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New York

New York

There's nothing you can't do.

Off to the Races

Off to the Races

Leaving Manhattan, Long Island to Sea Cliff.

Bocce Ballin'

Bocce Ballin'

Fun and food, Brooklyn to the Bronx.

Up the River

Up the River

Off the grid, New Paltz to Rhinebeck.

Upstate Utopia

Upstate Utopia

Vintage flavor in Rhinebeck and Phoenicia.

New York City

New York City

Think you know New York? Think again.

Roundtable

Roundtable

One word: Pulse.

Cream of the Crop

Cream of the Crop

Meet the Urban Milkman.

Kimchi Connection

Kimchi Connection

Flavorful inspiration.

Big City Ballet

Big City Ballet

A dancer's guide to Brooklyn.

Fare Game

Fare Game

Through the eyes of a cabbie.

Roundtable

Roundtable

Hidden gems from New York's ultimate insiders.

Pop-Ups and Pickles

Pop-Ups and Pickles

An exlporation of Little Italy and Brooklyn.

The Keys to the City

The Keys to the City

Art, restaurants, and nightlife in New York City.

Social Climbing

Social Climbing

Unexpected recreational activities in Brooklyn.

Earth and Water

Earth and Water

Discover NYC by land and by sail.

Insider Profiles

Raising the Restaurant Scene

Michael Chernow'New York has this gravitational force that people come here to create.'


"I feel like New York City runs through my bloodstream," says Michael Chernow, a native New Yorker and co-owner of the city's successful and expanding restaurant group The Meatball Shop. After just two years since debuting their no-frills establishment on the Lower East Side, Chernow and business partner Daniel Holzman are preparing to open their fifth location.

The restaurant offers, what else? Meatballs! But with diverse options that reflect the city in which it was conceived. "I think being able to customize a meal with your protein of choice, vegetable of choice, starch of choice is fun," Chernow says. "It's an experience. It's sort of like a choose-your-own-adventure approach to dining."

Chernow attributes his near-instant success as a restaurateur to the "eclectic, diverse, multifaceted place" he calls home. "Whatever you're looking for, you can indulge in any which way shape or form you'd like to, and sort of learn from amazing people," he says. "It's a melting pot of entrepreneurs and creatives that I thrive off of.

"New York City is arguably one of the most creative places on the planet," he adds. "New York has this gravitational force that people come here to create. Growing up here, I was exposed to it."

That exposure began at LaGuardia Arts high school — the inspiration for the 1980s TV series "Fame" — which both he and Holzman, The Meatball Shop's executive chef, attended. It continued as he worked at bars and restaurants in and around the city, where he regularly engaged patrons in conversation. In fact, one of The Meatball Shop's original investors was a regular at Frank on Second Avenue, where Chernow managed the bar for many years.

"My networking and business relationship skills and abilities were learned here in New York," he says. "I don't know how I would attribute any of my success had I not been exposed to the many people who have paved the path before me."

Chernow will talk to anyone, and he continues to build the relationships that boost his business at Soho House, a private, members-only club for people working in creative industries. The facility, which includes a restaurant, spa and heated rooftop pool, also provides an escape from his busy offices. "My door is open and people tend to knock on it a lot," he says. "I come to the Soho House once or twice a week, put on my headphones and just kind of get through all the emails I have to get through."

When he needs a complete disconnect, Chernow visits the Russian & Turkish Baths on 10th Street. He'll follow up with a cigar at Velvet Cigar Lounge. "If I take a 'Michael Chernow day,' then that's what I'm doing," he says. But what he enjoys most is spending time with his wife, visiting their favorite eateries in SoHo and the West Village.

An athlete, Chernow frequently makes long-distance runs through the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan, finding it a great time to think about his growing business. Chernow says his favorite routes take him across the East River bridges. "The run from Brooklyn to Manhattan when it's evening and the sun is coming down is one of the most beautiful, spiritual experiences," he says.

Check out Michael's New York City.