I’ve been hearing about Le District, the French market and food hall that recently opened in New York City, and finally had a chance to see it for myself. It’s an emporium of French delectables in the heart of Battery Park City. Close your eyes, inhale the scents, and you’ll be transported to the French markets. Or open your eyes, and the dream is barely interrupted.
Le District reminds me of the gourmet food halls in Paris such as La Grande Épicerie and Galeries Lafayette Gourmet, but with the big bonus of outdoor seating with waterside views of the Hudson River. At lunchtime, Le District throbs with the Wall Street crowd. In the morning (the café opens 7:30 am), it’s a calmer scene with joggers and dog-walkers pausing for refreshment. I sat at a table looking at yachts bobbing in the water while I enjoyed fresh orange juice, cut-up fruit, a flaky croissant, and strong black coffee from Le District’s café. A perfect start to the day.
Le District actually comprises 4 districts: café, market, garden, and restaurant areas. Fresh flowers and crusty baguettes flank the entrance to Le District’s market area, signaling items characteristically found at French markets. More signature French fare awaits at the poissonnerie, fromagerie, charcuterie, boucherie, and rôtisserie stations. In fact, you may pick out a cut of meat, have it cooked to order, and then chow down at L’Appart, the chef’s table eatery. The porc rillette at the traiteur counter is as good as I’ve had in France. In the “garden” district of the market, one can buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Packaged teas, olive oils, herbs and spices add to the choices.
La Cure Gourmande, known for biscuits and sweets that are much loved throughout France, anchors the front entrance to Le District. Their colorful collectible tins make eye-catching displays. This New York City location is La Cure Gourmande’s first foray into the U.S. market.
A brasserie-style restaurant called Beaubourg offers indoor and outdoor seating, and Le Bar serves up liquid refreshment with, no surprise, an extensive French wine list. There’s also a kitchen goods section as well as a salad bar that morphs into a chocolate mousse bar in the late afternoons.
Le District sells many of the best delicacies from France but smack in the heart of one of New York City’s most exciting neighborhoods. It’s located in the shiny quarters of Bookfield Place, a swanky shopping mall in Battery Park City. A visit to Le District is easily combined with sightseeing the 9-11 Memorial and the Freedom Tower at One World Trade Center, only minutes away by foot. Le District has been open only since the beginning of May 2015 and still gaining its footing, but it’s already off to a running start.
Le District is located at 225 Liberty St., New York, NY 10281. Email: email@example.com.) 981-8588
Café district is open Monday to Friday from 6:30 am-11 pm; Saturday & Sunday open at 8 am.
Market and Garden districts (groceries and prepared foods) are open Monday to Friday 10 am-10 pm; Saturday & Sunday open at 8 am.
Beaubourg restaurant open 11 am-11 pm, with Le Bar staying open later