Take a Tour of Gotham West Market

[Photographs: Jacqueline Raposo, unless otherwise noted]

The far west of Hell's Kitchen is still somewhat uncharted territory for many New Yorkers looking for serious food—one gust of wind can spin you back two blocks from whence you came, and certain times of the evening you can literally find yourself walking amongst nothing but tumbling balls of newspapers and cigarette butts for company, like the New York of old. Yet the final frontier is developing, with towering condos replacing dilapidated single-family row houses and niche boutiques just beginning to dot storefronts.

And now, enter Gotham West Market, which brings Brooklyn, lower Manhattan, and even a bit of Tokyo to 11th Avenue, awash in stainless steel and cloth napkins.

The Gotham Organization responsible for the 554 luxury rental apartments that sit atop the market reached out to the eight food stalls (and one bike store) that flank the space, with floor-to-ceiling windows bringing the outside in and cavernous ceilings making the market feel even vastly more spacious than it already is. Along with the counters that are set at all locations, long tables and stretches of counters at the windows provide ample seating, so that a group can come in, order from wherever they want, and sit together with proper dishware and cutlery, most stalls hand-delivering the food themselves.

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

So far the most celebrated addition has been Ivan Orkin's Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop (read our full review here), with bowls of steaming ramen at $13 a pop and a few rice bowls for $12, all which are prepared with lightening speed to be slurped in (not too much of) a hurry. Seamus Mullen offers a healthy Spanish-influence menu of small plates and snacks at El Colmado (which means "the grocery store" in Spanish), Cannibal comes up from Gramercy with market-driven charcuterie and over 200 beers at the ready, and Caroline Fidanza's Little Chef grows up a bit with some bright soups and salads in addition to her Saltie's sandwich offerings.

The market opens weekdays at 7 a.m. and weekends at 8 a.m., with all stalls open for lunch and shifting menus only slightly for dinner service. The lunch crowd is already curious and voracious, and purveyors hope to have dinner hours kicking into high gear soon.

Click on the slideshow above for a closer look at the market »