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JUST A TASTE: Sugar fiends have all sorts of new reasons to splurge. For starters, two well-known French names have opened outposts in Manhattan. Ladurée, which first had a tea shop in 1862 on the Place de la Concorde in Paris, is now selling its colorful meringue cakes in 14 flavors at 846 Madison Avenue. Across town, Epicerie Boulud is serving up tarte aux pommes, apricot danish, blueberry financiers and other treats. The eat-in or takeaway operation is the third dining spot near Lincoln Center owned by Daniel Boulud. The well-known chef knows all about the sweet stuff, having been a cofounder of Payard Patisserie & Bistro.
There is plenty of competition headed their way. Landbrot Bakery will offer Old World treats in two downtown locations in the next couple of months, one at 137 Seventh Avenue and another at 185 Orchard Street. The fashion crowd got a sampling of the German pretzels, flatbreads and pastries at Lincoln Center.
Another confectionery specialist, Butter Lane Bakery, offered cake pops at Rag & Bone and Betsey Johnson events last week. This fall, pumpkin is expected to be the cupcake of choice at its East Seventh Street store, as well as its new Park Slope address. And the owners like to do their homework — they spent 400 hours in a test kitchen fine-tuning their recipes.
Next month, The Smile, a favorite hangout with the designer set, will unveil on the Lower East Side Smile to Go, where baked goods will be in the mix. Jim Lahey, whose Co. pizzeria in Chelsea has a die-hard following, is whipping into shape another carb-loving joint, Sullivan Street Bakery.
GO WEST YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN: The Upper West Side is abuzz with New York Fashion Week at Lincoln Center, and the week-long event seems to be rubbing off on the neighborhood. A bevy of stores is getting situated in new digs. Theory recently moved two blocks south to 201 Columbus Avenue, with Helmut Lang taking over its former spot at 230 Columbus Avenue, and Athleta started welcoming fitness-minded shoppers at 216 Columbus Avenue. More outdoorsy types can start casing kayaks, getting bike tune-ups or planning their next travel adventure at the new Eastern Mountain Sports that bows Friday at Broadway at West 76th Street. And designer shoppers are eager for the debut of Century 21, which is busy filling racks in a 61,000-square-foot space at 1972 Broadway.
NORTH OF THE BORDER: Designed by prized architect Enrique Norten, the sleek Hotel Americano is Grupo Habita’s first location in the U.S. The 10-story glass tower encased in a mesh metal facade overlooks the High Line Park. French designer Arnaud Montigray, whose handiwork has been put to use in the Parisian boutique Colette, worked his magic on the property’s 56 rooms. Wooden platform beds, outdoor thermal baths and fireplaces are a few of the unexpected touches at this 518 West 27th Street address. The Loden Dager-dressed staff will give guests the skinny about which galleries, shops and cafes to hit. Those who can pull themselves away from the rooftop pool need only take the glass elevator to the street level to use one of the hotel’s Bowery Lane Bicycles to get where they are going. Whenever they return, there will be a soft washed denim robe and felt woolen slippers waiting in their room.
Should they care to wander to the Lower East Side, they can duck into Hotel Chantelle for a drink or a bite to eat. Named for what was one of several safe houses in France during WWII, the Hotel Chantelle here is actually a restaurant, bar and lounge at 92 Ludlow Street. Charlotte Ronson, Rag & Bone and Marilyn Models are a few of the more stylish companies that have hosted parties there. The 130-seat restaurant with a retractable roof is becoming a favorite haunt for all types of stargazers. John Legend will host a private party there tonight.
PICTURE PERFECT: Like fashion, glamour is often better seen than spoken. A new photography exhibition up at The Grolier Club offers a glimpse of how Hollywood invented the glamour portrait. “Silver Screen/Silver Prints” features 90 shots by George Hurrell, Clarence Sinclair Bull and other photographers, and draws from the collection of Robert Dance. Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford and Elizabeth Taylor are among the show-stoppers on display at 47 East 60th Street. Their fans can see how the studio portrait was the first step toward becoming a star.