Platinum List 2018: Best Restaurant Scenes
Casa Tua, Commander’s Palace, Den, Felix, Nammos
Impossible reservations, buzzy vibes and innovative concepts throughout the world.
Miami Beach, Florida, United States
It’s an art to create a restaurant where guests feel they are being entertained at home by their best friends, but that’s the mood owner Miky Grendene has produced at Casa Tua. Classic Italian cuisine is served in a Mediterranean-style villa richly decorated with paintings and photographs. Must-haves: tagliolini with crème fraîche and caviar and osso buco alla Milanese.
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Famous for its haute Creole cuisine, with 90 percent of the ingredients sourced from within 100 miles, this elegant and lively Garden District restaurant transformed New Orleans dining under the influence of the late Ella Brennan. Enjoy pecan-crusted Gulf fish with crushed corn cream and Louisiana blue crab and the iconic turtle soup with sherry.
Michelin-starred chef Zaiyu Hasegawa says he cooks to make others happy, devising menus solely with ingredients that arrive that day. The fun experience at Den—which this year reached 17 on The World's 50 Best Restaurants list—may start with the dessert-like appetizer foie gras monaka with Japanese plum, followed by his famous Dentucky fried chicken stuffed with sticky rice and turtle meat.
Los Angeles, California, United States
Chef Evan Funke is so serious about Italian cuisine that Felix’s dining room overlooks his temperature-controlled pasta laboratory. Among his specialties are strangolapreti with heirloom spinach, burro fuso, sage and four-year-aged Parmigiano-Reggiano, and malloreddus with lamb ragù, saffron, English peas and Fiore Sardo DOP.
In the 1970s, word began to get out about Mykonos’ Psarou beach, an isolated enclave naturally sheltered from the wind. Locals and visitors looking for hedonistic privacy could drive down rocky roads a few miles from the picturesque town of Chora, park in a fume of dry dust, and walk down to the quaint bay. There they would bronze in the feathery sand, swim in the blue waters and sing impromptu songs, enjoying a more relaxed era.
Thirty years later, the restaurant and beach club Nammos opened on Psarou, evoking the same carefree ethos but adding an epicurean menu—delicious Greek specialties, freshly caught seafood—energetic music and a beach bar that carries on the tradition of spontaneous revelry. Wealthy Athenians and latter-day jet-setters in deep-cushioned loungers order double magnums of the most fashionable champagnes. Celebrities including Crown Prince Pavlos and Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, Alessandra Ambrosio and Bella Hadid are regulars, while basketball superstar and Platinum List expert Dwyane Wade lauds the “sun, sand, amazing fresh food, resident DJ and shopping.” For those who desire the ultimate pampering, Nammos has built an annex housing four sumptuous cabanas, each with beachfront access. Another reason to visit? The new Nammos Village, with a lineup of fashion-forward boutiques. —Terry Zarikian