Spring Is A Fine Time To Dine

Manhattan is the epicenter of eateries and spring is the perfect time to talk trends. Raise our glasses and toast to a delicious tour…!

Bragging Rights

Faith Hope Consolo
Faith Hope Consolo

First, we boast; New York’s own Eleven Madison Park rose to the coveted top spot of the annual World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Since inception in 2002, the list has become a benchmark in the restaurant industry. This is the first time a non-European restaurant topped the ranking since French Laundry won in the list’s earliest rankings. This year, New York chefs had a strong showing throughout the list. Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns made a big jump upwards, from number 48 to number 11. Le Bernardin is 17th. Enrique Olvera’s Manhattan restaurant, Cosme, debuts at number 40. 

1. Eleven Madison Park, New York City
11. Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, New York
17. Le Bernardin, New York City
40. Cosme, New York City 

Futuristic Food

 A new “food as theater” concept Stage by Dean & DeLuca will open at the Graybar Building, 420 Lexington Ave. Stage was created in partnership with German architect Ole Scheeren, head of Büro Ole Scheeren. For Design Miami in December 2016, they unveiled a central, high-tech kitchen of reflective stainless steel and white Corian to become the theatrical setting for the creation of the food and for diners to engage with the experience.

Elevating the plebian, the newest Pret A Manger in Penn Station will have a full service, 12-seat beer and wine bar. It’ll be the first bar style Pret here in the U.S., but it’s long been a part of the U.K. concept. The vast space will also have communal tables and high-top seating, with bottled and draft beer and wine coming from California, Italy, and New Zealand. Commuters are excited.

NYC Food Waste Fair July 2017 728×90

Union Fare, the “industrial restaurant” and “gastrohall” that goes from 17th to 18th streets off Union Square, is opening a new 70-seat downstairs lounge called Noble Room, in honor of the original Barnes & Noble once housed in the space. Banquettes will wrap around the room’s border, special DJs and entertainment will enliven the affair and the cocktail menu features drinks that pay homage to the room’s literary past. Spritzcurious, for instance, is a sparkling banana-based cocktail celebrating Curious George, and ‘Chata in the Rye is a blend of house-made horchata, rye whiskey, coconut, and root beer. Delicious, maybe.

International Infusions

Mediterranean-style fast food eatery Cava is opening two new outposts in the city, in Nolita and Park Avenue South. There are 28 locations across the country, with more than 20 to open this year. The national chain currently has one New York City location, at 143 Fourth Ave., off Union Square. The 325 Park Ave. So. location, which is slated to open this Summer, is 2,044 square feet and will seat 35 people. The Nolita spot, at 50 Spring St., is on track to open this Fall. At 3,100 square feet, it will have 35 seats and comes with an outdoor patio and a mezzanine dining level. The concept boasts salads, grain bowls and pitas by founding partner and executive chef Dimitri Moshovitis. Health nuts are looking forward.

U.K.-based Japanese street food and sushi chain Yo! Sushi opened its first New York location in Flatiron at 23 W. 23rd St. featuring a 100-foot conveyor belt that runs across the full length of the dining room. The rotating display is loaded with fresh sushi, sashimi and tempura served in color-coded bowls that correspond with a price list, while a sticker is placed under each bowl, noting the time it was prepared, to keep the raw fish fresh. 

Food Hall Musical Chairs

Turnstyle, Columbus Circle’s underground subway market, has added four new vendors. East Village Venezuelan restaurant Arepa Factory will be serving its globally inspired arepas in the market. Owners of bubble tea chain Chatime are debuting a location of Panda Bubble Tea in the market as well. The new stand will serve a sparkling version of bubble tea, as well as more traditional milk teas, juices, and smoothies. Pizza chain Champion Pizza (“Made in New York with Love”) will also join the market, serving gourmet pies from restaurateur Hakki Akdeniz. Finally, one of the last open froyo chains 16 Handles will join, too. Fika, Bosie Patisserie, Gastronomie 491, and another pizza vendor recently departed. Popular vendor Bolivian Llama Party remains in the market.

Mini-outdoor food hall Bowery Market, 348 Bowery, is adding a new vendor serving Indian street food. Smorgasburg veteran Parantha Alley will be adding a location there. Bowery Market opened last Summer with five vendors in the new space, a former auto-body shop. Since then, several vendors have left the market, including Champion Coffee, The Butcher’s Daughter, and Pulqueria.

Savor this roundup and watch for my next edition of Faithful FoodHappy Dining!

Faith Hope Consolo, Chairman of Douglas Elliman’s Retail Group, writes the "Faithful Food" column for Total Food Service. Ms. Consolo is a leading retail broker and advisor who covers the national market. She is a specialist ranging from fine restaurants to fashionable fast foods. "To find the best retail space, You Need Faith." Email her at fconsolo@elliman.com