The chic and adorable Becca Parrish is the girl behind BeccaPR – the public relations agency that represents only the best restaurants in the country, from Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin to Tom Colicchio’s Craft and Ralph Lauren’s Polo Bar (the spot we are newly obsessed with by the way). So who better to plug for where to go for the favorite tasting menus, the best burgers, the perfect first date spots and the best New York breakfasts? We also got Becca’s beauty routines because – well – look at her. We know it’s not Wednesday but hello new woman crush….
From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?
I dream of coffee. Literally, I think of it as I fall asleep. My first beloved cup would be freshly ground La Colombe Phocea beans in a French Press, served with organic half & half in my BDDW coffee mug. Smoked fish is a righteous way to start the day. I love Russ & Daughters Super Heebster Sandwich more than is normal. That wasabi tobiko wakes you right up. Then, a handful of blueberries, nature’s M&Ms. That’s breakfast. Lunch wouldn’t be too heavy…I’d go for the Carte da Musica from John Dory Oyster Bar…it’s crack on a cracker: Butter and bottarga between paper-thin crackers (aka, “sheet music”) and thinly sliced red peppers for heat. I’d have that with the Jardin Vert juice from Lafayette…it’s hands down the best green juice in the city. I don’t know what they do to it but it’s like pouring a sun-soaked garden down your throat. I feel refreshed, and younger, when finished.
Any ideal food day includes chocolate and cheese. I have dark chocolate every afternoon, and I’m not picky about brand – just give me the chocolate. Right now, I’m digging Ralph’s Coffee dark chocolate and sea salt bar. For cheese, I’m a sucker for a cheese plate. Cafe Cluny’s is always perfect – unusual selections, some good honey and warm raisin bread.
Dinner, oh dinner. I’m the luckiest girl in New York when it comes to eating out. I work with some of this city’s greatest restaurants — Le Bernardin, Craft, The Spotted Pig, Lure, Hearth, The Polo Bar, Masa, Lupulo…I could go on and on. I pinch myself; I eat and drink so well. So my ideal food day would include dinner at one of these fine places, or, if I were staying local, there’s a great, unassuming Japanese pub on Church Street called Shigure…they have excellent fried chicken, chargrilled edamame, and a bitterly delicious house salad. A super beer and sake selection, too.
How do you practice beauty from the inside out?
I’m not super regimented about anything but I do drink a ton of water. Anyone who knows me well knows I usually have three drinks at dinner. Tap water is constant; the other two vary…maybe a Hitachino Nest beer and sake if dinner is Japanese (often) or a glass of Chablis and a lovely glass of Turley if it’s steak or pasta. A tequila gimlet is my weekend cocktail, with Casa Dragones blanco, the best. If I’m trying to take a night off, which doesn’t happen often enough, I’ll have kombucha. The fizzy GT Triology is delicious and has a bit of alcohol, which is kind.
I walk or Citi bike everywhere. Citi bike is such a cheap thrill, isn’t it? I always feel like I’m getting away with something. You get a bit of exercise, and a break from your phone. Priceless. I also do yoga when I can, maybe once a week. Strala Yoga and I have been in love for years. My office goes together on Friday afternoons for the relax class, which is dreamy. We also do a Beyoncé dance class together, which is hilarious. My team has some hot moves.
What are your morning and nightly beauty routines?
I’m pretty religious about taking off my makeup every night, though sometimes I leave my mascara on because I like a little Tammy Faye-like buildup. I’ve used two products forever: Shu Uemera Cleansing Oil, which is magic for its ability to take off everything, and Crème de le Mer, which is worthy of its status in my estimation. I’ve used both, morning and night, for over fifteen years.
Your favorite spots for brunch in NYC and what you order at each…
Buvette is for lovers. Everything there is so Lilliputian and precise yet somehow voluptuous…the scrambled eggs and prosciutto, the croque monsieur, the cranberry walnut bread dripping with honey and bee pollen. You just cozy right up to the food and whomever you’re dining with, friend or stranger.
EN Japanese Brasserie is also stellar for bunch. There’s a classic breakfast dish called Shaké Teishoku that arrives on a wooden platter and is everything you want in one place: salt-grilled salmon, watercress salad, nori, banzai, steamed white rice and miso soup. It feels restorative and is a visual knockout. That plus an iced green tea or a Seppun cocktail with shisho leaf, grapefruit juice, yuzu and shochu if you’re in a boozing mood. Superb.
