Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Explore New York : Chelsea Market

When the hubs and I set out to walk The High Line, our end goal was Chelsea Market, conveniently located right along the line between 15th and 16th streets in the Meatpacking District. A former coworker in California, who had recently visited New York, encouraged me to check out the bustling indoor marketplace filled with shops, eateries, grocers and more. My friend said I'd love it, and she was right.

Having just walked about 25 blocks, our first stop was for refreshment. At a wine bar, naturally. G and I cozied up at a table inside Corkbuzz Wine Studio and promptly ordered two glasses of wine (rosé for me) and some simple but tasty apps: a baguette with absolutely divine herbed goat milk butter and a bowl of castelvetrano olives. Satiated, we went out to explore the market.

We strolled through Spices and Tease, astounded by the massive selection of spice blends, herbs and teas and enchanted by all their beautiful colors. A true foodie's paradise, it really gets your culinary creative juices flowing thinking of all the ways you can use and cook with the various salts and spices.

Next up was a spin around The Lobster Place, a wholesale/retail fish market that, in addition to live lobsters from Maine, is stocked with all kinds of fresh fish and seafood chilling on ice. If only we lived in NYC, this would be our go-to fishmonger. (Probably wouldn't make any friends on the subway or bus if we tried to bring the fresh catch home!)

Luckily, we could take home some goodies from The Filling Station. This small shop is just a joy to visit. You walk in and you're surrounded by dozens of metal casks filled with specialty oils and vinegars in unique flavors, with little cups ready and waiting for your sampling pleasure. Same goes for a variety of exotic salts. After taking in the inventory and tasting to our hearts' (and tongues'!) content, we selected a bottle of tangy-and-sweet grapefruit white balsamic vinegarperfect for dressing saladsand a jar of beautiful maroon-hued merlot salt. (The hubby loves his merlot!)

Of course we couldn't help but make a quick pit stop at Chelsea Wine Vault. Quick because otherwise we likely would have brought too many bottles home! I left with a cute wine sweater that looks like a football (similar) for G and a bottle of White Girl Rosé for me, simply because it made me laugh.

With the market about to close but feeling like we needed more to eat, we ended our visit the same way it began: with wine and appetizers, this time at what turned out to be a fancy (read: pricey) Italian eatery, Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina. Even though the restaurant looked stunning inside, I opted for us to dine al fresco to see the sparkle of the city lights and the people passing by. 

G and I shared crispy speck and zucchini bruschetta (the freshness of the zucchini did a good job of balancing out of the saltiness of the speck, but I wished the bread wasn't sliced into such a thick slab) and G polished off the prosciutto and parmigiano reggiano fritters, since while they looked golden and delicious they were also extremely cheesy inside (and if you know me, I'm not a big cheese fan).

A return visit to Chelsea Market is definitely a must since, although we passed by it on our way in, we didn't get a chance to circle back before closing time and pop into Artists & Fleas, a space filled with local indie makers selling their unique goods and wares. I'd also love to check out the oyster bar Cull & Pistol, grab a crispy oatmeal chip cookie at the famous Eleni's New York and maybe even a Nutella and banana crepe (my favorite combination) at Bar Suzette

One thing is certain: when you visit Chelsea Market, you will never go hungry!

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