Tag Archives: Influencers and Bloggers

Cheryl Wat: From Marketing & Finance To A NYC Food Influencer

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat

Cheryl Wat went from Marketing & Finance to becoming a NYC Food Influencer! Take a look at her 7 secret New York City tips and be sure to add them to your To-Go spots!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat

Cheryl Wat was born and raised on Long Island, but now lives in Queens. She graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in Marketing and Finance and has 10 years of marketing experience working in the Finance industry as an Analyst in Marketing Research and Product Management.

During this time, Cheryl’s boyfriend wanted to open a restaurant. She became interested in learning about influencer marketing and using social media as a means to build his restaurant’s brand awareness and anticipation of its opening. To do this, she realized that she had to open up her own Instagram food account.

In July 2016, Cheryl established Book of Eats on Instagram and as a site, with the initial focus being restaurants, food, and beverages primarily in NYC area.

As she shared her dining experiences, she realized a community of people was being built who share the same interests. Since then, Book of Eats has expanded to travel, food around the world, and interesting food/travel related news.

See below her 7 secret New York City tips:

Trademark Taste & Grind

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“I love how this Midtown restaurant, called Trademark Taste & Grind is hidden behind a coffee shop. It’s one of the few places near Penn Station that I can think of with good food, isn’t touristy, and that I would want to bring someone.”

Yup! They are known for their delicious food, coffee and cocktails. The front area of the restaurant – Trademark Grind – is a coffee shop with a great selection of pastries and coffees. Walking towards the back area, you’ll find Trademark Taste serving new American comfort food.

It’s located in the Hotel Le Soleil.

Monday – Friday: 7am – 11pm
Saturday & Sunday: 8am – 11pm

Location: 38 West 36th Street


Fry Guys

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“Fry Guys is a super cool retro looking French fry spot in the East Village with vinyl records all around the floors, walls, and ceiling. There’s even disco balls hanging from the ceilings. If you come here get the Drunk Guy, its fries are loaded with guacamole, bacon and cheese.”

These guys are really experts when the subject is “fries”. Their food is gluten-free fries and made from delicious Idaho Russet potatoes. How do they make it? They hand-cut everything, season it and perfectly fry it to get that crunchy texture.

The décor of the place is also fantastic and it’s vintage kinda look will take you back decades. It’s most certainly a nostalgic feeling.

This is the place to splurge and forget your diet! Forget about calories and just be happy! Ha! After all, as they say ‘Every day is FryDay!’.

Location: 150 East 2nd Street

Gaijin, now Koyo

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“Gaijin is the only place in Astoria that I know of with a legit omakase sushi menu. I love the whole experience of sitting at the counter, interacting with the Chef, and being told the preferred way of eating the sushi is with my hands like in Japan. I can’t think of any other restaurants like this in Astoria, but in the city I definitely can.”

Chef Mark, a Chicago-native, is the artist behind it all. His outstanding culinary career gave him enough experience to open Gaijin – the result of his take on modern Japanese food.

Moreover, he blends his traditional Japanese cooking technique with a personal touch and inspiration. It’s known that his signature nigrizushi toppings are outstanding!

Nigirizushi (“hand-pressed sushi”) consists of an oblong mound of sushi rice that the chef presses between the palms of the hands to form an oval-shaped ball, and a topping (the neta) draped over the ball.” ~ Wikipedia

Gaijin has been rebranded to Koyo.

” The restaurant was originally opened as Gaijin which was a very popular local establishment that offers Omakase dining and robata grill a la carte menu fares. In the summer of August 2018, the team of Gaijin decided to refine what they do best, a modern omakase establishment and undergone a full update along with a new brand, Koyo.

Koyo means “Autumnal Foliage” which refers to the changing of Japanese maple tree leaves which signals the change of a seasonal. Koyo has a strong focus on seasonality and uses ingredients at its peak during that season to create a Kaiseki inspired multi-sensory dining experience.”

