Food for thought

Sara Gore, host of NBC’s “Open House,” shares her top picks in the neighborhood

Sara Gore likes Playa Betty’s take on “California beach food.”
Sara Gore likes Playa Betty’s take on “California beach food.” Portrait by Siobhan Harrington

The steps of the American Museum of Natural History are packed at midday with school groups and scruffy tourists posing with selfie sticks. Out of the crowd, Sara Gore teeters elegantly up the stairs in a black and white dress and sky-high Louboutins, toting a black Kate Spade purse that she excitedly points out has a built-in charger for her phone.

Gore may look more glamorous than anyone else here, but the host of NBC’s “New York Live” and “Open House” is no stranger to the museum, which she visited all the time while attending Manhattan Marymount College and when she used to live on 96th Street and Broadway. She brings her 4-year-old son here often and her husband, director Matthew Miele, premiered his latest film, “Crazy About Tiffany’s,” at the museum in February.

“I went to school on the Upper East Side, and as soon as I graduated I moved to the West Side because it had a better vibe to me and I’ve always loved it up here,” she says.

Though Gore now lives in Westchester, she feels a strong connection to her former neighborhood, so much so that she is co-hosting the ninth annual “New Taste of the Upper West Side” event in June with local restaurants. All proceeds will be donated to neighborhood improvement projects.

“When I first started doing the show, I thought,
‘Who really cares this much about real estate?’”

A self-proclaimed “foodie,” Gore loves local restaurants like Carmine’s. She recommends the Caesar salad (“it gives you garlic hangover for like three days!”) and also Playa Betty’s, which she says offers great “California beach food.” Gore doesn’t just eat food either; she worked in the food industry for many years, even doing a stint at Jean Georges as a line cook.

Today Gore is best known for hosting “Open House,” a show that takes viewers into some of the most beautiful and expensive homes in the country. The show is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, a milestone achievement that Gore can hardly believe. “When I first started doing the show, I thought, ‘Who really cares this much about real estate?’”

Obviously, a lot of people and Gore was particularly moved when Tina Fey told her she was a fan. “I was like ‘All right! Now I can die,’” Gore jokes.

After doing the show for so long, Gore feels like she’s been in almost every luxury apartment building in the city. During a shoot at one apartment, she spots her old place on 96th Street from the window. “There are certain things about the neighborhood that really haven’t changed,” she says.

And she’d like to keep it that way. Though it may seem counter­intuitive for the host of a show about multimillion-dollar apartments, Gore feels that keeping New York’s special mix of high-end and more affordable homes is essential for its character. “I think if New York was all $10 million-and-up apartments, it would be kind of a boring place, she said. “It’d be pretty, but it’d be boring.”