Must-See Meatpacking District
by Christina Parrella, 09/01/2014 [Updated 04/29/2015]
Macelleria. Photo: Marley White
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It may come as no surprise that a neighborhood dubbed the Meatpacking District serves up mouthwatering viands. One eatery that offers a selection of juicy, top-quality aged meat is Macelleria—Italian for "butcher’s shop." The family-owned and -operated restaurant settled in the Meatpacking District when, according to owner Sergio Bitici, the area still had no street-parking signs. Housed in a former Civil War–era fort (some of the original brick from that period remains), it has a rustic feel and looks out onto an Italian-style piazza, just north of the intersection of Gansevoort and Greenwich Streets. The meat (mainly rib-eye, T-bone and porterhouse cuts) is aged and displayed alongside house-made spaghetti and pesto pastas. Another chophouse, the aptly titled Old Homestead Steakhouse, has been serving hefty, flavorful steaks since 1868 and draws in laid-back diners. STK Downtown has a different vibe, with an ultra-chic interior, DJs spinning tracks nightly and the option for diners to choose from small, medium or large cuts of meat.
Fans of Italian food will love the elegant Del Posto, where dining is a grand experience: settle into a five- or eight-course tasting menu, in the shadow of candelabras and a sweeping staircase. At the stylish Scarpetta, standout dishes include spaghetti with tomato and basil and agnolotti pasta with short rib and bone marrow; another entrée features ravioli stuffed with duck and foie gras.
Two destinations have a connection to the TV show Top Chef. Courtesy of the competition's cohost, Tom Colicchio’s Colicchio & Sons boasts homegrown American fare and craft beers, while Catch—which until recently touted season 3 winner Hung Huynh as its executive chef (he left in early 2015)—serves up seafood tapas.
Other restaurants worthy of degustation include the go-to for transcendent Mediterranean food, Fig & Olive, Japanese fusion eatery Morimoto NY and the exotic Spice Market, a Jean-Georges Vongerichten enterprise offering up Southeast Asian street-food classics.