London has Harrods, Paris has Le Bon Marche and Tokyo has Takashimaya. And if celebrity chef and restaurateur Todd English has his way, The Plaza Food Hall by Todd English, opening tomorrow, will join the ranks of the great food markets. English, 49, took us on a tour of the space — a market and restaurant rolled into one.
As he glided through the black-and-white tiled space on the concourse level of The Plaza, we could sense English’s excitement about his newest baby.
He was particularly pleased to show off his seafood mecca, The Ocean Grill and Oyster Bar. “It’s really special because of the history of the Oyster Bar at the Plaza,” he said.
And the proud dad was sure to point out that among the many sweet treats available in the market’s bakery are cupcakes from Curly Cakes, a joint venture with his daughter Isabelle, 16.
Some of the most fun, he said, came from sampling the foods of local purveyors’, including Murray’s Cheese, Sullivan Street Bakery and Tumbador Chocolate. “We picked the best of the best,” he said.“ It’s a tough job, huh?,” he said with a smile.
When a woman who lives in the Plaza Hotel Residences upstairs gushed to English about the market, he thanked her and promised greatness.
Hotel guest and residents will likely be a large part of his customer base. “Certainly there’s a tourist element, but there are also plenty of people who work in the neighborhood who can run in for ready-made sandwiches and salads, too.”
Asked if more high-end markets were in his future, English said with a smirk, “We want to get this down first and then we’ll see what happens.”
Plaza Hotel, 1 West 59th St., 212-986-9260. Sunday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Some sit-down options:
1. A tapas/wine bar with about 20 wines available by the glass.
2. The Grill, with its burgers and sliders steaks.
3. A pizza station
4. A sushi bar
5. A dumpling and noodle station
Some to-go options:
2. Meat, including English’s signature ground beef mixture
4. Pantry staples
5. Baked goods
1.Sliders ($10-$16), at The Grill
2.The fig and prosciutto bread with rosemary crust, fig jam, gorgonzola and prosciutto ($12), at the pizza station
3.Cupcakes made by Curly Cakes, a joint venture with his daughter Isabelle, 16. ($3.50-$6)
4.Chocolates, particularly key lime caramels ($5) and PB&J Bar ($4.50), also in the bakery