A roundup of the newest places to go during the upcoming trade show season.
HONG KONG — Opia is on the fast track to becoming a favorite of trendy Hong Kong locals who want to get away from the same old haunts.
Part of Philippe Starck’s Jia Boutique Hotel in the bustling Causeway Bay district, Opia, which means “vision” in Greek, blends good food with a soothing ambience. Warm lights and a cascading crystal chandelier greet diners at the entrance, which quickly gives way to a cozy interior filled with purple, lilac, ivory and dark orange tones.
Melbourne, Australia-based chef Teage Ezard devised the diverse menu, and describes his cuisine as “Australian freestyle.” The food has definite Asian influences, such as the crispy fried pork hock with chili caramel, Thai basil and marinated bean shoots ($28) and Sichuan peppered roast duck with shaosang wine dressing, Asian mushrooms and steamed rice noodle roll ($35). Not to be missed are the oyster shots, flavored with mirin, wasabi and tamari, which come with a seaweed and green tea soba roll ($4.50 each).
Dessert offers a range of choices, from the pink grapefruit, gin and coriander sorbet with a citrus fruit salad and pistachio wafer ($10) to the honey-crunch ice cream with toasted gingerbread, cinnamon oil and sugar swirls ($14).
Opia, 1-5 Irving Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 852-3196-9100, jiahongkong.com.hk. Open Monday-Friday, noon-3 p.m.; Monday-Saturday, 7 p.m.-midnight for dinner, and 6 p.m.-late for drinks.
— Vicki Rothrock
DUSSELDORF — The colors, patterns and compositions of Henri Matisse’s work remain a constant inspiration for artists and art lovers and fashion, interior and graphic designers. And for those lucky enough to be in Düsseldorf between Oct. 29 and Feb. 19, the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen is hosting the first major Matisse retrospective since the Paris Grand Palais show in 1970 and the 1992 retrospective at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
“Henri Matisse: Figure Color Space” will feature almost 200 works spanning all creative phases of the artist’s career from 1895-1952.
Pieces on loan from more than 70 museums in Europe and America will be on display, as well as 35 photographs of Matisse and his female models by Hélène Adant, Brassi, Henri-Cartier Bresson and others. A Heinz Peter-Schwerfel film on the painter’s interiors, produced especially for the exhibit, will also be presented.
The show is a must for Matisse fans, not to mention color- and sun-starved spectators on a cold, gray, German winter’s day.
“Henri Matisse: Figure Color Space,” Oct. 29-Feb. 19, at K20 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Grabbeplatz 5, 40213 Düsseldorf, 49-211-8381-130 or 49-800-83-81-00, henrimatisse.de. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
— Melissa Drier
MONTREAL — Beer lovers will feel right at home at Les 3 Brasseurs’ new downtown location, the third Montreal outpost for the French brew pub chain. Shining copper brew kettles, a wood fire, aging barrels and mounds of barley sacks stacked shoulder-high set the scene, as patrons choose from four types of nonpasteurized beer brewed in-house in a 19th-century tradition that originated in the brewing regions of northern France.
In addition to the house beers, priced at $5 a pint, Les 3 Brasseurs also offers a series of beer cocktails in the $7 range, as well as a selection of wine and liquor. To help soak up the suds, the pub offers a diverse menu of salads, wraps, burgers, sausage-sauerkraut dishes, ribs and snack foods, all priced from $12 to $15. But the house specialty is the flamm, a pizza-like open-faced pie made with Quebec cheese, in 11 varieties.
Les 3 Brasseurs also has locations in Old Montreal and on Rue St. Denis in the Latin Quarter, with two other locations set to open in Quebec City and Toronto.
Les 3 Brasseurs, 732 Ste. Catherine Street W, Montreal, 514-788-6333, les3brasseurs.ca. Open daily, 11 a.m.-3 a.m.
— Brian Dunn
House of Style
BARCELONA — Women’s wear designer Julie Sohn’s new store is a lot like her clothes: restrained and classy, but still eye-catching.
Designed by Barcelona-based CCT Arquitectos, the store features a series of intriguing design elements, including inverted ceiling pyramids, a narrow interior patio and a floating entrance over a deep pool of water.
The Korean-born, Parsons-educated Sohn, who is well-known in Spanish fashion circles, opened her eponymous 4,305-square-foot location last spring in a two-story building that also houses her studio and showroom near Paseo de Gracia, Barcelona’s golden retail mile.
Offerings for winter include coats, dresses, pants, jackets, tops and knitwear in understated, solid colors like black, gray, cream, white and pistachio. Retail prices range from $215 for pants and $300 for jackets up to $720 for coats.
“Spanish consumers are looking for special garments. There is always a continuity to my clothes. Women can wear them season after season,” said Sohn.
The label sells to 120 domestic doors, but it won’t be long before she begins to sell to vendors outside the country. “I’m ready to export,” she said.
Julie Sohn, Diputación 299, 08009 Barcelona, 34-93-4875796. Open Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
— Barbara Barker
PARIS — Let’s face it, sweat is never chic. But a new hot spot is making working out a little less tiresome, and helping turn “feeling the burn” into a beautiful experience.
