Inside Todd English's Food Hall at New York's Plaza Hotel
There's a good reason that The Plaza's basement mini shopping mall has been failing so horribly since it opened a couple years ago. No one goes down there! And after bakery Demel closed recently, it was completely sans spots to eat...until now.
On Friday, the Plaza Shops opened The Plaza Food Hall by Todd English, a kind of cafe/take-out/restaurant mix space accessible via escalators down from the lobby and exterior hotel entrances. We dropped by over the weekend andsurprise of surprisesnot only found the place packed, but also spotted Chef Todd English doing his duty to schmooze up the diners. Don't get too hopeful about The Plaza Shop though, because the rest of the basement was still a ghost town.
Inside the Plaza Food Hall, you can choose to sit at a chef station where your food is made in front of you, pop on a barstool at the coffee counter, grab a $9 half-sandwich to go from a case, or shop for Plaza-branded souvenirs, like a $12 tin of chamomile tea. Yesthe prices are Plaza-high, and even the freaking cupcakes are $6 each. We eyed a small jar of lemon curd until we flipped it over and saw $15.50 stamped there.
All in all, it's an excellent and most welcome addition for guests of The Plaza, and for snagging some very unique foodie gifts (a Plaza Hotel-shaped cookie jar filled with Todd English cranberry nut bars, anyone?), but New Yorkers will not be impressed. It's solely for the tourists with large trip budgets.