New York Power Breakfast: 7 Hot Spots
In a city that never sleeps, the power breakfast rules. While the less successful slumber, industry heavy-hitters wheel deals, forge alliances, and make promises, all before a second cup of coffee is poured.
"Clearly New Yorkers and those that visit here on a regular basis have time constraints and are compulsive about getting as much done in a day as they can," says Chairman of Loews Hotel and Resorts Jonathan Tisch, who accredits New York City's "power breakfast' catch-all to the early morning crowd that began frequenting the Loews Regency Hotel on Park Avenue (which is slated to reopen next month) in 1975.
"I started to notice a few years ago that business breakfasts became the new business lunches in New York City," says Ricky Van Veen, the co-founder of College Humor, and a member of the younger set's recent converts to the morning meal. "Lunch just can't compete on the coffee front."
The Landmarc, Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle
There's no need for power players like on-screen personalities Anderson Cooper, Erin Burnett and Chris Cuomo to go anywhere but the 3rd floor of their office building for breakfast. "This is like Jeff Zucker's second office," says Chef Marc Murphy of the president of CNN Worldwide’s frequent visits to the Landmarc, which also attracts athletes visiting the nearby Mandarian Oriental hotel, Hoda Kotb, and more. "CNN and Time Warner are like our landlord, so we're like their cafeteria,” he adds.
Park Avenue Summer, 100 E 63rd St.
For those who felt their $24 white-omelet world shake at an announcement that the Loews Regency Hotel would temporarily close in January 2013, in stepped Michael Stillman’s Park Avenue Summer (which changes it’s name as the seasons progress). Lording over the makeshift relocation of Manhattan’s original power breakfast was Chairman of Loews Hotel and Resorts Jonathan Tisch, who made sure Regency regulars, such as Christine Quinn, Michael Strahan, Larry King, Les Moonves, Ray Kelly, Al Sharpton and Woody Johnson, would return to the hotel after it’s ten month renovation by handing over his famous Breakfast crowd seating chart and maitre’d to Stillman—for a limited amount of time, of course.
Michael's, 24 West 55th St.
Just as jam-packed with high-rollers as their lunch crowd, Michael's isn't the place to go for a breakfast deal on the down-low. In fact, thanks to the Midtown eatery’s Twitter, bold-faced names rubbing shoulders like Lyor Cohen and Harrison Ford are tweeted out during meals with the hashtag "#INTHEHOUSE." But you don't have to be social media savvy to recognize the power quotient in Michael's early morning dwellers, which include Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta Jones, Star Jones and literary agent Esther Newberg. "It's a very well-oiled machine," says general manager Steve Millington, who along with proprietor Michael McCarty, helped make it a guaranteed go-to for morning business. As for what to order, non-surprisingly, the New York Power Breakfast is popular: Egg whites, a side of spinach and citrus. "It's a really nice seller," says Millington.
Mercer Kitchen, 99 Prince St.
In Soho, restaurants come and go, but on Prince Street, the Mercer Kitchen in the Mercer hotel has stood the veritable test of time amongst the chic since opening in 1998. Breakfast contesters of this include director Paul Haggis, who recounts once taking a potential financier there for a morning meal, where the pair were breakfast-bombed by Kanye West, wanting to share new music. "You can't beat Jean-Georges," he concludes, of the restaurant's long-standing chef, who whips up American classics. Other diners include Karl Lagerfeld and producer Brian Grazer.
Cafe Cluny, 284 W 12th St.
If Michael's is for palm-slapping and air-kissing, then Cafe Cluny is for paparazzi ducking. The practically picturesque West Village eatery prides itself on protecting the privacy of it's high-end guests—like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Sienna Miller, and CFDA's Steven Kolb— with owner Judi Wong even saying the restaurant has gone as far as closing the blinds for a regular when photographers have gotten a little too close for comfort. "You always see somebody you know," says College Humor co-founder Ricky Van Veen (who is also the live-in boyfriend of Girls star Allison Williams). "There's always a moment of, 'Oh, you know about this place too?’" Van Veen says he sticks to the steel cut Irish Oatmeal with berries or soft boiled eggs with soldiers, but the breakfast club is the popular treat.
The Mark Restaurant, 25 E 77th St.
This 5-star hotel may be the darling of the New York fashion world right now, but Jean Georges’ restaurant includes a list of lofty names from a variety-pack of industries. Diane Sawyer, Warren Beatty, Steve Sloan and Emma Watson all dine alongside fashion powerhouses like Carine Roitfeld, who takes her egg white omelet with espresso over ice. Other early morning breakfast diners of The Mark, such as Barbara Walters, Frank McCourt and Mort Zuckerman are in for a treat: The hotel launched The Mark Express in March, located in The Mark bar, offering grab-and-go breakfast items starting at 6:30 a.m., for when the high-powered a.m. crowd can barely squeeze in a proper tete-a-tete.
Barney Greengrass, 541 Amsterdam Ave.
The late, great Nora Ephron knew a good thing when she saw it: Her love of Barney Greengrass, the Upper West Side classic, has extended far and wide amongst her peers. "It's a little bit of a Hollywood schmooze," says Gary Greengrass, the third generation owner of the over one-hundred year old restaurant, which attracts the likes of Jerry Seinfeld, Scott Rudin, Jeff Ross, Alec Baldwin and The Weinstein Co. television president Meryl Poster. "That's my go-to breakfast spot," says Poster, who goes with those she's working on projects with like producer Steven Land. Poster even pays for her scooped out everything bagel with cream cheese and herring with her very own house account. "They don't take cash," she warns.