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6 Concierge Recommendations for a Perfect Day Out in New York

Stephanie Matthei

Dog walking

Stephanie Matthei, Concierge, The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel

+1 212 744 1600

WHAT TO DO DURING THE NIGHT

In New York there is almost as much to do during the night as the day. If you are visiting over Christmas, don’t miss Dyker Heights in Brooklyn. The neighborhood is famous for its over-the-top Christmas light displays.

For music lovers, a quintessential New York experience can be had at The Carlyle’s Bemelmans Bar or Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. Both offer great jazz and stunning views of Columbus Circle.

Another essential New York experience is to watch a Broadway show, see one of the classics, such as Jersey Boys or Chicago. Even if you have seen them before, nothing quite matches the energy or originality of Broadway.

BEST RESTAURANTS

Gramercy Tavern

Cuisine: Contemporary American

42 East 20th Street

Best for: Cuisine and ambiance

The River Café

Cuisine: American

1 Water Street, Brooklyn

Best for: The views of Manhattan

Norma’s

Cuisine: Real American Breakfasts

Le Parker Meridien, 119 West 56th Street

Best for: The tastiest breakfast / brunch in town

BEST SHOPS

Henri Bendel

Best: For accessories

Bloomingdale’s

Best: Department store

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store

Best: Museum gift shop

FAO Schwarz

Best: Children’s store

RICK COOK

Rick Cook, Senior Concierge, Hôtel Plaza Athénée

+1 212 606 4611

For a morning of shopping, you can do no better than Madison Avenue. So, after a leisurely breakfast in the Plaza Athénée’s Arabelle restaurant, take a hotel car, driver in-tow for the many bags you will end up collecting.

Enjoy a light lunch at the wonderful Via Quadronno for a light panini and cappuccino. Then have one of our concierges book a private tour of The Metropolitan Museum, wander between the Egyptian and American wings and the Impressionist and Realist galleries before a glass of wine in the rooftop garden, perhaps one of the city’s most beautiful and secret destinations. By this time, you’ll be ready for a pre-theater dinner at Bar Americain before watching Bernadette Peters and Elaine Stritch in A Little Night Music on Broadway.

BEST RESTAURANTS

Daniel

Cuisine: Contemporary French

60 East 65th Street

Jean Georges

Cuisine: French with an Asian flair

1 Central Park West

KENNETH ABISROR

KENNETH ABISROR

Kenneth Abisror, Chief Concierge, Mandarin Oriental

+1 212 805 8800

Although I might be biased, the breakfast and brunch at Asiate, the signature restaurant of the Mandarin Oriental, New York is a favorite spot among locals and visitors alike. There are no other restaurants in New York City that have such spectacular view of Central Park and the New York skyline.

Following breakfast, a private tour of New York can be both inspiring and amazing. A personal guide and historian can bring to life the experience immigrants had upon arriving in New York, taking in the Jewish, Italian, Russian or Irish experience of the Lower East Side, including the rich culinary history of these groups.

Or, if your interest is more inclined toward the celebrity scene, lunch at Balthazar, Cipriani Downtown, Nello, ABC Kitchen or one of the many others frequented by foodies and celebrities.

To conclude the afternoon, take care of some essential and non-essential shopping in the districts of Nolita and the Meatpacking District before you prepare for the evening.

Dinner can be your entertainment for the night in any one of Manhattan’s elaborate restaurants.

Alternatively, if you want to experience the New York jazz scene, head for Jazz at Lincoln Center, or step back in time to the gritty jazz scene of the Village Vanguard.

Of course, there is always a choice of musical and drama performances on Broadway. End the night with a nightcap at Brandy Library or The Campbell Apartment.

BEST RESTAURANTS

Le Bernardin

Cuisine: Seafood, French

155 West 51st Street

Rouge Tomate

Cuisine: Modern American

10 East 60th Street

Recette

Cuisine: Urban Contemporary

320 West 12th Street, 10014

JOSEPHINE DANIELSON

JOSEPHINE DANIEL SON

Josephine Danielson, Chief Concierge, Four Seasons Hotel

+1 212 758 5700

Winter day itinerary: Begin the day with breakfast beside the ten-foot fireplace in the TY lounge at the Four Seasons, before having one of our chauffeur-driven cars take you to the Neue Galerie and then to The Morgan Library. Lunch should involve something typically American at the ABC Kitchen (35 East 18th Street).

