It's going to be a busy weekend for actor and TV host Neil Patrick Harris.
On Saturday, the 50-year-old New Yorker will be a special guest at one-day-event FoodieCon, part of the New York City Wine and Food Festival (NYCWFF), introducing audience members to his newly-launched pre-mixed RTD Espresso Martini, presented in collaboration with Thomas Ashbourne.
The next day, Harris will once again indulge in his passion for the culinary, this time alongside husband David Burtka at the annual drag brunch event hosted by NYC Price also during NYCWFF.
Ahead of both events and just a few months after news broke that the artist will direct the upcoming Kennedy Center production of Jonathan Larson's beloved tick, tick...BOOM! in DC, Harris took the time to dissect New York's gastronomic prowess while highlighting some of his favorite local spots.
What can we expect from you at FoodieCon?
"I'm just excited that this event is coming to New York. There is an unbelievable culinary scene in Manhattan and I think the location, at the Hard Rock Hotel in Times Square, is awesome.
I'm going to be promoting my new RTD Espresso Martini, which is my own food and wine side hustle. I'm anxious to get that delectable libation in the hands of those that can learn more about it and spread the word!"
Where do you go to enjoy a finely made espresso martini in New York?
"Now that we have kids I'm not bar hopping as much as I used to, but I like Death and Co. and The Dead Rabbit. At the Boom Boom Room, the espresso martinis are elevated and you can drink them looking out over the city. Otherwise, I would say my refrigerator has some of the best ones around."
What are some of your favorite local restaurants?
"We live in the Flatiron District, where there are just restaurants everywhere. Gramercy Tavern is a staple and what Danny Meyer has been doing there is unbelievable. Across the street is Rezdôra, which is also delicious. We go to Sugarfish and KazuNori a lot. At Rosa Mexicano, I order a frozen margarita and enjoy it with some guacamole made table side.
We recently went to the Tin Building by Jean-Georges and we loved it. I was blown away and wanted to move nearby so that I could eat there all the time!"
You go to all these places with your teen kids?
"Yes! They will sit through all sorts of lengthy meals to taste delicious food. For their birthday, we're going to this contemporary Korean cuisine restaurant Jungsik."
Any other shops you like to frequent?
"Forbidden Planet is always great for a good dose of graphic novels."
What makes New York so special on a culinary level?
"It's a massive melting pot filled with people from all around the world that have come to live here. Their own regional flavors have infiltrated everything so you can taste different versions of every type of world cuisine here. It's a destination city that's also super accessible given mass transit."
Has the city changed throughout the almost two decades that you've lived here?
"It has changed a lot but what is wonderful about New York is that New Yorkers are very adaptable so, as things change and flex, people adapt and make the most of it.
For example, when David and I first started dating, he lived on 44th Street and 10th Avenue, which had no restaurants. Ninth Avenue had a few but now Hell's Kitchen is a totally different landscape.
The Lower East Side has changed a lot also.
I love how adaptable and staunch New Yorkers are no matter what comes their way."