A2D on the Go: Three Days in NYC
As global concierge professionals, we’re constantly out and about, scouting the best places to eat, the trendiest new hotels, the hottest concerts and events and anything quirky, fun and adventurous. Our “A2D on the Go” posts will feature personal tips and insights from members of the A2D Concierge team.
Our goal is to offer the very best advice and insights to help our clients make the most out of their business and leisure travel experiences. Our network extends around the world and opens doors into places and experiences that few have access to.
The following post is from A2D CEO and Founder Stig Egard.
New York is one of our favorite cities. The Big Apple…the City That Never Sleeps…it’s the city of superlatives.
New York has the best of everything, and puts on a display like no other city in the world. Anytime we get a chance to explore a bit of NYC, we take it. So on our recent trip to the USA, we decided to stop off in New York to take a three day bite of the Big Apple. And by “bite”…I mean that this post is going to mostly be about food. If you love NYC, you’ll appreciate these tips.
We had the great pleasure of staying at one dynamite hotel in Meatpacking courtesy of our friend Rob Dellibovi, global head of sales for the for the Dream Group and Marriot`s trendy hotel line created by Ian Schrager (founder of world famous nightclub Studio 54). Both hotels are remarkable and distinctive even among the best of New York’s top hotels.
The Dream Downtown is just one mile from Union Square set between the Meatpacking District and Chelsea. The loft-style rooms are modern with the standard high-end amenities like flat-screen TVs and iPod docks. The suites are something special with HDTV projectors, surround-sound systems. The best suites have landscaped terraces with hot tubs. The outdoor year-round glass-bottom pool is a highlight. Loaner bikes are a thoughtful amenity allowing guests to get out and see the city on two wheels. When we arrived, we had a fun meal at Bodega Negra at Dream. Above average Mexican/Tex-Mex food is served in an upbeat room with a great energy. It’s easy to have a great night here and we certainly did.
The New York Edition hotel found its home in an iconic 1909 skyscraper directly across from Madison Square Park. If you’re in a New York state of mind and feel like a walk, a brisk 10 minute ramble will take you to the main entry of New York’s majestic Empire State Building. The Edition offers sophisticated rooms with flat-screen TVs and spa-like rainfall showers. Suites feature vaulted ceilings and spacious living areas. Penthouse suites throw in kitchens and separate living and dining rooms. The best part of the Edition is the view. Most rooms offer park, city or Empire State Building views. We really enjoyed our stay at The Edition and the proximity to the best of NYC.
Check out The Clocktower restaurant from the hottest British chef Jason Atherton, who worked for Gordon Ramsey for five years before partnering with famed restaurateur Stephen Starr to create The Clocktower. Every dish is a surprise on traditional flavors.
This visit was especially fun for our family because this was the first visit to New York for my youngest daughter Amba. Understanding the importance of first impressions, we took a leisurely stroll up to midtown to soak up the sights of summer in the city. Since I often travel to New York on business with clients, I always take first-timers to sample pizza at Eataly next to Madison Park. This time, my wife enjoyed a gluten free pizza which was one of the best she’d ever had. It’s hard to beat pizza in New York.
That evening we headed down to Blue Ribbon Sushi in SOHO. What’s great about this restaurant is that they don’t take reservations. It’s walk-in traffic only, and the restaurant is almost always full. Run by brothers Bruce & Eric Bromberg (whose restaurants I love… all of them!) The fish at Blue Ribbon Sushi is flown in daily from across the Atlantic and Pacific. It just can’t get any fresher unless you live on the water. Blue Ribbon is a great place to impress guests and clients, as long as they’re not from LA or Japan, because let’s face it, their sushi is world class.
After sleeping in late, and having a quick breakfast, we walked and checked out the hip shops and boutiques in the area. We took a late lunch at the Shanghai Café deluxe, a very simple place in Chinatown with really authentic Chinese kitchen and food from all over China. It’s not often that one raves about soup dumplings...but here it is. We are raving about dumplings. The Shanghai Café is packed with comforting soups and dumplings that have made this place the “go to” place for Szechuan cuisine. The brown and glass entry blends into the bustle of Mott Street, but the interior is a fun mix of orange walls, pink neon lights and smiling people with ginger-spiced broth dripping down their chins. Shanghai Café has more than soup…but the soup is what people talk about. They don’t serve wine…only water, beer and sodas. Hands down, one of the best Chinese meals I’ve ever had. The price for 4 people including tax and tip was $71 USD.
When you’re in New York, you have to try the kosher deli food. We found a spot for amazing kosher sandwiches inside Chelsea Market with bagels that make New York famous as the bagel capital of the world. After eating more than was reasonable, we ordered pastrami sandwiches for our flights to San Francisco to keep the flavor of the Big Apple in our mouths and hearts even as we sped toward the west coast.