PARIS IN NEW YORK
The Upper East Side has always had Continental flair. Payard Patisserie & Bistro (1032 Lexington Ave.; 212/717-5252), a restaurant and all-day café opened by the former pastry chef at Daniel (60 E. 65th St.; 212/288-0033), offers a mouthwatering selection of pastries and savory bites in an atmosphere reminiscent of Ladurée in Paris. Orsay (1057 Lexington Ave.; 212/517-6400) is a new fin-de-siècle brasserie where the Sex and the City set meet to sup. In the back room of La Maison du Chocolat (1018 Madison Ave.; 212/744-7117), forlorn damsels can repair their broken hearts with cups of steaming Caracas hot chocolate and creamy ganache-filled chocolate macaroons.
SEE AND BE SEEN
While the life of a typical Upper East Sider may revolve around family and work, there's always time for a bit of parading and posing. What better places to do so than Serafina Fabulous Pizza (1022 Madison Ave.; 212/734-2676) or Sette Mezzo (969 Lexington Ave.; 212/472-0400), the casually elegant Italian trattoria?These days, however, the sine qua non of Park Avenue chic is Swifty's (1007 Lexington Ave.; 212/535-6000), the new gathering place of the Mortimer's set (Blaine Trump, Pat Buckley, et al.). Owner Robert Caravaggi and chef Stephen Attoe (both formerly of The Big M) sought to create a "kinder, gentler Mortimer's" where everyone from the Bridgeport soccer mom to Aerin Lauder would feel comfortable. Hence, there's no "social Siberia" in this cozy eatery; one is as likely to find the glitterati seated at the back as at the front. The cheese soufflé, an edible cloud of Gruyère, is a must.
THE GIFT OF GIVING
For the intellectual in your life, Archivia (944 Madison Ave.; 212/439-9194) supplies an endless assortment of handsome, and sometimes rare or out-of-print, coffee-table books on subjects ranging from water gardens to surrealist painting. If you prefer boutique-sized bookstores to the contemporary literary supermarket chains, the Madison Avenue Bookshop (833 Madison Ave.; 212/535-6130 ) is heaven on earth. (On weekends, it's a veritable community center.) Looking for a housewarming gift for someone's new country retreat?White on White (888 Lexington Ave.; 212/288-0909) has just the thing, in guess what color?Seek and ye shall find the perfect wedding shower item at Bedford & Co. (995 Lexington Ave.; 212/772-7000), a world of candles and bric-a-brac. As this store will attest, up here, gift-giving–as everything else–is practiced with a classic sense of style.
Before a stressful day of working and shopping, local ladies tone up and make up around the corner from home.
Lotte Berk (23 E. 67th St.; 212/288-6613); Casa Specialized Private Fitness (48 E. 73rd St.; 212/717-1998); Equinox (205 E. 86th St.; 212/439-8500)
Kimara Ahnert (1113 Madison Ave.; 212/452-4252)
Manicures and Pedicures
Iris Nail (1065 Lexington Ave.; 212/737-8408)
Yves Durif (130 E. 65th St.; 212/452-0954); Mark Garrison (820 Madison Ave.; 212/570-2455); John Frieda (797 Madison Ave.; 212/879-1000)
Pasteur Pharmacy (806 Lexington Ave.; 212/838-2500); Clyde Chemists (926 Madison Ave.; 212/288-6966); Zitomer's (969 Madison Ave.; 212/737-4480)
Best Tarts, Cakes, and Pies
E.A.T. (1064 Madison Ave.; 212/772-0022)
Sant Ambroeus (1000 Madison Ave.; 212/570-2211)
Best Almond Brioche
Butterfield Market (1114 Lexington Ave.;
Best Gourmet Food Shops
Citarella (1313 Third Ave.; 212/874-0383); Grace's Marketplace (1237 Third Ave.; 212/737-0600)
Best Euro Lunch Scene
Le Bilboquet (25 E. 63rd St.; 212/751-3036)