The exemplary folks fighting the good fight for the permanent installation of the New Amsterdam Market brought together some terrific artisanal food purveyors at their site in the shadow of the South Street Seaport.
Caroline Fidanza, the former Marlowe & Sons chef, was there selling an array of baked goods and sandwiches from her new Williamsburg bakery/sandwich shop Saltie, which she says will open this Friday at 378 Metropolitan Avenue in Brooklyn (map; 718-387-4777).
I really liked everything she sold, some of which unsurprisingly had a salty tinge. According to Fidanza, "We want the (Saltie) menu of both baked and savory food to read as a whole." Fidanza had a moist olive oil cake that featured a little bit of anise; killer light and moist (not an easy combination to pull off) plum scones that had a refreshing tartness; a fine, buttery lavender shortbread; ricotta pound cake that had me thinking good things; an open-faced aioli and roasted pepper foccacia that also pushed the salt envelope; and something called Eton Mess, a delicious swirling mess of fresh berries, whipped cream, and crunchy meringues.
The Fleisher's Meat folks were there in full force. Co-owner and master butcher Joshua Applestone told me told me he is offering a 6 to 8 week butcher training course up at their retail shop in Kingston, New York. According to a promotional card, "You will learn how to carve, brine, and cure meats; make stocks and sausage, and much more." I ended up cooking a 28 day dry-aged, 4-inch thick bone-in ribeye for Will and Vicky for dinner that was tender, beefy, and minerally in the way that all good dry-aged beef is. I also brought home an array of hot dogs and sausages that I will be trying shortly.
The Bent Spoon-ers, Gabrielle Carbone and Matthew Errico, brought a stash of phenomenal Concord grape sorbet, some equally remarkable nectarine sorbet, and one of last year's greatest hits, their ricotta ice cream.
Dedicated, passionate purveyors combined with much delicious food, a gorgeous day, and a worthwhile cause—what more could a serious eater ask for? The New Amsterdam Market will be coming back on October 25th, November 22nd, and December 20th this year. If you haven't been yet, go. You will be supporting a worthy endeavor, and you'll "enjoy", as my grandmother used to say.