Your favorite New York breakfast spot…
The divine Arcade Bakery is just around the corner. Both the design and the croissants send you to another place…Europe, probably. And something about the formality of the space makes everyone, even children, behave. I always pick up their quinoa loaf or a baguette for home…excellent for avocado toast in the morning, or a cheese plate before dinner.
What’s your idea of the perfect restaurants for a first date?
The Odeon. You can’t miss there. You, along with every else, look fabulous, as the lighting is perfection. The vibe is understated and cool. You order a Manhattan, Steak au Poivre, and a side of fries. You feel smart and sexy and you’re not even trying. It’s relaxed, comfortable and classic New York. #score.
Your favorite tasting menus…
The first tasting menu I ever had in my life was at Gramercy Tavern in 1995, before I moved to New York. Tom Colicchio was in the kitchen, but I didn’t know him then. It blew my mind. I remember his Duck Agnolotti, my God. I didn’t shut up about that meal for years.
Le Bernardin. Seafood is my first love. I grew up on the beach in Florida and we had the freshest Gulf shrimp, Apalachicola oysters, and grouper on our dinner table almost every night. So when I discovered Le Bernardin and what Eric Ripert does to fish – how artfully and gracefully he elevates it, turning something familiar into something sublime – I was mesmerized.
Brooklyn Fare…that’s like entering the mind of genius. Cesar Ramirez is the Willy Wonka of tasty morsels…every dish set before you is like a tiny, wonderful present. I rolled right out of there like Violet Beauregarde, high as a kite.
Masa was my first big dinner out after having my daughter. It was my birthday. My memory of the meal is silence. We were the only couple at the counter, save an older man dining alone. There was Masa in front of us, gently and methodically attending to everything — slowly grating the fresh wasabi and carefully frying a whole truffle. He was like a surgeon, all these beautiful instruments laid out in front of him. That meal was super sexy.
What are your favorite spots for a burger?
The Polo Bar. The combination of that burger in that room is hard to beat. April Bloomfield’s new “classic” burger at Salvation Burger is ridiculous! Two thin patties, pickles, a homemade bun smothered in sesames. Wowza. Josh Capon’s burgers are consistently awesome. Houseman’s burger is pretty damn good too. Michael Symon’s burgers are badass, but I have to go to Cleveland to eat them! Unless I beg him to make me one in his New York apartment, which I am not above doing.
What’s your ideal smoothie comprised of?
If only I had one! I do like the sneaky trick of throwing in a handful of spinach, but smoothies are just not my thing. Maybe one day, when I grow up.
What’s new in the food scene you’re loving? What are you hating?
I love restaurants that know who they are and what they do. They have a clear point of view and are comfortable in their own skin. They’re not trying to please everyone; they are true to themselves. Both old and new restaurants can have this quality. I recently had the pleasure of dining at the River Cafe in London, and wow does that restaurant know exactly what it is. It’s such a pleasure to dine in that comfort.
I don’t like to hate on anybody, but, since you ask…I don’t like any restaurant that tries too hard, and that has to tell you over and over what they’re about — and what inspires them — rather than just being inspiring. I’m naturally skeptical of any person or any place that talks too much.
What are your favorite healthy lunch spots?
What’s your go-to weeknight recipe?
Did I mention I’m a big eater, not a big cook? Every man I’ve ever loved loves to cook, and I enthusiastically support him by eating heartily. On my own in a pinch, my go-to recipe is horribly boring but functional: Tuna in olive oil, white beans, thinly sliced celery and red onion, with a sprinkle of Maldon salt and red pepper flakes for heat. It’s a pantry salad, but it never disappoints.
Your favorite food Instagrams…
In the same vein as ‘what is the new black’ in fashion, what’s ‘the new potato’ in food?
Technology! I love how food and tech are hooking up, in all sorts of exciting ways. As an impatient person (the worst), I love the idea of finishing my dinner and walking right out, Uber-style! With an appreciative wave goodbye.
*Becca Parrish, photographed at Le Bernardin in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann