New York Travel: How to Spend 72 Hours in the City
The entertainment world's East Coast superstars give their insider intelligence on the latest must-visit restaurants, shops, juice bars and bar bars.
This story first appeared in the May 2 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
"I couldn't imagine having our company of 22 years anywhere else," says Tom Bernard, Sony Pictures Classics co-president, of the metropolis he calls home. In the constantly changing city, the entertainment elite always will love their mainstays when it comes to wining and dining. You'll find Black Bear Pictures' Teddy Schwarzman grabbing breakfast at homey Tribeca institution Bubby's and HBO president Richard Plepler having lunch at The Lamb's Club. Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter and wife Rachel, producer of Dallas Buyers Club, prefer the lobby lounge of Columbus Circle's Mandarin Oriental for business drinks, Lee Daniels brunches at Soho House, and Charlie Collier is faithful to Danny Meyer's Union Square Cafe for dinner. "I'm old school," says the AMC president. For a change of pace the next time you have three days in NYC, everyone from Bonnie Hammer and Nancy Dubuc to Neil Patrick Harris and Adrian Grenier weigh in on their favorite new discoveries and, yes, a few things that never change.
The Showtime CEO heads to NoHo's Lafayette -- the latest creation from Andrew Carmellini, the restaurateur/chef behind perpetual hotspots The Dutch and Locanda Verde. "It feels like Paris," he says. "You can get coffee and pastries at the counter, stand at the center table reading a newspaper or sit down at the restaurant for great lemon pancakes."
380 Lafayette St.
The co-head of talent at ICM Partners says Bill's Food & Drink, a townhouse that calls to mind a Ralph Lauren men's store, "has become my cafeteria" for lunches with clients, including Al Pacino, Christoph Waltz and Katie Holmes. "It draws a midtown suit-and-tie crowd, which works well for a meeting. However, it has a really interesting, old-fashioned decor that feels way more downtown, and clients seem to respond to that."
57 E. 54th St.
The Sundance Channel president and GM loves the seven-story "beautiful chaos" of Dover Street Market, with its artist-designed pillars and central glass elevator. "There are many stores within this store, a mix of young designers and the greats," she says. The menswear and womenswear is undivided, inspiring shoppers to mix it up. "It's radical shopping come to Murray Hill."
160 Lexington Ave.
Hotelier Andre Balazs and chef John Fraser's new Narcissa, located in The Standard East Village, features American cuisine and lighting that can make (almost) anyone look like a supermodel. The Good Wife actress likes to sit in a booth ("even when it's packed, there's a feeling of warmth and intimacy," she says) and prefers the poached farm egg with forest mushrooms, quinoa and chayote, "though a close second would be the rotisserie-crisped beets, bulgur salad, apples and creamed horseradish."
21 Cooper Square
The fashion designer frequents The Monarch Room, a West Chelsea industrial-chic eatery he calls "one of the best places to gather a bunch of friends to share a delicious family-style meal." The weeks-old hotspot boasts interiors in plush leather and dark wood courtesy of Roman and Williams (Ace Hotel New York, the Boom Boom Room). Downstairs is Gilded Lily lounge.
408 W. 15th St.
A+E Networks' president and CEO swears by Namaste for private workouts, raving that "they bring yoga, Pilates and such to your door" via its traveling fleet of feel-good gurus from its hub on the Upper East Side ($120).
The Oscar-nominated producer loves the okra leaf stew at under-the-radar B&B African-American, tucked in a Chelsea area "that still retains something of pre-gentrification New York." He somewhat facetiously suggests checking out the nearby "Goodwill store, the methadone clinic and one of the coolest consignment antiques stores left in Manhattan."
165 W. 26th St.
For the Worldview Entertainment chairman and CEO's top come-to-your-doorstep service, look no further than Tim Nolan, a master stylist and colorist at Ion Studios, a green-friendly salon in SoHo. "When I need a haircut, the exceptionally talented Tim Nolan meets me at my office," says Woodrow. Similarly, Nancy Dubuc swears by Vensette (vensette.com) for a quick beauty fix: "It's Uber for hair and makeup!"
41 Wooster St.
Betony, an elegant year-old New American restaurant just steps from Central Park, is a favorite of the USA Network president. It boasts baroque panels, rich velvet banquettes, crisply uniformed staff and a bar with dizzyingly high ceilings (and dizzyingly good cocktails).
41 W. 57th St.
Neil Patrick Harris
Now starring on Broadway in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, the actor loves the Diamond Horseshoe, a legendary nightspot recently reopened after more than 60 years, in the basement of the Paramount Hotel, and the club's interactive dinner show, Queen of the Night (tickets $125-$175). He calls the loose interpretation of The Magic Flute, where audience members are pulled into private rooms for one-on-one experiences, "an evening of delicious, decadent debauchery. I found it mysterious, provocative and arousing -- it may have gotten my assistant pregnant."
235 W 46th St.
11. LATE BITE
The 30 Rock alum says Otto's Tacos in the East Village is "world-champion approved." Luckily, this L.A.-inspired grab-and-go joint lives up to the description, with reasonably priced offerings made in-house.
141 Second Ave.
Make like the Entourage star and stop by The Butcher's Daughter for the first meal of the day. Heather Tierney, the owner of this juice bar/cafe, calls the Nolita eatery a "vegetable slaughterhouse." Meat's not on the menu, but no one's complaining. The bright, cheery spot has become the hood's go-to for even nonvegetarians.
19 Kenmare St.
The co-president of Sony Pictures Classics regularly stops by the Whitney Museum of American Art to catch a break from the city bustle "when I'm pensive or trying to think outside the envelope. Don't know where I'll go when the place closes," he says of the museum, which is vacating its longtime home for a location in the Meatpacking District. Meanwhile, Boardwalk Empire creator Winter clears his head at Central Park's Bethesda Fountain. He says, "If the Angel of the Waters statue doesn't still your nerves, nothing will."
The Whitney, 945 Madison Ave.
The English actress and Maven Pictures producer can't get enough of The East Pole, housed on two floors of a prewar Upper East Side brownstone. Her favorites include the crisp kale Caesar salad and the broccoli rabe rigatoni served with pork sausage and chili.
133 E. 65th St.
15. QUICK FIX
The president and CEO of AMC Networks relies on Sorelle Tailoring for emergency alterations, big and small. "They make costumes for Broadway shows and designers and will sew a button on a shirt." Nancy Dubuc gets heels fixed at midtown's Leather Spa: "New York is murder on the shoes."
307 W. 36th St.
The film mogul heads to Tribeca's new Shinola emporium, which sells its own handcrafted bicycles, watches and leather goods, many made in Detroit. As far as mainstays, Weinstein lunches at the Monkey Bar and dines at The Waverly Inn. His grooming spot? "You may have noticed that no one does my hair and makeup as they're too busy trying to get to [my wife] Georgina."
177 Franklin St.
17. Bonnie Hammer
Jack's Wife Freda, a SoHo mom-and-pop hangout filled with foodies, is a favorite for the chairman of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group. "For a cool, fun place, you can't beat Piper Perabo's restaurant," she says of the eatery run by the actress and former Keith McNally employees Maya and Dean Jankelowitz.
224 Lafayette St.
With additional reporting by Rebecca Ford, Marisa Guthrie, Pamela McClintock, Lacey Rose and Rebecca Sun