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Daniel Perez
Concierge, The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park
Daniel Perez
Concierge, The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park
50 Central Park So.

Daniel Perez of The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park

NYC is teeming with dining experiences—from budget-friendly restaurants that cater to families to fine-dining establishments with expansive views of the Manhattan cityscape. Here Daniel Perez from The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park shares his favorite restaurants and more.

The River Café

If someone is looking for a lavish dining experience, where would you send them?

New York City is full of amazing restaurants. The River Café, nestled under the Brooklyn end of the Brooklyn Bridge, is a romantic spot with great food and views of the famous Manhattan skyline. The restaurant has amazing seafood appetizers—from octopus and shrimp to sea scallops paired with foie gras. Besides sea options, the restaurant also has plenty of land fare and a wonderful Mushroom Wellington vegetarian option.

If a family is traveling together and looking for reasonably priced restaurants to get the most bang for their buck, where would you send them?

If a family is on a budget and looking to have wonderful food, I recommend they take the 7 subway line to Queens. NYC’s largest borough boasts cuisine from all over the world, including the Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and China, at very reasonable prices.

What are two NYC food/dining trends as of late?

Lately, New Yorkers are experiencing many restaurants that have a market-to-table concept, concentrating on the freshness of the products they serve, as well as supporting local farmers and other local purveyors. Sharing is also becoming a popular trend, where small dishes are prepared so that all the patrons at the table can partake in the delicious food.

New York Botanical Garden

What are two NYC destinations worth visiting off Manhattan Island?

One of my favorite destinations off Manhattan Island is the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. Throughout the year, the Garden offers beautiful, captivating exhibitions, including its yearly orchid show. Another fantastic spot is Governors Island. The area is perfect for those who like nature, and outdoor activities include walking tours, bike riding and picnicking. Fairs, festivals and concerts also take place on Governors Island.

Museum of American Finance

If someone is visiting NYC and is pressed for time, with only a day or two to pack in as much as possible, what places would you recommend he visit?

I would suggest a trip to Lower Manhattan, where they can see a combination of both “old” and “new” New York. The area includes the Financial District, which is full of history; Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange; and the Museum of American Finance. Other points of interest include Fraunces Tavern, which served as George Washington’s headquarters and where revolutionaries plotted the New York Tea Party. From nearby Battery Park, you can see the Statue of Liberty. A short walk north from Battery Park, you will find the “new” New York, including One World Trade Center, featuring One World Observatory and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. You can also go shopping at Brookfield Place New York and grab a bite to eat at Le District—a French market located in the shopping complex.

If someone is visiting for an extended amount of time, what places would you recommend?

After having seen what New York City has to offer, when guest have extra time, I suggest taking a daytrip through the Hudson Valley; the vineyards on the north fork of Long Island or the Catskills region in upstate New York.

What have guests asked about lately?

Guests frequently want suggestions on what to do with their children. I assist my guests with information on museum exhibits that are appropriate for children, on and off-Broadway shows that kids would enjoy, and reservations at family-friendly restaurants like American Girl Place New York.