Local Insights

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Concierge and Vice President of Les Clefs d’Or Harald Mootz shares his recommendations for exquisite dinning, shopping and events in New York City during the winter season.

By Taylor Dutch

0162 ST. REGIS Concierge 2013 Portraits + Doormen for BESPOKE 10-24-13 Hi-Res JPEGS for Jenn Prewitt & Bespoke Nov 1

The crisp winter air brings a sense of serenity to the city, as visitors explore the best dining, shopping and holiday festivities that New York has to offer. Harald Mootz, a concierge with The St. Regis New York, shares the best places to see the city sights this season.

Moser Pebbles

’Tis the Season

While New York City ignites with the festive spirit of the holiday season, visitors and locals can look forward to a shopping experience unlike any other.

“MAISON 24 carries a number of home accessories, furniture, electronics and jewelry, but from very unique designers and producers,” Mootz says. “It’s very eclectic and filled with items that you wouldn’t just find anywhere.” Carrying new items and products of its own design, Maison 24 is a family-owned boutique that applies the values of tradition and trendsetting towards every item offered. (212-355-2414; maison24.com)

For those in search of one-of-a-kind home decor and a place to rest mid-shopping, BARNEYS NEW YORK on Madison Avenue is a top destination. On the ninth floor of the department store is the Chelsea Passage, where visitors can search for a distinguished selection of items. “They have a lot of great gifts, especially for people who host parties; it’s a great stop,” Mootz says. “It’s also where Fred’s restaurant is, which is perfect for the ladies who lunch.” (212-826-8900; barneys.com)

robert restaurant

A Landmark Winter

There is no better place to enjoy the winter months than with family and friends at the many iconic spots in New York City. Cozy up indoors or enjoy the beautiful snowy weather at one of the city’s winter hot spots.

BANK OF AMERICA WINTER VILLAGE at Bryant Park offers an ice skating rink in addition to high quality rental skates, skating shows, holiday shops and Celsius, a two-story restaurant that overlooks the ice. “It’s truly an all encompassing experience,” Mootz says. (212-661-6640; bryantpark.org)

ROBERT, a restaurant located atop the Museum of Arts and Design, is another unforgettable place to celebrate the season. Visitors are afforded distinct views of Columbus Circle, Central Park, Broadway and Central Park West. “At midnight they shoot off fireworks in Central Park and [Robert] is a great place to catch the fireworks,” Mootz says. (212-299-7730; robertnyc.com)

nutcracker - credit to Paul Kolnik

Curtain Call

A stay in New York City during the winter months wouldn’t be complete without experiencing one of the many wildly entertaining theater performances.

“ ‘THE NUTCRACKER’ at Lincoln Center is a seasonal favorite,” Mootz says. “It’s a must for any child or adult.” Transporting audiences into a magical Christmas wonderland, the Lincoln Center features the New York City Ballet’s holiday production from Nov. 29 through Jan. 4, 2014. (212-496-0600; nycballet.com)

“There are some great new Broadway shows coming out, one of which is called ‘WAITING FOR GODOT,’ ” Mootz says. “The last production was done with Nathan Lane, who is hysterical, but this year’s production is being done with Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen.” The two men are teaming up to star on the Cort Theatre stage with rotating productions of Harold Pinter’s “No Man’s Land” and Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” through March 1, 2014. (800-901-4092; shubertorganization.com)

Flute Midtown8950

Coffee Culture

With cold weather quickly approaching, locals and visitors can take refuge in a number of artisanal coffee shops around the city.

“GREGORYS does very unique blends and single-origin coffees from a single cup press,” Mootz says. The series of coffee shops in New York City features freshly roasted beans grown by dedicated farmers from all over the world. Gregorys also offers delicious pastries to pair with its handcrafted coffee beverages. (212-661-1722; gregoryscoffee.com)

Portland-based STUMPTOWN COFFEE ROASTERS on 29th Street is another local favorite that offers coffee made with dedication to the art of roasting and quality of the bean in a warm, friendly setting. “My favorite brew would have to be the ‘hair-bender.’ It’s a strong brew,” Mootz says. (347-414-7805; stumptowncoffee.com)