Born in Brooklyn, Yelp’s Senior Community Director Peter DeNat has been loitering in Prospect Park since he was knee-high to a duck. His hobbies include lunch, dinner, spreading love (it’s the Brooklyn way), and not watching the Mets anymore because masochism is overrated. Peter lives on the border of Downtown Brooklyn and what the poor, misguided kids are calling “BoCoCa” these days…but you can find him playing soccer (poorly) in Brooklyn Bridge Park, eating too much everywhere, and drinking just the right amount of whiskey in Red Hook, which is where we caught up with him to find out what makes this superstar tick.
What did you do before you worked for Yelp?
I worked for a little investment bank called Lehman Brothers (no, seriously). Playing an instrumental role in the crash of the economy (not seriously) taught me a lot about life; for instance, wearing a suit on the summertime subway is awful, and I should never do that again.
What’s your favorite thing about representing Brooklyn on Yelp?
Every day it is my privilege to introduce people to amazing local spots they will love, fun experiences they will enjoy, interesting people they will vibe with, and delicious food and drink they will want to come back for again and again…all in the greatest city on Earth. I’ve had worse jobs (see the aforementioned investment banking).
What’s a great local business that you discovered because of Yelp?
Savino’s Quality Pasta. They offer the best ravioli you’ve ever had, homemade by the Italian grandparents you wish you had, at way more affordable prices than really make sense. If you aren’t taking advantage of shops like this, you should probably move somewhere else.
How would you spend a perfect Saturday in Brooklyn?
Well, if we could just pretend that it wouldn’t result in me being a destitute, 250 lb. alcoholic sooner rather than later: We’d start the day with breakfast at Rucola (you’re coming with me on this adventure), and follow that up with a second breakfast of dim sum at East Harbor Seafood Palace (keep in mind that I keep to a hobbit meal schedule).
We’d volunteer at St. John’s Bread & Life (because people as fortunate as us should give back), then pick up something to read at Books Are Magic and relax in Prospect Park while grilling some meat we grabbed at Paisanos (elevenses).
Then we can play a little soccer at Brooklyn Bridge Park to whet our appetites for dinner, throw down some oysters and cocktails at Maison Premiere before sitting down at Traif. Afterward, we should catch a film at The Nitehawk and have a whiskey/grilled cheese nightcap at Noorman’s Kil. We’ll probably be feeling pretty energetic after such a healthy day, so we can play pool at Angry Wade’s until they close.
If you could take one local celebrity to lunch, where would you go and with whom?
Jay-Z. I hear he likes Lucali, and maybe if I take him out for his favorite pizza (top 5 for me), Hov will teach me how to make those millions. After all, nine to five is how you survive, and I ain’t trying to survive… I’m trying to live it to the limit and love it a lot.
Whether you want to share your love of whiskey ‘n’ grilled cheese nightcaps, discover all that Brooklyn has to offer — everywhere from Williamsburg to Coney Island, or brainstorm how to make this pizza date with Jay-Z happen IRL, add Peter D as a friend on Yelp. You can also follow Yelp Brooklyn on Twitter and Instagram as he shares his latest discoveries.