Between Danny Meyer and the “Goldman Alley” food court, suddenly Battery Park City restaurants have become a destination.
Battery Park City residents have long been able to brag about all the terrific little parks and playgrounds they have in their “back yard” (Rockefeller Park, at bottom, is one of my favorite greenspaces in all of Manhattan; and Teardrop Park, with its crazy-fast slide, might be the coolest one in town), and about the spectacular Hudson River views and pleasant evening breezes from the promenade, and about how quiet, almost suburban (if that’s your thing), it is over there.
Not so braggable? Battery Park City restaurants: places to eat, neighborhood spots, for residents and visitors. Because there really weren’t any. And then came the Goldman Sachs-demanded charge, led by none other than one of NYC great restaurateurs, Danny Meyer…
Danny Meyer opened three Battery Park City restaurants in quick succession: the crowd-pleasing Shake Shack (mobbed, always, but with a great outdoor space and high table turnover so it never feels overly-packed); the equally-crowd-pleasing, first-rate barbecue joint Blue Smoke (unique to this neighborhood, it’s almost easier to get a table here at around 8:00, after the families with little kids have gone home; get the rib sampler, above); and the tonier, good-looking North End Grill, at which I’ve only ever had the bar snacks, which were definitely good.
That’s three Danny Meyer restaurants within about three blocks from each other, and suddenly residents of Battery Park City apartments had a solid local spot for three totally different types of occasions.
In fact, just last week I ate next door to Shake Shack at the newest Harry’s Italian (there’s also one on Gold Street, and in Rock Center), splitting a decent Old Fashioned Square pizza, half sausage, half extra cheese, with a couple of teenagers (the salad was actually very good). It’s no Adrienne’s on Stone Street, that’s for sure, but it wasn’t bad.
Also in the breezeway–which houses the nicely under-populated, 16-screen Regal Battery Park movie theater, by the way–you can get snacks and treats and Stumptown coffee at the Francois Payard Bakery, the Beans and Greens cafe, and the Battery Place Market. AND there’s a new rooftop bar at the super-designy Conrad Hotel.
Goldman Alley is a covered breezeway between Murray and Vesey Streets. Blue Smoke is on Vesey Street proper, and North End Grill is around the corner on, you guessed it, North End Avenue. So come on down, enjoy the parks, the fresh salt-tinted air blowing in from the harbor, and be sure to eat at one of the new Battery Park City restaurants that have sprung up recently. You’ll be glad you did.
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