The Meatpacking District: NYC in Focus
Once home to Manhattan’s slaughterhouses and meat-packing plants from whence it gets its name, the Meatpacking District is now one of New York City’s most fashionable neighborhoods. Home to some of the city’s trendiest clubs, restaurants and boutiques, the Meatpacking District is a hotspot for shopping, dining, living and nightlife.
If you love to eat, then you must get to this neighborhood, where celebrity chefs have come to dominate the restaurant scene. Chef Mario Batali’s Del Posto is the go-to spot for special occasions in the city with its formal decor and grand staircase, making it feel like an upscale hotel lobby. Here you can dine on a variety of set menus, sampling dishes such as risotto and roasted veal chops. If you’re in the mood for Asian fare, try chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market, where you can taste playful adaptations of southeast Asian street food.
If you’d like to do a little celebrity-watching while you dine, then head to The Standard Grill. Opened by hotelier Andre Balasz, this place has been a hit with A-listers since its debut. The outdoor seating area is perfect for a romantic date in warm weather months, and for a finishing touch to your meal be sure to try the chocolate mousse that comes with tiny spatulas instead of spoons. They even have a late night menu until 4am, for all the area’s club-goers.
If you are one that likes to dance the night away, then the Meatpacking District has many options for you. Cielo attracts an exciting but more mature crowd to its dance floor, where they spin everything from Latin beats to boogie and techno. Or try Plunge, the rooftop bar atop the Gansvoort Hotel. Here the lighting is soft, the music isn’t too loud, and you can enjoy quiet time with your special someone. If a raucous good time is more your thing, you can’t miss Hogs & Heifers, where the female bartenders admonish the male customers via megaphone, and the female customers are known to get up on the bar and dance. You’re certain to see a face or two from the celebrity tabloids on your visit there.
High fashion abounds in the Meatpacking District, and several famous designers have set up shop here. Alexander McQueen’s futuristic flagship store is here if you’re in the need for a cutting edge frock. Stella McCartney has a new flagship store here, too, with luxe appeal in its gold embellishes and art deco sculptures. For a hint of disco, duck into Diane von Furstenberg’s shop to get your groove on, or if you’re looking for a classic wrap dress or gauzy blouse.
For those that call the Meatpacking District home, luxury is the thing. The bulk of residential properties in this neighborhood are upscale loft spaces carved out of the historic meatpacking plants and warehouses. The addition of the High Line linear park, once a former elevated freight rail line turned community promenade, adds leafy ambiance and helps draw a continual stream of crowds to the area.
There’s no doubt about it – for a taste of luxury or a exciting night out – the Meatpacking District is the place to run to.