When former UBS banker Geoff Bartakovics decided to switch lanes from investment banking to delve into the culinary scene he could have never guessed how sweet success can taste, yet again. Bartakovics, who is currently the co-founder and CEO of Tasting Table, founded the premier gourmet digital publication in 2008. Since then, the brand has engaged a growing national audience of food and drink enthusiasts. Today, Tasting Table reaches millions of foodies daily. In addition to his daily duties at Tasting Table, the University of Chicago alum advises on a number of start-ups, including Trigger Media, Inside Hook, PureWow, Virtru, Pixafy and Gathered Table. Bartakovics is an obsessive dinner party entertainer and a serious home cook. When his not advising, hosting a haute soirée or showcasing his culinary skills, he’s busy enjoying New York City. Check out his guide to the city that never sleeps.
Where were you born? Chicago
How long have you lived in NYC? I moved here the Spring of 2001, so 15 short years
Neighborhood: Soho ‘til the end
Occupation: Founder and CEO of TastingTable.com
Favorite Restaurant: Changes monthly, but at the moment, I’m on a Scandanavian kick at Houseman on Greenwich Street.
Best Sushi: Omakase at Jewel Bako
Best Italian: My neighborhood go-to, Aurora
Best place for a romantic date: Tell your date to wear something comfortable but pack an overnight
bag with dinner attire. Pre-order a picnic lunch for two from Blue Ribbon bakery and grab it before fetching your date. Make the quick drive up to Storm King in the Hudson Valley to spend the afternoon exploring acres of outdoor sculpture (so many Calders!) and enjoy that picnic lunch. Then, check in for your overnight at Castle on the Hudson Hotel and Spa. Enjoy a nap, some early evening cocktails at their little bar and the quick ride over to Blue Hill Stone Barns for an unforgettable dinner. The rest will fall into place.
Best Sunday brunch: The Dutch never disappoints, and the team never fails to smile despite
Best place for a power business meeting: 8 a.m. business breakfast at Balthazar.
If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend? The Sixty Hotel on Thomson if cost is no object; the new (though minimal) Sheraton on Canal if it is.
Favorite shopping venue/boutique: I always manage to find something to buy at the Filson store on
Great Jones Street. And procrastinating in my inbox often leads to unnecessary purchases from Deus Ex Machina, Powell’s Books, 3×1 Jeans, #etc.
Favorite place to buy jewelry/watches: Crown Caliber
Best Spa: My apartment at any hour of the night: I’ve been ordering too many
post-workout athletic massages on-demand from Zeel.com’s app. Too easy.
Favorite Charity Event: The summer gala for All Star Code in the Hamptons, supporting an important mission to teach young men of color how to code.
Favorite Cultural Event: Eleven Madison Park’s annual Derby Party. Best outfits / worst
hang-over of the culture calendar each Spring.
Favorite Cultural Institution: The Morgan Library or perhaps the Bronx Zoo.
Best Steakhouse: Strip House on 12th Street
Best Pizza: I’m not a pizza guy. Blasphemous, I realize.
Best Lunch: Charlie Bird
Best Limousine/Driving Service: In-town, Uber. Out-of-town, Boston Coach.
Best Museum/Exhibit: It will be hard to ever forget the Otto Dix exhibit at Neue Gallerie
back in 2010.
Describe NYC in three words: Too Many Options
Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore: The Green-Wood Cemetery: Basquiat, Boss Tweed, Leonard Bernstein
and many others are buried there. And the place just looks other-worldly.
All-around favorite spot in NYC: Perched on my roof with a few favorite friends, a bucket of beer,
and nowhere to be.
Best Aspect of NYC: As soon as you get bored of anything, any place or anyone, a distraction usually appears to take you in a different (and always engaging) direction.