On the Road with… Zagat’s New 30 Under 30

We could not be more excited to be involved with this year’s Zagat 30 Under 30, New York City edition. To celebrate the exceptional talents being honored, we decided to spotlight some of the stars and find out how they use Uber. If you’re an NYC chowhound, then there’s a good chance that many of these faces will already look familiar to you. To see the full list, plus find out more about each honoree, click here.


Ashley SantoroWine Director at Narcissa & The Standard, East Village

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Where can we typically find you on your day off?
I live in Williamsburg, BK, and on my day off I like to keep it local. I’m usually on foot or on my bike, wandering around Williamsburg or Greenpoint. I typically wake up late, go for a run and then brunch, and then spend the rest of the day on foot in the neighborhood or on the roof with an Aperol Spritz and a book.

What are your top 3 NYC go-to spots (restaurants, bars, stores, museums, workouts, etc.)?
St. Anselm
The Museum of Natural History
Vine Wine

What songs or artists are currently on your playlist?
I typically have three rotating playlists: Inventory, Running, and Normal Life. Some common denominators include Beyonce, The xx, Thievery Corporation, and Beach House, along with some random hip-hop and jazz.

How long have you been using Uber?
I’m somewhat new to Uber, but I fell fast for it on a recent trip to LA. I couldn’t imagine having been there without it. I’ve been addicted ever since.

What’s the most common Uber trip you take?
I use Uber when leaving work late at night. I’m usually at work for about 12 hours a day, and after an 8-hour floor shift I want out — and my bed. I work in the East Village and it’s usually pretty difficult to find a cab on busy nights, so Uber has routinely been my savior.

What’s the best experience you’ve had in an Uber?
My most memorable Uber experience was my first ride in LA en route to a wedding in the wilds of Pasadena, about 30 minutes from downtown. We ended up losing cell/GPS service, but the driver still managed to effortlessly navigate his way up some pretty narrow winding roads to get us there.


Grant Reynolds | Wine Director at Charlie Bird

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Give us the Reader’s Digest version of what you do:
Being a sommelier in NYC means your day starts early and always goes late. By day, I’m buying wine, consulting for private clients, and tying up loose ends before 5 o’clock hits. Once it’s past 5, the fun really begins. Charlie Bird is a fast-paced spot, and it takes the whole team to make things really click. As much as I’m selling wine on any given night, I’m clearing tables, running food, and striving to create a fun, delicious, and wine-induced experience for our guests.

Where can we typically find you on your day off?
I’m still very new to NYC, so I’ve yet to really develop any sort of a routine. On any day off I get I try to see a new part of the city, or just be outside and do something non-restaurant related. However, I always end the night with a great meal and a few bottles of wine.

What are your top 3 NYC go-to spots (restaurants, bars, stores, museums, workouts, etc.)?
Melvin’s Juice Box
-Sailing on the Schooner Adirondack off of Chelsea Pier
Los Tacos No. 1 in Chelsea Market

What songs or artists are currently on your playlist?
From The Punch Brothers to Big L

How long have you been using Uber? Do you remember your first Uber trip?
Since my first day in New York. My first ride was from a dinner hosted by Nick Kim, Jimmy Lau, and Jerrad Ruiz, now of Shuko, to the Barclay’s Center on New Year’s Eve.

What’s the most common Uber trip you take?
A quick trip from Charlie Bird to the corner of Allen and Broome.

What’s the best experience you’ve had in an Uber?
First of all, no one should ever take a taxi in Paris again. Uber changed my experience of that whole city. On a recent trip, my girlfriend and I had the sweetest driver. He started out by handing us candy, sparkling water, and then gave impromptu broken English tour of the neighborhood we were passing through.


