Photo by myself at the Food Hall below the Plaza Hotel, at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue.
The area around the southeast corner of Central Park was never known for its restaurants.
Fancy stores and fancy places to live, yes. A classic movie theatre tucked away on a side street (the Paris on 58th Street) and crowded sidewalks, yes.
The Food Hall below the Plaza opened this June to mostly good reviews. When I stopped by I expected it to be deserted, since the entrance is not clearly marked and there is no street frontage.
Down several steps through a side entrance to the hotel, another world opened up. A large-ish room was ringed with food bars - a sushi bar, a raw bar, a dumpling bar, a pizza bar...even barbeque! There are 13 menus in all, though when I visited, it didn't look overwhelming.
Even in colder weather, people were enjoying the raw bar.
An internally lit false skylight covers the space, since you're below ground and there are no windows. Prices are reasonable, but beware, they don't take reservations. You will have to duke it out over a seat.
For the Times' mostly positive review, click here.
For the Plaza Food Hall website, chock full of photos and menus, click here.
Related posts: Colorful Eats at Kelley and Ping, SoHo, Hot Diggity Dogs All Day Long and Ramen Noodles in the East Village.