Sexy camera phone pic. Sweet, I know.
When the news first broke that someone was building a sort-of-fine-dining restaurant (well, compared to the Silver Bullet - the previous tenant of the space at 41st and 8th - pretty much anything is "fine") at the Port Authority bus terminal (or as our fraternity cook, the lovely Anne, used to call it, "the Port of Authority"), people were quite surprised. "Oysters at Port Authority!?!?!" people asked (I was one of them). Responses generally came in the form of "Well, look what they did with Grand Central. There's plenty of fine dining in Grand Central now, and that used to be gritty too."
Allow me to indulge myself: Grand Central was once an opulent and beautiful structure, which fell on hard times, and was refurbished back to its original majesty. The Port Authority, conversely, was a big ugly piece of metal before the pencil even hit the paper.
Aside from that perhaps subjective difference, the surroundings of Grand Central are, by most standards, more pleasant, subjectively speaking of course. It's also a bit more "centrally" located than "the Port", as Metro Marché so sexily refers to it on their website, and more conducive overall to tourists and business dinners dropping in. Yes, there's still a bit of cleaning up to do in and around the Port Authority. But, I'm guessing that'll all come very soon.
But who cares about that. I'm just looking forward to getting some tasty eats at the Port of Authority.
I stopped in the opening night (they were open on Oct 17, 2006) to check out the menu, and had a perfectly wonderful Belgian White ale on tap (name forgotten) at the very nice bar. They didn't have orange slices, though. For shame.
The restaurant menu consists of french bistro classics (country paté, steak frites, mussels, you get the idea), and, to my surprise and delight, two slow-cooked pork products (although when I returned the next night, one was gone). They have a slow-roasted/braised pork shoulder that has my name written allllllll over it.
The front half of the space is a take-out french pastry coffee sandwich salad lunch breakfast type of place, which will no doubt be filled with people from the new New York Times office, which will be opening at some point across the street, and morning commuters getting their coffee fix on the way to work. The foodstuffs looked pretty decent, particularly the pre-made sandwiches.
I have no idea who the chef is or what the story is, as I'm not a reporter nor do I care to bother restaurant staff with questions on their opening night, or even after. But I'm really looking forward to that pork. I'll let you know how that goes.
Metro Marché : 625 8th Ave : New York, NY : 212.239.1010