What’s Haute: The Best of Madison Avenue

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We scoured Madison Avenue to bring you the best of the best. Here are our top picks.

La Maison du Chocolat
1018 Madison Ave, 212.744.7117

The chocolatiers at La Maison du Chocolat, many who have been with the company for 10 to 15 years, approach chocolate like genuine craftsmen. The boutique, which constantly strives to perfect their chocolate, especially their famous ganaches, infuses artistic and creative flourishes into their delectable desserts to create something that is both modern and authentic. Giles Marchal, the creative director of La Maison du Chocolat since 1997, uses inspiration from fashion and jewelry to create mouth watering chocolates with new and innovative flavors and designs. This shop, located just a walk away from Central Park, knows chocolate down to the very last detail to create desserts that both please and surprise the senses.

980 Madison Ave. # 201, 212.249.3000

Exhale Mind and Body Spa is the ultimate destination for healing and relaxation—and it’s right in your backyard. This spa combines beauty and pampering with special therapeutic treatments and remedies to offer its visitors with one of the most holistic and rejuvenating approaches to mind and body well-being on the market.

Exhale offers top-notch healing treatments, such as acupuncture, detox programs, wellbeing workshops, skin and nail care, body therapies and waxing as well as transformational integrated fitness services. From life-changing yoga and pilates classes to top-notch personal trainers and licensed therapists, Exhale is an urban oasis that has mastered the art of well-being.

OC Concept Store
655 Madison Ave., 212.759.9220

The OC Concept Store is a wonderland, consisting of the world’s most rare and luxe creations. From a customized steamer trunk by TT Trunks to a chocolate Swiss spoon, this gallery style luxury boutique is full of one-of–a-kind, exclusively designed,must-have items for your personal home, jewelry and art collections. OC Concept Store’s unique and “highly individualized shopping experience” allows its patrons to customize their selections, sip champagne in their complimentary Champagne & Caviar Bar, or view their gallery style exhibitions. The sleek and modern boutique, designed by French architect Christophe Pillet, is 3,400 square feet complete with a VIP room, transparent hologram/HD screens, and the Orianne Collins Jewelry Collection exhibition.

625 Madison Ave., # 200, 212.826.4100

Baccarat is about more than just living a fabulous lifestyle, it’s about truly experiencing it. The company known for their timeless crystal products evokes feelings of fulfillment and perfection when wearing, using or admiring one of these dazzling pieces of art. The company offers five categories of products: jewelry, decorative pieces, tableware and lightings and perfume bottles and decanters in timeless designs. While the shapes and cuts of these crystal products change slightly from collection to collection, the beauty and charm of these products remain the same. From Baccarat’s legendary Harcourt tableware service to their Eurydice and Marie-Louise iconic vases revamped by Philippe Starck, the company strives to create an atmosphere that transports you to a fabulous lifestyle of excess and fantasy. The company employs some of the best French craftsman to work at their 264-year-old manufacture in the village of Lorraine.

691 Madison Ave., 212.751.3181

The House of Hermès knows how to consistently deliver quality leather goods, excellent customer service, and cutting-edge fashion all in one—but at the flagship store on Madison Avenue, they have outdone themselves once again. bHermès recently unveiled the newest addition to their store — a 2,000-square-foot floor recently renovated to display the iconic Hermès leather collection that first catapulted the company to fame. The new floor, designed by RDAI, features leather paneling, cherry wood shelving and limestone titled flooring, complete with floor to ceiling sliding glass wall cases and a VIP studio for special and custom orders. The VIP studio contains a full-service leather workshop for on site cleanings and repairs. These renovations also signify the release of the limited edition so-black handbag collection and the mini Constance bags in satin. It’s an unparalleled experience featuring some of the most premiere leather goods and services available today.

Pratesi Linen Retail
829 Madison Ave., 212.288.2315

Pratesi is home to some of the finest Italian linens in the world. Owned by international jet-setters and world-renowned celebrities, the 105-year-old luxury home linen company is updating their selections for the spring to include new modern and innovative collections. Under the direction of Federico Pratesi, the store has expanded its cashmere line to include high fashion items in addition to their fine home products and is planning to reveal a new “resort” collection including beach towels, beachwear and summer bags in the spring. Pratesi is also designing an exclusive yacht interior with Benetti and interior designer Milly de Cabrol to be released in September at the Monaco Yacht Show.

Steven Kamali, Hospitality and Real Estate Consultant, shares with us what restaurants are haute:

Fred’s at Barneys
660 Madison Ave., 212.833.2200

If you’re shopping on Madison Avenue, Barneys is an obvious stop for high fashion, and the best part is that you don’t have to leave the property for a fabulous meal. Fred’s at Barneys is the pinnacle of department-store eateries, and the bountiful salads and homemade pastas are worth the trip even if shopping isn’t on your itinerary.

Le Bilboquet
63rd and Madison Ave., 212.751.3036

When the weather’s warm, there’s no better place to sit outside and people watch on Madison; but when the doors close, regulars nonetheless cram into the tiny tables at Le Bibloquet to enjoy the classic Parisian dishes and abstract art that lines the pale yellow walls. Don’t feel threatened if you’re a first-timer, just order a Steak Au Poivre and you’ll fit in just fine.

696 Madison Ave., 212.980.9099

Nello definitely wasn’t made for the weak of wallet, but if money isn’t an issue, treat yourself to a meal of Lobster Bisque and Penn Rigate amongst New York’s heaviest hitters. Nello’s classic Italian cuisine may cost a fortune, but the cost of dining amongst the rich and famous? Priceless.

58th and Madison Ave., 212.750.5588

Right off of Madison Avenue, LAVO has brought Las Vegas to Manhattan and uptown is once again the place to be. Beautiful people sip champagne, indulge in ricotta-topped meatballs and dance on tables to the thumping tunes of live DJs. It’ easy to go overboard but make sure to save room for the fried Oreos.

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