Deluxe dining DowntownFeb 23, 2017
A feast of Downtown restaurant openings last year saw Lower Manhattan solidify its reputation as a dining destination, but 2017 may be the biggest year yet for local foodies.
Top-rate celebrity chefs armed with Michelin-starred menus are looking to compete with last year’s newcomers, and even spoiled uptown palates are beginning to eye Downtown’s buffet of fine dining options come date night, according to Fidi’s resident food fanatic.
“In the past, if you had a special event, you would go uptown, and increasingly we no longer have to leave the neighborhood to have those experiences,” said real estate guru and Fidi Fan Page author Luis Vazquez. “I think we’re getting to the point where we’ll see people come Downtown from other neighborhoods to dine.”
The big news is about legendary Michelin-starred chef Daniel Humm’s upcoming 3 World Trade Center venture, a 7,000-square-foot “casual” diner, which will join Eataly, Daniel Boulud’s Épicerie Boulud, and Marc Forgione’s Lobster Press at the Westfield WTC shopping center sometime next year.
Eleven Madison Park, Humm’s inaugural foray into the Manhattan-dining sphere, has earned universal praise as one of the city’s finest dining options, meriting an enviable three stars from the Michelin Guide, and taking a top spot on the San Pellegrino list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, while his sophomore enterprise, NoMad, earned similar praise from foodies across the city.
Also coming to Westfield’s up-scale shopping destination is renowned London steakhouse Hawksmoor, which will embark on its first venture across the pond later this year.
Meanwhile, the simple, small-scale, but sumptuous Westville should be coming to new Wall Street digs near Water Street anytime now, offering eaters a highly praised, vegetable-heavy American cuisine.
Del Frisco Grille inked a deal that will see the Texas-based chain join a number of high-profile openings last year, including Chef Jose Garces’s Amada, at Brookfield Place sometime this summer.
The South Street Seaport will become a dining destination in its own right with famed chef Jean Georges Vongerichten’s two hotly anticipated openings, including a 10,000-square-foot restaurant at Pier 17, and a mammoth 40,000-square-foot food hall in the historic Tin Building, opening this summer. Vongerichten will be joined at the Seaport by vegan hotspot Chloe and its top-notch veggie burgers, also in the summer, with David Chang of MomoFuku fame opening a new venture there as well.
Soon afterwards, Chang’s finger-lickin’ chicken chain Fuku will be opening nearby at 110 Wall St.
And Nobu opening in March at 195 Broadway after almost 23 years in Tribeca.
Last year, Downtown Express reported molecular gastronomy trendsetter Wylie Dufresne had planned an opening at the AKA Wall Street hotel at 84 William Street, but the precision chef has since backed out of the deal and is set to be replaced by the Bromberg Brothers’ Blue Ribbon Federal Grill, which can be expected to open in the coming weeks.
The gourmet grocers of Dean and DeLuca are looking to shift gears, and will be opening a diner at 40 Wall Street sometime this summer.
The list of coming attractions builds upon a strong foundation of retail growth laid down last year, when Downtowners saw more than 200 new stores and restaurants — helmed by famed chefs including Wolfgang Puck, Tom Colicchio, and Eduard Fraundeder — opening in their midst, bringing the neighborhood’s total diner tally to 512, according to a report published by the Downtown Alliance.
“We just witnessed a milestone year for retail in Lower Manhattan, bringing one of the last key elements together in our transformation to a live, work and play neighborhood,” said Downtown Alliance president Jessica Lappin.