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A Tasting Room for Black Currant Liquor in Upstate New York

Eat Here

A New Brooklyn Restaurant From a Former Noma Chef

Left: at Ilis in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, ingredients are prepared over a custom Demant live fire grill. Right: the dining room has exposed brick walls, custom rosewood tables and leather banquettes from the Mexico City-based Atra Form Studio.Credit…Courtesy of Ilis

By Mahira Rivers

The Danish chef Mads Refslund first began working on Ilis, his new restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, in 2016. After years of high-profile jobs at places like Manhattan’s Acme and Shou Sugi Ban House in the Hamptons, Refslund, a co-founder of Noma, wanted a permanent space where he could create an immersive culinary experience. The open kitchen, and its live fire grill, is at the center of the 4,800-square foot room on Green Street. The space has 17-foot ceilings with wooden beams and exposed brick walls; custom rosewood tables and leather banquettes frame the perimeter (though a few counter seats provide the best vantage of a meal coming together). “This is about transparency,” Refslund says. The name Ilis is a portmanteau of sorts, with ild meaning “fire” in Danish and is meaning “ice.” It’s a nod to the dichotomous spirit of the restaurant — serious cooking with laid-back dinner party vibes. The menu allows guests to choose from a selection of primary ingredients, say New England scallops or Pennsylvania wild duck, and, in some cases, style of preparation (raw or grilled, for example). The seasonal cuisine is informed by Refslund’s Scandinavian upbringing, as well as his travels to Japan and Mexico City. But, the chef says, “hopefully, it will just become a New York restaurant,” a reflection of the city he now calls home. Ilis opens on Oct. 11, ilisnyc.com.


Visit This

Marisol, an Art Star of the ’60s, Gets a Retrospective in Montreal

Left: John D. Schiff’s “Marisol With Dinner Date” (1963). Right: Marisol’s “John, Washington and Emily Roebling Crossing the Brooklyn Bridge for the First Time” (1989).Credit…Left: Marisol Papers, Buffalo AKG Art Museum © John D. Schiff, courtesy of the Leo Baeck Institute, New York. Right: Buffalo AKG Art Museum, bequest of Marisol, 2016, 2021:50a-u © Estate of Marisol/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

By Samuel Rutter

The Venezuelan American sculptor Marisol shot to art-world stardom in the 1960s, starring in four of Andy Warhol’s early films. But as she began exploring ecological and feminist themes across different media in the 1970s, her work was dismissed as folk art, and the artist who once represented Venezuela at the 1968 Venice Biennale fell into relative obscurity. An upcoming exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, “Marisol: A Retrospective,” offers a correction. The fruit of a major bequest to the Buffalo AKG Art Museum (the artist left the entirety of her works in her personal collection to the institution), the exhibit will travel to several museums across North America and includes over 250 pieces ranging from sketches and costume design to her later work with large-scale public sculpture. Cathleen Chaffee, the chief curator of the Buffalo AKG Art Museum and the curator of the retrospective, notes that there’s an openness in Marisol’s work that invites audience engagement: “It’s uncanny how Marisol doesn’t finish her sculptures — she leaves part of them raw, which means there’s always [room] for the viewer to participate.” The artist’s striking wooden sculptures remain the star of the show. One highlight, “Dinner Date” (1963), is full of cheeky details, including colorful TV dinners and variations on a familiar figure: “Even in a portrait of someone else, Marisol is always using her own body as a means of identifying with her subjects,” says Mary-Dailey Desmarais, the chief curator of the MMFA. It’s an impulse that extends underwater, with the artist’s oceanic fascination represented by “Barracuda” (1971), a sleek, surreal 11-foot-long fish, finished with the artist’s pouting face in plastic. “Marisol: A Retrospective” will be on view at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts from Oct. 7 through Jan. 21, 2024, mbam.qc.ca.


Gift This

An Inventive Chicago Restaurant’s Debut Cookbook

Left: Jason Hammel, the owner and executive chef of Chicago’s Lula Cafe has written the restaurant’s first cookbook. Right: the cafe’s butternut squash with ’nduja and aged Gouda.Credit…Carolina Rodriguez

By Kate Guadagnino

When Logan Beach, a cafe that fed and fostered the community of artist types who favored Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, closed in 1999, Jason Hammel and Amalea Tshilds took over. In its place, they opened Lula Cafe, named after the actress Tallulah Bankhead. The duo — he a writer and she a musician — wanted to safeguard the address as a gathering spot for their friends, but Hammel, working as the head chef, soon discovered he was also serious about food, gleaning inspiration from the cookbooks of farm-to-table pioneers like Chez Panisse and Zuni Café. In time, Lula Cafe also became a New American institution and, now, 24 years after opening — “a lifetime in restaurant years,” says Hammel — it’s getting a cookbook of its own.

