Jonathan Morr

Restaurateur

New York

From a young age, Jonathan Morr’s father always told him to go to school for something specific — and that’s just what he did. After graduating from Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in Switzerland, Morr moved to New York and began his food and beverage career. He partnered with Ian Schrager on Royalton Hotel’s restaurant Forty Four in New York and the now-closed Blue Door at Delano in Miami before opening his own restaurant. In 1995, Morr made his debut with Republic in New York’s Union Square, which was followed by BONDST (pronounced Bond Street) in 1998. He formed the Jonathan Morr Group with the goal of developing high-end, trendy hotel and restaurant concepts, which include Townhouse Hotel in Miami, APT lounge in New York and Condesa DF hotel in Mexico City. The restaurateur’s latest venture, a stylish Japanese restaurant called Cherry, opened in January 2013.

  • On November 4, 2013
    Jennifer Kester is now following Jonathan Morr
  • On November 4, 2013
    Tom Flournoy is now following Jonathan Morr
  • On November 4, 2013
    Hayley Bosch is now following Jonathan Morr
  • On November 4, 2013
    Andi Berens is now following Jonathan Morr
  • On November 4, 2013
    Jonathan Morr answered the question: Jonathan Morr

    What are the best neighborhoods in New York City?

    I don’t have that many favorite neighborhoods. I like where I live. I live in Soho, but at Kenmare and Lafayette, so it’s just the outskirts of Soho. It’s not right there in the middle of all the mess, but it’s still Soho. Then you have Nolita next to you, which is kind of cute — there are little stores. I would say that my favorite neighborhood is the Upper East Side. I don’t venture there often; but when I do, I always like it. To me, the Upper East Side is as close to Europe as New York can get, and I like that.
  • On November 4, 2013
    Jonathan Morr answered the question: Jonathan Morr

    What are the best restaurants in New York City?

    There are a lot of great restaurants. I like Indochine. One of my favorite steakhouses is Peter Luger [Steakhouse]. Steaks are great, but I try to refrain from having steak. I usually get my fair share at Balthazar; so if I do go to a steakhouse — which, don’t get me wrong, I’d go every day if I could — I kind of like the whole aura around Peter Luger. I don’t go to many restaurants. I like Babbo, but good luck getting in there. It’s one of my favorites; usually, I sit at the bar rather than in the restaurant. I always order pasta at Babbo. I sat at the bar once with my friend Jennifer Rubell and had the best squid ink pasta ever.
  • On November 4, 2013
    Jonathan Morr answered the question: Jonathan Morr

    Which New York City restaurants are best for brunch?

    Brunch is kind of my thing, but it’s not something you can do Saturday and Sunday. Brunch for me is a three-hour thing — a couple of martinis, a bottle of wine, a lot of food, dessert (which I don’t usually eat) — then I just go home and take a nap for two hours. I have a standing reservation on Sundays at 1 p.m. at Balthazar for brunch. The seafood platter is a must-have item here, hands down.

    Other places I like are [Osteria] Morini, which is right next door to me and is an Italian restaurant, and Morandi, also Italian. At Morini, I like to get any of the pasta dishes, but I also like their green salad with shaved apples. The egg dishes, particularly those with tomatoes, are great at Morandi. For brunch, those are my three favorites. I want to try Lafayette [Grand Café & Bakery]. I haven’t been there yet, but I have a feeling they’ll have a nice brunch.
  • On November 4, 2013
    Jonathan Morr answered the question: Jonathan Morr

    What are the best hotels in New York City?

    That often depends on the individual. I have a lot of friends who are more Midtown-ish people, so I suggest [Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star] Mandarin Oriental, New York or [Forbes Travel Guide Recommended] The Mark. It’s not necessarily my thing in New York. I would recommend The Mercer. I like Bowery Hotel a lot. In both [The Mercer and Bowery Hotel], you don’t necessarily feel that you are in a hotel. Also, I like the design concept of both of these hotels. But it really depends on the individual.
  • On November 4, 2013
    Jonathan Morr answered the question: Jonathan Morr

    What are the best things to do in New York City?

    1. Central Park. I think Central Park is an incredible feature in New York. I think the city would not be the same without it. We’re lucky to have it. I’m not necessarily saying it’s something a tourist should go visit, but it’s definitely a major feature in New York.

    2.  Soho. It’s a great place to be. We all have a love-hate relationship with malls. Soho to me is one big open mall, which makes it that much more attractive and appealing.

    3. Museums. Whether it’s MoMA or the Guggenheim, there are some interesting exhibits. We’ve all been to and seen enough museums, so I much prefer one-off exhibits. I liked Zaha Hadid (in 2006) at the Guggenheim and Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (2011) at the Met — both subjects interest me a lot.

    4. Restaurants. If I have someone visiting me, I’d make sure I’d send them to the right restaurants, such as Balthazar or Indochine. I also like to send them to restaurants that they can never get into but I can help with reservations.

    When you go to a different city that you haven’t been to, you really miss a lot. There are places that you would just never get to. It could be a restaurant or a bar. It’s those little things like going to La Colombe for coffee instead of Starbucks that, to me, make New York.