Mark Thomas Amadei, of the famed Cafeteria in Chelsea, has opened Delicatessen on the corner of Prince and Lafayette. Just a babe at 35, Amadei is an old shoe in restaurant real estate and scoffs when the Observer called his new venture “undeniably the city’s most loathed new restaurant in 2008.” Apparently, it’s déjà vu as he looks back at his now “celeb-ladened” success. He appears to be doing something right, as there’s about an hour walk-in wait on any given night.
The clean monochromatic space with white-on-white and a touch of earthy wood tones is airy for day and casts that perfect soft glow in the evening. Passersby can peer in to check out the beautiful people (staff, btw, are outfitted in Charlotte Ronson frocks) through the floor-to-ceiling retractable glass garage-door that wraps around the entire faà§ade and opens to draw in New York crowds like moths to a flame when the weather is just-so.
The food? Katz’s it is not, but the lobster roll with chowder is the ultimate in upscale comfort and they do a decent steak frites. Do yourself a favor and pick up the smaller menu with the fabulous cocktails and you can later order some of the wildly popular (and greasy) Cheeseburger Spring Rolls to soak up the booze.
Amadei and partner, Andrew Glassberg, may have not founded the next Per Se, but Delicatessen is perfect place for libations-with a communal bar at the entrance, a glass-roof lounge and two downstairs lounges-all filled with model look-alikes, it’s really no wonder that a few soggy pastrami’s make it past the kitchen door.
54 Prince Street (Between Mulberry & Lafayette)