For some retail therapy, head to SoHo, Nolita and the Meatpacking District. Stores not to miss here include Armani Casa in SoHo, Barker Black in Nolita and Helmut Lang and Jeffrey in the Meatpacking District. Finally it’s time to relax, so take a cab back to the hotel for a drink in The Garden wine bar followed by dinner at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon.

BEST RESTAURANTS

L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon

Cuisine: French with international influences

Four Seasons Hotel New York, 57 East 57th Street

Per Se

Cuisine: New American / French

10 Columbus Circle, Time Warner Center, 4th Floor

BEST SHOPS

Bergdorf Goodman

This famous Fifth Avenue department store symbolizes the very height of Manhattan’s elegance and luxury.

Barneys New York

Although famous for its luxury brands, Barneys is also well worth visiting for fashionable home furnishings.

JOHN MARK HOPKINS

John Mark Hopkins

John Mark Hopkins, Chef Concierge, The Lowell

+1 212 838 1400

Breakfast or brunch at The Breslin is a fantastic start to the day.

This can be followed by a slow walk on the High Line, a former raised railroad elevated above the Meatpacking District, now an ‘aerial greenway’ and New York’s most amazing new attraction. Come back down to earth with an amazing lunch at the Socarrat Paella Bar (second best paella I’ve ever had; topped only by the one made by my friend Diego in Barcelona). New Yorkers love their shopping and one of the finest destinations is Madison Avenue. If shopping does not appeal to you and art does, then visit The Frick Collection, originally a private art collection in a Fifth Avenue mansion, now a wonderfully intimate museum. A visit to the Equinox spa and fitness club is a good way to work off some calories from lunch, or go for a massage and manicure if you’d prefer. A stunning destination for an aperitif or cocktail can be found at Robert, on the ninth floor of the Museum of Arts and Design overlooking Central Park. Manhattan has some of the finest culinary destinations in the world, so make sure you’ve booked a table at one of the three-Michelin-Star restaurants and sample their tasting menu. For something slightly different, during the summer months we can arrange a picnic in Central Park complete with restaurant staff to wait on guests. Finally, I recommend a late-night ride on the Staten Island Ferry as the view is spectacular and you’ll be riding with real New Yorkers.

BEST RESTAURANTS

Daniel

Cuisine: Contemporary French

60 East 65th Street

Eleven Madison Park

Cuisine: Contemporary French

11 Madison Avenue

BEST SHOPPING

Barneys New York (Taylor Piedra is the manager of concierge services there, and he can help with anything.)

JARED GULLEKSON

Jared Gullekson, Chief Concierge, The London NYC

+1 212 468 8856

Clinton Street Baking Company is a great place for a proper American breakfast before setting off to explore the New Museum of Contemporary Art.

Have lunch, or brunch if you are early, at Prune, a classic Manhattan eatery, and then walk this off by exploring New York’s latest attraction, the High Line.

Walk down this former raised railroad, now landscaped garden, until you get to the heart of the Meatpacking District and then hit the shops! I recommend Jeffrey, James Perse, Marc Jacobs and Diane von Furstenberg.

If you are sporty, build up an appetite for dinner by playing ping-pong while drinking cocktails at Susan Sarandon’s night club / table-tennis hall SPiN.

Enjoy some wonderful pre-dinner cocktails at the retro speakeasy Raines Law Room before heading over to the West Village for a fresh, contemporary American dinner at Mas (farmhouse).

A short walk away is the Comedy Cellar, New York’s best venue for live stand-up comedy. Alternatively, witness some of New York’s finest Jazz at Smalls Jazz Club, where there are often late night all-star jam sessions.

BEST RESTAURANTS

Gordon Ramsay at The London

Cuisine: French-inspired

151 West 54th Street

Blue Hill

Cuisine: Seasonal American

75 Washington Place

Dell’anima

Cuisine: Seasonal Italian

38 8th Avenue