The prepared foods section of Battery Place Market reminds of me of what Dean and Deluca's used to be, before their prepared foods all went downhill (and their prices went up). The market opened last fall and since then has garnered a loyal following from the Battery Park City community as well as neighboring businesses and finance workers who know that the extra five minutes' walk results in a lunch much better than anything you'll find at downtown delis.
The takeaway case is the best place to start, offering a large selection of savory dishes prepared each morning and priced by the pound. There's a kitchen staff of ten turning out all these dishes, and they're overseen by Chef Robert Sckalor who came to Battery Place Market by way of Agata & Valentina, Waldorf Astoria, and the Four Seasons. Start with the Guacamole, lush and creamy, chunky cuts of avocado folded with in with the mashed avocado so that you get the best of both worlds. A gentle hand of salt, and chopped cilantro, it makes for a classic and simple side.
The Lump Crab Cake is also not to be missed—a large golden patty with fresh-picked meat and barely any fillers. It's delicately seasoned, allowing for the fresh crab to shine though, as it should. Pair that with a side of classic, buttery mashed potatoes or cheesy, over the top luxurious potatoes au gratin and you're set for lunch.
The variety of vegetable dishes is impressive—consider cider glazed butternut squash and apples, roasted shiitakes with onions, carrots, and thyme, crisp arancini with peas, sweet roasted carrots and spaghetti squash, and a gorgeous stuffed pepper (pictured at top). The pepper, with a savory filling of feta-laced rice, red and green peppers, onions, mushroom, and broccoli, costs $5—frankly, a pretty good deal.
But should you have a meat craving, go with the thinly sliced grilled kobe beef. Barely seared on the outside and still rare inside, it's drizzled with a bit of olive oil and paper-thin sliced garlic. This one calls for a side of mashed potatoes, no doubt. For dessert? The fluffy housemade Chocolate Mousse, light and whimsical; it won't weigh you down while delivering the full, just sweet enough cloud-like chocolate experience. Next to the prepared foods is a massive cheese selection and sandwich bar for breakfast and lunch. So many options; we'll have to save it all for another visit!