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Why Are Grapes Suddenly Everywhere?



Grapes have been associated with pleasure since ancient times, a symbol of Bacchus, the god of wine and revelry. These days, clusters of plummy Concords, oval autumn royals and dusky kyohos are decorating dinner tables, doubling as cornucopian decorations and low-effort snacks. “You can get a beautiful, imperfect drip and drape from grapes,” says the interior stylist Colin King, 35, who overflowed a marble urn with abundant mounds of them for the launch of his furniture collection, a collaboration with the Future Perfect, in New York this past fall. Although he uses green grapes for daytime parties, for evening events he prefers the “moody, sensual vibe” of dark varieties — like the attenuated, oblong moon drops that the artist Laila Gohar, 35, mixed with red globes and flames to form an edible monolith for the recent opening of the Essentiel Antwerp clothing store in New York. The chef Mina Stone, 42 — who runs Mina’s, the cafe at MoMA PS1 in Queens, and is a go-to caterer for art gallery dinners — favors Thomcords, a sweet, seedless hybrid she often serves with dessert to “provide heft and a colorful backdrop” for daintier confections. She also likes to roast grapes alongside seared duck breast. In London, the pastry chef Claire Ptak, the owner of Violet bakery, offers what she calls fragolina cupcakes, named for the fragola (Italian for “strawberry”) grapes that she cooks down, then purées and adds to the buttercream frosting. The fragolas “taste like a berryish Concord,” says Ptak, 49, who tops each cake with a small cluster of fruit. The frosted treats “transport you back to childhood when you take the first bite,” she says, “and then you realize they’re also very grown-up.” — Lauren Joseph

The Swedish chef Daniel Berlin opened his first, namesake restaurant in 2009, when he was just 27 years old, in his native Skåne, a rural region bordered by the sea about five hours by train from Stockholm. An unassuming place where his mother often pitched in as a server and his father was the sommelier, it went on to earn two Michelin stars before closing in 2020, after Berlin’s wife, Anna, was diagnosed with cancer. She died in 2021, leaving behind 2-year-old twins. Now Berlin, 41, is back in the kitchen at the recently opened Vyn, his restaurant, wine bar and hotel on an 18-acre former farm. The 30-seat dining room offers dishes like king crab with pork cheeks and caramelized Belle de Boskoop apple with milk and woodruff, and the 15 sunlit guest rooms have locally handmade beds and glass sculptures by Ellen Ehk and Markus Åkesson. This spring, Berlin will add a Scandinavian-style sauna and cold plunge pool overlooking the ocean. “Vyn is about distilling life down to the most simple but important things,” he says. “We aren’t saving lives, but we can create memories.” — Gisela Williams

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