BY Lisa Lindblad
October 17, 2013
Market dining is the fashion of the moment. Diverse cuisines, open kitchens, counter and family table seating offer today’s foodies the opportunity to have celebrity chef-designed menus composed of fresh, artisanal ingredients in a casual, stylish environment. And in some Food Hall dining venues, you can follow up your meal by purchasing the ingredients to take home.
The Todd English Food Hall is composed of nine food stations (Ocean Grill & Oyster Bar, Noodle & Dumpling Bar, Pasta Bar, Sushi Bar, The Grill, Taqueria, Pizza, Cheese & Charcuterie, Wine Bar and Patisserie). Settle down at one of those station’s counters or at a family table and order to your heart’s content. Unlike the dining experience at Eataly, where you have to sit in the station whose food you want to eat, here you can order across the different cuisines and the dishes will be brought to you. This is dine around without playing musical tables. The brilliance of this tweak is, of course, that your dining partners can order what they want and still sit with you!
And, as for stylish interiors, this European-inspired space has mosaic marble floors, wood panelling, stained-glass windows, lovely tiled walls and ceramic backdrops which create a sense of different dining rooms within the whole.
Unlike Eataly – which I understand is now the third most visited tourist site in Manhattan – the food hall is calm. Reservations are not hard to get (if you are content with a station counter), service is efficient making for a good lunch spot, the food is delicious and the wines interesting.