A Liquid Lunch at the 21 Club

28/03/2015 § 1 Comment

21 Club. 21 Club. 21 Club. 21 Club. In honor of the upcoming final (!) season of AMC’s Mad Men, a select group of New York restaurants — the sort of joints that Madison Avenue ad men probably would have favored — featured special lunch menus last week.  Priced at $19.69 — the year of the final season — patrons could treat themselves to the hallowed “liquid lunch” or opt for a prix fixe menu.  It wasn’t something I was prepared to miss, so I corralled a compatriot and made my way directly to the 21 Club.

The 21 Club, formerly a prohibition-era speakeasy, has been in operation since the 1920s and has occupied its current, jockey-decorated location since 1929.  Since its inception 21 has been a favored spot of presidents, celebrities, socialites, politicians, and titans of industry.  A four-story townhouse with multiple private rooms, its famed secret wine cellar has housed the private collections of folks like Ernest Hemingway, John F. Kennedy, and Frank Sinatra.  Today, 21 retains a sense of old-fashioned formality that has become somewhat unique – gentlemen are required to wear jackets to gain entrance to the dining room, servers are dressed in tuxedos.  The Bar Room, where we lunched, sports a ceiling decorated with antique toys, suspended in air.

If you know me at all, you already know I went for the cocktails: Manhattans made with Canadian Club, while my dining partner opted for gin martinis.  Feeling very Roger Sterling and Don Draper, we also ordered for a dozen oysters, and a fabulous, mid-century time was had by all.

21 Club
21 W. 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019

Advertisements

QC Loves: Hi-Collar

09/11/2014 § 1 Comment

QC Loves: Hi-Collar QC Loves: Hi-Collar QC Loves: Hi-Collar QC Loves: Hi-Collar QC Loves: Hi-CollarQC Loves: Hi-Collar

Admittedly, this was a discovery I made some time ago, but with the return of the polar vortex next week, it seems like the perfect time to share.  Hi-Collar in the East Village is a darling of a tiny kissaten — a Western-inspired Japanese coffee house — by day and a sake bar by night.  Siphon coffee, tea and small bites, both savory and sweet, are served with a precision and ritual you won’t find at any of those other coffee shops around the city.  It’s the perfect place for a meandering late afternoon — and if you can stretch your visit into the evening changeover, even better.

Hi-Collar
214 East 10th St.
New York, NY 10003

Disappearing Acts

08/08/2014 § 1 Comment

Porto RicoEvery morning on my way to the train at the West 4th Street station, I pass the Porto Rico Importing Co. at 201 Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village.  More of a coffee and tea store than a true coffee bar, it’s where I buy the coffee I use at home (try it out: Monsoon Malabar is my favorite).  It’s usually full of bench sitters and the usual bunch of parked cars, but today I happened upon a rare moment of quiet and a break in the traffic so that I could take the shot above.

As I took the picture, an eccentric-looking older gentleman ambled by and gruffly offered his two cents: “You know, places like that are disappearing around here.”  He then proceeded to point out the growing vacancies around Porto Rico, both new and old. I readily agreed with him and he eventually set off on his way down Bleecker, satisfied.

Vaguely familiar that Porto Rico has been around for some time — it does mention something about 1907 on the awning, at least — I did a bit of research and discovered that the ground floor of 201 Bleecker has been operated by the Longo family since the early 1900s, initially as a bakery and then later as the coffee and tea store we know today.  The current owner-operator, Peter Longo, is the third generation to run the store, the building having been bought by his grandfather in 1905 for $5,000.  Peter was born in the building, as well as his father before him.

For someone who’s only lived in the neighborhood for just over a year, it’s always exciting to learn more about longtime residents and businesses, but also to hear how the streets have changed.  The next time you find yourself on Bleecker, I definitely recommend that you stop by for a pound of coffee or perhaps a new tea — because it’s true, places like this are rapidly disappearing these days.

For a fuller story on Porto Rico, Alex Witchel at the NY Times wrote a great article on Peter and the store that you should also read.

Have a lovely (caffeinated) weekend!
M. xx

Keep in touch:
Instagram: @quitecontinental
Twitter   ||   Tumblr

Summer Daze

21/07/2014 § 1 Comment

Quite Continental || Summer Daze

“Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me those have always
been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
-Henry James

Things that have recently amused me on summer afternoons:

Brunch at Buvette, Navy or Hundred Acres

Discussing the proper time to “Turn Down”

Blogs: Girls I Know and Sioux Wild Horses

QC Loves: Guy Catling

18/08/2013 § 1 Comment

Catling Catling Catling CatlingCatling

In an auspicious turn of interwebby events, I happened upon the work of Guy Catling this week.  While I’m loving most everything he’s produced, his vintage B&W photographs collaged with vibrant graphic patterns are my absolute favorite — especially the dapper gentlemen.  To view more of Guy Catling’s art, head here.

All artwork by Guy Catling.

Rock Solid Family Values

26/06/2013 § 1 Comment

Sandy West and parents.
Sandy West, drummer of The Runaways, backstage with her parents at a concert in
Los Angeles, California, 1977/8. Photo by Brad Elterman, found via The Rambler.

