Lifestyle2020-07-29T07:12:59-08:00

Lifestyle

Japanese Whisky

By Julie Harrington Giffin Japanese culture is fragrant and exotic and their whisky is no exception. Make no mistake about it, sake’ may be the national beverage of Japan, but it is their whisky that intrigues the most sophisticated palates well versed in Scotch, Irish and American whiskies. With its delicate familiarity, Japanese whisky continues to make a radical, unanticipated climb in popularity both in Japan and abroad. Whisky production in Japan can be traced back almost 150 years where it remained predominantly domestic and undeservingly dormant. This little-known expression got its first glimpse of international stardom when a Nikka 10 year Yoichi Single Malt was awarded “Best of the Best” by Whiskey Magazine in 2001. For the next decade, Japanese whisky production continued its quest to produce a “Scotch” whiskey in Japan while gradually acquiring a quiet cult following. This quest sent shockwaves worldwide when Jim Murray, a critically acclaimed whiskey connoisseur, bestowed Suntory’s Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 as the “Worlds Best Whisky” in his 2015 Whiskey Bible. This was a groundbreaking and ground-shaking moment in the world of whisky as it simultaneously legitimized the Japanese whiskey industry while shattering that of Scotch. For [...]

Ten Old School Steakhouses: Must Stop Spots for Prime and Chops

By Audrey Pavia Dining in an old school steakhouse is a unique experience. The dark wood, linen tablecloths and subdued lighting typical of nostalgic steakhouses seem to make the food taste even better. No self-respecting metropolitan area would be without an old-time steakhouse. Here are some steakhouses of distinction around the U.S. you’ll be sure to visit when you’re in their neck of the woods. Smith & Wollensky 797 Third Avenue New York, New York Known for its in-house dry-aged and hand-butchered USDA Prime steaks, the Smith & Wollensky in Manhattan is the original restaurant that spawned franchises by the same name in the U.S., London and Taipei. Located in midtown Manhattan on the corner of Third Avenue and 49th Street, Smith & Wollensky has been operating in this location since 1977. The name doesn’t represent a family or business legacy; it was chosen randomly from two pages in a New York City telephone book. Smith & Wollensky takes particular pride in its service, which gets rave reviews from customers. Each waiter wears stars on his or her jacket pocket representing the number of years worked at the steakhouse. The menu [...]

Lounge Life Stories

By Joe Bosso COMFORT. RELAXATION. RESPITE. That feeling like our challenges and stressors are on hold. Just the right vibe for friends on the same wavelength to effortlessly engage. That’s what attracts us to our favorite cigar lounge. Each establishment has its own personality. It becomes a niche community unto itself. Your go-to lounge is an escape where local flavor and robust tastes are right at your fingertips. Each of these cigar spots profiled in this issue have put their unique stamp on the lounge life experience. It’s highly recommended you pop in if you find yourself in their neck of the woods. Privat Cigar Lounge at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa General Manager: Kato Moy Rancho Mirage, CA The Cahuilla Indian term “pivat” means “smoking tobacco,” but that doesn’t adequately describe what visitors to the Pivat Cigar Lounge, located within the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage, California, can expect. “We go out of our way to give our guests a high-quality cigar experience from top to bottom,” says Kato Moy, the resort’s senior vice president and general manager. “There’s cigar bars, there’s smoking rooms, and there’s [...]

The Top Ten Watches: For the Cigar Connoisseur

By Yuri Vanetik A gentleman that appreciates rare cigars and liquor is undoubtedly a person of refined taste. Having good taste is a quality that’s both a function of experience and thoughtful constitution. The cigar connoisseur lifestyle includes appreciation of artisanship. It would follow that a savvy cigar collector is someone who also enjoys and values complicated horological instruments. This is a fancy term for mechanical watches that offer functions (aka “complications” in watch parlance) that go beyond telling time and date. Below is a list of top ten watches that qualify for the wrist of the serious cigar collector. These ten brands and models fall roughly into two categories. The first is the epitome of subtlety and tradition— the other embraces innovation, dispenses with rules and challenges tradition like modern art. All are examples of artisanship—perhaps even art. All are rare and generally sought out by watch collectors. Patek Philippe Repeater patek.com This brand is the conservative man’s homage to microengineering. It’s still considered one of the safest investment-oriented brands. The entry level Patek (Calatrava) typically retails under $20,000. The Repeater can be acquired in the mid to high [...]

