10 places to be seen

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1 Michael's, New York

Table 1, 1 p.m. The midtown Manhattan branch of Michael McCarty's Santa Monica restaurant has been the high-school cafeteria of the media and entertainment elite for the better part of a decade. Table 1 (yes, it's the big round one in the window) is where you'll spot Michael Eisner, Barry Diller, sometimes even Bill Clinton. As long as you're in the front room-preferably the front half of the front room-you're still "in."

2 "Gutter Bar," Cannes

The real name of the open-air bar opposite the Martinez Hotel on La Croisette is "72," but regulars at the International Advertising Festival prefer the name that captures the atmosphere. Buy Champagne by the bottle, but be prepared to fill the empty glasses of people you don't even know. Show up at 1 a.m., after the Carlton Terrace closes. Leave before the sun arrives.

3 Clarion Hotel, Bentonville

Just a mile from corporate headquarters, this is the place to stay when you're doing the overnight call on Wal-Mart. The restaurant is packed at breakfast with business types and their wheeling luggage. In the lobby, people compare notes on appointments. New Yorkers arrive each weekday on American flight 4876, which leaves at 6 a.m. but goes direct to Fayetteville.

4 Cafe Montana, Santa Monica

Sure, you can power breakfast at the Peninsula or Four Seasons (where if you're wearing black, the host will discreetly replace your white napkin so you won't get fuzzies on your pants). But in-the-know movie and music types prefer this Santa Monica diner's egg-white omelets. "Anthony Hopkins is here now, Maria Shriver was here yesterday," the host said one recent morning. Reservations only for four-plus.

5 Lever House, New York

If you're a beautiful woman, there's a good chance you'll land a showcase seat in one of the booths along the far wall (table 22, in the center, is the best). Located in a landmark building, Lever House is a smash among ad, media and finance players. The crowd isn't limited to power brokers; it draws ladies who lunch and celebs in equal numbers. Zagat's calls it "a chic alternative" to the nearby Four Seasons.

6 Wolseley, London

The Ivy remains to London what Michael's is to New York, but The Wolseley (named for the car dealership that previously held the space) is fast becoming the must-have reservation on the other side of the pond. It's known for its soft-boiled quail's eggs, crisp suckling pig and scrumptious desserts but unfortunately also for its rude staff-too often the sign of a good restaurant in London.

7 Soho House, New York

It's lousy with Brits, but this private club in the Meatpacking district-an offshoot of the London literary hangout-has made itself the place to be, despite a product placement in "Sex and the City" that threatened to kill the cool. There's a spa and cinema, but the most popular spot is a hammock by the roof deck pool. Bedrooms feature plasma TVs, DVD players and drawers filled with, um, interesting items.

8 Bamboo Bar, Tokyo

Assuming you won't just run into Scarlett Johansson at your hotel bar, you might want to hustle over to this front bar to restaurants Xen and Olive's in the Roppongi Hills Complex. If you get past the rope at the front door, treat yourself to a Nicotini, made up of tobacco-soaked vodka laced with scotch, cognac or creme de menthe (for the menthol effect). Just make sure nothing gets lost in the translation.

9 Rock Bottom Brewery, Cincinnati

P&Gers officially conduct formal business while eating pigeon at famed luxury French restaurant Maisonette. But at lunchtime, you're more likely to find them consuming White Tiger Meat (it's a beer, silly) at the Rock Bottom in Fountain Square. The micro brewery serves up brick-oven pizza, burgers and Mrs. Chow's sizzling shrimp. Oh, and pints are just $2 during Bengal's games.

10 Montage Resort & Spa, Laguna Beach

Yes, the conference you're attending is at the snooty Ritz Carlton in nearby Dana Point, and yes, it does damp an evening in the Lobby Bar there if you have to trek to another hotel. But it's worth the price of a designated driver to book a room at the lushly landscaped Montage. Secure a beachfront bungalow, sit on the porch and watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean.

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