The Best of Battery Park City and Vicinity: 2009

BatteryPark.TV took a stab at listing some the best resources in Battery Park City (BPC) and the surrounding neighborhoods. Please post any comments you may have.

Best Park: Wagner Park

We could have chosen virtually any of the parks in Battery Park City or Battery Park. Tear Drop Park, for example, rivals Disney Land. We chose Wagner Park for its impressive horticulture displays and amazing views of the Hudson and Statue of Liberty. Also, on many occasions during a summer day, one can have the entire park to themselves. We have several videos of the park (Monarch butterflies, Fall flowers).

Best place to catch a shark: The esplanade

An angler on the esplanade caught a small sand shark recently. This little posting went viral as New York Magazine picked it up.

Best Monument: The Irish Hunger Memorial

Constructed shortly after “September 11”, The Irish Hunger Memorial is a meticulously recreated chunk of Ireland. BPCA Chairman James Gill gave us a tour.

Best Hotel: The Greenwich Hotel

An outstanding boutique, The Greenwich Hotel, quietly opened up in nearby Tribeca and took the gold medal. Keeping with Robert De Niro’s demand for excellence, this hotel nailed the details, from the imported Japanese wood in the pool area to the furniture in the rooms. The pool and the spa are probably the best in all of New York City. GM Philip Truelove gave us a tour.

The New York economy took its toll on the former best hotel in BPC (and best in the world according to Institutional Investor Magazine), the Ritz-Carlton. The corporate suits trimmed back on amenities like the 14th floor roof bar. 2010 might be a comeback year for the Ritz.

Best Museum: The Fraunces Tavern

Downtown New York City is where the most important events of the Revolutionary War took place, and The Fraunces Tavern was a key location. George Washington and many others made it their “hang out” and held important meetings regarding the war. Anthony Wellman gave us a nice tour of the museum and restaurant.

The Skyscraper Museum is also an interesting way to spend a few hours. Take a look.

Best Restaurant Overall: Bouley Upstairs

Battery Park City has a great demand for quality restaurants. As the economy recovers and the new Goldman Sachs crowd comes to the area, hopefully more restaurants will open up actually within BPC, west of the highway.

For 2009, we selected Bouley Upstairs as the best overall restaurant in the area. Famed chef David Bouley opened “Upstairs” next to his larger, more formal, Bouley. “Upstairs” is a small cozy dining space with an open kitchen. Chef Leo Marino, a new addition to the team, will be a just few feet away from you if you have any special requests. The sushi/Japanese kitchen in the opposite corner is quite respectable as well.

Most types of cuisine can be ordered, ranging from French to American to Japanese. The menu is very reasonably priced with many entrees under $15. But make no mistake, the quality is the same as the full Bouley around the corner. That is the beauty of “Upstairs”.

At “Upstairs”, one can sit next to Meryl Streep, see the food prepared nearby, and have a complimentary chocolate truffle made across the street by the Bouley pastry chef, and all for under $30. The “secret” to the success of “Upstairs” is that David Bouley shows up to work six days a week and cares about quality.

Best Coffee: Kaffe 1668

There is a big demand for a coffee house with a full-time barista that would offer a variety of beans, ground on the spot, and brewed on a cup-by-cup basis. Battery Park City now has such a haven: Kaffe 1668.

Best fried Chicken: Tibecas Cornerstone

This quaint window for take out in high-rent Tribeca might be extinct soon, but take advantage while you ca. they make skinless dipped fried chicken and it is inexpensive. Click here for more details.

Best Italian: Locanda Verde

Opened recently in the building of The Greenwich Hotel, Locanda Verde covers the bases well. The social scene attracts the A-list and it is backed up by the food. Chef Andrew Carmellini has created some novel appetizers that will make you take notice, in addition to the main entrees. Locanda is another piece of the Robert De Niro collection of fine dining.

For a smaller dining room experience with less of a scene, try Il Giglio. It is essentially a clone of the more famous Il Mulino with the same absurdly-high-quality-ingredients.

Best Steak: You decide

The steakhouses in the area each offer a unique style and one cannot really pick a favorite. We toured Dylan Prime and Palm. Take a look for yourself. Il Giglio serves a great cut of beef as well.

Best Chinese: Mr. Chow’s

The next time you have a group of fashion models to party with, take them to Mr Chow’s new Tribeca location across from Bubby’s and down the street from The Greenwich Hotel. The menu offers smaller tapas-like selections conducive for groups. Nearer to BPC, Au Mandarin has the best hot-sour soup and General Tso’s chicken.

Best Working Man’s Deli: Cordato’s

For the average Joe who wants a good lunch for under $10, delivered fast with fresh French fries, we select Cordato’s as the best deli. The triple-decker sandwiches are excellent.

Best Upscale Deli: Samantha’s

For a more expensive sandwich or take-home meal, Samantha’s Italian deli is the place. At lunchtime, workers from the World Financial Centers line up ten to twenty deep. Have them place your Italian sub in the pizza oven to toast it up.

If you prefer a kosher deli, Izzy and Nats just opened up this year. They might give Samantha’s some competition for our 2010 list.

Best Bagel: You decide

Two restaurants in BPC make their own bagels on-location: Izzy and Nats and Pick-a-Bagel. You decide which is better.

Best Beer Delivery: NA

With the closing of JJ’s carry out on South End Avenue, there are no places that deliver beer, snacks, etc. to BPC for reasonable prices. The smart entrepreneur who meets this demand will make a killing. The space is open.

Best Grocery Store: Whole Foods

The opening of Whole Foods in Tribeca met a huge demand in the area. The meat and fish sections are exemplary, as is the coffee section (see Best Coffee mention above)

Best Outdoor Drinking: PJ Clarke’s

The view of the North Cove Marina and Hudson River from the outdoor dining area by PJ Clarke’s makes for the best summertime outdoor hangout. The service is not always the best, but you will not likely notice after a few pints.

Best cocktails: Ritz-Carlton

For well-prepared cocktails and martinis, try the Ritz-Carlton in BPC. Tell Manny that we sent you. Also, Vintry Wine and Whiskey is a new place that just opened over on Stone Street and makes some interesting whiskey-based cocktails.

Best Thunderstorm: July 26

The most impressive display of the year by Mother Nature was the tornado-spawning front that passed over New York Harbor on July 26. Take a look.

Now, for the not so desirable “Best” list.

Best disturber of the peace: Con Edison

This November, Con Edison decided to dig up West Thames Street, yet again, and jackhammer into the early morning. This outraged the neighborhood. See the video. The company who runs the New York Waterway ferries was a close second as Best Disturber of the Peace. The new ferry added in the early morning schedule was rattling windows in Gateway Plaza.

Best place to get injured or killed: The Albany Street crossing

The construction of the West Side Highway and closure of the pedestrian bridge has created a deadly risk for people trying to cross the street. One person has been killed and at least one other was severely injured. Manhattan Borough President Stringer discussed the matter with BP.TV.

Disclosure

There are no financial disclosures to report. All of the choices were made on merit alone and are not commercials. We tried to create video tours of as many selections as we could.

This entry was posted in American, Art and Museums, Hotels, Nightlife, Op-Ed, Parks, Restaurants, Reviews, Shops and markets, Steak. Bookmark the permalink.

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