Must-See Hell's Kitchen
by David Sokol, 05/18/2011
Hell's Kitchen Flea Market (left) photo by Malcolm Brown; cod with spring vegetables courtesy, Print Restaurant.
Not so long ago, Hell's Kitchen appeared poised to become a mere extension of Chelsea. Evidence of that seeming transformation is on display at the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market, a Chelsea transplant, and in sleekly styled restaurants like Eatery and HK. Yet Hell's Kitchen is not entirely emulating the offerings to its south. Westernmost Midtown Manhattan is very much a functioning residential neighborhood, which explains the presence of hardware shops and a dearth of big-ticket shopping. More important, Hell's Kitchen remains true to its longstanding identity. Just steps from Broadway, it is a hotbed of experimental theater like the work staged at St. Clement's Episcopal Church, currently home of the Peccadillo Theater Company. The area is also a gastronomic playground that shares a border with famous Restaurant Row. Although numerous narrow storefronts recommend experiencing it with eyes wide open, here are some local landmarks that show how Hell's Kitchen is adapting its legacy to the present day.