Your First Look at the New Plaza Food Hall
When Todd English opened a food court inside the former Plaza Hotel two years ago, our interest was piqued but the fancy setting and high end food proved to be a lunch that had to be splurged on. Last week, we learned that more kiosks would be opening and some were actually from ML favorites. I was hoping I’d be able to leave with an affordable and delicious lunch. I admit that it was possible, but the pickings were slim indeed.
The food court looks like a boutique shopping mall meets Eataly with a handful of tables and chairs. I felt like I had racked up an expensive bill just by looking around.
The Sushi of Gari section looked delectable, but was way out of our price range. The small little sushi cups were fancy and tempting, but each one cost roughly $6 and I can’t say that it would have been more filling than an amuse bouche.
Most of the sandwich options at stands like Tartinery and Pain d’Avignon were pre-made and if they were under $10 they looked more like tea sandwiches than anything that would hold us through the post-lunch work day.
I naturally drifted to the No. 7 Sub Shop booth. I’m a huge fan of their subs and I know that they’re generally tasty and filling. Most of the options are right at the $10 mark, which is a bit frustrating because the sandwiches at the original spot are just $9. I guess the rent at the Plaza is higher than at the Ace Hotel.
The woman behind the counter told me the sandwiches would change regularly here too. While the Cheese with Fried Chickpeas and Broccoli Sauce sounded awesome, I stuck with the Tilapia Melt since I thought I’d get more for my money with the inclusion of fish. It was another winner of a sandwich. The tilapia had a mild flavor that combined with the nutty havarti cheese, crunchy and brown fried garlic, and crisp and fresh cabbage made for a very refined version of a tuna melt.
There was also a whole slew of fancy desserts from just about every single vendor. There were cupcakes (from Billy’s Bakery), macarons (from FP Patisserie), black and white cookies (from William Greenberg Desserts), and rich, decadent (and expensive) chocolate cakes (from Lady M).
But I was desperate to try the exclusive dessert from Luke’s Lobster. In addition to their usual crustacean rolls, they were advertising a PB&J whoopie pie for $3. I think that’s a bit steep since the dessert was rather small and all the other nearby sweet options were ten times as pretty. Wild Maine blueberry cream was sandwiched between two peanut butter cake patties. I love a good whoopie pie, but this was a slight disappointment. The textures were all right on, but I think the blueberry cream got overwhelmed by the peanut butter. It was hard for me to taste the cream at all which truth be told is my favorite part of a whoopie pie.
The beautiful Plaza Food Hall is definitely worth a look around – and maybe things will change when some new vendors open in the coming weeks (like David Burke and Creperie NY) – but as it stands now the food is a bit too pricey to warrant a consistent lunch visit. Not much of a surprise there.
Plaza Food Hall, 1 West 59th Street (at Fifth Avenue), (212) 986-9260