Food Courts Bring You the World
Right after it opened we went to visit the DeKalb Market Hall, in Downtown Brooklyn. We walked from Borough Hall in pelting pouring rain, peering up only occasionally to notice extensive residential developments in the neighborhood. The food hall is in the new City Point development next to a brand new Trader Joe's, and in a building that houses a Brooklyn outpost of Century 21, one of our favorite stores.
We loved it. Lively and delicious. Every booth is different, and each is required to have a neon sign. We love neon signs, especially a lot of them in one place. We had vegetarian spring rolls (three kinds, from Two Tablespoons), Shanghai street food (like a savory crepe, from Jianbing) and truffle home fries (Home Frite). Nice combination, we thought. We have thirty seven more places to try, including Katz’s Deli, which now has a Brooklyn presence, and Guss’ pickles. An amazingly eclectic dining experiences.
We are fond of lots of food halls. Hudson Eats, in Brookfield Place, is a favorite, especially when we can get a seat overlooking the river. But don’t go at lunchtime. UrbanSpace Vanderbilt, crammed and delicious, and centrally located. Grand Central’s lower level, always busy, and convenient to Lustre global HQ. Chelsea Market, in a converted warehouse space where Nabisco used to make biscuits. There are a bunch of others we must try. City Kitchen, Gotham West, The Pennsy. And the South Street Seaport is opening lots of new food places as we speak.
We also like culinary palaces that are more focused. Eataly, at Madison Park and in 4 World Trade Center, is Italian. We had the best beet salad with pistachios ever in the downtown Eataly, overlooking Memorial Park, and then bought just-made mozzarella to take home. At Le District, in Battery Park City, we sat at a bar and had a lunchtime glass of wine (we still feel like we are playing hooky when we do that) and a really good jambon baguette. We picked up more baguettes and a flatiron steak for dinner. And one day we will pick out something from the butcher and have it cooked for us at the bar.
Balducci’s, on Sixth Avenue in the Village, close to our law school, was our first experience of foodie heaven, and it stirred a love of food that animates us today. We never imagined the City's current bounty, but we are happy to be living it.