Big Apple beauty and bites

Everyone knows that New York is home to some of the world's most prestigious doctors, hair stylists and beauty providers. So I went to the Big Apple to take a bite out of some of the world's best – in the nicest possible way.

Everyone knows that New York City is home to some of the world’s most prestigious doctors, hair stylists and beauty providers. So I went to the Big Apple to take a bite out of some of the world’s best – in the nicest possible way.

First stop – The Lash Loft.  I entered with a few flutters but emerged with about 90 new mink lashes in each eye. My cat’s eye results were purr-fect! It only required an hour of time – I was amazed – but upon finishing, my peepers were truly pristine and everyone I met afterwards commented on what beautiful lashes I have. I can’t recommend The Lash Loft enough. If you can’t get to New York, I totally also recommend that you try – no, make that invest – in Rodan & Fields Lash Boost, as it can also give you lashes that are out-to-there. I’ve tried a wealth of lash serums, and Lash Boost, by far, is a great contender for lashes that literally, bump into your brows.

Next stop: The Drawing Room. This is the upper-crust salon where models as well as A-list celebrities come to be styled. My hair had been ruined by a local hairdresser, who turned it brassy and bland instead of light and bright.  I told Mirko, my stylist, that I wanted my hair to be the color of sunshine – and wow did he deliver. (Even now, eight weeks later, my roots naturally show, but with no “skunk stripe.”) Mirko, from Italy, also suggested a few excellent products for my processed blonde hair. Rikoko Prism is a terrific violet-colored leave-in conditioner from the Seychelles – and my strands soaked up every single spritz when I got back home to Boston. Mirko definitely knows what he is doing, as he told me, “About 85 percent of my clients here are blond.” Another goodie: Cool Blonde by Label M, which is the official hair brand of London Fashion Week. My tresses are stressed, and these Label M products added just the pizazz to make my hair look like silk. They utilize blueberries and purple carrots as ingredients to invigorate blond tones. (And they’re sulfate-free.)  My hair was cut by Adriano, who also hails from Italy, and he gave me a la-dolce-vita chic style with layers that made my locks look thicker.

I also visited the posh Park Avenue skin salon of Dr. Howard Sobel, one of New York’s – and the country’s – top dermatologists. I have been a fan of Sobel ever since my days as an editor at Robb Report, as he offers the latest-and-greatest professional products and services to keep you glowing. Name something fabulous in the world of dermatology, and Sobel offers it at his medical practice and serene day spa. Botox? (Check). Belotero to augment your lips? (Check). Clear and brilliant laser for complexion perfection?  (Check. I had all three.) Sobel has pioneered the union of dermatology and cosmetic surgery to offer lasting, natural-looking, and visible results. His clients include high-profile models, actresses and hedge-fund managers – as well as mere mortals. But as he told me with a laugh, “I never kiss-and-tell, which is why my high-profile patients return to me for many years.”

Lastly, I visit one of New York’s leading board-certified plastic surgeons, Matthew Schulman, for a little wonderment for my waist –TruSculpt. It’s all I can do to stay a size 4, and that means sit-ups every night. But I still had a little pouch of fat in my midsection, despite countless crunches. TruSculpt iD, an upgraded version of TruSculpt 3D, is an FDA-approved treatment burning away up to 24 percent of fat cells in a single 15-minute, pain-free, fully awake, no-downtime session. I had six paddles placed around the stomach and waist. “Set it and forget it,” Schulman said. “It’s like an annoying hot stone massage.” It wasn’t even that. The treatment was slightly warm, and what I really felt was excitement at the prospect of better fitting into my bikinis. After just one treatment, results are seen gradually in 30 to 60 days, after the fat is totally excreted through your urine. “The process irreversibly kills fat cells. They’re gone,” Schulman said.  Now, nine weeks later, I can honestly say my tummy is tighter, more muscles are showing, and I was more confident in wearing my two-piece in Jamaica last week. Or visit Schulman for one of his famous Brazilian Butt Lifts. They’re his most popular medical treatment. Bottoms up.

I felt like a princess, so, naturally, I went to the Broadway musical that focuses on a real princess, the tragic Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia. We loved the intimate Broadhurst Theatre (and we were thrilled we weren’t seated in Siberia), just as we were enthralled by the story of a woman who may or may not be the last of Czar Nicholas II and the Czarina Alexandra’s four daughters. (Together with their parents and younger brother, Alexei, they were murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1918.) In this telling, the amnesiac Anya (played by Molly Rushing, in a delightful performance) identifies herself to her grandmother and convinces her that she is indeed Anastasia.

Afterward, we walked a block over to Osteria al Doge, where we dined on delicious antipasti, salmon and chocolate-hazelnut cake. Our hotel concierge had highly recommended the intimate Doge, and it was a little bit of Venice – La Serenissima – in the heart of Manhattan.

Other great meals? We dined at Tony’s Di Napoli, and we can’t give it enough rave reviews. This is an authentic Italian trattoria, with a convivial atmosphere, matched by top-notch food. (Believe me, one portion is enough for the entire family). Whereas the chicken parmigiana is the best seller, we totally recommend the ravioli Bolognese or the shrimp marinara. Delight yourself with a frozen Bellini, or an old-school martini, and save room for dessert. The tiramisu is mile-high and the sorbets are served in their natural fruit shells. Like all of Italy, this charmer of a restaurant is meant to be totally embraced.

Another highlight – Clement Restaurant at The Peninsula Hotel. The palatial property is within walking distance of Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Fifth Avenue shopping, historic museums and great Broadway shows. Its signature restaurant, Clement, on the second floor, was a stunner whose cuisine matched the ambience. We dined on luscious local-harvest pumpkin soup, followed by a scrumptious kale-quinoa salad in a sesame vinaigrette. We feasted on Scottish salmon with a side order of glazed brussels sprouts, and thrilled to hazelnut and chocolate cake with tonka bean, cinnamon ice cream and espresso sauce. When you’re in New York City, the Peninsula is as good as it gets.

Last but not least, we visited a classic steakhouse – The Porter House – in Columbus Circle. This bustling upscale eatery won us over – it was love at first bite – with the raisin-pecan bread. When we weren’t gawking at actor Bruce Willis seated nearby, we enjoyed salmon and filet mignon and even the mere baked potato was perfection.  The sides were also simply spectacular – roasted brussels sprouts, and especially the honey-thyme carrots. The bar program is an elevated take on classic cocktails, offering tableside single-malt scotch and cognac services that exemplify the restaurant’s world-class showmanship and craftsmanship.

I have to say – my every bite of the Big Apple was one to savor.

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