The dishes — eggs scrambled with smoked trout, chilled carrot soup with chamomile and black lime, butternut squash with ’nduja and aged Gouda — range in complexity but are consistently emblematic of Hammel’s knack for unusual flavor combinations. The Yiayia pasta, a Lula signature derived from one of Tshilds’s family recipes, contains feta, brown butter and cinnamon, which Hammel considers the sort of “curious, outside choice that makes people excited.” Because Lula Cafe’s menu changes daily, compiling these recipes proved an exercise in piecing together and preserving the restaurant’s past, which Hammel relished even as he moved the place into the future — he did much of the evocative writing that appears in the book while perched on a milk crate in the restaurant’s basement between lunch and dinner services. “The Lula Cafe Cookbook: Collected Recipes and Stories” will be published on Oct. 4, $50, phaidon.com.


See This

Tom Borgese’s Sweeping Paintings, on View in L.A.

Tom Borgese’s “Tornado #6” (2019).Credit…Courtesy of the artist and Paul Soto, New York and Los Angeles

By Juan A. Ramírez

The artist Tom Borgese splits his time between Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Los Angeles, and his three paintings in an upcoming group show at Paul Soto gallery demonstrate his appreciation of the natural elements above, between and along the coasts. Depicting the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Santa Barbara, a tornado and the Andromeda galaxy, these recent works combine the Hudson River School’s sense of land with the European Romantics’ horizonless sublime. Borgese says his interest in painting star systems and ocean waves comes from wanting to investigate scenery so large it nears the unfathomable. “It’s the most beautiful source material,” he says. “You could look at nebulas and think of them as similar to an earthbound experience, like a painting of a shipwreck or sunset.” At Soto’s “Pinky?” show, at the gallery’s Los Angeles location, Borgese’s paintings will be displayed among Elliott Jamal Robbins’s hand-painted animation and John Sandroni’s oil paintings. “Pinky?” is on view from Sept. 28 through Nov. 4, paulsoto.net.


Drink Here

Sample a New-School Take on Crème de Cassis in a Former Dairy Barn

Left: the liqueur company C. Cassis’s Fauvist-inspired tasting room was designed by the founder Rachael Petach and her husband, Steve Quested. Right: the tasting room is housed in a refurbished dairy barn in Rhinebeck, N.Y.Credit…Winona Barton-Ballentine

By Ella Quittner

On Oct. 7, the team behind the new-school black currant liqueur company C. Cassis plans to open a tasting room in a refurbished dairy barn in Rhinebeck, N.Y. The company’s founder, Rachael Petach, will pour her signature distillation — a lighter, honey-sweetened, acidic version of traditional crème de cassis — as well as the spritz iteration of the same liqueur and black currant-based cocktails made with local spirits like Arrowood Farms gin. Prepared foods, such as dolmas and homemade crackers, will be available from Katy Moore, the former sous chef at Brooklyn’s Marlow & Sons. Petach furnished the space with her husband, Steve Quested, a graphic designer at the Manhattan-based studio Set Creative. Swaths of the room are painted in a deep blue, and those who snag one of the three seats at the bar will settle onto oversize maple-and-walnut stools designed by Brett Miller of Jack Rabbit Studio that reference Petach’s curvy bubble logo. Petach will also offer tastes of her more experimental distilled spirits in the tasting room, including those made with green tomatoes and tarragon picked from the garden outside. Visitors can also buy picnic baskets full of local products, including tinned fish and salumi. ccassis.com/visit.


Read This

An Italian Architect’s Oeuvre, Gathered in a New Monograph

The industrialist Ettore Conti was one of the architect Piero Portaluppi’s early patrons, commissioning the 1922 renovation of Casa degli Atellani, a series of Renaissance-era noble houses. The architect eventually moved into one of the apartments.Credit…Ciro Frank Schiappa

By Ryan Haase

This week marks the release of a new monograph on the Milanese architect Piero Portaluppi, who spent the 1920s and ’30s designing elegant Modernist homes and office buildings for the city’s elite. His style took shape in earlier commissions for hydroelectric plants that dot the countryside like provincial fortresses, their soaring scale and spare interiors dwarfing the individual. That approach was later built into much of Fascist-era Italy, and Portaluppi’s association with the party — including designing a couple of its headquarters — made him by the 1960s part of an old guard the public was eager to sweep away. His work was largely overlooked for decades, until the villa he designed for the wealthy Necchi Campiglio family was featured in the 2009 film “I Am Love,” helping reignite global interest in his output. His rise, fall and re-emergence gets charted across 400 pages that include a peek inside the architect’s studio, family photos and a QR code to access a 2016 documentary. $95, artbook.com.


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