Monday – Thursday: 5pm – 10pm
Friday – Saturday: 5pm – 11pm

Location: 37-12 31st Avenue


Vaccaro’s Bakery & Café

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“Vaccaro’s Bakery & Café is a bakery in Astoria, Queens, that has the most delicious “donnolis”. It’s basically a cannoli wrapped in a donut. It’s the best thing ever.”

This authentic Italian bakery was founded in 1981 and has been one of Astoria’s to-go spots. Loved by locals, they sell everything from delicious cakes, desserts and pastries, to breads and breakfast specials!

It will be hard to pick only a few things to try. But, remember you call always buy more and take home!

Location: 28-05 Steinway Street

The Last Word

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“A speakeasy in Astoria, called The Last Word, serves really good cocktails and is hidden behind a hardware store. I know in Astoria it’s well known, but I’m not sure about the general public.”

So, if you enjoy oysters paired with a good cocktail, this is the place for you! They still have a great menu with beer, wine and a few bites to nibble on.

They explain that: “Our name comes from the gin-based prohibition-era cocktail called, The Last Word.”

And still, if you enjoy Soul, Rhythm and Blues, they have it live, every Thursday night. It’s definitely a place to got more than once! You’ll love it!

Location: 31-30 Ditmars Blvd


Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Shuraku NYC Fried Lotus Root

“Of course I have to mention my boyfriend’s restaurant on here. I’d be a terrible girlfriend if I didn’t, I’m also a bit biased, but read his Yelp reviews if you don’t believe me! Shuraku is a hidden Japanese Grilling restaurant without a sign on the building. You would only know it exists if you walk up close to the building and see a menu hanging from the window. This is the only place that I know of in NY that serves gyu-katsu (deep fried breaded steak).”

We love Shuraku too and we’ve recently visited and written about them.

They are certainly a new place to have in your To-Go places in New York, especially if you’re into high-end Japanese spots with unique tasting menus!

Wednesday: 5:30pm – 10pm
Thursday – Saturday: 5:30pm – 11pm
Sunday: 5:30pm – 10pm 

Location: 47 8th Avenue


Jason Naylor’s murals

Curiosities Insider Interviews Cheryl Wat Jason Naylor Murals
Jason Naylor, in action!

“The murals all around the city by Jason Naylor. Offhand, I can only think of the one on 60th and 2nd Ave and the one on 16th and 6th Ave. I’m amazed by his graffiti work. The colors he uses are so vibrant. It’s so distinct that you don’t even need to see that it’s his work, you’ll just know.”

Jason is not only an artist, but he’s also a designer, writer and creative director. In addition, his colorful art works certainly make the city look even more beautiful and the quotes are very inspiring!

He was born in Salt Lake City, but fell in love the NY at an early age. His works can be seen in the fashion industry, as well as magazine, footwear and even in tattoos. We personally love the Statue of Liberty in his left arm!


Thank you, Cheryl, for participating in our Insider Interviews and sharing with us these 7 amazing secret New York City tips!

Stay tuned for more upcoming interviews!

Photo Credits: Courtesy of the venues
*Last Update on April/2020.*

5 Healthy Food Spots In NYC To Eat Well Or Splurge

Dining 5 NYC Restaurants Gabriela Pugliesi BareBurger

We shared a few NYC restaurant tips exclusively for the Brazilian fitness blogger, Gabriela Pugliesi. Take a look at 5 healthy food spots in NYC where you can go to eat well or even, break your diet.

Today’s post today is a delicious one!

There is nothing better than talking about travel and food, right!?! So, if you’re coming to New York City, we’ve shared 5 great restaurants with the Brazilian Fitness Blogger, Gabriela Pugliesi, that should be added to your To-Go list!

Some are very healthy, and some are great places just to go when you feel like breaking your diet for the day!

A macrobiotic organic restaurant: Souen

Many will read “macrobiotic” and be immediately intimidated by the words. Don’t be!

