The Albright Knox Gallery in Buffalo NY, now known as Buffalo AKG Art Museum, used to have – or might still have – a square mirrored sculpture big enough to go into. The glass house was its name. Girlahead had the same childlike happiness experiencing elevators – above – at THE LANGHAM CHICAGO.
This is an extraordinary hotel, tucked, marsupial-like, into the 52-floor headquarters of the American Medical Association, one block north of the Chicago River. Previously known as the IBM Building, it was designed in 1912 by Ludwig van der Rohe. Langham’s interior designer, Richmond, has stayed true to his classicism. The second floor front desk area has soaring double-height windows. Everywhere, includimg the 316 bedrooms, has satin-smooth wood floors. Walls, and some of the leather seating, are lemony-cream, matched by the bed linens.
In a nutshell, stay here for sensational views – the 12-A floor Club Lounge probably has the best. And stay for the service, exemplified by a 5 a.m. room service breakfast, which included an exotic orchid. And stay for the food – it always shows when a GM, as here, was formerly a chef (Anthony Zamora always, when he can, cooks nightly dinner at home for his wife and two kids).
Two nights ago, however, he was hosting, in the David Rockwell-designed restaurant that is more honestly a large glass-walled kitchen that happens to have, outside the glass, wood tables and chairs. Chef Justin Gomes produces a simple menu, with twists. Burrata comes with peaches and hazelnuts. A NY steak comes with mushroom ragout. The sommelier enthusiastically suggests, with a big smile, Rembauer Zinfandel 2020.
The whole experience makes one smile – as do the elevator cabins.