Where Top Models Eat for Fashion Week in New York, London, Milan, and Paris (Slideshow)
Maialino, New York City
Danny Meyer’s Maialino embodies the essence of an Italian neighborhood trattoria, complete with checkered tablecloths, to-go coffee in the morning, late-night walk-in dining, and weekend brunches. And since it’s situated in the Gramercy Park Hotel — a swanky spot just down the street from most of the NYFW venues — it’s a favorite among models and other fashion folks.
Besides the restaurant’s signature maialino al forno (roasted suckling pig), dishes to try include antipasti like carciofini (fried artichokes and lemon) and trippa alla trasteverina (spicy tripe and pecorino); primi like farfalle with shrimp, zucchini pesto, and jalapeño, and garganelli (braised duck, tomato, and olives); entrées like pesce alla piastra (seared swordfish, octopus, fregola, and peperoncino) and pollo alla diavola (half chicken, black pepper, and pickled chiles). To draw in a late-night crowd, Maialino offers nightly pizza specials that begin at 9 p.m. Looking for a post-dinner spot nearby? The hotel also houses the popular Rose Bar, where numerous NYFW after-parties will no doubt take place.
The Spotted Pig, New York City
Perfectly situated halfway between West Village and Chelsea NYFW venues on Manhattan’s West Side is The Spotted Pig, which, according to its website, was opened by April Bloomfield, Ken Friedman, and some pals. Besides the fact that Bloomfield and Friedman are the team behind The Breslin, John Dory Oyster Bar, and Salvation Taco, the “pals” also have their own star power, as it’s a group that includes Mario Batali, Fatboy Slim, Jay-Z, Michael Stipe, Michael Guido, Bono, and longtime U2 manager Paul McGuinness. Oh, and the food is pretty good, too, evidenced by the fact that The Spotted Pig has nabbed nods from us for having some of the best fries, one of the best cheeseburgers, and the No. 1 best burger in the entire country for 2016.
Toro, New York City
Considering the fact that Toro is located only a couple blocks from three of the NYFW venues, it’s no surprise the eatery is popular among the local and visiting fashion elite. This Spanish-inspired restaurant first opened in Boston but brought its tapas, paella, and various small plate bites to New York City in 2013 and has been a hit ever since. Be sure to grab one of the regional cocktails as the vibe in Toro is lively and festive, especially when September rolls around.
Berners Tavern, London
The London Edition Hotel is a popular place to spend the night while visiting for LFW, and its in-house restaurant, Berners Tavern, draws hotel guests and outsiders alike with its twists on traditional British cuisines. Start with a bowl of chilled cucumber and mint soup with dill crème fraiche or Cornish cod mousse before progressing to whole Dover sole, chargrilled pork chops, or an aged Scottish beef burger with bacon, cheese, and caramelized onion — the perfect reward for a job well done on the runway. At the helm of Berners is chef Jason Atherton, whose Pollen Street Social was awarded a Michelin star in 2011. Atherton is also the man behind Social Eating House, a favorite spot of British model David Gandy.
The house specialty at Scott’s are the oysters, but there’s something for everyone at this upscale spot, including additional seafood like caviar, lobster, and various crustaceans and molluscs, along with land fare like grilled veal cutlet, roasted loin and cutlet of Cornish lamb, and Bannockburn rib steak. Located near numerous fashion week venues — making it convenient for a quick cocktail or fish and chips lunch — Scott’s is a favorite of model Kate Moss and numerous other names in fashion, including jewelry designer Jessica McCormack.
Now is a better time than ever to visit Milan’s Bice. Not only is the restaurant currently celebrating its 90th year of business, but Milan’s fashion week should bring in distinguished patrons such as models Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne, as well as fashion editor Anna Wintour, who have all frequented the spot in the past. So grab a table and tuck into traditional Tuscan and Milanese cuisine such as pasta e fagioli, ossobuco with risotto, and homemade pasta covered in fresh sauces of tomato, basil pesto, and porcini mushrooms. Just don’t concentrate too hard on your dish, as you might miss some beautiful runway models enjoying salads of the octopus and arugula or Caprese varieties.
Da Giacomo, Milan
If you want to experience top-shelf seafood and A-list celebrities (Rihanna, George Clooney, and Giorgio Armani have all previously stopped by, along with numerous models in town for LFW), look no further than Giacomo Ristorante, better known as Da Giacomo. Vogue Italia editor in chief Franca Sozzani once claimed she could eat here every day, and it’s no surprise given the menu’s lineup of everything from tuna and scampi to crab and seabass. Try the sea urchin pasta or, if in season, order anything involving the white Alba truffles and ovoli and porcini mushrooms. No need to thank us.
Caviar Kaspia, Paris
If you only go people-watching in one Paris restaurant, make it Caviar Kaspia. Beloved by models, designers, and members of the press alike, CK is your absolute best bet to spot stars of all sorts. Of course, you’ll want to order something, too, and the caviar is obviously the main draw — be it Baeri, Oessetra, or Beluga. Not into this delectable delicacy? Opt for a cocktail instead; and by “cocktail” we mean a glass of chilled vodka, as it’s the liquor of choice in this spot.
If fancy caviar isn’t your bag, that’s totally fine, as our second Paris spot is the exact opposite type of affair. At Dessance, it’s all dessert, all the time. If you think models are averse to digging into dishes like a purple potato purée with raw and poached apples, whiskey-flamed baked Alaska, and anything off the multi-course tasting menus, then you clearly don’t know the best way to celebrate the end of Paris Fashion Week.
A 30-minute walk from Notre Dame and close to various fashion-related hotspots, this restaurant is part of the newest generation of Paris eateries, sometimes referred to as the "neo-bistro" or “bistronomie.” Instead of the classical French, formal dining experience, both the food and the service are a little more relaxed. They serve lunch and dinner, and both menus are small and change daily. Everything here is delicious, expertly prepared, and relatively inexpensive for Paris prices. You can make reservations for both lunch and dinner, although they are very difficult to obtain, so try and book well in advance.