Don’t have much to say here, this picture is just rad and I had to share it with you. I’m in the wind today, but I thought I would check in with you — see how considerate I’m being!  Sidenote: Tonight I’m headed to see a couple of great bands at Brooklyn Bowl: The Dough Rollers and Brothers.  So if you fancy a bit of rock ‘n roll (see? see how I did that? amazing.) tonight, drop by!  Tickets available here.

Brothers, “Virginia”

QC Loves: A.L.C. Resort 2014

17/06/2013 § Leave a comment

ALC Resort 2014

Let’s talk a little Resort 2014, shall we?  I must admit that whenever collections are released it’s a little like a horse race for me.  There are clear favorites, early frontrunners, and every now and then, a dark horse.  This season, while it looked like Rag & Bone was my clear winner, dark horse A.L.C., designed by Andrea Lieberman, emerged to win the day with a restrained palette and clean sense of cool that was a little more approachable than the tough girl chic that Rag & Bone put forward (and I still love, don’t get me wrong).  Aside from that, if you dip-dye or ombre anything — and I mean anything — it’s going to get at least a second look from me, and I especially love the technique on floaty textures immediately juxtaposed with leather.  Well done, indeed.


Images via Style.com

Field Notes || Myrtle

20/05/2013 § Leave a comment

Myrtle - 01 Myrtle - 02 Myrtle - 03 Myrtle - 19 Myrtle - 04 Myrtle - 05 Myrtle - 06 Myrtle - 07 Myrtle - 08 Myrtle - 09 Myrtle - 10 Myrtle - 11 Myrtle - 12 Myrtle - 13 Myrtle - 14 Myrtle - 15 Myrtle - 16 Myrtle - 17 Myrtle - 18 Myrtle - 20 Myrtle - 21 Myrtle - 32 Myrtle - 22 Myrtle - 24 Myrtle - 25 Myrtle - 27 Myrtle - 28 Myrtle - 29 Myrtle - 31 Myrtle - 23

During my recent trip to Los Angeles, I had the pleasure of visiting with Whitney Bickers, the proprietress of Myrtle, a delightful boutique snuggled on a corner of Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park.  Featuring independent female designers and an excellent selection of vintage clothing, as well as accessories, books and other assorted gifty items, this adorable little shop feels more like a clubhouse than mere retail experience, completely due to the amount of personal attention Whitney provides her customers.  Shopping at Myrtle is akin to spending a leisurely time with a trusted friend, trying out all sorts of interesting designers and original pieces you may have never heard of before — almost like your personal, inside track to style.

Whitney and Myrtle first appeared on my radar via mutual friends Samantha Pleet and Lizzie Garrett Mettler, and while it may have taken awhile for us to connect in the non-internet world, I’m so glad we did.  Aside from being one of the loveliest people ever (ever!), her path to opening Myrtle is certainly an inspiration.  While working in the entertainment industry on the production side, Whitney came to the realization that what she was really dreaming of was having a store of her own.  With no formal background in retail, but armed with some good advice, a tiny bit of luck and a whole lot of hard work, Whitney took a leap and opened in 2011.  In the years since, this one-woman show has continued to evolve, expanding to e-commerce and one of my very favorite Instagram feeds, where Whitney tries on new store arrivals in the massive mirror you can see above, giving internet fans of Myrtle an early head’s up at stock that hasn’t made it to the webstore just yet — but the best part is that you can tell how much fun she’s having.  And of course, when she wanted to turn the camera on me during our visit, I immediately insisted on a double mirror portrait of our own…

Myrtle

Myrtle
2213 Sunset Boulevard  || Los Angeles, CA 90026 || (213) 413-0004

Thanks, Ralph.

27/03/2013 § 2 Comments

RRL & Co. S/S 2013 RRL & Co. S/S 2013 RRL & Co. S/S 2013 RRL & Co. S/S 2013 RRL & Co. S/S 2013 RRL & Co. S/S 2013 RRL & Co. S/S 2013 RRL & Co. S/S 2013 RRL & Co. S/S 2013

Double RL & Co. for women has finally arrived, and I am a very happy girl.  Amazingly, this beaut of a lookbook manages to serve merely as icing on the cake that is the S/S 2013 collection, full of western shirts, 40s-era day dresses, and a boyfriend jean that I desperately need in my life.

Thanks, Ralph.  This almost makes up for killing off Rugby and some rather lackluster Collections since F/W 2012.  Almost.  I mean, you are trying to sell me this as an actual accessory.

QC Loves: Gryphon Fall 2013

16/03/2013 § 2 Comments

Gryphon Fall 2013 Gryphon Fall 2013 Gryphon Fall 2013 Gryphon Fall 2013 Gryphon Fall 2013 Gryphon Fall 2013 Gryphon Fall 2013

Have you already seen this?  Am I late to the party?  In any event, this is too gorgeous not to share!  The New York-based brand Gryphon, by designer Aimee Cho, has definitely emerged as one of my favorites for Fall 2013.  The brand, formerly a full line, recently rebooted and is returning for Fall 2013 as an outerwear-only collection.  As Gryphon was initially launched around her reinterpretation of the classic trench coat, this refocus gives Cho the opportunity to really refine what she arguably does best (and I love best!), her “…trench coats, puffer coats, overcoats, pea coats, parkas, blazers, anoraks, baseball jackets, and more.”

The proof, as they say, is in the lookbook.
What?  They don’t say that?  Well, they should.

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the QC Loves category at Quite Continental.

%d bloggers like this: