12.27.2011
By Terry Flanagan

Five Cities, Five Questions





London (home of London stock Exchange)
With:
Cathryn Lyall, London UK
Adam Sadiq, London UK

1. Which restaurants are your favorites?

Cathryn Lyall: Along the river, near the city, I love Roast, which is upstairs in Borough Markets. They source all their produce directly from the fresh food markets below and specialize in brilliant British produce. For a cosy local Italian with wonderful handmade pastas and meat dishes, try Tentazioni on Mill Street, near Tower Bridge. In the West End, Cocoon, upstairs on the corner of Regent and Air, has excellent modern Asian cuisine. For a summer lunch, it is worth a trip to The River Café near Fulham.

Adam Sadiq: My favourite is definitely the Promenade in the Dorchester hotel (London). The food is great – various cuisines are available – European, Arabic, Chinese, Indian etc. Live music and relaxed atmosphere. Nice ambience and service is impeccable. I would bring friends, colleagues or business partners here. There is always something to eat for everyone from the all-day dining menu.

2. Where do you like to go for after-hours networking?

CL: Busy City pubs for old-school traders include The Half Moon at Leadenhall Markets and The Jamaica Wine House off Cornhill. Nearby is Simpson’s, dating back to the mid 1600s. For something a little more glamorous, try the new Madison Bar and Restaurant on the rooftop of One Newchange on Cheapside. For a quieter environment to meet for a drink (and good wine by the glass), try Davy’s at Woolgate Bar & Brasserie, near The Guildhall.

3. Where would you take a client or business partner for lunch?

AS: Roka in Canary Wharf is close to my office: it is the best restaurant in the Financial district. Their superb-tasting menu is great, and in my five visits there, they have never let me down. My colleagues and clients have always been impressed. Also, try L’Anima in the City of London (great Italian), The Promenade at Dorchester, and Nobu London.

CL: London has three distinct business areas: The City (or The Square Mile), Canary Wharf, and St. James/Mayfair, where many of the hedge funds reside.

At Canary Wharf the most popular restaurants are: Boisdales for fab Scottish food and live music at night, Roka for excellent Japanese, Plateau for modern euro with views of the Wharf, and Jamie Oliver’s Canteen. More casual options are Smolenskys for steak and fish cakes, Wahahca for Mexican street food, Carluccio’s Café for good Italian fare, and The Parlour for modern British food and a lively bar.

In The City, there is La Chapelle and their Bistro Lux near Spitalfields Markets, L’Anima near Broadgate, 1 Lombard Street, near Bank, Le Coq d’Arget on the rooftop at Cheapside (great in summer), and Brasserie Blac near The Bank of England.

Good value for money are: Bar Battu on Gresham Street; The Don in St. Swithins Lane is a local haunt with excellent food. Le Relais de Venice’s Entrecote Restaurant, near Bank, doesn’t take bookings and only serves excellent steak, salad and frites. Jamie Oliver’s Barbacoa at One Newchange does very good meat and you can see your steak hanging in their gourmet butcher on the floor below. Sweetings is a go-to for excellent seafood and has been around for centuries. Another oldie but a goodie is The George & Vulture, the oldest restaurant in the Square Mile, dating back to 1600. It is a chop house, and it is only open for lunch.

Across the Thames River, from the City near Tower Bridge, try Pont du la Tour right under Tower Bridge–both Presidents Bush dined here on French cuisine. Oxo Tower further up the river has excellent views back to the City and a great terrace in the summer. Both Northbank and High Timber restaurants on the City side of the river have great views and excellent emenus. For fabulous tapas, try Jose on Bermondsey St near London Bridge. No reservations, but the food and wine list is superb. Also nearby is Village East, excellent modern euro food and a lively bar. For a quieter meal, go to Magdalene on Tooley St for fine French fare.

4. It’s time to relax. Where do you go? Any particular spas or gyms?

AS: I am a member of the Virgin Active gyms. I attend the Canary Riverside (near office) and Repton park (near home) clubs. I enjoy winding down in the Sauna, jacuzzi after a work out.

CL: For massages in The City, go to Neal’s Yard Therapy Rooms at Borough Markets near London Bridge. In Mayfair, the spa at The Mandarin Oriental is superb. In Canary Wharf, the spa at the Four Seasons is also excellent.

For gyms, Virgin Gyms have a good London franchise; if you are in The City, 37degrees near London and Tower Bridges has an indoor pool, boxing ring, two floors of equipment, and a free weights room. The Circle Spa and Gym in Shad Thames near Tower Bridge also has a pool, gym, weights room and spa.

For those who have done all their sightseeing there are loads of activities in and around The City of London. Near London and Tower bridge there are various venues that offer Go Karting , Boxing at Brooklyn’s Gleasons Boxing Gym now opened at London Bridge as Rooney’s , There are a number of companies that offer Cycle Tours of London including Cycle Tours of London and Tally Ho Tours. In winter there are a lot of ice rinks set up in iconic places such as Tower of London.

5. A colleague is coming in from out of town. Where should he/she stay?

CL: In The City, The Crowne Plaza on Blackfriars Bridge Road is well-positioned for the City and reasonably priced. The Mint Hotel near Tower of London is also walking distance to the City, and has great views of the Thames River and Tower Bridge; they also have a great cocktail bar with views on the rooftop. Right in the heart of The City, The Threadneedle Hotel on Threadneedle Street near the Bank of England is good, and Andaz at Liverpool St Station is another good boutique Hotel.

In between the City and Mayfair, at Holborn, is the Chancery Court Hotel a lovely 5-star hotel.

In St. James/Mayfair, any of the following will suit a travelling business person: The Dorchester, The Four Seasons, The Duke, The Ritz, The Mandarin Oriental. For a lower-priced option, try The Washington Mayfair on Curzon St or The Jumeirah Carlton Towers near Sloane Square.

New York City (Home of New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq)
With:
Dorothy Friedman, New York
Andrea Pandolfo Messina, New York
Anri Tiu, New York

1. Which restaurants are your favorites?

Dorothy Friedman: I am a huge fan of Ayza Wine & Chocolate bar on 31st. It’s a short subway ride from downtown and worth it for the delicious food and great wine list. Great for lunch/drinks with the girls or for date night. Closer to the exchange, you can’t go wrong with Harry’s. Fantastic food & old Wall Street atmosphere. It’s like coming home.

Anri Tiu: Mary’s Fish Camp has the best lobster roll, ever. Gotham has the best American fusion, and Café Boulud has the best French menu.

Andrea Pandolfo Messina: Luke’s Lobster Bar is a big hit in the FiDi area. It’s great if you have some time to sit inside, or on a nice day, you can go to their take-out window and eat outside. Adrienne’s Pizza is always a great option if you’re in the mood for a few delicious slices of thin crust pizza. They serve lunch and dinner. I like to stop by Potbelly if I’m in the mood for a sandwich. If you’re not sure what you’re in the mood for, I would suggest Fresco on the Go, in Hanover Square. They have a variety of hot and cold lunch options and there’s always plenty of seating available. I also try to hit up Financier as often as possible for the best coffee downtown.

2. Where do you like to go for post-work hours networking?

AT: The Growler, on Stone Street.

APM: In the summer, I love to go to Cabana at the Seaport, on South Street. The view of the water and of the Seaport is outrageous, even if you’re sitting inside. It’s a perfect spot for sangria, beers, and appetizers. I also enjoy grabbing a drink at Vintry Wine and Whiskey, on Stone Street. It’s a very classy, yet relaxed place for a drink with warm and inviting décor. They have a vast selection of cheeses, charcuterie and other tapas-style plates. Very different from the rest of Stone Street!

Friedman: In the summer, I love to go to Stone Street. It’s nice to sit outside and have drinks and catch up with colleagues & friends.

3. Where would you take a potential client or business partner for lunch?

DF: Fino’s is fantastic. The food is excellent, and the service is even better. Great place to show a client true New York Italian food and hospitality.

AT: I like Wall and Water in the Andaz Hotel on Wall Street.

APM: For a nice lunch, I would go to The Capital Grille, Bobby Van’s or Delmonico’s. The service at all three is top notch. For a more casual lunch I suggest Zigolinis. Make sure you get their delicious garlic fries!

4. It’s time to relax. Where do you go? Any particular spas or gyms?

AT: I’ll go for a run or get a massage at Salon 25 on John Street.

DF: Xtreme Gym at Hanover Square is great for a midday workout.

APM: There is a New York Health & Racquet Club on Whitehall Street and Pearl Street. There’s also Battery Park and, if you’re into running, a path that runs from the Park all the way up the West Side along the Hudson.

5. A colleague is coming in from out of town. Where should he/she stay?

DF: Trump Soho is a beautiful hotel and not far from downtown. Near the exchange, the Ritz is a good choice if the expense account allows…

AT: I would recommend Smyth in Tribeca.

APM: There is a W Hotel on Washington Street, here in the Financial District, and the Andaz Hotel on Wall Street is modern, beautiful, and has an amazing restaurant called Wall + Water inside of it.

Chicago (Home of Chicago Board Options Exchange and CME Group)
With:
Jeff Kilburg, Chicago
Mike Wilkins, Chicago

1. Which restaurants are your favorites?

Jeff Kilburg: Gibson’s. Mastro’s. Le Colonial. The Pump Room.

Mike Wilkins: There are certain lunch spots that are just part of the quintessential Chicago experience, like the Italian Village and the Berghoff. Both are simply timeless…and feature classic food, nothing fancy, nothing frilly. No visit to Chicago is complete without a steak dinner: my favorites are Gene & Georgetti’s and Morton’s. But Chicago’s not just about simple food; we’ve got an amazing culinary scene with some very highly regarded chefs. Stephanie Izzard’s Girl and the Goat, Jimmy Banno, Jr.’s Purple Pig, Rick Bayless’ Frontera, Paul Kahan’s Blackbird, Grant Achatz’s Alinea (be sure to bring your wallet). Of course, regular Markets Media readers will recall that I’m a big fan of BBQ, and nothing tops Lillie’s Q in that department as far as Chicago goes.

2. Where do you like to go for after-hours networking?

JK: Flat Water has a great happy hour, as does Paris Club.

MW: Depends. The Wacker Drive bars close to my office, like Townhouse and One North, are convenient and have a great beer and appetizer selection. Great for meeting others in the business in an upscale, professional atmosphere. Rivers (in the CME HQ building) has a great beer garden in summertime, but get there early! If you really want to experience a classic Chicago finance type bar, Ceres in the CBOT pours their drinks with a heavy hand at a very reasonable price. I’m a big fan of craft beer, and there’s a great local brewery and restaurant called Haymarket just west of downtown where you can find me plenty of afternoons. Summer evenings, you can’t beat the Terrace at the Conrad Hotel: great views of the city, and it’s never overwhelmingly crowded.

3. Where would you take a potential client or business partner for lunch?

JK: Chicago Cut is the power lunch place to go, hands down.

MW: So many places to choose from. Any of the places in my first answer are fine for a more formal setting. If you want to go casual and aren’t afraid of getting a little messy, Bombacigno’s J&C Inn serves up old school Italian lunches in a setting straight out of “The Sopranos.”

4. It’s time to relax. Where do you go? Any particular spas or gyms?

JK: The Four Seasons has a nice spa, as does the Ritz.

MW: When I lived in the city, the East Bank Club was the place to be for a workout, brunch and an afternoon by the pool in summer. These days, I spend most of my time relaxing on the golf course, although I could certainly argue that there’s nothing relaxing about my game. Chicago has some great public courses, like Harborside International, Cog Hill Dubsdread (longtime stop on the PGA Tour), the Glen Club, Pine Meadows. If you’re really lucky, though, try and wrangle a tee time at one of the private clubs like Medinah, Butler National or Conway Farms.

5. A colleague is coming in from out of town. Where should he/she stay?

JK: The Peninsula is the top hotel in the world. Other great hotels: The Drake, The Four Seasons, or the Ritz up on Mag Mile. In the Financial District, JW Marriott is the place to be.
MW: If money is no object? The Peninsula is simply the best hotel in the city. Otherwise there’s been a real explosion of boutique hotels in the River North area: the Dana, the Felix, the Palomar. All are great properties. I’d avoid the Palmer House and the Hilton and Towers…they’ve definitely seen better days!

Toronto (Home of TMX Group)
With:
Michael Taylor, Toronto

1. Which restaurants are your favorites for lunch and/or dinner?

Michael Taylor: Favourite for lunch is Earl’s Restaurant. It’s new, with good food and great service. Earl’s also has a great patio for the summer and a lounge all year round that is always hopping. Rodney’s by Bay is a great oyster bar–great for lunch or dinner. It’s small, but intimate with delicious food. Canoe is also great for a nice dinner and it’s on the 54th floor of the TD Tower, so you get a really nice view.

