Foragers City Grocer has opened in West Chelsea! And what a great addition to the area it is, certainly a welcome respite from the vulgar Gristede’s on Ninth Avenue and the rather generic Whole Foods on Seventh Avenue. It’s a high-quality market, somewhat similar to a Citarella or Balducci’s, but with much of the produce locally sourced and organic, as well as a fish counter that follows the sustainability guidelines of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It will also feature an old-fashioned butcher with an aging room. Its eggs — duck and goose in addition to hen — will be delivered to the store within 24 hours of being laid. Small upstate farms are providing the milk products. Cheeses will be American-made, and not the usual supermarket brands.
The space is a super-cool glass enclosed street front with warm woods, white tiles and concrete flooring. It’s a more contemporary, more compacted (and humanly scaled) version of EATALY. Fewer tourists too!
An adjacent wine shop, Foragers City Wine, features wines from small producers, often organic or biodynamic. And Foragers City Table, a 36-seat restaurant along the 22nd Street side of the market, will open this week. The chef, Douglas Monsalud, who worked in San Francisco and Napa Valley, will add some Asian touches to a farm-fresh agenda. He is also in charge of the market’s prepared foods, including rotisserie meats.
The owners — Anna Castellani, her husband, Richard Lamb, and their partner, Clifford Shikler, follow a decided “do-it-yourself” philosophy. Ms. Castellani said “We are attempting something most groceries would never attempt.”
Ms. Castellani and Mr. Lamb have a 28-acre farm in Columbia County where they are growing produce and will soon have eggs from their own flock of hens. They also deal directly with other farmers in the region. The market is a no-frills affair, very basic but with good lighting and some sleek wood paneling.
So think of Foragers as a 7 day per week Union Square Market in Chelsea.
Located on the South West corner of Eighth Avenue and 22nd Street at 300 West 22nd Street, Tel: (212) 243-8888, is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Neighborhood delivery is available.