Photography by Gary Golembiewski

Nicoletta Santoro

Creative Director-at-Large, Town & Country

| Kips Bay

We all know the saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” (a get-out-of-jail free card for mass pasta and pizza intake is hardly forgotten), but what about them? What do they, the Italians, do when they’re just as far from home? Well, if Nicoletta Santoro has anything to say about it, they bring a slice of Italy to them. The Milanese stylist extraordinaire has lived in Manhattan with her husband, British photographer Max Vadukul, for years, but that isn’t to say “her New York” is short on prosecco, espresso, crudo or carbs; in fact, we like to think of it as Manlan, a mash-up of both cities greatest hits. Ditto on her fashion background: Santoro’s worked her way through the Vogue’s— Italia to Paris to China all the while creating stunning editorials with the biggest names in the business (Steven Meisel, Paolo Roversi, Helmut Newton and Richard Avedon). And now, as Creative Director-at-Large of Town & Country, she’s infusing her first lifestyle magazine with her trademark European flair… you can take the girl out of Italy, but you can’t take Italy out of the girl. Here, Santoro sits down with CITIPHILE to reveal her little black book on NYC.

NEIGHBORHOOD STANDBY: Sushi Yasuda (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). It’s traditional sushi in a minimalist bamboo setting; they have sublime sushi crafted ‘sur mesure’ by the chefs using fish often flown in from Japan.

COFFEE OR TEA: Espresso at Sant Ambroeus in the West Village (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x) because it is addictive and tastes like home (Milano).

ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Indochine (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x)— timeless chic. I love the steamed Vietnamese ravioli; it is exotic and delicious.

COCKTAIL DE LA NUIT: I am not a cocktail lover. I prefer a glass of prosecco or wine at Mulino a Vino (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x), a wine-centric restaurant and bar where you order wine and pair it with Italian dishes.

LADIES LUNCH: A Voce Columbus (*Location now closed). It has an enchanting view of Central Park and exquisite crudo.

AFTER-WORK HAPPY HOUR: Enoteca I Trulli (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x); it’s a cozy bar with excellent casual Italian food.

BEST BRUNCH: Artisanal Fromagerie Bistro (*Location now closed); it feels like a Parisian brasserie and it has a superlative cheese selection.

BEST PEOPLE WATCHING: Omen (MAP IT, BOOK ITx), a quiet and inconspicuous fashion meeting spot for cool, relaxed celebs.

HEALTHY STAPLE: Casa Mono (MAP IT, BOOK IT, x). Sit at the bar and order the Manchego salad.

GUILTY PLEASURE: Eataly (MAP IT, x). I shop for fresh cakes to indulge in while watching a movie at home.

NY’S BEST-KEPT SECRET: Casa Magazines (MAP IT, x); it is a paradise for magazine addicts.

FIRST THING I MISS WHEN I’M AWAY: Seven days-a-week, 24 hours-a-day.

REGULAR AT: Shibui Spa (MAP IT, x)— weekly if possible. It’s an ideal space to unwind and cleanse the body and mind. Book Michiyo (x) for a 90-minutes deep tissue massage.

DATE NIGHT STANDBY: Bobo (MAP IT, x)—  candle-lit with an intimate ambiance.

DELIVERY GO-TO: Mishima (MAP ITx); it is the very best neighborhood spot for fresh sushi.

TO SEE AND BE SEEN: Rose Bakery (x) at Dover Street Market (MAP IT, x).

FAVORITE GETAWAY: The Caribbean— Sugar Beach Hotel in St Lucia (x). I am always excited to explore new remote, luxe resorts.

CLOSET CHECK: I’m a free-minded fashionista. I shop at Prada in SoHo (MAP IT) with my personal shopper, Ola. Searching for uniqueness, I go to Dover Street Market (x).

ACCESSORIES PICK: Love jewels! For antique: A la Vieille Russie (MAP IT, x); for a cabinet of curiosities: de Vera (MAP IT, x).

BEST HOME DÉCOR: My interior style is Italian modern minimalist. I like Cappellini (MAP IT, x), Cassina (MAP IT, x), Boffi (MAP IT, x), FLOS (MAP IT, x) and DDC (MAP IT, x). I collect all the decorative objects inspired by organic forms from Ted Muehling (MAP IT, x).

BEST HOST/HOSTESS GIFTS: Miho Kosuda (MAP IT, x). I love to spoil with selected blooms.

BEAUTY BLACK BOOK: Sacha & Olivier (MAP IT, x)— it is a boutique salon with European flair.

FIT PICK: Crunch on 34th Street (MAP IT, x). On weekends, I’ll go for one hour in the mornings.

ULTIMATE NY MOMENT: Nineteen years ago, on my way to Richard Avedon’s studio during my first NYC winter, I saw Woody Allen and Diane Keaton walking arm in arm on 74th and Madison. It felt like a real, unique Manhattan moment. CP

Nicoletta’s New York

From L to R: First Row: Ted Muehling; Espresso at Sant Ambroeus; Wine at Mulino a Vino; Casa Mono salad. Second Row: Santoro; Flos lighting; Tiramisu cake from Eataly; Santoro with a friend.


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