In a nutshell, macrobiotic cooking is simply a term for identifying a food that is rich in whole grains, very healthy, that teaches us to be aware of what we eat. Why? The food we eat will become part of us – yes, it has ancient Japanese teachings behind this cuisine too! Plus, they do not use industrialized products. Moreover, there is still an explanation of macrobiotic food related to Ying-Yang, but we’ll not get into this now.

Well,  this cuisine is made up of whole grains, vegetables, sea vegetables, beans, fish and soups.

Whoever liked the brief description above, will love the Souen. With on location in the East Village – the restaurant was founded in 1971 and offers some of the city’s best natural organic and vegan foods.

It’s hard to say what to try, since anyone who enjoys healthy food will probably come back a few times to order different dishes. But, some of our suggestions are: the dishes with Seitan (wheat protein), the wheat noodles are delicious, the salmon and the cod are divine too. You can still add to your order a salad and other side dishes.

Ah! Be sure to order the gluten free desserts! It will certainly be a different experience.


Chic Vegan Spot: Pure Food & Wine

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Erica Graff

Located at 54 Irving Place, Pure Food & Wine celebrated this year, 10 years!

Considered the 1st high-end vegan restaurant in New York, the menu is entirely based on vegetables. They do not use processed ingredients and nothing is heated above 118 degrees – thus it is possible to preserve the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes in the ingredients.

This restaurant is a great option for the lovers of healthy, vegan food, and also great for those who can’t eat gluten or lactose – neither of which are used on the menu.

In addition to the great take-out menu and an amazing presentation of the dishes, the ambience is super stylish with an outside area – certainly difficult to find in New York.

The waiters are very friendly and you certainly won’t stay for only 1 drink.

Farm to table: Market Table

Launched in 2007 and a huge success to date, Market Table is a restaurant with a farm-to-table menu.

Located on 54 Carmine Street, in the West Village, the restaurant is small, cozy, with impeccable service, giant windows and brick walls with that rustic feeling, serving healthy food. Their menu changes according to the season, so you’ll be sure to always have something new to try.

The kitchen is open, which gives the chef the pleasure of seeing the customer’s expression at their first bite! Certainly a thrill!

Dishes are simple, yet tasty and delicious. In the summer you can expect a menu with burrata, salads, seafood, vegetables and vegetables. In the winter, the food is a bit more full-bodied, like the pork rib dishes, but New York’s cold days call for these dishes too, right?

It’s a great place to go for dinner, or just go for a quick lunch. The wine list is very good too!


More than a restaurant, a lifestyle: M.O.B. – Maimonide of Brooklyn

Dining 5 NYC Restaurants Gabriela Pugliesi Maimonide of Brooklyn by Raven Crow Studio
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Raven + Crow Studio

Brooklyn has got a new vegetarian restaurant called M.O.B. – Maimonide of Brooklyn. M.O.B. it’s not only a restaurant, but the story of this project is pretty cool too!

Before we speak of this place, we’ll quickly explain the name. Moses Maimonides, from which came the name “Maimonide”, was a Jewish physician, philosopher and religious man, born in Cordoba in 1135. One of his great studies was to understand the health benefits of various combinations of fruits, vegetables and seasonings.

The French restaurateur, Cyril Aouizerate, Founder of M.O.B., studied for many years the philosophies of Maimonides and the HipHop movement, until he decided finally open a store at 525 Atlantic Avenue, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.

Cyril joined forces with Michelin-starred chefs, Alain Senderens and Jerome Banctel, and American chef Neal Harden to create the menu.

The main course, called the M.O.B., of course, is kind of tart with vegetables, fruits and spices, and is served on a tray and is shaped liked the Brooklyn Bridge. Must haves on the menu are: burgers, hot dogs, mac&cheese. Plus, the desserts are to die for.

The place still offers a complimentary Comic Books, created by Cyril himself. You’ll find children puzzles, M.O.B.’s story, texts and poems and a comic book where the protagonist is a boy that discovers that his power comes from a pill he takes, made of vegetables and fruits. Very cute!

In addition, every detail of the place was carefully thought about and the result was amazing.

