There are more than 5,000 things to eat and drink at the Tin Building, the restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s new market and food hall in South Street Seaport. Here are 10 worth trying.
1. An odd-looking cookie sits in the display case, a caramelized banana pressed into the surface of the dough. It’s something of an ugly duckling, but the banana brown-butter poppy-seed cookie at the Patisserie outclasses the chocolate chips and black-and-whites next to it.
2. It’s hard to choose just one bread at the Tin Building; as far as I can tell, they’re all excellent. But the semolina-sesame loaf at the Bakery might be the handiest to have around the house. I recommend two loaves, one to use as the city’s best hero roll, the other for regular eating.
3. Lollipops haven’t tempted me since I stopped ringing doorbells on Halloween. Then I saw the Spoiled Parrot’s lollipops, swirling disks of color in flavors like lemon-thyme and raspberry-lychee, and I had to have one.
4. A dark, potent stock anchors T. Brasserie’s French onion soup, which avoids all the usual pitfalls — stringy cheese, bloated bread bobbing like a victim of a drowning accident.
5. The live scallops at the Fulton Fish Co., positioned between rows of oysters on chipped ice, aren’t just decorative. Say the word and a fresh one will be shucked for you, its meat dressed with rice-wine vinegar and yuzukosho.
6. The guardians of authentic sushi tradition probably won’t approve of Shikku’s calamari with aioli. It doesn’t even resemble tempura. But the batter is so light and lacy that you’re not likely to care.
7. Stare across the bar at the rack of soft pretzels at Beer Here and eventually you’ll wonder whether they’re any good. They are, especially once they’re warmed in an oven and dunked in brown mustard.
8. The vegetable spring rolls at House of the Red Pearl, the Tin Building’s Chinese restaurant, makes vegetable spring rolls that don’t do what you expect them to. The filling is more crisp than the wrappers, which are made from tofu skins. I can’t get them out of my head.
9. The tangy, fluffy cheesecake at the Frenchman’s Dough is definitely not New York style. Baked in a wood-burning oven until the surface is lightly scorched, it’s a Basque torta de queso, and it’s very good.
10. Of all the novel uses Mr. Vongerichten finds for vegetables, the most charming may be the Japanese katsu at Seeds & Weeds. It’s breaded and fried and served with slaw and a tangy, fruity sauce just like normal, but instead of pork the cutlet is a tender slab of celery root.