Tried to hit the Mercado after work but gave up after encountering some confusion and long lines… apparently the entire food hall only has capacity for 300 people today.
Did a quick walk through of the mall and left with some heritage chicken and smoked meats from belcampo, pastries from Buchon and and half a rotisseie duck from Citarella. The duck was an amazing QPR at $6.99/lb, cheaper than preparing myself!!!
Best to let the dust settle before checking out Mercado; if this evening was any indication of the impending mob this weekend.
The mall reminds me of the Shops at Crystals at CityCenter in Las Vegas.
TAK Room by Thomas Keller is going to serve mid-century, Continental food in the vein of The Grill (and, it was probably inspired by The Grill’s success). I can appreciate Keller’s influence on the industry, but I’m not a huge fan of his restaurants for their food, despite their polish (TFL, Per Se, Boucon Yountville and Vegas).
However, I’m a sucker for Continental food when it’s done right. The Grill is one of my favorite places to visit in NYC because the execution is high across its menu (thanks to a great CDC in Ashley Rath), and it does things with a certain panache without veering into too much gimmicky theatrics.
Early pictures and videos of the TAK Room, however, reveal a bit more tongue-in-cheek feel to the TAK Room (e.g. popcorn served in Ritz cans, Cracker Jack tins, etc.) They’re ostensibly trying to add an aspect of “fun” here. The menu has the usual suspects; I’m interested to see it in its entirety, and there are already a few dishes that I’m hoping deliver on their promise (beef Wellington, table-side Caesar, lobster thermidor, oysters Rockefeller, etc.).
I’ll be waiting for reports (live music and a flambee sound great) but am prepared to adjust my expectations since I’ve had some middling meals at other Keller Group restaurants. This one, however, has the ingredients to be a fun place, but the question is can they strike the right pitch like The Grill does with aplomb?
In any event, it looks like The Grill has started a burgeoning trend towards Continental cuisine (who was doing it in a fresh way before them in recent memory? Now we have The Four Seasons Restaurant and TAK Room). As long as others don’t get too carried away with the concept, I think this is potentially a fun thing to see.
Edit: chef is Jarrod Huth, of Per Se.
Sign me up for bone marrow en croute.
In any event I’ll probably give this a try on my next visit to NYC, and I’ll be sure to report back.
Was it any good? I see that it closed. Sure there were a few before, such as Carnelian Room (which I’d visit when I was a child for special occasions), but I feel like The Grill is the one that may be sparking a trend here - we’ll see. I don’t know all the Continental places, and would like more context, but I don’t remember others being successful recently.
Some pics from my visit today to the Little Spain dining area. It’s really more of a dining destination rather than the hybrid concept of Eataly. Hard to discern what the Adria brothers contributed to the endeavor