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.