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Blanketing The Beach

Here’s some of what’s on tap.

The Raleigh’s world famous pool

The Raleigh’s world famous pool.

Photo By Courtesy Of Raleigh Hotel

Just in time to offer an escape from New York, Andre Balazs is relaunching the Raleigh Hotel in Miami Beach, where Eric Ripert, the chef of Le Bernardin, will serve as the hotel’s “directeur de cuisine.” The hotel’s main restaurant won’t open until next season, but Ripert has already begun consulting with the on-site chef, Keith Harry (formerly of Butter in New York). They’ll be serving hearty fare like stuffed chicken with chorizo, French fries with truffles and parmesan, Le Bernardin’s signature tuna carpaccio, and stone crabs à la nage to South Beachers, who are used to eating their stone crabs with mallets. “Usually stone crab is served cold with mayonnaise, but this time they’ll be hot,” Ripert says.

To coincide with Art Basel, the annual Swiss-made art festival whose headquarters this year are at the Raleigh, Balazs will host several events at the hotel, which bowed in 1940 and features the most famous pool in America.

Wednesday night, Calvin Klein and Yvonne Force, among other art world luminaries, are expected to attend a private dinner for Ripert in the hotel’s penthouse, which features a buzzed-about installation by Donald Judd, which will come to the Cooper-Hewitt this spring. “Miami’s gone beyond a phenomenon in the American landscape. It’s now a major cosmopolitan city, coupled with the fact that it has a spectacular beach,” says Balazs.

Even the skyline is looking more metropolitan. At 70 stories, the new Four Seasons resort opened in October, becoming the city’s tallest building. Besides a two-acre pool area and an outdoor Latin American-themed terrace bar, the hotel’s $3.3 million art collection is on display, including two huge Fernando Botero sculptures, one of which is a seated nude weighing a ton.

Art Basel will bring other impressive works to town — Robert Polidori’s Havana photographs, nature images by Evelyn Lauder, and an exhibition of artist-designed toys by Yoshitomo Nara, Laurie Simmons and Karim Rashid. But beyond the fair’s installations, the artsy set will find plenty of entertainment.
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