Eat Like A Local: Elizabeth Reid In New York City
Eat Like A Local is a series by @HungryEditor profiling people on their eating habits—everything from their favorite restaurants and bars to where they grocery shop, and sometimes even their go-to takeout order.
Elizabeth Reid is an entrepreneur who recently launched Elizabeth Reid Collection, a luxurious assortment of fashionable socks that are designed in New York and made in Europe with materials sourced from Italy and Portugal. Over the course of two decades, Reid helped to build brands such as Valentino—where she opened the West Coast office, Clarins, and Mulberry. Reid is a native New Yorker, who graduated from NYU with a degree in Fine Arts. You can find her on Instagram: @ElizabethReidXO.
Benjamin Liong Setiawan: What were some of the key steps that led you to where you are today?
Elizabeth Reid: In part, my intuition, and a strong personal need led me to start my own collection. As a busy fashion marketing executive traveling the globe, I couldn't find luxe, stylish, comfortable socks at an approachable price point; climbing the corporate ladder literally gave me blisters. I began doing research on the expanding sock market and the need for an elevated sock-wearing experience. After 20 years as a marketing executive with a reputation for success in building brand awareness for luxury brands including Valentino, MAC Cosmetics, Mulberry, and David Yurman, I decided to follow my dream and entrepreneurial passion and use my experience and work skills to develop my own brand. Now I am following my vision, driven by a passion and entrepreneurial spirit: Socks are the springboard that says you’re on your way. It's a journey that happily unfolds one step at a time—life's too interesting to stand still.
Setiawan: What are your favorite restaurants in New York City?
Reid: Estiatorio Milos: I recently went to Milos at Hudson Yards on the summer solstice and sat next to the window as the sun was setting on the Hudson River. Beautiful and iconic. I love the oysters and grilled fish with olive oil and lemon sauce.
Rubirosa: When I am in the mood to splurge calorically—the meatballs and pizza are the best in the city.
Cosme: One of my favorite cuisines is Mexican. I love the fluke tostada with blue corn aioli and the lamb belly tacos.
abcV: The all-white ambiance is a perfect way to kick off the morning paired with a healthy menu. I like to order the yogurt dosa.
Fleming by Le Bilboquet: I love this spot for date nights. The romantic vibe, spacious seating, and the intimate style dining room. I love the salmon main course.
Setiawan: If someone was visiting your neighborhood of the Upper East Side and they wanted to eat or drink like a local, which places would you recommend?
Reid: Not sure about cool, but I would recommend some of the classics that feel like the REAL New York:
Russ & Daughters at The Jewish Museum: A classic for the best bagels and lox.
Viand Coffee Shop: Old school in the best way…not many left like this in the city.
JoJo: Classic French in a beautiful, intimate townhouse setting.
Setiawan: What are your favorite restaurants around the globe?
Cloud Nine in Aspen. The best way to après-ski is the last seating at Cloud during the spring season. The view is magical, and the fondue is delicious and warms the tummy. I love to dance, so the party vibe is fun and entertaining.
San Vicente Bungalows restaurant is a magical, hidden gem in West Hollywood. I love the outdoor restaurant tables that are flanked by gorgeous flowers. Nighttimes in L.A. are always perfectly cool, making the dining experience spectacular. I love the Mediterranean salad.
Setiawan: Where is your next trip?
Reid: I am staying stateside this summer, so Napa Valley is on the agenda with wine tasting and biking and hiking amid the beautiful, peaceful countryside—a perfect way to spend summer days.
Setiawan: What are your travel essentials?
Reid: Isabel Marant dresses: They don’t wrinkle and l love the sexy, flirty looks.
ALC t-shirts: They make the best dressy crisp white shirts and come in great colors too.
L'Agence jeans: I love the high-waisted white jean with its magical limb-lengthening effects.
Golden Goose sneakers: I am a sucker for sparkly stars.
Strappy Azzedine Alaïa sandals: My go-to for dinners out. They are the sexiest heels on the market.
Setiawan: The model for your brand is ABT ballerina Courtney Lavine. Why is she the perfect representative for your brand?