L’Usine, a recently opened sports club, is drawing in posh Parisians looking to pump up and be pampered in style. John Galliano himself sets the ultrahip mood, training with a private coach in the mornings, and a handful of French celebs and fashion designers are also working the scene.
“It’s a club for the chic sporty type,” said Patrick Joly, co-owner of the club, which he runs with Patrick Rizzo.
Located in a revamped 19th-century oil factory, the club is situated only minutes away from the Opéra Garnier, smack in the center of Paris. The building’s design juxtaposes modern architecture with hints of its history. Brick walls in the cycle room are covered with flat-screen TVs playing films from the Fifties and a winding wood staircase descends from cardio training to the reception area and a mosaic-walled hammam. Mixes created by the gym’s in-house DJ also add to the trendy ambience.
Meanwhile, France’s finest trainers offer the latest lessons in boxing, martial arts, Pilates and yoga. And after a hard day’s work, fatigued fashionistas can head to private massage rooms and choose from a menu of massages ranging from California to ayurvedic. Prices start at 45 euros per day or 100 euros for the week.
L’Usine, 8 Rue de la Michodière, Paris, 33-1-42-66-30-30. Open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m., and Sunday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
— Emilie Marsh
SAO PAULO — Since its late-April opening, Café de la Musique, a combination restaurant and nightclub, has become one of the trendiest night spots in São Paulo.
The new cafe-club concept is the brainchild of Rico Mansur, a 30-year-old local entrepreneur (and former boyfriend of Gisele Bündchen) who, along with five other partners, believed that, “São Paulo needed a new variation on an old dining-out format.”
From 8 p.m. until 1 a.m., Monday through Saturday, Café de la Musique is a 5,380-square-foot restaurant seating 150 and serving Italian and fusion cuisine, as well as Japanese fare in a sushi lounge at the back of the main dining area. By 1 a.m., waiters have cleared the tables and chairs from the center of the dining areas, turning the space into a nightclub that stays open until 6 a.m.
“Some people come to Café de la Musique just to eat, some come just for drinks, and some come for dining, drinking and dancing,” said Mansur.
Three top São Paulo fashion designers are responsible for the club’s decoration, borrowing prints and fabrics from their most recent collections. Men’s designer Ricardo Almeida, women’s designer Fause Haten and Amir Slama, the designer of Brazilian bikini brand Rosa Chá, redecorate areas of the club every six months (when they launch new collections), using the materials and prints from their latest lines.
“The idea is to give the place a constantly changing look, and one that is in step with the latest fashion trends,” said Mansur.
Café de la Musique, Avenida Juselino Kubischek 1400, Itaím, São Paulo, 55-11-3079-5588, cafedelamusique.com.br. Open Monday-Saturday, 8 p.m.-6 a.m.
— Michael Kepp
MILAN — Inditex, the Spanish parent firm of Zara, has cut itself another slice of Milan’s retail cake with the opening of a new Massimo Dutti store.
Ensconced between Gucci and Louis Vuitton in the tony Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the 3,352-square-foot store maintains an Old World elegance with white marble floors, chrome fixtures and glass details.
“Because the stores act as an advertising vehicle, we felt that the Galleria, with its mix of style and antique architecture and visited by fashion people, professionals and tourists, was a fitting location,” said Marco Agnolin, general director of Massimo Dutti and Zara Italy.
On the shelves, patrons will find items like evening skirts ($140-$153) and cashmere sweaters ($105) that reflect the brand’s upscale lifestyle collections with an urban-chic edge.
Massimo Dutti, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan, 02-865-031. Open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
— Stephanie Epiro
LONDON — At Origin, customers know exactly what they’re getting.
The bar and restaurant, which opened in September at Covent Garden’s uberhip The Hospital media club, only serves food from independent farms and organic suppliers, and provides customers with information on where their food was sourced, its background and how it was cultivated.
Acclaimed chef Adam Byatt creates simple yet innovative dishes, such as Cornish crab ravioli, partridge pie and braised line-caught turbot with yellow chantrelles.
The cocktail menu, devised by mixologist Dan Warner, is also noteworthy, featuring exotic concoctions such as the Fumble (Tanqueray gin, lemon juice and blackberry foam) and The Cuban Toffee (fresh-crushed pineapple, Matusalem Platino rum, pinot grigio and vanilla liqueur), all priced at around $13.
Due to its links with The Hospital, a media-friendly club founded by Paul Allen and Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, the restaurant is a hit with the celebrity circuit and has already played host to Jimmy Choo president Tamara Mellon, Tom Ford and Rob Lowe, among others.
Origin, The Hospital, 24 Endell Street, London, 44-0-207-170-9200, origin-restaurant.com. Bar open Monday-Friday, noon-midnight, and Saturday, 5 p.m.-midnight. Restaurant open Monday-Friday, noon-2:30 p.m. and 6-8:30 p.m., and Saturday, 5-11 p.m.
— Lucie Greene