Tony takes us through the Gansevoort Market, stopping for a bite at Cappone’s Salumeria!
Invite a woman on a date to a food court and you’ll find out how reviled America’s least prestigious eateries have become. On the one hand, we can understand why: There are the overstuffed containers full of aging cuisine, the overstuffed patrons full of aging cuisine, and the overstuffed trash cans full of aging cuisine – and that’s just during lunch. (Come back after school lets out and it’s a whole different ordeal.) Fortunately, change – like the smell of Szechuan pork – is in the air.
High-end food halls have been cropping up all over the country as smaller eateries (or food trucks) band together to build an audience and a business. Like every other trend of late, this one is trickling up. Suddenly, Michelin-starred chefs are dishing out next to their competition and offering their customers something more eclectic than a 7-course sit down.
While the less-appetizing establishments still exist, they’re headed the way of the neighborhood mall, which is to say out of business. Hopefully the stigma will die with them because, as Americans, we have the write to pursue happiness even when it means chasing a burrito with pad thai.
Here are the food halls leading the charge:
Gansevoort Market: New York, NY
The new, enclosed food court located in the city’s Meatpacking District has an American feel, but remains a cross-country affair. Order some lobster rolls, mozzarella pies, and LA-style tacos pica dill before settling in at one of the mismatched tables.
Top Order: The Ernesto from Cappone’s Salumeria
If you’re stuck for what to eat at lunch, Gansevoort Market won’t make the choice easy. The Meatpacking District warehouse between Greenwich and Washington streets is the latest spot to experience the city’s hottest way to serve food right now: in a hall. There used to be an indoor market in the same spot during the mid-1800s — several identities later, it’s back to serving up fresh fare (albeit mostly the grab-and-go kind).
The concept is working for Heermance Farm, which has its upstate produce on display and fresh eggs and cheese available in a small refrigerator, but its biggest sellers are jar salads and bite-size cookies. Three daily soups also rotate; get there early for the gumbo, which was gone by 1 p.m. when we visited, a blustery Thursday that couldn’t keep away a chatty mix of SoHo hipsters, tourists on their way to the High Line and freelancers sitting beneath the skylight that spans the rear eating area, surrounded by pillars wound with vines harvested in Long Island. The effect is enchanting, shifting the mood of the space from industrial chic to a nymph’s Pinterest.
But you shoudl opt to sit and dine when the restaurants — which pack as much atmosphere into their compact stands as any other standalone joint — offer their own seating. Donostia’s seafood tapas is best served at the gorgeously surfaced counter, while the purist spirit of David Bouhadana’s Sushi Dojo — no California rolls, just excellently simple sushi and sashimi — extends to its traditional bar.
At Cappone’s Salumeria, the bread comes from Queens but pretty much everything is Italian (including Tomarchio flavored sodas). “We don’t use mayonnaise, no mustard; I use extra virgin olive oil and a cream of balsamic,” proprietor Ernie Cappone says, with the kind of fuhget-about-it accent that doesn’t brook argument about his food.
Two legendary NYC artists, Janette Beckman and Cey Adams, launch a new series of exhibitions at Gansevoort Market (52 Gansevoort Street, Meatpacking District) tomorrow night, December 9th, 7 to 9 p.m. The market opened in October with 25 food vendors including Ed’s Lobster, Tacombi Tacos and others — and now, to add to the mix, they’re adding a rotating exhibit called “mARkeT Show” including photography, painting and sculpture by local artists. The opening features classic photos of hip-hop superstars by Janettte Beckman that have been mashed-up, remixed and altered by graffiti artists including Claw Money, Revolt, T-Kid 170, Sharp and others. Also on view will be several recent paintings by Cey Adams, the original creative director of Def Jam Recordings. If that’s not enough to get you off the couch, Stretch Armstrong will be spinning records. See you there.
For sandwich guys
Italian heroes filled with cold cuts and sandwich toppings will please any New Yorker. Order 3, 4 or 5-foot subs from this Gansevoort Market shop and choose from a variety of sandwiches and toppings. The Cappone is recommended: capitola, soppressata, salami, provolone, arugula, mozzarella and hot peppers.) Call 646-943-2300 to place an order.
by Kathleen Squires
NYC is going through a food hall heyday of sorts. Gotham West Market spurred the trend when it opened in 2013; Berg’n followed suit when it launched in Brooklyn this summer; Eataly is expanding with a branch in the World Trade Center later in the year; and Anthony Bourdain is even getting in on the act with the 50-vendor Bourdain Market, which will debut late in 2015. Three-month old Gansevoort Market is a nice, compact addition to the mix, with about two dozen vendors ranging from street carts to dining counters to grab-and-go kiosks.
Since opening in October, the vendors have been slowly rolling in, and the space is now fully occupied and alive with commerce. Its garage door frontage will allow for some fresh air to circulate in the mild weather, while the interior is a build-out of reclaimed wood beams, corrugated metal, skylights and indoor vines adding a touch of nature. Here’s a look at some of the most notable stops within.
USA Today Travel’s Ashley Day takes us inside the Gansevoort Market, stopping at our neighbor vendors and Cappones’ Salumeria.