A taste of Citi Field

(Credit: Urbanite)

Shake Shake and Blue Smoke are part of Citi Field's "Taste of the City" section. A full list of Citi Field eateries is at the end of this article. Photo credit: Michael E. Ach/ Newsday.

By Pervaiz Shallwani

Special to amNewYork

Nathan’s Famous hot dogs and chef David Pasternack’s lardon-studded clam

chowder can be enjoyed side-by-side at Mets games this season.

In an effort to shed the reputation that even Mets executive Dave Howard called

“deficient,” the Mets have turned to city dining heavyweights Danny Meyer (of Union Square Hospitality Group), Drew Nieporent (of Myriad Restaurant Group) and Pasternack (of Esca) in hopes of bringing ballpark fare in line with the best dining city in the world.

Their menus were unveiled yesterday at Citi Field. Howard boasted that the new culinary establishments will “set the industry standard,” among ballparks, a title currently held by stadiums in San Francisco and Seattle, which paved the way by upgrading food options for discerning fans.Attempting to set the industry standard

A large part of attaining that reputation rests with the heavyweights who have put their names behind a handful of eateries intermingled among food service giant Aramark’s standard ballpark food stands.

Among the more upscale offerings include Meyer’s famous Shake Shack burger, Blue Smoke’s pulled pork sliders and a reservation-only restaurant from Nieporent called

Acela Club.

A tough road ahead

What was on the mind of New York’s food world was maintaining the standards,

a sticking point with the restaurateurs as they negotiated with the Mets.

In a question from New York food guru Ed Levine, the creator of the Web site

Serious Eats, all three say they have been working with staff to cook food

to order and uphold the standards they require in their restaurants. As an

example, Meyer said the Belgian style fries at his Box Frites will have a

two-minute shelf life before being tossed.

“I hope that he really makes good on this,” Levine said afterward. “If

anyone can do it, these guys can do it.”

But the obstacles were evident even during yesterday’s media event.

A fish sandwich Pasternack touted a few minutes earlier was crunchy, but the Long

Island Sound-caught flounder inside was bland and dry, the throwaway bun a

chewy afterthought.

The steak strips inside tacos from Tabla chef Floyd Cardoz’s El Verano Taqueria were succulent, but only a few seconds under the heat lamp and the corn tortillas were already dry.

“It’s going to be hard,” Pasternack admitted.

It’s not to say that the Mets won’t be the standard-bearers when it comes to

ballpark food — the specialty food is among the most impressive sports grub in the country — but there are limitations once the ump shouts play ball.

Citi Field’s full dining options, level by level:

Plaza Level:

Delta Sky360 Mini Lounge

Access: Delta Sky360 Club Platinum & Gold, Commissioners Box

– Beverages & Snacks

Sterling Level:

Delta Sky360 Club :

Access: Delta Sky360 Club Platinum, Gold, Silver, Sterling Suites, Delta Sky360 Club Seats, Ebbets Suites, Commissioners Box

– Market

Specialty coffee, sandwiches, pizza, burgers, hot dogs, fries, salads

– Restaurant & Lounge

Waiter service dining — seasonal menu by Union Square Hospitality Group

Field Level:

Ebbets Club

Access: Delta Sky360 Club, Ebbets Club, Commissioners Box

– Carver sandwiches, chop salads, hot dogs, sausage

Taste of the City

Access: all fans

– Shake Shack: Burgers, Hot Dogs, Fries & Shakes

– Blue Smoke: BBQ

– El Verano Taqueria: Tacos

– Box Frites: Belgian French Fries with dipping sauces

– Nonna Delia’s: Cascarino’s Specialties – pasta & pizza

– Catch of the Day: fish, chowder, etc. by chef Dave Pasternack

– Big Apple Brews: selection of beer

World’s Fare Market

Access: All fans

– Daruma: sushi

– Mama’s of Corona: sandwiches and pastries

– Grill: chicken, fries, burgers, hot dogs

– Pre-packaged items

Excelsior Level:

Caesars Club

Access: Delta Club; Ebbets Club, Caesars Club, Sterling Suites, Ebbets Suites, Empire Suites, Commissioners Box

– Deli sandwiches, Brooklyn burgers, wraps, fries, rotisserie, chop salads

Acela Club

Access: Delta Sky360Club Platinum & Gold; Ebbets Gold, Caesars Club Platinum & Gold; all Metropolitan Box and Field Box, Commissioners Box

– Seasonal menu by Myriad Restaurant Group — brunch, lunch and dinner menus

Promenade Level:

Promenade Club

Access: Delta Club, Ebbets Club, Caesar Club, Sterling Suites, Ebbets Suites, Empire Suites, Promenade Club seats

— Hot dogs, sausages, carver sandwiches, wings, nachos, chop salads

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