Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before 25th June, 2017 and receive a Laguiole cheese knife set!

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Aløft

There's nothing new about Nordic interiors - blond timbers, concrete surfaces, warm, mid-century charm without the twee - and thank heavens for that. It's a style that augments the beauty of everything around it, in this case, gorgeous Hobart harbour, which makes up one whole wall. What is new here, however, is the food - by veterans of Garagistes, which once dazzled diners down the road, Vue de Monde in Melbourne and Gordon Ramsay worldwide. There's a strong Asian bent, but with Tasmanian ingredients. In fact, the kitchen's love of the local verges on obsessive - coconut milk in an aromatic fish curry is replaced with Tasmanian-grown fig leaf simmered in cream to mimic the flavour. Other standouts include a gutsy red-braised lamb with gai lan and chewy cassia spaetzle, pigs' ears zingy with Sichuan pepper and a fresh, springy berry dessert. While the food is sourced locally, the generous wine list spans the planet. 

Secret Tuscany

A far cry from Tuscany’s familiar gently rolling hills, Monte Argentario’s appealing mix of mountain, ocean, island and lagoon makes it one of Italy’s hidden treasures, writes Emiko Davies.

Farro recipes

Farro can be used in almost any dish, from a robust salad to accompany hearty beer-glazed beef short ribs to a new take on risotto with mushrooms, leek and parmesan. Here are 14 ways with this versatile grain.

A festival of cheese hits Sydney

Kick off winter with a week of cheese tasting.

Moon Park to open Paper Bird in Potts Point

No, it’s not a pop-up. The team behind Sydney’s Moon Park is back with an all-day east-Asian eatery.

Brae

Prepare to enter a picture of the countryside framed by note-perfect Australiana but painted in bold, elegant and unsentimental strokes. Over 10 or more courses, Dan Hunter celebrates his region with dishes that are formally daring (Crunchy prawn heads! Creamy oyster soft-serve! Sea urchin and chicory bread pudding!), yet rich in flavour and substance. The menu could benefit from an edit, but the plates are tightly composed - and what could you cut? Certainly not the limpid broth bathing fronds of abalone and calamari, nor the clever arrangement of lobster played off against charred waxy fingerlings under a swatch of milk skin. The adventure is significantly the richer for the cool gloss of the dining room, some of the most engaging service in the nation and wine pairings that roam with an easy-going confidence. Maturing and relaxing without surrendering a drop of its ambition, Brae is more compelling than ever.

Grilled apricot salad with jamon and Manchego

Here we've scorched apricots on the grill and served them with torn jamon, shaved Manchego and peppery rocket leaves. Think of it as a twist on the good old melon-prosciutto routine. The mixture would also be great served on charred sourdough.

Discovering Macedonia

Like its oft-disputed name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia defies simple definition but its rich diversity extends from the dinner table to the welcoming locals, writes Richard Cooke.

Raging success

Hollywood heavyweight Robert De Niro enters the hotel game. George Epaminondas investigates.

The idea of a New York hotel steered by Robert De Niro has almost farcical overtones. One half expects the concierge to snarl, "You talkin' to me?" in the manner of Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver. Or to discover a pair of silk boxers, favoured by Al Capone in The Untouchables, mysteriously left in your room. But don't count on any of these absurd scenarios. The image projected of De Niro at his recently opened Greenwich Hotel has little to do with any of his movie roles. Instead of one of the greatest actors on display, it's De Niro the cultural aesthete, design aficionado and knowing epicure.

De Niro is known for his entrepreneurial smarts. He is celebrated for revitalising the downtown district of Tribeca by setting up his production offices there, helming the Tribeca Film Festival and opening restaurants such as Nobu and The Tribeca Grill. If anyone is qualified to open a sophisticated hotel in the locale, it's De Niro. The Greenwich Hotel is a handsome building that harmonises with the neighbourhood. The ambience is low-key and luxe. Leaded glass windows, terracotta tiles, Tibetan rugs, plush sofas, and cases of glossy tomes conspire to create a well-heeled residential vibe, while a series of abstract nudes behind the check-in desk are by De Niro's late father.

