to an under-the-radar mecca of cool, clean and healthful food: the southern LA neighborhood known as Artesia. “It’s LA’s Little India,” she tells us. “And it has the most incredible Indian food– our favorite is the vegetarian, Gujarati-style Rajdhani (MAP IT) and the vegetarian, South Indian restaurant, Udupi Palace (MAP IT).” Both restaurants are casual, affordable and family-friendly which makes them great options for an easy dinner on school nights. It doesn’t hurt too that the curries are so good, even the veggie-opposed will want to clean their plates.

Date Night, Done Right | King, NYC
*Recommended by CITIPHILE
Last weekend, we had the pleasure of checking out King, the newest addition to downtown’s South Village, and though its Thonet cane chairs and Matisse-like branding may have been reason enough to love this little place, we were happily impressed with its food. Disclaimer: King is not another kitchen trying to “wow” you with partially dehydrated, seasonal vegetables or compostable small plates; it’s a humble space that serves familiar food you’ll probably liken to a home-cooked, childhood meal– that’s where it gets its “wow.” The Provençal-inspired restaurant changes its menu often, but on our visit, we enjoyed an excellent grilled quail with roasted pumpkin appetizer, its signature seafood stew of lobster, fluke and clams in a saffron broth, and grilled steak with marinated peppers (we’d highly recommend all three). Between its divine design, honest cooking and intimate atmosphere, King is a date night standby we’ll be returning to again and again. (MAP IT, BOOK IT)

Drink

The Blue Whale

The stage at Blue Whale

And All That Jazz | Blue Whale, LA
*Recommended by Pati Dubroff
We’re from New York so forgive us that when we hear the words “jazz bar,” we immediately think folding auditorium chairs, bottom-shelf liquor and dive-y décor (not that we don’t love you, Smalls). But, just this week, we were changed forever when Dubroff introduced us a Little Tokyo spot called Blue Whale. “We often go there for the best of LA’s hipster jazz shows,” she spilled. Hipsters and jazz? Well, when said jazz bar looks more like a contemporary art museum than it does a no-frills watering hole, we can understand the appeal. Not only does the music club turn out a great cocktail, but it serves bar bites like kimchi hot dogs, chicken tacos and tiramisu too. To our LA friends, Blue Whale’s nightly 9 pm shows make a fun, albeit elegant activity to toss into the date night rotation. To our NY friends, perhaps one day we’ll also leave a jazz bar without our shoes sticking to the ground on the way out. (MAP IT)

Sky(line) High | Westlight at The William Vale Hotel, NYC
*Recommended by CITIPHILE
There’s more than one reason we chose to hold our latest CPSC at Westlight— the rooftop bar of the new William Vale Hotel has star chef Andrew Carmellini behind its food program and hands-down the greatest view of the Manhattan skyline we’ve ever seen (think 180 degrees of all five boroughs). Joined by our co-hosts Scott Studenberg and John Targon of Baja East, we were thrilled to be the first to party there (see here for more on our NYFW dinner party), but the bar is finally open to the public meaning you can now do the same. If possible, arrive before 6 pm and head up to the 18th floor where you can sip on a negroni sbagliato as you watch the sun set over Manhattan– it’s the happiest of happy hours. (MAP IT)

Do

MNDFL's meditation area.

MNDFL’s meditation room

Concerts & Comedy | Carnegie Hall, NYC
*Recommended by Ramon Martin and Ryan Lobo
“We listen to everything from classical music to rock,” the TOME guys tell us. “We like Carnegie Hall because it always has an incredible line-up of talent; Bjork performed there last fall– it was a highlight.” Of course, the iconic New York City concert hall has an equally compelling calendar of events this year, including its opening night Gala featuring Simón Bolívar’s Symphony Orchestra next Thursday evening, October 6th, and later, a stand-up comedy night with celebrity ventriloquist Jeff Dunham on Friday, October 21st. Tickets are still available for both. (MAP IT)

New Hair, We Care | Carol Vasquez Prince, Hair Colorist, LA
*Recommended by Pati Dubroff
New season, new you… err, do? Now is the time to freshen up your bleached and dry end-of-summer hair– whether that means a little TLC haircare maintenance or a drastic change. And as far as our brunette friends are concerned, oh, do we have a beauty black book for you. “There’s only one person I trust with my hair,” says Hollywood beauty guru, Pati Dubroff. “And that’s Carol Vasquez Prince at Chris McMillan Salon. She is the absolute best colorist for brunettes– I get constant compliments on my hair color!” Given that Dubroff has worked with the crème de la crème of hair artists on editorial shoots and red carpets around the world, we’re going to go ahead and say you should write this one down… (MAP IT)

Mind Yourself | MNDFL, NYC
*Recommended by Micaela Erlanger
Between back-to-school and back-to-work, autumn typically leave us with little downtime; however, the periods where we barely have time for ourselves are the ones when we need it most. Like us, celebrity stylist Micaela Erlanger is a big proponent of staying fit, but “fit” means more to her than just physical strength, it’s mental too. “I meditate at MNDFL 2-3 times a week and I’m in the best shape of my life,” she tells us. Granted, we’ve been curious about meditation since watching our girl, Julia, self-actualize in Eat, Pray, Love, but for some reason, we’ve always envisioned we’d need to be somewhere far away and (preferably) surrounded by monks to reap its benefits. Thanks to MNDFL, it turns out we need only travel to Greenwich Village where sessions are 30-45 minutes and cushioned poufs are plentiful. If Erlanger can dress Lupita Nyong’o and half the Emmys red carpet and still make it to class, so can you. (MAP ITCP

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