As a child in 1960s Florida, Thomas Keller spent many after-school hours at the Palm Beach Yacht Club and other restaurants where his mother, Betty, worked as a manager. These were places that served what was then referred to as Continental cuisine, their menus drawn from those of Spain, Italy, France and the United Kingdom and filtered through an American sensibility. Now, Keller is returning to the comfort food of his youth with TAK Room, opening in Manhattan’s new Hudson Yards complex later this month. The 180-seat, two-story space (with a wraparound gold-leafed Cubist-style mural on the ground floor and a grand polished walnut staircase leading to the second) will offer clams casino, oysters Rockefeller and cornflake-crusted crab cake served with coleslaw and spicy mayonnaise as well as classic mains such as roasted chicken for two, Dover sole in brown butter and parsley-topped strip steak. These dishes might be paired with an expertly mixed Rob Roy or Tom Collins and, for dessert, there’s spumoni and ice cream sundaes. “I’m not trying to invent anything,” says Keller. But he is trying to build a New York restaurant more approachable than Per Se, his celebrated fine-dining outfit farther uptown. “It used to be that you ate out to meet friends and to celebrate,” he says. “There was a real sense of fun.” To that end, TAK Room diners can look forward to live music and table-side preparations, which, Keller believes, aren’t about showing off technique so much as personality. — MAYUKH SEN

From left, Alexander McQueen, Undercover by Jun Takahashi, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy and Walter Van Beirendonck.

Bhutan was only opened to travelers in 1974, and even today, tourism to the Himalayan kingdom is closely monitored to maintain the integrity of its pristine natural landscapes, which range from verdant valleys to dense conifer forests. As a result, it’s rare for hotels to open there, and even rarer for those that do to be as ambitious as the new Six Senses Bhutan. A partnership between the hotel company and Sangay Wangchuk, a Bhutanese businessman who is also the king’s brother-in-law, the property consists of five different lodges placed throughout the country. One sits within an apple orchard 15 miles outside of downtown Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital; one is northeast of there, in the fertile Punakha Valley; one is in a central glacial valley, where black-necked cranes make their home in winter; another is in the district of Bumthang, known for its weavers; and the last is in mountainous Paro. The idea was to show all that Bhutan has to offer and, Wangchuk says, “to create something that was environmentally conscious and without any snobbishness and garishness.” The Bumthang lodge buildings are made of locally sourced timber and stone and filled with understated wooden furniture and hand-loomed covers for bedding and pillows. Even the more luxurious touches are of a piece with their environment — at the Paro villas, individual infinity pools seem to flow down into stepped rice paddies. Each lodge also has a restaurant serving Bhutanese classics like thup, or red-rice porridge, with Sichuan peppers and spring onions, and pumpkin soup with curry leaves and mushrooms. Guests can stay in any combination of the lodges, traveling between them on a recently completed highway flanked with fields of wildflowers and snowy peaks. — JOHN WOGAN


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