The mismatched and slightly masculine design continues in the 88 rooms, which all boast distinctive arrangements of furniture. A deep leather sofa, coral-hued rug, turquoise cushions, and rustic side tables formed a pleasing tableau in my room. Some elements, including the oak floors, Dux beds, chicken-wire closets and sculptural jars filled with chocolate, remain constant throughout the hotel. In another novel twist, The Greenwich has two styles of bathrooms: I had a choice between one in grey and white marble, and another embellished with blue and yellow tiles. With flourishes such as Red Flower soap, an iPod dock, a high-definition TV, and a slew of books to read, I contemplated barricading myself inside my room.

When the turn-down staff delivered a giant chocolate chip cookie and retro-looking bottle of milk, I was reminded of what De Niro said about "creating a space that would serve guests more as a residence than a hotel." Certainly, it's the thoughtful touches that make all the difference. The Greenwich is a collaboration between De Niro and the hoteliers behind The Mercer and Chambers, Ira Drukier and Richard Born. Design input came from architect David Rockwell, Grayling Design and Samantha Crasco. There are 13 sprawling suites in all, equipped with saunas, fire-places or skylights - and an exquisite penthouse apartment with its own rooftop garden, hot tub and poetic views of the city skyline will soon be unveiled.

Reluctantly, I put down my cookie and headed to Ago, the hotel's Italian restaurant. Ago turns out excellent pizza and bistecca alla Fiorentina and stellar gelato. Like the hotel, it has some interesting design quirks, including American farmhouse chairs, windows from the Flatiron Building that have been recycled into mirrors, and 90,000 wine corks in the ceiling provided by the Canadian Girl Scouts - who presumably didn't drink the contents of the bottles.

To escape the din of the fooderati, I ventured to the hotel's drawing room for an apéritif. With high ceilings, antique furnishings and mirrored French doors that lead to a courtyard, the space resembles a tiny private club. The fact that only hotel guests are allowed to patronise it reinforces that perception. A level below is the Shibui spa, where a lantern-lit pool and lounge area is housed under a reconstructed 250-year-old Japanese pine and bamboo farmhouse. The day after I check out of The Greenwich - rested and revitalised - I read that De Niro is rolling out plans for a Nobu Hotel in the city's Financial District. Expect a piece of sushi on your pillow.

377 Greenwich St, New York, +1 212 941 8900, greenwichhotelny.com. Rooms from about $657 per night.


  • Destination:
  • aug 2008
  • Magazine:
  • New York
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

See more

You might also like...

Best of Italy

Rome, Florence, Naples, the Amalfi... the list of our favour...

Best New Hotels 2009 slideshow

We’ve got the keys to the most fabulous new hotels in the wo...

Burgundy, France: Top soil

“Water can rust iron. Imagine what it does to your insides. ...

Bali's new high

It’s no secret that recent times have been tough for Austral...

New South Wales South Coast

Unsung hero Flashier holiday spots may steal the limelight, ...

Gourmet Barcelona

From the city's best sandwich bar to its favourite charcuter...

Greece's Mani peninsula

Greece’s rugged and bloody Mani peninsula was once a no-go z...

Venice in pictures

Read our story on what to do if you only have 24 hours in Ve...

Great Brittany gallery

Take a walk on the wild side. Follow Brittany’s windswept co...

South African safari lodges gallery

Travelling from the Great Karoo to the Kruger, Emma Ventura ...

Iceland photo gallery

Erase the images of that volcano with the unpronounceable na...

Happy holidays

They’re following the sun and chasing the snow, staying clos...

Kyneton and Castlemaine

Kyneton and Castlemaine were born out of the gold-rush era, ...

Insider's guide to Manly

Breath of fresh air The classic Sydney beachside neighbourho...

The best of New Zealand

Choosing from the bounty of New Zealand's holiday destinati...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×