When Thomas Keller “curated” the Time Warner Center’s Restaurant Collection 15 years ago, the notion of jaded New Yorkers and gawking tourists riding mall escalators up multiple flights to fine-dining destinations with no street presence seemed outrageous. Now, 30 blocks south and two windblown avenues way west, that development’s brand-new sister project, Hudson Yards, makes the Columbus Circle shopping center’s culinary ambition look quaint. Between the seven-story Shops and Restaurants complex and José Andrés’s 35,000-square-foot Spanish-cuisine theme park next door, on a skyscraper-sprouting stretch of Tenth Avenue from 30th to 33rd Streets, there are 1,600 seats waiting to be filled, and that’s not counting all the fast-casual counters and pastry shops and coffee bars and ice-cream stands and the colorful riot of quick-serve kiosks in Andrés’s food hall. From familiar “fine-casual” (Sweetgreen, Shake Shack) to terraced duplexes, from extra-aged grass-fed cheeseburgers to roving carts stocked with Champagne, bespoke martinis, and hot popovers, the city’s new food hub requires some advanced navigational skills and a big appetite. Here, the most compelling new–to–New York reasons you might consider heading west (and up).
Belcampo Wants You to Eat Better Meat (and Less of It)
➼ Belcampo, 20 Hudson Yards, fourth fl.
Can a former vegetarian from Palo Alto sell New Yorkers on the eco-friendly, humanely raised, 100 percent-grass-fed-and-finished burger? That is the goal of Anya Fernald, the co-founder and CEO of Belcampo, a sustainable-meat company with 25,000 acres of certified organic ranch land located at the base of Mount Shasta, California. Like its sister branches in Los Angeles and San Francisco, the first East Coast Belcampo only serves meat the company raises itself and processes in its own slaughterhouse; unlike them, thanks in part to the proximity of Citarella at Hudson Yards, the usual full butcher case is replaced by a smaller fridge filled with grab-and-go bone broths and sausages. The counter-service menu runs the protein-packed gamut from beef tartare to steak-frites with duck-fat fries; even the salads (bacon-kale Caesar, lamb shawarma) are liberally seasoned with meat. As is the case in any nose-to-tail, whole-animal operation, burgers utilize trim that would otherwise go to waste, so don’t expect any boutique blends. Fernald might be fighting an uphill battle in a town besotted with corn-fed beefsteaks, but even those still skeptical of grass-fed beef’s flavor and texture may find Belcampo’s burger options intriguing: a fast-food-style “Drive-Through” double on the low end, and a 100-day-dry-aged half-pounder with raclette on the high.
*A version of this article appears in the March 18, 2019, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!