Sometimes I really love my job. Last night was one of those times.
Because I’m a card carrying member of the media, I was invited to a press preview of The Plaza Hotel‘s new Food Hall, an upscale food court by celebrity chef and restaurateur Todd English. But because it’s The Plaza and not your average gathering place for pimply faced teenagers, scratch any thoughts of greasy chinese food or day-old pizza slices baking under heat lamps. Instead, the Food Hall is elegant and softly lit with eight different stations: a sweets and coffee bar, a cheese and charcuterie counter, a sushi bar, a wine bar, a seafood grill and raw bar, an Asian dumpling and noodle section, a brick oven pizza counter, and a grill and rotisserie. On top of all that, the Food Hall also sells an assortment of imported and gourmet jams, sauces, oils and all sorts of other specialty food items.
Like a smaller version of Harrods food hall, each section of the Plaza Food Hall was impeccably presented with beautiful food: mounds of fresh fish packed on ice, rows of perfectly frosted cupcakes, pastel-colored macarons, fruit-topped tarts, artfully stacked sliders, ripe, fresh fruits, cheese wheels of all sizes and colors. Everything looked incredible and in the spirit of getting the story, I knew I had to taste it all too. I made the rounds, going back two and even three times to most of the sections. Lemon meringue cupcakes, roast beef sliders, spicy tuna sushi rolls, sausage pizza, pork dumplings— every last bit and crumb of what I tried— was delicious.
If I had to pick favorites (something I don’t really enjoy doing, especially not with food) I would say the sweets and espresso bar and the grill and burger bar were the two I could see myself spending endless amounts of time at. Sure, I would probably end up keeling over, either dead from gorging myself or in a Sleeping Beauty-like deep food coma, but let me tell you, when they carried me away I bet there’d be a big smile stretched across my face.