By Kelley Granger

Got a taste for high design? Whet an appetite for your next trip with this dash of enticing restaurants:

The Penthouse | Huntley | Santa Monica, Calif.

This roof is on fire. Soaring 18 stories above Santa Monica, The Penthouse rooftop restaurant, lounge, and after-hours destination is ambiance excellence thanks to Thomas Schoos (you know him from other masterpieces like TAO and Koi). Crisp white décor in the dining area allows the exhilarating day or night views to take center stage while Murano Venetian chandeliers provide sexy lighting. In the lounge area, Schoos’ signature bling elements sparkle in a glittery mother-of-pearl mosaic above a narrow rectangular fireplace next to cozy leather chairs. With an eclectic menu ranging from black truffle omelets to filet mignon and halibut ceviche tostadas, the heights won’t be the only thing making your heart race.

Sixteen | Trump International Hotel & Tower | Chicago

Dare we say this dream of a view “Trumps” all others in Chicago? It may come close. Designed by Ivanka herself (in collaboration with architects Valerio Dewalt Train Associates), the restaurant gives guests breathtaking views of the Wrigley Clock Tower, the Chicago River, and Lake Michigan thanks to 30-foot floor to ceiling windows. Last January, Australian chef Frank Brunacci fixed a special menu in celebration of Australia day, when patrons tasted dishes like barramundi with crab fettuccini and (for the adventurous) soy seared kangaroo loin. Plan a trip to Chicago and see what’s he’s cooking up this year.

Azurea | One Ocean Resort | Atlantic Beach, Fla.

What’s your element? If it’s water, you’ll feel right at home in Azurea, the restaurant and bar at One Ocean Resort in Atlantic Beach, Fla. The design mimics an underwater scene with wavy tiles and wall patterns in the corridor and a dangling sculpture reminiscent of a school of fish. Should you prefer a view of the real ocean, al fresco dining is available. The ocean is also the main inspiration for the dinner menu, which offers tantalizing tastes of Limoncello House Cured Salmon, Pink Peppercorn Crusted Ahi Tuna, Mojito Grilled Hawaiian Prawns, and Coriando Dusted Sea Bass. Yum.

Originally published October 2009
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