2. Where do you like to go for after-hours networking?

MT: After work to network, South of Temperance (great patio, extensive beer selection), Earl’s (it’s new and centrally located so everyone likes to go there), or Vertical (great atmosphere and very good sushi)

3. Where would you take a potential client or business partner for lunch?

MT: In most cases, people want to go to Earl’s because they’ve heard about it, but Jump is always a close second as they have great food.

4. It’s time to relax. Where do you go? Any particular spas or gyms?

MT: The Hammam Spa is a great spot for a spa treatment, or just for a steam. The Toronto Athletic Club is great for working out and for a swim. The Adelaide Club is good for a workout or squash.

5. A colleague is coming in from out of town. Where should he/she stay?

MT: The St. Germain or The Thompson Hotel are both nice.

Hong Kong (Home of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing)
With:
Mavis Lee, Hong Kong
Michael Mackay, New York (worked in Hong Kong before New York)
Christopher Tiu, Hong Kong

1. Which restaurants are your favorites for lunch and/or dinner?

Michael Mackay: The big international hotels all have very good Asian and Western restaurants, but of course, you have to have dim sum in Hong Kong. It’s the best in the world. Mavis [Lee] may remember the names of the places. If you’re more adventurous, try the local BBQ food, like char siu, sue yoke, roast duck, etc. Again, this is amazing local food that isn’t as good anywhere else.

Mavis Lee: For lunch, I’ll only go dim sum. My recent favorite is Jasmine Place or Chiuchow Garden Restaurant at Jardine House. For dinner, there are a lot of nice restaurants in Harbour City in TST, Times Square in CWB, or Elements in Kowloon West. I would recommend any Lei Garden in Hong Kong–they have lots of branches. For local food such as wonton noodles, or fish ball, you can go any Tsui Wah local restaurant. I think they still serve the best local HK style food and milk tea.

Christopher Tiu: Assuming price is no deterrent: Isola for lunch–they do good antipasti buffet, and I like the atmosphere there. Otto for dinner (food is awesome there, my favorite Italian place in town). Try Baodawong for hotpot dinner; it’s good quality food and great fun if you have a group of friends. Go to Ming Court for yum cha–good dim sums. There is also Sushi Hiro for dinner–best sashimi in town, though I’ve never tried lunch there.

2. Where do you like to go for after-hours networking?

ML: I like RED in IFC Mall; there is Aqua in No. 1 Peking Road, and Armani bar at Chater House, or the Kowloon Lan Kwai Fong near K11. Not a big fan of Soho.

MM: Make sure you don’t get stuck in Lan Kwai Fong–venture up to some of the smaller bars in Soho and Mid Levels.

CT: l Iike Lily and Bloom (secret cigar room!), Zuma, MO bar, Sevva, 8 ½ Otto, Upperhouse, Liberty and RED for networking purposes.

3. Where would you take a potential client or business partner for lunch?

CT: Quiet places: Mandarin Grill, Otto, Liberty, French Window (though I’ve never been), Hullet House (I’ve never been either, but it looks nice).

ML: Shiro in Pacific Place, Zuma at Landmark–both are Japanese restaurants. Again, these restaurants are in Central or Admiralty.

MM: If you want a fancier Chinese meal, you can take clients to a place like Peking Garden. This is Beijing-style Chinese and a great place to get Peking Duck.

4. It’s time to relax. Where do you go? Any particular spas or gyms?

CT: I go to Mulan Spa for the odd facial here and there; W Spa is nice too, and not many people.
ML: I’ve heard that Spa in Mandarin Oriental is very popular. Pure Fitness or Yoga is nice and clean. Ingrid Millet is still my favorite beauty house, with everything from facial to massage. Also, you can go hiking in Saikung, go to Botanical Garden, or Hong Kong Park in Central. Don’t go to Ocean Park as it’s extremely crowded, and not relaxing. But there are a lot of animals to see including a panda.

5. A colleague is coming in from out of town. Where should he/she stay?

CT: Upperhouse is swanky and has massive rooms. There’s the Four Seasons and the W if they are hip and cool.

ML: I’ve heard that Excelsior has a very reasonable package and it’s located in the busiest area in CWB, with everything nearby.

MM: Hong Kong has some of the best in the world, including all the big names: The Four Seasons, The Ritz, Mandarin Oriental, Conrad, etc. All are good and quite convenient.

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