Sprawling food hall markets comprised of both retail spaces and full-service restaurants have become more common around town since Chelsea Market—arguably the first of its kind—opened back in 1997, followed by Eataly Flatiron in 2010.
These food halls confirmed the success of the form, and as of 2022, New Yorkers now have options like Manhattanville, Gotham West Market, The Hugh and Dekalb Market Hall, among others, but none of them enjoy quite the same success that their older counterparts can boast about.
The Tin Building by Jean-Georges, the new marketplace that just debuted inside the space formerly occupied by the Fulton Fish Market at The Seaport, has the potential to become one of the most recognized expressions of the gastronomic form that New York has seen in the last few years—and not just because the famous restaurateur has put his name behind it.
Across 53,000 square feet of space and two floors, New Yorkers with a penchant for the culinary will be delighted by a few standout aspects:
1. The venue has historical character
Officially designated as a landmark, the Tin Building opened in the South Street Seaport in 1907, eventually housing the Fulton Fish Market.
Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy damaged the Seaport in 2012, destroying buildings and businesses in the area. In 2018, as part of a redevelopment project, the Tin Building was raised and relocated 32 feet east as a measure against extreme weather conditions.
Lest you think the folks behind the new project forgot about the significance of the space they now call their own, think again: some parts of the original Tin Building, including various columns, still stand strong and, upon entering the structure, patrons are greeted by a fish market that also functions as an ode to the building’s past.
Another honorary gesture includes a picture wall by the elevator bank featuring black-and-white photos snapped at the original Fulton Fish Market throughout the years.
2. The number of offerings are manageable
Although there is certainly a lot to eat at the Tin Building by Jean-Georges, what makes the destination even more exciting is that it can all be taken in throughout a single visit. In total, there are six full-service restaurants and six counter-service eateries on the premises. The former category includes:
The Frenchman’s Dough: Where you’ll want to go for Italian food, including fresh-made pizzas (go check out the oven up close!) and pastas, plus a variety of top-notch apps.
Fulton Fish Co.: The venue’s seafood operation that serves both cooked and raw fish.
The House of the Red Pearl: This is the market’s destination for Chinese food but, even more so than the cuisine on offer, guests will be delighted by the beautiful decor reminiscent of traditional Asian restaurants. Spoiler alert: The House of the Red Pearl falls within the “speakeasy” category of spots as it is not so easily found.
Seeds & Weeds: Embracing 2022 in all its sustainably vegan glory, Seeds & Weeds serves plant-based food that’s actually… extraordinarily delicious? Pro tip: order at least one dish from the menu’s mushroom section.
Shikku: For an intimate Japanese experience, head to the 19-seat Shikku. The restaurant also offers a grab-and-go option just outside the main space.
T. Brasserie: No true Jean-Georges endeavor would feel complete without at least one French offering. T. Brasserie looks, feels and tastes French.The counter-service restaurants include, among others, a Mexican taqueria aptly dubbed Taquito, a spot for sweet and savory crepes, a cafe and Double Yolk, a breakfast to-go spot offering some awesome egg-based dishes that actually transforms into a caviar bar at night.
The retail and market offerings, on the other hand, include an anchor Central Market full of meats, produce, seafood, cheeses and ready-to-eat items; a dry goods shop called Mercantile stocked with both rare and popular items; Mercantile East, an Asian food boutique; and a beautiful flower shop. There is also…
3. A candy store that’s a feast for the senses
Dubbed Spoiled Parrot, the shop is a sight to behold (and a perfect destination to purchase some pretty eclectic but delicious holiday gifts). Expect candies and confections from all over the world, plus chocolate made by Jean-Georges and exclusive partnerships. Think of it as a gastronomic version of Alice’s famed wonderland.
4. The building has a stadium license
There are a total of four bars within the market, but you won’t have to actually sit down at each to enjoy the various offerings. In fact, the market has a stadium license, which means you can grab a glass of wine and sip on it while walking around the hall.
5. Sustainability is not a second thought
The Tin Building by Jean-Georges aims to be a zero-waste destination. To that end, the various retail spaces actually “feed” the restaurants which, in turn, quite literally feed the staff. What that means is that the fish you might choose to order at Fulton Fish Co. was actually procured from Central Market.6. Authentic focaccia is sold here
6. The focaccia is a must
If there is one single item you’re going to want to eat at the newly launched Tin Building it is the focaccia sold at T. Café—and there’s a reason for that.
The quintessential Italian food is incredibly hard to perfect, so much so that it’s a challenge to find an authentic recipe at local establishments. The bakers at T. Café have landed on a recipe that comes very close to it, making it one thing you must try at The Tin Building.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.