Cyril hired the duo of punk architects, Kristian Gavoille and Valerie Garcia.

The tables are giant and communal, with several drawers, where you find chalk for children, cutlery, etc. One of the walls has a giant United States flag and on the other wall, hunting trophies with a short description of what was “hunted”, such as: “Miss. Banana, June 2008-August 2008, died for banana bread”, or “Mr. Avocado, 2009-2010, died for guacamole” and even “Mr. Potato, May 2009 – July 2009, died for french fries”!

They also have a great bar and a gift shop. Anyway, it’s surely a unique experience in Brooklyn!

Who says eating healthy can not be fun ?!

For the Burger-holics: BareBurger

Dining 5 NYC Restaurants Gabriela Pugliesi BareBurger

Do you ever crave and just enjoying breaking your diet with a juicy hamburger or cheeseburger? Most likely, yes! But, can you eat it free of guilt?

BareBurger has countless different locations and is an organic & all-natural restaurant serving burgers, snacks and shakes.

The menu has their famous burgers, delicious salads, other types of sandwiches, some snacks and incredible shakes. The cool thing is that, unlike some places where only the meat is organic, Bare Burger works with all organic products from eggs, dairy, cheese, etc.

Plus, their organic options range from chicken, turkey and lamb to exotic meats like bison, elk and ostrich.

These exotic meats are considered leaner and have more protein than traditional meats. Just be careful if you have cholesterol issues.

To accompany any of the dishes, you can still choose a wine or a beer. Also organic!


If you enjoyed this post, you might want to read about a post about wellness and trendy lifestyle in NYC that we also wrote for Gabi Pugliesi.

Photo Credits: Courtesy of Erica Graff and Raven + Crow Studio
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

What Brazilian Influencers Think About BTSNYC

About BTSNYC What The Press Says About BTSNYC Costanza Pascolato View

We love to share what Brazilian Influencers think about BTSNYC and have been sharing on their social medias since 2014. It’s always an honor to be featured on their pages!

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We’ve had quite a few Bloggers and Brazilian Influencers writing about us, and sharing their love for what we’ve been creating through Behind the Scenes NYC!

It all started back in 2014, when we were only a small Instagram account trying to spread the love for New York City!

The passion and love for New York City is spread through out the world, and Brazilians surely rank on the top of this list!

Our beautiful city is always listed in the “Top 3 Travel Destinations for Brazilians”.

That is to say, they love NY, and we definitely love them too! Their energy, their smiles, their never ending friendliness. Plus, we’re always happy to bump into them in the streets and around New York!

So, here are some of the big names that have shared their love:

  • Costanza Pascolato
  • Natalie Klein
  • Mica Rocha
  • Carol Celico
  • Adriana Bechara
  • Francesca Monfrinatti
  • Gabriela Pugliesi
  • Fabiana Justus
  • Ildi Silva
  • Mariah Rovery
  • Shantal Abreu
  • and other great businesses like: Vogue, Glamour Magazine, Zapalla, Santé Estilo, Zapala, nkStore, Just Real Moms, InstaBlond and many more!

Take a look in the gallery above to see what these Brazilian influencers have been saying about BTSNYC!

Furthermore, other International accounts have also written about us!

Plus, our Founder Fê Paronetto, has been featured in publications like The Huffington Post, Hustle & Deal Flow and PrSuit.

And still, we’ve interviewed a few of the renowned individuals, like Natalie Klein and Carol Celico. Take a look at their Insider Interviews and their favorite spots in New York City! From stores and boutiques, to restaurants and off the beaten track places. They tell us a bit about what they do when they come to New York City!

We hope you enjoyed, as much as us, seeing this great compilation of posts and breathtaking pictures of New York City!

What Influencers Around The World Think About BTSNYC

About BTSNYC What The Press Says About BTSNYC Luxury World Traveler

We love to share what Influencers around the world and other great accounts think about BTSNYC. Plus, see what they’ve been sharing on their social medias since 2014. It’s always an honor to be featured on their pages!