Reid: When I was a young girl my mother and I had season tickets to the ballet at Lincoln Center. I loved going to all the performances and admired the ballerinas for their grace and poise, so it was a natural progression to ask Courtney Lavine to be my very first model for the brand. I was introduced to her by a mutual friend and we hit it off immediately. As I got to know her, I knew she was a perfect fit.
Courtney epitomizes the brand ethos: a female force, balanced and empowered, driving her own future, with the understanding and acceptance that life is full of fun and tribulations, highs and lows in equal measures, and that spending time with friends is fundamental.
Like Courtney, this is not a brand that stands still or goes backward. It powers through, sometimes fast, sometimes slow—but always with intent. The Elizabeth Reid Collection stylishly dresses the chic feet of those who are on the move, just as our brand model does: from season to season, from aspiration to success, from the boardroom to the bedroom, from coast to coast. We want to highlight different journeys of women we admire, wearing our socks!
Setiawan: If you could have a dinner party with any group of people, past or present, who would your five guests be?
Reid: 1. Barbra Streisand: multi-talented; smart; independent, but feminine.
2. Meryl Streep: gifted actress; successful, but unassuming; consummate New Yorker.
3. Itzhak Perlman: not only a superb musician, but charming and a great sense of humor. He lived in my family’s apartment building. I grew up attending private concert gatherings in his apartment.
4. Morris Lapidus: international architect, hotel structures and their interior design...the whole package to amuse and delight; artist; author and genuinely nice guy. One of his most notable hotel developments is the Fontainebleau in Miami.
5. Diana Vreeland: a Manhattan dinner party must include a fashion icon. Who better?
I would host it at La Grenouille–for generations a popular gathering place for the arts and fashion communities and just generally for aficionados of the real New York ambiance. For lovers of traditional French cuisine or not, there are enough choices on the menu to please everyone.
Setiawan: If someone at that dinner party asked the question—what is an area of brokenness you'd like to see addressed—what would your answer be?
Reid: I love scuba diving and have a first-hand appreciation for our oceans and marine life. Single-use plastics are killing our ocean life and polluting our gorgeous waters. We have to recycle what is out there and ban the use of it. Small steps we can all take in our everyday lives: stop buying single-use plastics and stop taking plastic bags from shops and grocery stores. Also, I love all the stainless steel and paper straws being utilized in New York bars and restaurants, and available for purchase by consumers. Metal straws—just like Elizabeth Reid socks—make a perfect hostess gift!
Setiawan: What is one way (no matter how big or small) you think that area can be restored or made whole again?
Reid: Some of this pollution is probably permanent such as the carpet of plastic trash recently discovered at the deepest part of the ocean and is now making its way back into the food chain. There are already many examples of naturally occurring "hydrocarbon digesting" microbes that have—for example—consumed oil spills such as the 2010 Gulf oil spill and are already consuming ocean plastic. Why not charge consumers of single-use plastics and grocery store plastic bags MORE than a nominal amount and direct those funds into research and application of these naturally-occurring microbes in areas that can't be cleaned up manually such as the 7-mile deep Mariana Trench?
Setiawan: What has been inspiring you recently?
Reid: I recently traveled to Bryce Canyon National Park, although not technically a canyon despite the name; it is a collection of giant natural amphitheaters—startling and awe-inspiring. I love nature and hiking, so it was invigorating and beautiful during the day. At night it was an incredible spot for stargazing. This was like no other trip in recent years.
Setiawan: Do you cook?
Reid: I just started cooking again. I love all the dishes that include lemon.
Setiawan: What's your signature dish? And where do you like to shop for those ingredients?
Reid: My current signature dishes are Martha Stewart's Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Barefoot Contessa's Parmesan Chicken with a lemon vinaigrette. I typically shop at Whole Foods. It's been my go-to supermarket since 2000 when I discovered it in L.A. Lucky for me, they first opened their L.A. location minutes away from my house. They always have the ingredients I need—makes life simple.
Setiawan: What's your go-to for takeout?
Reid: My go-to takeout is Sweetgreen. I am a sucker for a great salad!