When Tuscan Hills’ owners first opened their rustic Italian spot, they followed the old Italian tradition of placing a horseshoe upside-down over the door to keep negative energy out. But as customers came in to try the new spot, they kept pointing out that the horseshoe was hanging the wrong way, so they switched it. After that, they had the worst week since they’d opened—so they turned it face-down again, and Tuscan Hills has been a charm to the owners and their customers ever since.
With exposed-brick walls, flickering candles, and folded linen napkins, Tuscan Hills feels like an Italian hideaway. As guests gather around tables to chat over glasses of wine, chefs toss pasta with seafood, fresh vegetables, and meats and then pull bubbling 13-inch pizzas from the brick oven. Main dishes include braised chuck of wild boar smothered in brown sauce and served over polenta as well as the signature traditional Tuscan-style fish stew, cacciucco alla livornese, which is baked with a crispy bread crust. Family-style platters of pasta, steak, and other dishes bring groups together to share the brimming platters or finally satisfy the hunger of yetis out to treat themselves.
At Chrysalis Salon, seasoned staffers enthusiastically ply the beautician's trade as fall floral accents bedeck the chocolate-colored walls around them, creating a scene as warm and lush as an open house held inside a jack-o'-lantern. Employing more than 20 years of experience, the salon's master hairstylist, Maura, specializes in color treatments including highlights, lowlights, and color correction. The salon's licensed aesthetician, Frances, customizes her facial services using the skills and knowledge it took to become certified as a beauty therapist by ITEC.
At First Impressions, aestheticians spruce up faces, relax backs, and pamper nails in 90-minute mini spa excursions. Technicians rub hands and feet with lavender- or honey-infused exfoliating scrubs, polishing skin to a healthy glow before coating nails in gel or Shellac polish, whose persistent grip clings to talons for up to two weeks, much like a shy toddler clutching a store mannequin’s leg. Toes can stretch out and luxuriate in a complimentary paraffin treatment, and faces emerge looking fresh and youthful after a treatment using all-natural products.
The image experts at Laser Hair Removal of NY & Electrolysis by Celina enhance guests' façades through an array of aesthetic services such as the European facial. After composing a cleansing regimen that may include products from Murad and similar lines, therapists refresh façades by hydrating skin and removing leftover eggnog mustaches.
Inside A Private Studio, two master stylists work on either side of a towering, free-standing mirror. It's an intimate setting and a perfect sanctuary for harried clients. Or celebrities. The hair-savvy duo, Laurance and John, never name names, but they've certainly worked with stars. Laurance's styling has appeared on Valentino runways and in high fashion magazines; John trained under iconic high-fashion hairstylist Yusuke Suga. The duo's star status doesn't translate into a stuffy-feeling salon, though: it's decorated simply with potted plants and in earth tones. But it's their expertise that clients come for and which translates into chic, technically flawless cuts, artfully-placed highlights, and conditioning treatments that add a touch of shine, much like a headlamp worn backwards.
MessLook Hair Salon & Beauty Spa cofounder Charles Lam has racked up more than two decades of hair experience in three locales: Hong Kong, Taiwan, and his current base, the United States. In a 1,000-square-foot salon, he and his team recreate the international styles Lam assimilated on his travels, transforming heads with cosmopolitan cuts, highlights, and specialty treatments such as Japanese straightening. The studio?s services extend beyond hair, though: Lam?s cofounder, Josephine Xu, is an aesthetician and makeup artist. She and her staff can rejuvenate faces with treatments powered by vitamin C, caviar, or lasers. They also can buff fine lines and age spots from skin with microdermabrasion, whose ultrafine crystals would otherwise have to adorn the rings of newlywed mayflies.