Interview with a Local: Steven Zangrillo, Head Concierge at Mondrian Park Avenue Hotel
We are excited to have a personal connection to a hot new hotel opening, Mondrian Park Avenue, in their Head Concierge, Steven Zangrillo. “Ideally located in the heart of Manhattan’s NoMad neighborhood, just blocks from the Empire State Building and Madison Square Park, Mondrian Park Avenue will be a premier crossroads for worldwide travelers and the New York elite. Fusing together the style and sophistication of this lifestyle brand with the NoMad neighborhood’s eclectic vibe, the 189 guest rooms are as witty and whimsical as they are sleek and sophisticated. The property boasts sweeping New York City views from the rooftop lounge, a retreat overlooking the bustling city with indoor and outdoor seating, as well as Cleo, the award-winning Mediterranean culinary concept helmed by Chef Danny Elmaleh.”
How did you come to be the Head Concierge for the Mondrian Park Avenue?
We have a wonderful Director of Rooms named Leilani Nocon, who I had previously collaborated with on The Knickerbocker. Once I had the opportunity to interview and meet the entire team, I was sold.
Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do as well as your background?
My background is rooted in hospitality – I have been working in restaurants and catering since my teen years, and got my start in hotels at The Setai, Fifth Avenue – which later re-branded under the Langham flag. My first concierge role was at the Quin, followed by my first management role at WestHouse, and my first opening at The William Vale in Brooklyn. In between, I’ve done programming, events, and some project management.
Our concierge team handles a pretty expansive scope at Mondrian Park Avenue – we’re responsible for dining arrangements, nightlife advisement, transportation coordination and nearly anything else you can think of.
We also support partnerships and coordinate the hotel’s VIP Program. If there’s a special occasion on property, it’s our job to truly make it a one-of-a-kind moment.
What do you love about your job?
More than anything, it’s the people. We have a lovely team who have really helped this property open in stride. Also, we have fantastic guests! We’ve been open just over a month and it’s been quite an experience thus far.
What’s been your favorite request so far?
We nailed our very first proposal (spoiler alert : she said yes!) with a rose petal and champagne set up at Fifteen Stories.
I’m sure they’ll get a little more involved and interesting as we go…
What makes the hotel special?
The service. We’ve managed to create an atmosphere where yes, it’s fun and hip and very lifestyle focused. However, we’ve still created a service program that ticks all of those Five Star/Five Diamond boxes. We do our best to stay a step ahead of our guests.
The rooftop bar, Fifteen Stories, is amazing as is the restaurant, Cleo. What’s your favorite thing on the menu?
Love both of these spaces! Cleo has such a fun, shared, laid back vibe that still manages to remain upscale and special. The Spicy Cigars & Spanikopita are great, but the Lamb Shawarma (which are presented almost like tacos) are a must-have.
We created our Flatiron Food, History & Architecture Tour a few years ago because the Flatiron + NoMad neighborhoods are hot hot hot. What do you think makes this part of Manhattan so special?
It’s where uptown meets downtown in the very best way. There’s incredible, accessible dining from all cuisine disciplines within steps of one another. You can have cocktails in a laid back setting, or have the meal of your life at Eleven Madison Park without going further than a block.
The hotel offerings here have really been expanded as well – we’re one of many new openings all offering something very unique.
What are your go-tos near the hotel?
Upland is a must-go… it’s been one of my favorite restaurants since the day it opened. Nearby we also have Cosme, which has food as Instagrammable as it is delicious.
I love that we’re so close to Birch Coffee, Madison Square Park (or… should I say Shake Shack), Marta, and so many more amazing things. It makes being a concierge pretty easy when you have so much at your disposal.
As you know, we are all about local, so can you share a few of your other favorite places in NYC?
Well, I’m all about Brooklyn and some of the incredible dining options we have. If we’re talking hyper-local, Saraghina in Bedford-Stuyvesant is an amazing little coastal-Italian oasis. Those guys are pros.
My favorite cocktail lounge is Hotel Delmano in Williamsburg – I always start with a San Francisco Handshake and then let the bartender drive the experience from there.
Porsena for pasta – Lamb Anneloni will change your life. Jin Ramen in Harlem for my favorite ramen & pork buns.
Allswell on Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn for an amazing, simple and perfect cheeseburger with white cheddar.
Can you share a favorite NYC moment?
Whenever the Yankees win the World Series!