Men’s Spa’s You Can’t Refuse: The Rise of Men's Grooming Culture

By Elisa Jordan With increased awareness about health, wellness and fitness that has permeated our culture in recent decades comes an overall need for high-quality men’s grooming care. Services and products once thought of as exclusively geared toward women are now finding a market with men. So much so, that a number of product manufacturers and grooming facilities have started catering primarily to men. Although many, if not most, spas and salons accept both women and men, a new breed of barbershops, salons, spas and lounges are focusing on needs unique to guys. Treatments tailored specifically to men’s skin, hair removal, facial hair care, hand and foot maintenance, massages, haircuts and coloring—all have become popular enough to warrant a new business model. Not only that, but a lot of men have come to expect the highest quality in luxury during their appointments. A number of businesses are happy to oblige and have taken extra steps to create settings appealing to men, such as leather chairs, large televisions, complimentary drinks and pool tables. Some of these establishments call themselves lounges or clubs to reflect the unique atmosphere. Many even have memberships to ensure men have frequent access to [...]

Summer Coastal Travel

By Julie Harrington Giffin FOR THE OUTDOOR ENTHUSIAST, California unapologetically delivers. An alfresco utopia from its northern border to the edge of Mexico, the Golden State claims fame to some of the most picturesque landscapes in the country. Imposing cliffs keep watch over the rugged Pacific coast of the north, while vast sandy beaches blanket the south. I started my adventure in this alluring state with the top down, my hair windblown, sunglasses on and classic rock filling the air. I drove due east from the coast until I spotted the rolling vineyards of Napa. Glorious Napa Turning off Old Sonoma Highway, I arrived at my destination: the Carneros Resort and Spa. The epitome of understated elegance, Carneros is a slice of heaven on earth, beginning at guest registration, where I was given a complimentary glass of wine. Welcome letter and room key in hand, I am whisked away to a craftsman style cottage, complete with front porch, rocking chairs, and a mailbox to catch my morning paper. The chic interior is well appointed, with soft neutral colors enhanced with a fireplace and floor-to-ceiling, white French doors that open to my [...]

Moxy NYC Times Square: The Ultimate Urban Amusement Park Hotel

By Audrey Pavia For regular patrons of the Marriott hotel chains, like the Sheraton or the Westin, the Moxy NYC Times Square can be a bit of a shock at first. Instead of the long mahogany check-in desk you’d get at most Marriott hotels, your first impression at the Moxy NYC Times Square is an expansive two-story atrium with staffed podiums for checking in, surrounded by a marquis modeled after split-flat train schedule on both sides of the room. The marquis flashes 500 different song titles and lyrics 24 hours a day. The Moxy is the Marriott’s newest lifestyle brand, designed specifically for the customer of tomorrow. Aimed toward younger guests who want to stay in midtown Manhattan without the exorbitant expense associated with more traditional hotels like The Ritz Carlton, The Peninsula and The Four Seasons, the Moxy Times Square is a boutique hotel with a truly unique style. The Moxy is located at 485 7th Avenue, in a 16-story neo-Renaissance limestone, brick and terracotta building erected in 1907. This landmark building was originally the Mills Hotel, which provided 1,885 rooms exclusively for men. Although most of its patrons, who paid only $25 a night, were [...]

Greens of Dreams: The Golf Channel's Matt Ginell Spans the Globe's Most Gorgeous Courses

By Kevin Kenney From his earliest days, it’s always been about golf for Matt Ginella. Growing up in Santa Rosa, Calif., about an hour north of San Francisco, he worked at local courses throughout high school - mowing greens, picking ranges, changing grips. He applied to agronomy school at Penn State, thinking he might become a superintendent somewhere, before a broadcasting degree from St. Mary’s College landed him an internship at Sports Illustrated and, eventually, the job of golf photo editor in 1996. As fortune would have it, Ginella got that gig the very same week Tiger Woods turned pro – and two careers were born. The Bucket List Question We asked Ginella an almost impossible-to-answer question: Of the 2,500 or so courses he’s played, could he name some of his favorites, his absolute must-plays — his bucket list for the avid amateur to check off before retiring to that great 19th hole in the sky Pebble Beach Golf Links Another example, Ginella says, of one destination that can beget visits to multiple courses. But it begins with the legendary links course, host to five U.S. Opens, with another set for next year, [...]

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