Maria Trejo-McDonald, Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park
Background After more than two decades in Manhattan, Trejo-McDonald, 45, a model turned ballet dancer turned concierge, is particularly agile at steering guests toward unique Gotham experiences.
Must-see Museum “A lesser-known stop on Museum Mile is the Neue Galerie (1048 Fifth Ave.; 212/ 628-6200), a Beaux-Arts mansion filled with Austrian paintings. They recently acquired a $135 million Klimt, the most expensive painting in the world. Afterward, you can have Austrian-style strudel at Café Sabarsky downstairs.”
Hottest Table “Right now the toughest restaurant to get into is the Waverly Inn (16 Bank St.; no phone; dinner for two $80). It’s a reinvention of a neighborhood spot, but Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter is a co-owner, and the place is very high-maintenance; I actually have to send a page down to make a reservation in person. Sure, our guests enjoy the food, but they're more excited about being surrounded by an A-list crowd.”
Dim Sum Deal “It can be a challenge to find a place in Chinatown that has a decent atmosphere but is still authentic. One that manages to do all that is Dim Sum Go Go (5 E. Broadway; 212/732-0797; lunch for two $40). The interior is modern and bright, and everything, from the roast pork buns to the shrimp rolls, is fresh and yummy.”
Top Shop “To the experienced shopper who has done Madison Avenue and all the big department stores, I say, 'Go to Nolita.’ I particularly like Rebecca Taylor (260 Mott St.; 212/966-0406). Her dresses are feminine yet edgy, sophisticated yet whimsical. They are also very flattering to the figure.”
Get Your Fill “A really reasonable, charming Village experience that I love is Camaje (85 MacDougal St.; 212/673-8184; dinner for two $70), a tiny French-American bistro. And the chef-owner Abigail Hitchcock gives cooking classes—from Italian to French to Asian.”
Designers at a Discount “Gabay’s Outlet (225 First Ave.; 212/254-3180), in the East Village, carries overstock from department stores like Bergdorf Goodman. Soiffer Haskin (317 W. 33rd St.; www.soifferhaskin.com) is a showroom that puts on sample sales for brands like Paul Stuart and Loro Piana; for the schedule, look on their Web site.”