Best of FOUND: summer holiday edition
Torrisi, day spas, subscription flowers, high-end speakers, One High Line, more
→ This is a special best-of edition of FOUND, celebrating the 4th of July and you. Enjoy this selection of pieces from earlier editions. You may also wish to peruse the catalog at your leisure, perhaps with a cocktail. Back Friday with fresh intel.
RESTAURANTS • First Person
The only room that matters right now
The bar is everything at the new Torrisi, an absolutely gorgeous full-length creation that’s the first thing you see when you walk into the cavernous space, tall mirrors stretching way up to the brick ceiling and delineating the drinks by type, such as the martini: DRY, DIRTY, PERFECT. Two floating islands stand against the open kitchen, around which gather diners waiting to be seated in the surprisingly compact dining room at the back of the restaurant.
On this recent visit, though, we were seated for dinner at one of the bar tables instead, the four-top directly underneath the chalkboard that has one of chef Rich Torrisi’s Instagram obsessions, reading: We are the music makers and the dreamers of dreams. “Is this meant to be ironic?” a dining companion asked. Assuredly not, probably.
Having dined in the center of that back dining room on earlier visits, it turns out dining in the bar area may be the move at Torrisi. The simple reason for this is the noise level in the dining room, with its lowered ceilings a conduit for pure din; a group of four of us struggled to hear even the person sitting next to us. In the bar, this wasn’t a problem, the murmur of a New York City night setting the vibe. The only misfire was letting us see the premium steaks coming off the grill while we’d waited for our table at an island, then being told a skirt steak was the only special steak available to bar patrons (albeit one served with chimichuri).
An LA food writer friend reached out to ask if Torrisi really is all that. I told her I agree with another friend who summed it up thusly: “It’s the only room that matters right now.” —Lockhart Steele
→ FOUND: Torrisi, 275 Mulberry St. at Prince St. (Nolita)
GETAWAYS • The Nines
Fox Fodder Farm (Williamsburg, above), from $125, unfussy
Caseys (Greenwich Village), from $100, since 1987
La Catrina (DUMBO), from $70, eclectic
Spruce (Chelsea), on request, weekly vase service
Emily Thompson (Chelsea), from $800, epic
Brrch (Lower East Side), on request, dreamy
Designs by Ahn (Nomad), from $75, elegant
Elan Flowers (Soho), $100, seasonal highlights
Starbright (Chelsea, from $50), flower district mainstay
GETAWAYS • Staycations
Pooling resources: Day spa report (part I)
Four NYC day spas, presented in ascending order of entry price:
→ Bathhouse (Williamsburg): More of a party/social scene. If that’s your thing, book early; it sells out a month in advance.
Entry price: $45-$70 for a day pass.
What's inside: Nice locker rooms. Pools: one body temp, one cold plunge, one (usually crowded) hot tub, all small-ish. Saunas: one dry, one less dry, both run larger. And the one steam room: fine. Heated marble slabs are great. Bring a face mask and sprawl out.
Food: The on-site restaurant is expensive and blasted with cold air, which doesn’t really make sense because everyone is in a bathing suit. And the food is so-so. Can’t recommend.
→ Great Jones Spa (Noho): Less scene, more spa (and more adult). The somewhat dated environs and facilities remain clean and well-kept.
Entry Price: Two-hour passes $70, based on walk-in availability; if you spend $100 on spa services you’ll get two hours in the spa as well.
What’s inside: Large hot tub, small cold plunge, large sauna, fine steam room.
Food: Tea and snacks free of charge (best are the adorable wax bags of tortilla chips, nuts, dried fruit). Jolene and Il Buco Alimentari are both solid post-spa meal options down the block.
→ World Spa (Mapleton, Brooklyn, above): Huge, amazing new facilities deep in the heart of Brooklyn.
Entry Price: Weekend passes are ~$120 for 4 hours, weekday passes are ~$90 for the full day.
What’s inside: Best lockers, tons of rooms, clean, excellent huge pools. Not a ton of products, but they do have the usual shampoo/conditioner, body lotion, and good quality hair/swimsuit dryers.