Natasha David | Co-Owner and Head Bartender at Nitecap

Natasha David-01
Give us the Reader’s Digest version of what you do:
Well, I start my day around 9am. I like staying in my nighty as long as possible, so I work from home for a couple of hours, answering a million emails and fulfilling reservation requests while I sip on my tea. At 11am I will head into the bar. My days vary; some days I’m doing inventory and ordering, others I am paying bills or having spirit tastings. My favorite days are spent workshopping new cocktails. At 4pm I start setting up the bar for service. On nights I’m actually behind the bar, I’m making infusions and syrups. On nights I’m not behind the bar, I’m making floral arrangements or helping the servers get ready for their shift. We open at 6pm. If I’m behind the bar that night I’ll bartend until about 2am and then let the closing bartender run solo. If I’m not working behind the bar, I’ll help out on the floor for a few hours, make sure everything is running smoothly, and make my to-do list for the next day. I’ll usually be done by 9 or 10pm. No matter what job I’m doing that day, I always make sure to sit at the bar and finish my work day with a glass of wine. There’s nothing quite as thrilling as having a drink at your own bar! On days when I’m not bartending and get to leave before 2am, I go home and make dinner. My husband, who runs the bar Donna, usually gets done around the same time, so we relax, eat, drink wine and catch up on our days. After dinner I like to lie in bed and read and cuddle with my cat. It’s the perfect end to my day.

Where can we typically find you on your day off?
Home, on my roof, gardening, and drinking Rosé

What are your top 3 NYC go-to spots (restaurants, bars, stores, museums, workouts, etc.)?
Osteria Morini for a big bowl of pasta
Maison Premiere for oysters and champagne
Union Square Greenmarket for all my veggies

What songs or artists are currently on your playlist?
I’ve been big on the Phil Collins Pandora radio station lately. And you can never go wrong with a little Robyn.

How long have you been using Uber? Do you remember your first Uber trip?
I’ve been using Uber for a little over a year. I remember the first trip I took was after my husband and I had a date night and it was pouring rain.

What’s the most common Uber trip you take?
After leaving the bar at 3 in the morning. It’s pretty much a war zone on the streets by that point, so I’m always happy to know that my car is close by to whisk me home.

What’s the best experience you’ve had in an Uber?
Any ride that gets me home! Do you notice a theme? I love my home.


Shiraz Noor | General Manager at Perry St Restaurant

Shiraz Noor-02
Where can we typically find you on your day off?
I’m usually a little over-ambitious on the day off. I make a lot of plans, and hopefully get to about half of them. I plan on working out, going to the greenmarket, working on side projects, getting outside a bit, doing some work on the new apartment, and cooking dinner. I try to see friends through the different stages of the day, which I’m sorry to say I’ve been lousy at every since I entered management. At some point I also try to call my mum.

What are your top 3 NYC go-to spots (restaurants, bars, stores, museums, workouts, etc.)?
-I’ve been working out at re:AB Pilates pretty religiously since injuring my back a few years ago.
Los Tacos No.1 in Chelsea market for quesadillas adobadas
New York Supermarket in Chinatown — half grocery shopping, half adventure

What songs or artists are currently on your playlist?
I feel like everyone in NYC is a music buff besides me. I don’t own headphones or anything. I’m always telling my girlfriend to change whatever’s playing to Yo Yo Ma’s pandora station if it’s not already on at home. I don’t know anything about classical music except that I like strings. Break of Reality is a cello band doing some cool stuff and they play in NYC every once in a while.

How long have you been using Uber? Do you remember your first Uber trip?
My first trip was in early 2012. I was cooking at an event and a glass vase shattered near me, putting a big laceration in my hand. After serving the last course, my now good friend (who is very tech savvy) summoned a car to take me to the emergency room. From her phone. Without calling anyone, or exchanging any money. I was impressed. A few hours later, after getting stitched up, she picked me up in another Uber and took me out for karaoke.

What’s the most common Uber trip you take?
I consistently love using Uber when my parents are in town. They feel really spoiled but — secret’s out! — it’s not that expensive.

What’s the best experience you’ve had in an Uber?
The drivers are always really terrific — friendly without being overbearing, a good understanding of the land, etc. Recently I was picking up a wine fridge so I got an SUV and the driver, Sajid, was pretty critical in helping me get the thing in and out of the trunk. He approached it like we approach service in the restaurant: It might not be his job to lift my stuff, but he didn’t think twice about it. And I felt like he really wanted to help me. That feeling goes beyond service. That’s hospitality.

For more on this year’s honorees, check out Zagat.com.

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