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We’ve had quite a few Bloggers, Influencers and renowned IG pages from across the globe writing about us. They also have a fun time sharing their love for what we’ve been creating through Behind the Scenes NYC!

It all started back in 2014, when we were only a small Instagram account trying to spread the love for New York City! And, we were doing everything from Brazil! Yup…our Founder was still living back home, but she had an army of “eyes” spread through out the city feeding her with content. Read Fernanda’s full story.

We can say that the passion and love for New York City is spread though out the 4 corners of the globe and it only grows, and grows!

Our beautiful city is always listed in the “Top Destinations” so many Countries and we’re obviously flattered.

So, here are some of the big names of Influencers around the world that have shared their love:

Take a look in the gallery above to see what these Influencers and accounts have been saying about BTSNYC!

Furthermore, other Brazilian Influencers & accounts have also written about us!

Plus, our Founder, Fê Paronetto, has been featured in publications like The Huffington Post, Glamour Brazil, Hustle & Deal Flow and PrSuit.

And still, we’ve interviewed a few of the renowned individuals, like Tamara Peterson, Ido Simyoni and Jeff Leatham.

Take a look at their Insider Interviews and their favorite spots in New York City! From stores and boutiques, to restaurants and off the beaten track places. They tell us a bit about what they love in New York City!

We hope you enjoyed, as much as us, seeing this great compilation of posts and breathtaking pictures of New York City!

A Michelin-Starred Spanish Restaurant named Andanada 141

Chef Manuel Berganza, born in Gijón, Spain, is known for the exquisite cuisine at Andanada 141, a Michelin-Starred Spanish restaurant.

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Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, this Michelin Starred restaurant serves tapas, paellas and sangrias in a charming space.

With an innovative cooking style, Chef Manuel invited a great group of Influencers, Bloggers, and other NY food experts for a private dinner. We were thrilled to be part of this fantastic group!

To start, the tapas we tasted during this special night were:

  • Airbags con Queso Manchego y Membrillo
  • Nidos de Codorniz
  • Champiñones Rellenos
  • Bravas “Tradición”
  • Alcachofas con Queso Manchego
  • Pulpo a la Gallega
  • Albóndigas con Encurtidos
  • Berenjena
  • Calamares y Ajo Blanco
  • Ensaladilla de Salmón

Then, the main course was a Paella de Mariscos. For desserts we had:

  • Tarta de Santiago – traditional almond cake with raspberries and extra virgin olive oil gelato
  • Tocinillo de Cielo – caramelized yolk flan with lemon gel, green apple and dried merengue.

Hard to say which one was the best! We are sure you’ll have a great dinner experience and welcome to Spain!

Lastly, are you looking for assistance in NYC? See how our Services can be of great help!

Do you want to go to other Michelin-starred restaurants in Manhattan with your family and friends? See how our Concierge Services can help you with recommendations and booking arrangements.

On the other hand, if you will host clients or need to organize a company outing, our Corporate Services will certainly be of great value!

Location: 141 West 69th Street

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Andanada 141 and Johnny Prime CC

Brick & Portal: Blogger Brunch at the Italian restaurant Mamo

Our Experts Recaps Brick and Portal Blogger Brunch Mamo Fernanda Paronetto and Group

This past Saturday we were invited to attend an exclusive blogger brunch hosted at Mamo NYC Restaurant, an Italian restaurant in SoHo, for a premier Brick & Portal experience.

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To start, we were thrilled to be part of an exclusive Blogger’s Bruch, hosted by Brick & Portal and Ian M. Crumm. We were hosted inside a private space at a fantastic Italian restaurant in Soho, named Mamo NYC.

The restaurant has beautiful brick walls with huge vintage movie posters, the food is great and it’s perfect for any type of occasion. After all, there is no need for an excuse when we talk about Italian cuisine, right? We are huge fans, for sure!

