Every time I get a restaurant, hotel or shopping suggestion for anywhere in the world, I note it in my phone. Who knows when I may find myself in some city to try what friends have recommended as their favorite haunts. Last week I found myself in New York – and while we have written about our favorites before, the list can always be added to. Here is what we found this visit.
The New York Palace Hotel
This hotel was recommended by a client and friend and has been recently renovated. The 51st and Madison Avenue location is great and the bar area and room service for breakfast was ideal. Overlooking St.Patrick’s Cathedral was an added bonus for both sunny and snowy days.
Owned by Robert DeNiro, the comfortable rough hewn design aesthetic invites you in to stay a while. And stayed we did. We enjoyed Sunday brunch at the hotel’s Locanda Verde and then spilled into the drawing room just off the lobby to read the Sunday Times. Deep chesterfield sofas, a fireplace and coffee and tea service make up the perfect backdrop to recharge on a cold morning.
The Polo Bar
Anyone who knows my story understands that I wouldn’t miss this place for anything. Hard to get into, I put my New York talkin’ husband on the job of making a reservation for us – and it did not disappoint. Beautifully curated in Mr.Lauren’s iconic equestrian style, the establishment oozes chic. We were ushered in for a cocktail in the parlor where we noshed on warm deep fried green olives, kettle chips and warm mixed nuts all in their impeccably polished silver footed bowls. A martini and Manhattan later, we were seated to hot chive and cheese pop overs and a delightful bustling restaurant view. We began with shrimp cocktail, followed by shared farrow and butternut squash and a classic cheeseburger with fries. Our meal wrapped up with a chocolate brownie and “Ralph’s Coffee”. Gorgeous and fabulous to say the least.
Beauty & Essex
On the other end of town, the now glamorous Lower East Side offers an incredible brunch and feast for the design eyes. Once a furniture store, the expansive space opens to a pawn shop that leads into the bar and main dining room. Small plates allow for sharing and tasting of a variety of deliciously innovative treats. We tasted eggs on toast, spoons of tomato soup with grilled cheese, chili verde empanadas and panzenella toasts. The nighttime only heats up where a DJ plays upstairs in the lounge while diners mix and mingle among a playful yet sophisticated vibe.
Bryant Park Grill
On the backside of the beautiful New York Public Library (think Sex and the City’s almost wedding for Mr. Big and SJP) sits Bryant Park Grill. A smallish bar greets guests and opens up to a light filled dining room with white table linens surrounded by red and purple chairs. A wonderful wine list and menu that is ideal for vegans and meat eaters alike, there is something for everyone. The presentation of it all is lovely and the food was scrumptious.
A part of Robert DeNiro’s Greenwich Hotel, the classically New York interior is both interesting and inviting. Start with a cold pressed juice at the bar for Sunday brunch and then let your tastebuds run wild for the main event. Whether you choose simple scrambled eggs and toast as I did or a cannoli scone and scampi and grits like my hubby, you will be thrilled with the variety of brunching selections.
In its final season, we enjoyed Sienna Miller and Alan Cumming in Cabaret. With the backdrop of the historic Studio54 turned Kit Kat Lounge you are transported to another time only adding to the play’s experience.
For interior design fanatics, this show happens once a year on Pier 92 and 94. Well known designer brands and up and coming names too are featured over four days. It is the perfect place for networking with those in the design field and seeing what’s new and what’s next for interiors.
One never knows what to expect in Central Park and that is exactly the reason to go. Vendors, exercise buffs, locals and tourists alike gather to take in the weather and the sites when visiting the park. On our visit we watched-and participated in-the Positive Brothers’ Sunday street dance performance. Whether you like live music, yoga, people watching, unexpected entertainment or just reading a book on a park bench, the park has something for you.