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Four Seasons' GM Mehdi Eftekari Compares NYC & LA Dining Habits

By Gary Walther | October 1, 2015 | Food & Drink

Mehdi Eftekari takes the helm at the Four Seasons New York and offers a fresh look at Manhattan power style.

Four Seasons Hotel.
A skyline view of the Four Seasons New York.

Mehdi Eftekari is an expert on the manners and mores of one percenters—after all, he spent 11 years as general manager of the Four Seasons Los Angeles, before moving to New York six months ago to take over the sister property here. We sat down with him in the hotel’s recently redone Ty Bar (“a man’s bar,” is how Eftekari characterizes it), named for the property’s owner, Ty Warner, to get his take on how NY’s power style differs from LA’s.

DRESS CODE: “In LA you learn never to judge a book by its cover because importance often has nothing to do with dress. In New York men still convey wealth through appearance. Now I’m in the majority, wearing a suit and tie.”

BUSINESS BREAKFAST: “Eggs here, egg whites in LA.” Breakfast also starts earlier at the Four Seasons NY (7:30 am) versus after 9 am at the Four Seasons LA.

Four Seasons New York
The Four Seasons’ The Garden restaurant.

POWER LUNCH: “In New York there’s a lunch curfew (2 pm). In LA lunches go on much longer. They do a lot of business over lunch.” As for menu favorites, salad and seafood predominate on both coasts. There’s still a generational divide with boomers opting for steaks-salmon-chicken, and millennials wanting anything “local and healthy.” Recent New York menu additions, like organic quinoa risotto, salmon tartare, and a smoked Gouda mac and cheese, have been a success with under-35 guests.

NEW YORKERS LIKE: … their rosé! In LA Champagne takes precedence.

THE ONE PERCENTER WINE MUST: “In New York you can never have enough Domaine de la Romanée-Conti on the list.” The hotel also sells out of Ornellaia and Sassicaia. In LA it’s major California labels, especially Silver Oak, Screaming Eagle, Opus One, and Caymus. 57 E. 57th St., 212-758-5700

Photography by: photography by peter Malinowski (exterior); peter Vitale (lobby)