If you're flying out of the striking new JetBlue Terminal 5 at Kennedy Airport, you may find yourself wishing for a departure delay. The futuristic blue and white concourse has what it takes to perk up even the most jaded travelers. Here, you'll find gratification for almost every craving, from sushi to surfing gear. Plus you can get a massage, a prescription filled, or a meal delivered to a table near your gate.
What a comedown it will seem, flying out of other, earthbound terminals.
Smart move, assembling a team of top New York City chefs to create an assortment of power dining spots. The major venues (alcoves, really) open onto a central plaza; eat inside or at a courtyard table. Or have yours packed to fly.
Among the 22 options: Aeronuova, a modernistic Italian trattoria by Mario Batali protege Mark Ladner; 5IVESTEAK , a steak house with a bar by Michael Coury, concept chef for OTG Management; Piquillo , a Spanish tapas bar by Alexandra Raij, formerly of Tia Pol in Chelsea; La Vie , a French brasserie by Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr (of Balthazar and Pastis); and Deep Blue , an Asian restaurant and sushi bar by Michael Schulson (ex of Buddakan). In another part of the terminal is Revolucion , a truly authentic Mexican restaurant by Roberto Santibanez, formerly of Rosa Mexicano.
Flying high: Surprisingly, prices are down-to-earth, with most entrees less than $20 and almost none (except for steaks) more than $30. Virtually all restaurants offer lighter choices -- salads, burgers, small plates and sandwiches.
A food hall with an appealing salad bar and a Whole Foods market also showcase several fast food options, along with a wine bar.
Many restaurants (among them La Vie and Aeronuova) serve breakfast, opening with the security gates in the morning and closing when the last plane leaves. Which means the rumbling heard at takeoff won't be in your tummy.
Grounded: You need a JetBlue ticket to eat at any of the major restaurants, which are past security. That means people seeing you off can't join you for a meal.
"Re:vive" touch-screen food delivery Sit down at a computer station, enter a food order, specify if you want to eat at the terminal or have yours packed to go. You'll know how long the order will take and pay (tip and all) by credit card before delivery to your seat.
Flying high: A fine prosciutto and grana padano panino with spicy relish arrives in 12 minutes, only two minutes longer than promised, boxed to go.
Grounded: Once you put in your order, you don't dare move from your stool or someone else may end up with your food. Word to the wise: use the restroom first.
Other eating options
Horizon Bakery Cafe: French-inspired bakery featuring local produce and artisan breads, with an emphasis on organics and natural products. Offers European-style breakfast and a bistro menu with salads, soups, sandwiches and desserts.
New York Sports Grill: Updated sports bar and restaurant with multiple TV monitors and 48 beers on tap.
Gourmet Food Hall : Enables travelers to mix and match menu items from eight quick-serve eateries:
Boar's Head: Offering a wide assortment of custom sandwiches, wraps and panini, this quick-serve eatery features Boar's Head meats and cheeses.
Cheeburger Cheeburger: Burgers, hot sandwiches and milkshakes.
Fresco Italian Pasta: Pasta eatery with expansive menu that includes more than 25 different sauces.
Lucy's Asian Kitchen: This quick-serve Asian concept focuses on fresh ingredients - every entree is made to order in woks as customers watch.
Philly Cheesesteaks: Serving traditional beef cheesesteaks as well as pork and chicken hot sandwiches.
Pommes Frites: With three fried tuber choices (Idaho, sweet and yucca), customers can select among 18 sauces as well as gourmet salts or opt for traditional toppings of vinegar or ketchup.
Roma Pizza: Offering traditional New York-style pizzas and calzones.
Aunt Butchie's Bakery and Café : Outpost of Brooklyn bakery serving chocolate mousse cake and other bakery items.
Jamba Juice : Customers can choose from healthy offerings, including smoothies, juices and tea shots.
Gourmet markets / Grab & go
Cibo Express Gourmet Markets: Over 1,000 different products and beverages, all pre-packaged and on-board ready. Offers organics, vegan, Kosher, all-natural, no-sugar, gluten-free, heart healthy and other products.
Deep Blue on the Fly : This specialty gourmet market features takeout from Deep Blue as well as an assortment of pre-packaged Asian favorites and delicacies.
Away Café: Polynesian-inspired bar serving umbrella drinks and cocktails.
Velocity Bar: This lively bar serves an extensive assortment of cocktails, beer and wine.
Flying high: Twenty-five shops cater to active travelers. There's a Ron Jon Surf Shop and a store called ExOfficio , which sells outdoor adventure gear. A Brighton store offers bright silver-trimmed leather goods (including luggage) as well as jewelry. There's also a Lacoste store and a Borders books. A duty-free shop? Sure. Muji to Go , a Japanese import, sells all kinds of travel needs.
Grounded: There seem to be surprisingly few stores for such a large space.
Flying high: Weary or disheveled? At Xpres Spa , you can get everything from a massage to a manicure to a facial (guys, too). And Harmony Pharmacy , filled with high-end cosmetics (sample Dr. Hauschka's hand creams) will not only fill prescriptions but provide access to a nurse practitioner or physician's assistant if a health need arises.
Grounded: Spa services are performed in full view of a crowded terminal, which may bother some.