Ever since I heard about Gotham West Market—the highly curated Manhattan food court that includes everything from Ivan Ramen Slurp shop to the meatastic offerings of the Cannibal, Blue Bottle Coffee, and an outpost of Brooklyn Kitchen—I’ve been intrigued. I stopped by for a visit the day of the Italy-Uruguay soccer match, and had a look around. I couldn’t pull the trigger because I was overwhelmed, much like I was on my first visit to Flushing’s Golden Shopping Mall. (Actually, that’s a lie. I was too full from eating hot dog and French fry pizza.)
As much as I really wanted to try Ivan Orkin’s famed ramen and The Cannibal’s lamb tartare, the thing that intrigued me most was Court Street Grocers, with its roster of a dozen sandwiches, many of which fall into the Italian-American canon. So, a week or so later I returned to Gotham West, after a most restrained browsing of the Summer Fancy Food Show.
The first item on Court Street’s menu—a beef shank gussied up with gorgonzola dolce, caramelized onions, and pickled peppers—caught my eye, but ultimately I went with something simpler. The pork shoulder sandwich ($12) was the perfect antidote to an overwhelming morning of being plied with bacon lip balm and some truly awful tuna ceviche with quinoa.
Confit pork shoulder, broccoli rabe, and a duo of cheeses—provolone and pecorino romano—combine with pickled peppers to make for a glorious sandwich. My one quibble was the peppers could have been a bit hotter. It’s the best thing I’ve eaten in Gotham West, but only because I haven’t tried everything else in this foodie haven. I can hardly wait to delve further.
Court Street Grocers, Gotham West Market, 600 11th Ave., 212-582-7946