W New York Union Square’s Insider Tanya De Costa divulges the city’s hottest stores, restaurants and bars in this tell-all interview
Just as the daffodils pop up heralding spring in NYC, and before the rooftops come to life, opening up a whole new world for the summer months, we find out where to be and where to be seen with W New York Union Square ‘Insider’ Tanya De Costa.
Hey Tanya! Tell us, what’s NYC best-kept secret?
To me, one of New York City’s best-kept secrets is Shalel, a Moroccan-inspired wine cellar in the Upper West Side. This underground candlelit lounge provides an intimate and romantic setting to enjoy a glass of wine from their extensive offering and some snacks like Moroccan lamb in phyllo dough. With the perfect candlelit atmosphere, soothing waterfall and fresh rose petals scattered throughout the space, this spot will instantly transport, whether it’s for an after work drink with friends or a date.
Shalel, 65 W 70th St, New York, NY 10023, United States, p. +1 212-873-2300.
What’s hot right now for shopping?
My top five must-visit shopping destinations right now would include:
- Story (144 10th Avenue at 19th Street, New York), located in Chelsea, is a permanent pop-up shop that is a store run with the point of view of a magazine. This rotating concept showcases an array of products and a new theme each month.
- Darling (1 Horatio Street, New York), located in the Meatpacking District, always carries a fabulous array of dresses from vintage to modern.
- Trunk Club (457 Madison Avenue, New York), located in Midtown, is a must for men. Once you arrive, you are greeted with a beverage and your own personal stylist. If you don’t have enough time to get to Midtown, the style mentors will provide you with a curated list of items for you to choose from and send your “trunk” to you!
- Catbird (219 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn) is one of the best reasons to show Brooklyn some love. This Williamsburg shop carries an ample collection of gold and silver rings for the latest stackable obsessions.
- artist & fleas (88 10th Avenue, New York) has a new location in Chelsea Market. This unique store houses 60 venders that are on rotation bringing visitors a taste of New York from all five boroughs.
What’s hot right now for dining?
- Bobby Flay’s Gato (324 Lafayette Street, New York) has recently opened and surely made an impression.
- Cosme (35 E 21st Street, New York) is one of my new favourite restaurants delivering Mexican flavours and traditions while incorporating seasonal ingredients from local farmers.
- Noreetuh (128 1st Avenue, New York) has officially opened up in the East Village and brings the Aloha spirit with it. Being born in Hawaii, I love to have a taste of home here in New York City.
- Santina (820 Washington Street, New York) has made its mark and nestled its way into visitors’ lists when walking the highline.
- Momofuku Ko (8 Extra Pl, New York) still holds a top spot for diners seeking experiential tasting. The menu constantly changes and each dish is prepared in great depth, making you want more and more!
Any new trends you’re picking up on?
Guests are now inquiring about outer boroughs more than ever before – Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island City and even Staten Island! Families are inquiring about things to see and do after crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. Additionally, younger travelers are seeking activities that that take them to those outer boroughs such as music festivals, new shopping areas, flea markets in Queens or LIC, art shows on Governor’s Island and tourist friendly areas that are not necessarily “touristy”.
What’s the most extraordinary request you’ve ever had from a guest?
Once a guest asked me to participate in a “how to lose a guy in ten days tour” and pretend to be the tour guide on property for the W Hotel all in efforts to propose to his long-term girlfriend at the end of their stay… luckily she said yes!
Any morsel you’d like to share from your lil black book?
Speakeasies are the most interesting spaces in New York City to me. Depending on my vibe, I enjoy grabbing a sip at The Blind Barber (339 E. 10th Street, New York), Dear Irving (Irving Pl, New York), The Ship (158 Lafayette Street, New York), Dutch Kills (27-24 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City), or PDT (113 St Marks Pl, New York), just to name a few.