New York City restaurants come and go, but Keith McNally's become the stuff of lore. His first, the , lured creative types to then-undiscovered TriBeCa and became shorthand for 1980s decadence. An order of steak frites at the bistro-style , which opened in SoHo in 1997, remains one of the city's signature dishes. And now the British-born restaurateur, who has also been an actor and a film director, brings his flair for theatrical dining to Augustine, in the Beekman Hotel, an 1883 former office building in the Financial District.
"It's quite an elegant place but far from precious — more of a restaurant than a brasserie," McNally says. In 2018, he'll revive Pastis, his Meatpacking District favorite that closed in 2014: "I just hope it doesn't sound like someone calling an old girlfriend they haven't seen in 30 years."
Colorful, comfortable, and durable. I haven't broken one in 30 years.
The only pen I've used since Nixon was president.
Extraordinary and sublime. A film that's impossible to improve on.
Regardless of the hype, the Firehouse is staggeringly beautiful. No other London restaurant comes close.
A constant reminder of how to write without using jargon.
I have no idea how to use it, but having it in the house makes me more like the man I'd like to be.
I'd have given away Balthazar to sleep with the star of Antonioni's "L'Avventura."
The understated Roman masterpiece by Borromini. By comparison, St. Peter's and the Sistine Chapel are appallingly vulgar.
An unpretentious seafood shack on Martha's Vineyard selling incredibly fresh fish.
The sumptuous country home of Vanessa Bell and the Bloomsbury Group. The best of British decorative arts. I visit every year.
This intimate, stylish TriBeCa bar serves well-made drinks with no trace of attitude.
Spectacular and peculiar, Thomas Heatherwick's "folding" bridge is perhaps the most stimulating object in London.