Market 57 makes its New York debut
“Pork buns. You must have them. They’re awesome.” That was the directive from the outpost counter manager of famed dim sum specialist Nom Wah in the new Market 57 food hall. Given the options on this menu and those of 14 other vendors surrounding in this space on New York’s Pier 57, the guidelines are helpful. And he was right. (The pork roast slices were juicy with exceptional flavor.)
As the latest food hall/market to open in New York, Market 57 is part of a seemingly endless trend in the city, Urbanspace collections around the city and recent additions Citizens New York, Moynihan Train Hall and The Tin Building at Singaporean Urban Hawker. Underlying this, however, is a theme. “Market 57 is more than a food hall,” says Michael Phillips, chairman of Jamestown, the global property investment and management firm behind it and the long-time collection of market vendors. Chelsea Market foods nearby. “It’s a new model of equitable engagement in the culinary community and a celebration of its diversity. With a focus on women-owned and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) food concepts, Market 57 reflects New York’s diversity.
Vendors were also, of course, chosen for their quality offerings primarily by Jamestown management with input from leaders of the James Beard Foundation which operates both the Good to Go food stall and the Platform demo space featuring featuring guest chefs such as Mexican chef Cristina Martinez. , owner of Philadelphia’s South Philly Barbacoa and winner of last year’s James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic Region, this week. Overall, the expansive space highlights an interesting mix.
Upon entering, lovers of seafood and Indian cuisine will probably not pass the first two stalls. The Galley by Lobster Place, a must-visit seafood restaurant/market in Chelsea Market, is the first to offer lobster rolls, baked oysters flavored with garlic and Calabrian chili or sake, red miso and lime and a lobster and shrimp cocktail. Next door, Ammi, a sibling of the excellent Gupshup, serves premium samosas, dosas, chicken biryani and chicken curry with a mango lassi or tamarind slushie to wash it all down.
Elsewhere on the floor, more oysters — East and West Coast selections — as well as ceviche, okra, shrimp, and half-shell clams are available at Cajun Mothershuckers. Harlem’s LoLo’s Seafood Shack has a spin-off, LoLo’s on the Water with a Caribbean accent featuring Jerk BBQ ribs, a burger with remoulade and cheddar, grilled salmon with pico de gallo, and Mexican ceviche aquachile with shrimp, scallops and octopus. Traditional Mexican dishes – flautas, tacos, churros and frozen poletas – are offered at Mijo by the owners of frozen treat company La Newyorkina. Japanese-style fried chicken and other comfort foods are Bessou’s specialty, vegetable and tofu creations are the offerings of Brooklyn-based Ras Plant Based factory and the other end of the culinary scale, Italian meat sandwiches are the focus of Due Madri. For dessert, there are cookies and ice cream sandwiches at The Good Batch and ice cream in Asian flavors like Turkish coffee and cinnamon-almond rose from Brooklyn-based Malai.
With its location jutting into the Hudson, water views are part of the experience, though at this point outdoor seating at the market level isn’t offered. It sits on top of Rooftop Park which offers a view advantage: overlooking the stiletto heels of neighboring Little Island to the skyscrapers of the Financial District. Show the diversity of New York in another way.