September is quite the harried month in New York. Out Easters return from a summer in the Hamptons, editors and models alike descend on Lincoln Center for Fashion Week, and—on the opposite end of the spectrum—world leaders convene in Kips Bay for the United National General Assembly (this year from Sept. 12-25).And while dozens of articles document where to chow down in between runway shows, the neighborhoods near the UN have many culinary treasures as well. We spoke to David Moreno, chief concierge at the Loews Regency New York Hotel, on where he sends conference goers looking for some tasty ethnic eats.
Moreno loves this Portuguese spot for its ambience. Treat yourself to the four-course dinner menu, which features innovative entrees like Albacore tuna served with yellow plums and figs, and traditional desserts like rice pudding and Portuguese beignets. 31 W. 17th St., 212-675-7223
While this Scandinavian spot is certainly white tablecloth, “It’s not pretentious, just wonderful, fresh food,” Moreno says. We recommend treating yourself to the chef’s tasting menu, 10 courses of everything from caviar to Norwegian king crab to venison. 65 E. 55th St., 212-307-7311
“This is a great Greek restaurant near the UN,” Moreno says. Load up on small plates, including the popular Feta Saganaki, topped with honey and sesame, and leave room for the beautiful, simply prepared fish. 905 1st Ave., 212-888-4060
New York is bursting at the seams with Italian fare, but Moreno recommends this sleeper spot to guests. All the pastas are handmade, as is the gelato. The $29 lunch prix-fixe is perfect for a midday meeting. 337 E. 49th St. #A, 212-688-0033
“This is the best Russian food in New York!” Moreno exclaims. And indeed, everything about this restaurant has a tendency to make you smile, from the house-infused vodkas to the kitschy décor to the enigmatic traditional dishes like herring under a fur coat (that’s shaved, hard-boiled egg, by the way). 41 E. 20th St, 212-777-1955
This cozy spot is “perhaps the best paella and Spanish cuisine in NYC,” Moreno says. Bring friends to share the signature dish, which comes in eight varieties including the Langosta (lobster, calamari, and shrimp) and the Carne, made with short rib, chicken, and chorizo. 953 2nd Ave., 212-759-0101