City Kitchen at The Row NYC
Large food halls in Manhattan like the Plaza Food Hall, Gotham West Market (and to some extent, Time Warner Center) have brought culinary desert sections of Manhattan a one-stop-shop to have on artisanal eats from New York City purveyors. The newest, largest food hall in Manhattan is the City Kitchen in a “New York-centric” hotel, The Row NYC.
This 4,000 square foot food market has nine permanent food vendors as well as seasonal options including Azuki Sushi, Dough, ilili Box for Mediterranean, Kuro Obi by Ippudo, shaved snow from Wooly’s, and Sigmund’s pretzels. Together, the merchants represent institutions from across the city, from Brooklyn and the Lower East Side all the way uptown to the Upper East Side, bringing a selection of locally approved eateries to tourist-filled Times Square. It’s very close to Broadway theaters and a walkable distance to Rockefeller Center.
If you need some visual ideas what some of these vendors have, here’s our little tour:
If you’re at City Kitchen before 11 AM, you can stuff your face with delicious (and large) Dough doughnuts ($3 each). Dough’s nicely dense yet fluffy, fresh doughnuts lacquered in flavorful glazes makes it truly tasty. Of course, having a great cup of coffee or cappuccino makes it with a good morning (or any time when they are opened).
But if you want a savory breakfast, Gabriela’s Taqueria is it. Gabriela’s serve fresh made breakfast tacos, including the tortilla. We had the carne asada (grilled steak; $5), chorizo ($4.50), and tocino (bacon; $4.50) tacos that were filled with scrambled eggs, topped with avocado, radish and a sprig of cilantro. All of these were delicious. Pliable, freshly made corn tortilla, fluffy scrambled eggs, nicely cooked choice of protein, and the avocado to emphasize the creaminess and a slice of radish for crunch and a refreshing note. My personal favorite was the chorizo for that extra spice factor from that sausage.
For those craving something seafood, Luke’s Lobster got you covered. The crab roll deluxe ($16) includes a bag of Cape Cod chips (we adore the salt and vinegar), a choice of soda or bottled water and a pickle. If you have not gotten the chance to eat Luke’s seafood rolls, what makes them different from other places is they use a tiny bit of mayonnaise and celery salt rather than drowning it that you cannot taste the sweet crustacean.
If you want to go a little more international food, ilili Box is your route. If you have eaten at the excellent Lebanese restaurant ilili, this is their fast casual concept. They serve long, wrap-style sandwiches like the duck shawarma ($11.94) with chicken, fig garlic sauce, lettuce and scallion and the vegetarian-friendly falafel Beiruti ($6.43) with pickled turnips, tomatoes, tahini, parsley and mint. Both sandwiches were incredible. The duck shawarma was succulent and juicy and the fig sauce was the flavor bomb. The falafel does not make you miss meat as there’s so much complexity in flavors and textures.
The green lemonade ($3.67 each) was very good. Not too sweet and the refreshing cucumber flavor in the background made it interesting.
If you want sushi, Azuki is your option. The Manhattan roll ($15) was solid. A maki roll filled with salmon, avocado and topped with spicy tuna, spicy mayonnaise and tobiko. Not too spicy and it’s a loaded roll that could easily make it a good lunch item.
If you want a frozen dessert that is relatively healthy, there is Wooly’s Shaved Snow. Wooly’s is a Taiwanese-style shaved ice food cart. They serve shaved ice base (traditional, coffee, and matcha) topped with various traditional and not traditional toppings like mochi, Pocky sticks, Fruity Pebbles cereal and other fun items.
We had the matcha shaved ice topped with fresh strawberries, blueberries, corn flakes, and whipped cream. The fluffy, slightly bitter matcha shaved ice was a good pairing with the sweet berries and the crunchy cereal. The small swirl of whipped cream just gently made it a touch creamier.
To view more photos of this visit, please CLICK HERE or view the gallery below: