On the crook of a cobbled street just steps from the snarl of Regent Street is Sabor, a charming new Spanish joint from Nieves Barragán and José Etura. The former is the Basque chef behind the launch of London’s Barrafina, who spent the course of Monocle’s visit managing her kitchen with the mastery of a veteran: looking over chefs’ shoulders, gathering langoustines from the grill in view of the kitchen counter and dripping a few drops of velvety olive oil atop grilled gurnard on a bed of rich rice. Co-founder Etura hails from Castile where the grill is god and this is the inspiration behind the purpose-built rotating barbecue upstairs – a marvel from which milk-fed lamb or suckling piglets emerge soft enough to cut with the edge of plate. Don’t miss the empanadas (thin and crispy in the northern Spanish style) and the prawn croquetas (silken and rich). Downstairs doesn’t take bookings but the upstairs asador does.
This weekend marks your last chance to swing by New York’s 2018 Armory Show. This year its new director Nicole Berry is charting fresh waters for the contemporary and modern art fair, moving back towards streamlining space and the less flashy presentations of years past. The exhibition space, Piers 92/94 on Manhattan’s west side, brings together about 200 galleries from about 30 countries. It’s fewer galleries than have featured in previous years but that means they pack a more potent punch. There are big works, both in name and size, notably artist JR's giant “So Close” cutouts outside Pier 94. Textile work is also on display courtesy of Jeffrey Gibson’s “Without You I’m Nothing”, which is based on Native American ceremonial clothing. Ultimately, Berry’s direction is a shining example of less is more.
The 32nd annual South by Southwest (SXSW) festival has kicked off and – at least for the first few days – its focus is not on music but on mayors. Before The Roots hit the stage along with 2,000 other musical acts, about 40 mayors will join panels to debate topics such as immigration, AI and gun violence. Today one group, including Orlando’s Buddy Dyer and Charlottesville’s Michael Signer, will discuss what it takes to lead in the wake of terror. In “Mayors disrupting locally, leading globally”, New York’s Bill de Blasio and Portland’s Ted Wheeler will explore how much power cities have and then, on Monday, London’s Sadiq Khan will address the risks and opportunities of the technological revolution. Since Austin mayor Steve Adler introduced the politics programme in 2016, the event has almost doubled in size. SXSW has successfully tapped into the zeitgeist and opened the stage to the politicians shaping our cities and our culture.
Monocle has something for you to do this weekend if you happen to be near Culver City in Los Angeles. We’ve launched our own shop in a shop – Magasin, to be specific, a boutique menswear store owned by Josh Peskowitz, former director of Bloomingdale’s menswear department – at Platform, a modern industrial centre for design. The pop-up will be in place until August, when Monocle will open a shop, café and bureau just around the corner. Pay us a visit as we prepare to head west.
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