Fans of classic television undoubtedly recall the image of Lucy and Ethel, wearing uniforms and chef hats, frantically stuffing chocolates into their already bulging cheeks as handmade confections fly past on a conveyor belt. Still running in the back of Edelweiss Chocolate Factory’s store is the same confectionery machine that inspired loyal customer Lucille Ball to create that iconic scene from I Love Lucy, according to a 2007 Vanity Fair article. Since 1942, the store has inspired similar devotion from Hollywood stars including Frank Sinatra, Nancy Reagan, and Katharine Hepburn with its handcrafted chocolates, made with fresh sweet cream, butter, imported fruit, and nuts roasted in house. The chocolate factory's staff works to give all customers star-quality treatment, whether they’re buying one chocolate or creating a large customized order from more than 1,000 available molds, including golf balls, champagne bottles, and rejected Citizen Kane 2 screenplays.
Be it on one of The Farm's breezy outdoor patios or inside its down-home Americana-themed dining rooms, patrons today come to savor the nostalgic flavors of traditional American cuisine, just as they have since 1997. With black-and-white portraits of Wisconsin farmers adorning the walls of all three locations, fresh, seasonal ingredients are the heart and soul of The Farm of Beverly Hills' menus. Organic and locally sourced products comprise dishes whenever possible, as evident in the dill-pickle fried chicken made with a free-range and organic bird, the hearty meatloaf sandwich of certified-humane Angus beef, or original tableside magic tricks performed by Miss Piggy.
The edible delights at Enoteca radiate rustic authenticity from the comprehensive menu. Antipasti anchor the easy vibes, so dive finger-first into platters of grilled polenta and wild mushrooms ($13), or beef carpaccio with foie gras ($15). The usual suspects done creatively are all present during subsequent courses, including napoletana pizza heavy with anchovies and garlic ($13), seafood and squid ink risotto ($17), veal scallopine ($27), and the meatless burrata salad with mozzarella, green lentils, roasted beets, and asparagus ($13). Complement the edibles with sippables comprising more than 250 bottles of wine from the 20 regions of Italy in glasses, flights, and quartinos.
The Salad Bowl understands that a person cannot wallpaper his or her stomach lining with artsy leaf rubbings without handy access to a multitude of media. Get creative as you customize a salad by selecting greens and toppings from The Salad Bowl's extensive list of more than 50 ingredients ($7–$9). After choosing a mix of lettuce, veggies, and protein, garnish the greens with an assortment of nuts, croutons, and dressing.
“Certain things, they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone. I know that’s impossible, but it’s too bad anyway.” That was one of Holden Caulfield’s many pontifications, and could easily be the inspiration behind his namesake restaurant at the Thompson Hotel. Caulfield’s Bar and Dining Room almost feels like a mid-century moment frozen in time—patrons sipping on old-fashioneds are reflected in the segmented, art-deco mirrors behind the bar, and a lively mural in one of the dining spaces lets diners pretend they’re spying on a get-together of J.D. Salinger and the rest of the Hollywood Ten. However, the restaurant is anything but dated—there are refreshing, modern elements in both the décor and the menu. Whitewashed brick walls give the space an almost industrial feel, and keep the indoor rooms as bright as the newly added sunroom. Throughout Caulfield’s, patrons dine on updated American classics, such as lamb burgers with leeks and a lobster club with avocado and applewood bacon. Even the old-fashioneds feel new, with a digitally encrypted recipe that calls for 23-year-old rum and chocolate bitters.
Philippe Chow is a very patient man. Upon moving to New York City in 1979, the native of China and aspiring chef spent a quarter-century perfecting his techniques. He learned how to prepare both dim sum and traditional entrees, as well as the fine art of hand-pulling noodles at the acclaimed Mr. Chow in New York. Finally, in 2005, he set out on his own, opening an eponymous restaurant where he serves as the owner and chef.
Philippe's guests would do well to embrace his patience, particularly if ordering the crown jewel of the menu: a seven-pound peking duck with homemade pancakes that takes 45 minutes to specially prepare. It's been named "Best of New York" by New York Magazine, putting it in great company with other press favorites such as chicken satay. Between the acclaimed menu and the upscale decor, it's not surprising that the restaurant has attracted some of New York's best icons: a 2008 Met Gala afterparty held at the Manhattan location was attended by Ivanka Trump, Anna Wintour, Blake Lively, the Statue of Liberty's food taster, and Mr. Big himself, Chris Noth.