The group was amazing and the food was delicious – as you can see in the pictures. Conversations were very interesting and resolved not only around experiences and peculiarities about the Social Media industry, but also lifestyle, travel, hospitality and other priceless topics!

In addition, the organization was flawless and it was an honor to be part of it!

Take a look at what we had to eat:


  • Insalata di lenticchie e gamberi – Shrimp and lentils salad
  • Prosciutto di Parma – Tomato, cantal cheese, prosciutto
  • Uova strapazzate al pomodoro – Scrambled eggs with pomodoro sauce

Primi e Secondi

  • Rigatoni alla carbonara – Rigatoni with carbonara sauce
  • Penne all’arrabbiata – Penne arrabbiata style
  • Pizza tigullio – Pizza with potatoes, pesto sauce and beans


  • Mixed selection

Thank you Brick & Portal and Ian M. Crumm for inviting us to be part of this great event!

Plus, we also fell in love the the candle in our gift bag by Alchemy Produx. Can’t wait for them to start selling in New York.

This was the first of many Blogger brunch we’ll be attending, and we can’t wait for the next ones to come!

So, be sure to check out Brick & Portal online store and shop-away!

Lastly, if you’re interested in organizing a dinner for family & friends, contact our experts. On the other hand, if you’re a company or brand and would like help to put together an activation with Influencer and Bloggers in your industry, let our experts help you plan it out!

Location: 323 West Broadway


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Amanda Kok
*Last Update on March/2020.*

Kat Tanita: NYC Highlights Through The Eyes Of A Travel Blogger

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kat Tanita NYC Fashion Lifestyle Blogger

Kat Tanita, one of the top Fashion, Beauty and Travel Bloggers, shares her NYC Highlights! Come see a few places she loves going to!

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kat Tanita NYC Fashion Lifestyle Blogger
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Kat Tanita

We invited the dearest travel blogger, Kat Tanita to participate in another episode of our “NYC Hush Hush Tips” project, where we invite renowned and remarkably interesting people from all over the Globe to share their NY secret tips!

Kat is one of New York City’s supreme Fashion, Beauty and Travel Bloggers – spending also lots of time in Paris and exploring the World.

She also launched a perfectly elegant collection in partnership with Gigi New York, that you should definitely check out!

Here are the NYC highlights through her eyes:

Aria Wine Bar

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kat Tanita Aria Wine Bar

“My favorite wine bar in the city is Aria which is located in the charming West Village. They have a delicious cheese board and the ambiance is cozy and romantic.”

In command is Chef Roberto Passon, they offer Italian brunches, lunches and dinners, specialized in exquisite Italian tapas. Plus, it’s perfect to go with the one you love!

Beware: It can get quite full, so be sure to arrive early to secure your table!

Location: 117 Perry Street


Bluestone Lane Coffee

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kat Tanita Bluestone Lane Coffee

“Bluestone Lane Coffee is a local Aussie coffee shop (also in the West Village!) that serves delicious coconut chia seed pudding, avocado toast, lattes, and waffles. In short, the food looks as good as it tastes and is perfect for an Instagram shot!”

If you’ve ever been to Melbourne, in Australia, you know how tasty their coffee is. So, if you are a coffee lover like us, this is definitely a place to go!

You can find them in a few places around town!

Locations: See their website for all locations. Kat loves the 55 Greenwich Village, West Village one!


Marlton Hotel

Curiosities Insider Interviews Kat Tanita Marlton Hotel

“Curl up by the fire at the Marlton Hotel with a good book and a coffee or glass of wine. It’s a wonderful place to take a meeting, get some work done, or warm up in the winter. Plus, their bar/restaurant Margaux is great for happy hour.”

Yup! We love them too and during Winter time, their fire place is really tempting. You’ll probably meet the hippiest fashion and art lovers hanging out there too! Super cool crowd!

We’ve written about them too, so for more infos, click here.

Location: 5 West 8th Street


Thank you Kat for sharing a few of your best inputs of NYC with us!!!

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Kat Tanita
*Last Update on March/2020.*


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