Restuarant photo credit: Nicole Franzen; Portrait credit: Kathryn Sheldon
Earlier this month, Nolita restaurant De Maria won the coveted James Beard Award for best restaurant design or renovation in North America. The designers at The MP Shift replicated an artist’s studio, with Soho in the ‘70s and the Bauhaus movement in mind. But it’s not just the space that’s beautiful; Venezuelan-born chef Adriana Urbina‘s dishes, composed heavily of veggies and seafood, look like they were made for Instagram.
Outside of the visuals, however, what sets De Maria apart is Urbina’s socially conscious approach. Not only does she mix her South American heritage with her fine dining background (she started her career as an apprentice at Michelin 3-star restaurant in Spain, Martín Berasategui and was a 2017 winner of Food Network’s “Chopped”), but she’s committed to empowering female chefs and business owners, as well as using food as a way to connect people and raise awareness about what’s going on in the world. 6sqft recently enjoyed an insanely delicious meal at De Maria and chatted with Adriana about her journey, the restaurant scene in NYC, and why this Nolita restaurant is the perfect place to see out her dreams.
Meet Adriana and get hungry!
Images via Bronx Night Market
Move over, Queens. The Bronx is getting an open-air, night market next month, the first of its kind to come to the borough. Setting up shop in Fordham Plaza, the festival will include food and craft beverages from more than 35 vendors, handcrafted items and live entertainment (h/t amNY). The event is free to attend and will run starting June 30 through October, happening on the last Saturday of every month.
Get the details
Di Fara, considered one of the best pizzerias in NYC, will open at the Williamsburg food hall; photo via apasciuto on Flickr
Does New York City really need another food hall? Before answering, check out the list of impressive vendors setting up shop in Williamsburg’s new food hall at the end of May. The line-up includes iconic Di Fara pizza from Midwood, James Beard-nominated baker Zachary Golper’s Bien Cuit, Brooklyn ramen shop Chuko, Greenwich Village’s Corner Bistro and over a dozen more well-established food and retail vendors, according to Eater NY. Developer LENY market agency MRKTPL will open the doors on May 29 to its 15,000-square-foot indoor space at 103 North 3rd Street, where it will share a space with popular Radegast Hall & Biergarten, with a limited-vendor menu. Starting June 4, the North 3rd Street Market’s hours will be extended and the full roster of vendors will be ready to serve up some tasty fare.
Dig into the details
Interior image via SHoP Architects; construction shot via NYCEDC
Construction of Essex Street Market’s new home across Delancey Street continues to move along before its scheduled opening this fall. Designed by SHoP Architects, the market sits above the 150,000-square-foot Market Line, which will stretch two levels and connect three sites of the Essex Crossing development. The market’s first phase is expected to wrap up in October, bringing 13 new vendors to the site in addition to the 24 vendors from the historic Essex Street Market. Additional renderings released by the city’s Economic Development Corporation this week highlight the brightness of the space, courtesy of the huge windows, 60-foot ceilings and use of light-reflective material.
“As we near completion on the project, we are excited to soon open a world-class public market for the local Lower East Side community,” NYCEDC President James Patchett said in a statement to 6sqft. “The new Essex Market will preserve the current community-based spirit while creating additional space to expand the market’s offerings, provide new jobs, and present a higher level of goods and services to visitors and area residents alike.”
Get the details
Photo via Wikimedia
According to a recent report by Food Truck Nation, New York City takes 9th out of the top places to run a food truck. The report ranks three categories: ease of obtaining permits and licenses, complying with restrictions and operating a food truck. And with a composite score of nine, NYC is falling behind other cities, specifically Portland, Denver and Orlando which take the top three spots, respectively. Based on the data, obtaining permits and licenses is what drags the city’s scores down, falling to spot 26. Some cities have many fewer barriers to entry. For example, Denver requires ten different procedures to obtain a license, whereas Boston has a whopping 32. Unsurprising, Denver has 594 food trucks in operation.
But Adam Sobel, the owner of Cinnamon Snail, the vegan food truck which is ranked as the top food truck in the New York City by The Daily Meal, has stopped running its food truck business on the streets of New York. Sobel only uses his food trucks for special events a few days a week, like farmers markets, because he says that every food truck on the streets of New York is basically illegal.
Image: Shiny Things via Flickr
We know “Sex and the City” did wonders for pink martinis, Manolos and Cynthia Nixon’s political career. And we’re pretty sure the cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery have the NYC-centric series to thank for its ability to expand worldwide. The popular pastries are, we’re told, gobbling up the market in Dubai, Kuwait, Tokyo, Mexico City and Seoul, and closer to home in (besides New York City) Los Angeles, Chicago and now Boston. But like Ms. Nixon, the company isn’t content to rest on its laurels. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Bleecker Street original will be plying its sweet treats in as many as 200 new franchises in the U.S. in the next five years
How many cupcakes is too many?
Image: Andrew Batram via Flickr
The Central Park Boathouse restaurant has been spruced up with $2.9 million in renovations and upgrades and is perfect-date-ready just in time for outdoor weather. The New York Post reports that the familiar structure near the park’s Fifth Avenue entrance at East 72nd Street has gotten much needed capital improvements like more seats (185 instead of 160) a new flood-proof tile floor and insulated glass that keeps the lakefront chill out along with a contemporary new look, new colors and lighting and better sightlines of the Central Park West skyline and rowboats gliding by. Even better, there’s more room for customers at the new ADA-compliant bar.
Find out more
A ladies luncheon at Delmonico’s in 1902; photo via MCNY
Nearly five decades before women were granted the right to vote in New York State, a group of fed-up ladies decided to protest a symbolic law that prohibited them from dining in restaurants without men present. After journalist Jane Cunningham Croly was barred from entering a dinner held at the New York Press Club, she and a group of women founded Sorosis, the first professional women’s club in the United States. On April 20, 1868, Croly and her crew held a luncheon at the historic Delmonico’s Restaurant in the Financial District, which became the first to serve women independently of men. Following the groundbreaking meal, clubs for only women formed all over the country.
The full history ahead
UrbanSpace Vanderbilt. Photo by Shinya Suzuki/Flickr
Between 2015 and 2020, the number of food halls operating nationwide will go from 70 to 300, finds a new Cushman & Wakefield report. This trend is very clear in New York City with 25 active permanent food halls and at least 10 others planned, or rumored, for the near future. Some of the most notable examples in the works are the TimeOut DUMBO food hall and the Essex Crossing’s Market Line (set to be one of the largest in the world), in addition to examples like the very successful Urban Space which opened another food hall only six blocks from one of its other locations.
What’s driving the trend
Rendering courtesy of SHoP Architects for Market Line
This week’s announcement of more vendors that will make up the inaugural roster for Essex Street Market’s new home at the Essex Crossing mega-development included some favorites from around the city along with current faces, reports Bedford + Bowery. New to the market when the 24-story building at 115 Delancey Street opens will be Williamsburg’s Middle Eastern takeout spot Samesa, East Village herbal apothecary Roots, Fort Greene florist Saffron and Union Square Greenmarket regular Josephine’s Feast!
What else is in the works?