Architect Mott B. Schmidt helped put Sutton Place on the map in the 1920s when he designed townhouses on its eastern side for wealthy socialites including Anne Harriman Vanderbilt and Anne Morgan. Since then the desirable Upper East Side neighborhood, which runs from 53rd to 59th Streets between First Avenue and the East River and 59th to 91st Streets through Lenox Hill and Yorkville, has been home to the likes of Aristotle Onassis, Joan Crawford, Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe, former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, and his son-in-law designer Kenneth Cole.
There is, as Edward F. Joseph from Christie’s International Real Estate Group in New York, observes, “an exclusivity about Sutton Place, that a lot of buyers would be attracted to.” Today Sutton Place has many long-term residents, helping to foster a cozy, neighborhood feel. “Less development in the area means it still has a lot of the Old-World charm,” says Joseph.
Those that call it home enjoy not only views of Roosevelt Island but access to two green spaces both overlooking the East River—one at the end of 53rd street and the other at the end of 57th street. The latter, Sutton Place Park, with its wild boar sculpture and promenade overlooking the river, appeared in the Woody Allen movie Manhattan.
The area also inspired Bond No. 9’s Sutton Place Eau de Parfum, described as a “classically masculine scent… it celebrates that quiet, serene, understated enclave that serves as home to the traditionally male cadre of U.N. Diplomats.” Hunt out a bottle at nearby Bloomingdales. For dining out in Sutton Place try Mimi’s Restaurant & Piano Bar.
Established in 1956, Mimi’s proudly bills itself as “one of the few remaining authentic Italian restaurant piano bars in New York City.” Another Italian offering comes in the shape of Morso, which specializes in handmade pasta and whose alfresco dining terrace is the perfect spot for people-watching.
Francophiles should pay a visit to Bistro Vendôme, described by Michelin as “a classic New York restaurant that nails the European bistro in look and feel.” It too has an inviting outdoor terrace.
Just around the corner is another Sutton Place institution, Neary’s, which opened on St. Patrick’s Day 1967 and remains one of the best-known Irish restaurants in New York City. Newer arrivals on the scene include Three Forty Four, which serves cocktails inspired by the Prohibition era and, just a couple of blocks away, the Greek bistro Ethos Gallery 51.