By: Florence Fabricant | The New York Times
A vast food hall in the financial district would have been unimaginable a decade ago, but today Lower Manhattan is teeming with new residents and tourists eager to shop and dine. Le District, set to open Monday, veers from the traditional food-court collection of separate vendors: Just as Eataly is all Italian, this is all French, and it’s reminiscent of halls in department stores like Bon Marché in Paris and KaDeWe in Berlin. The HPH Restaurant Group, headed by Peter Poulakakos, Paul Lamas and Laurent Vasseur, has installed the 30,000-square-foot market in Brookfield Place, the former World Financial Center.
Additionally, the Brookfield Place mall opened this past Thursday. See the article: Inside Brookfield Place, the Swanky Mall Opening at the World Trade Center
225 Liberty Street (West Street)
A grand restaurant with butter-yellow banquettes and an expansive bar anchors the harborside section of the complex, with views of the Hudson River from hundreds of seats inside and out. The menu, by two chefs de cuisine, Fabrice Renaudin and Nicolas Abello, features classics like escargots, pike quenelles and steak frites. The outdoor terraces will open in a few weeks: 212-981-8589.
An intimate 28-seat restaurant with a chef’s counter and tasting menus by Jordi Vallès, the culinary director for the entire complex, who worked at El Bulli in Spain. Opens in May.
Dessert comes first: Just inside the main entrance from the Winter Garden are stations with jewel-like French pastries, and crepes and waffles baked on the spot. Ice cream, coffee and candies are here as well.
This area sells groceries and prepared foods, with a salad bar at lunch and a chocolate mousse bar after 4 p.m
This is the heart of the place, where the makings of a meal are sold to take home or eat on the spot at tables and counters. If you submit a shopping list and allow some time, a concierge service can assemble your order.
1. La Boulangerie
Breads and the breakfast pastries
that the French call “viennoiserie”
are baked fresh under the direction of Lisa Kirschner and Jeremy Rousselet. Soups and sandwiches are also served.
2. La Poissonnerie
A market for fresh seafood,
smoked fish and caviar. No dining here, though seafood dishes are served elsewhere.
3. La Fromagerie
The cheeses are mostly French. “People will want Parmesan, so we’ll carry it — we’re not being dogmatic,” Mr. Poulakakos said. This counter also serves grilled cheese sandwiches and fondue.
4. Bar du Marché
A wine bar offering about 15 wines by the glass, 160 by the bottle, all French, are poured alongside specialties from other counters: oysters, salmon rillettes, rotisserie quail, quiches and such.
5. La Charcuterie
A selection of cured meats from France and elsewhere, and sausages made in house, with seating for plats
du jour and tartines (open-face sandwiches).
6. La Boucherie
A butcher station has fresh meat to cook at home or have cooked on site. Also, dine on specialties like
steak tartare, a burger and brochettes.
7. La Rotisserie
Chickens and other meats spin on spits, their drippings adding flavor to potatoes nestled beneath, all sold to go or eat at tables here.