The Green Table at Chelsea Market
Part of my mission on Saturday was to finally check out the Chelsea Market. Sometimes I like to explore things without having read too much about them ahead of time to avoid biasing myself. But in this case, a little knowledge may have prevented a little disappointment. I guess that I went into the visit thinking it was going to be akin to a Pike’s Place market in Seattle. I’ve never been to Seattle, but I’ve seen it in movies and on TV with the open air stalls of fresh ingredients: people tossing whole fresh fish around and the like…
Alas no, Chelsea Market is not like that. I hate to sound lame but it was sort of like a higher end food mall. There are a bunch of food/eating establishments, and some stores, most tucked away in their own little mall like spaces. Some are well know entities such as Amy’s Bread, Hale and Hearty Soups, Jacques Torres Chocolates, and Sarabeth’s Kitchen. Others are more boutique.
One of the highlights was the design of the space. Without knowing anything about the history, it’s pretty evident that it might have been an old manufacturing or warehouse space. The interior carries on the industrial theme with brick and lots of heavy gauge metals. Afterwards, a quick read on the webpage reveals that it is the site of one of New York’s famous old companies: National Biscuit Company (better known as Nabisco – of Oreo fame). Check out the blurb about it on one of my favorite blogs here on WordPress, Ephemeral New York:
Now, the highlight of our journey was a late afternoon meal at The Green Table Restaurant. Inside, the space is small and has a cozy farmhouse feel. The cane chairs are creaky and there are distressed long communal tables.
Any real foodie knows that the most important key to good cooking is starting with good high quality ingredients (i.e. sourcing). It seems that the older and more discerning I get, the truer this statement becomes. Well, the Cleaver Company, a catering company started by a one Mary Cleaver, believes strongly in that statement as well. The Green Table is the catering company’s spin off restaurant. The tenet of the restaurant is to source from as many local and organic purveyors for the restaurant’s needs as they can. The website lists the sources, but many are close by in the Hudson Valley, Connecticut or out on Long Island.
The result is as expected – truly delicious. Between us, Roberto and I, we sampled the following items: Soup of the Day – Celariac; Mac & Cheese – goat cheese, Colby, cheddar & parmesan, organic pasta, herbed breadcrumbs served with market greens; Roasted Organic Chicken Breast – with braised local greens, buttered spätzle & thyme jus; Homeade Lemonade; and Hot Apple Cider. In total we spent about $70 which I consider very reasonable for the quality.
I ate the Mac and Cheese which was incredibly delicious. I can still taste the crunchy breadcrumb top and piping hot creamy goodness within. Unfortunately, we didn’t save room for dessert, which I read is also quite good there. I hope to go hungrier on my next visit.