Food: The restaurant in the spa has both booze (cocktails are strong) and ample fish/veggies. Regarding the $18 fruit platter: No idea where they're getting their fruit from, but it's excellent and hard to finish. Consider pairing with a visit to the original Di Fara.
Bonus pro tips:
On weekends, go early, 10-11am. It gets jammed in the afternoons. Weekdays are far less hectic.
Perfect plan: Cut out of work early, get there at 5-5:30pm, have dinner. You'll have until 9:15pm when the spa areas close (the building closes at 10).
Place your food order with the manager wandering around with an iPad — it'll show up faster.
→ Aire Ancient Baths (Tribeca): Spendy, but absolutely worth it. A tightly capped number of spa-goers at once and a no-talking policy put a fine point on the indulgence.
Entry Price: ~$150 for 90 minutes
What’s Inside: Locker rooms are very good, products are excellent. Spa itself is stunning — only candle lighting, fantastic pool choices. The salt water float pool is a favorite, hot tub is awesome, cold plunge pools aren't too cold, and the larger pool out the back just under body temperature is a good place to start a circuit. Steam room is perfect, and you won't find better service, but beware: You get exactly 90 minutes. Use them wisely.
Food: None. It is, however, dangerously close to Frenchette Bakery. –Kim Mackenzie
Are you in possession of spa intel — and, in particular, NYC hotel spa intel? Hit reply or email email@example.com.
GOODS & SERVICES • FOUND Object
What it is: A high-end spatial audio speaker with Kubrick-esque sci-fi industrial design capable of filling up great rooms. When up to four are paired together in a space, they self-tune using microphones to coordinate a very large, realistic sound.
What was found: The first day I tried Syng, so captivating was the stage that I sat in an Eames lounge and listened to music for 8 hours. Louder and bigger than HomePods and prettier than Sonos. And not as fussy as a full-on home audio component system.
Quirk: No Dolby Atmos support yet. –Brian Lam
→ Shop: Syng Cell Alpha, $2499.
REAL ESTATE • New Developments
At One High Line, take the good, take the bad
One High Line, one of the final new developments to complete the landlocking of the High Line, is actually two twisting towers, dubbed East and West. Designed by Bjarke Ingels, it sits in a starchitects’ murders’ row alongside 100 11th Avenue (Jean Nouvel) and the IAC Building (Frank Gehry).
Inside, there are 236 apartments and the first NYC outpost of Miami’s Faena Hotel, opening late 2023. Asking prices on the apartments range from $2 million to over $30 million, a large spread. And because it’s designed by a starchitect, the various twists in the design mean that some floors and units end up with, mmm, unusual angles. NB: bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better.
“What you need to know about this building,” a source told FOUND, “is that there are great $7 million apartments with incredible views, and really bad $17 million apartments. You have to know what you’re looking at.” Should you find yourself in the market, make haste for the river-adjacent West tower. Closings are set to begin this summer.
One buyer knew what they liked, inking a deal in the building last week for $52 million. (For that price, they got the above view.)
Alphabet City cube
Q: Where does one find the best mezcal Negroni poured over a big rock ice cube in NYC?
A: While it’s debatable whether a sole ice cube should be one’s preferred preparation for any Negroni, a very good version of the classic gin cocktail with said giant cube is to be had at Torrisi (Nolita), going $20 per. This places the restaurant in the mid-upper tier of the Negroni Index, below Monkey Bar’s $23.75 version but above La Pecora Bianca ($17) and Via Carota ($18).
But as to the single-cube mezcal Negroni:
Per a FOUND correspondent, “Best big rock mezcal Negronis in NYC: Long Island Bar (Cobble Hill, $16). I think there has to be a one in Manhattan that can give it a run for its money but I have yet to find it.”
Per another FOUND correspondent, “I’d say The Cabinet (East Village, $15) — amazing place for mezcal all around.” Indeed it is. A recent field investigation at 9th and Ave. C yielded the above mezcal Negroni, along with a knowledgeable bartender with lots to say on the matter. Bonus confirmation on the white mezcal variant (excellent) and the food (worth ordering).