Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Amazing "Acela Club" at Citi Field, New Home of the NY Mets

Acela Club Tiers 1 (cr. Marc Levine)

If there were a Hall of Fame for ball park restaurants, Acela Club at Citi Field located down the left field line would be a lock for admission.

Multi-tiered, with gigantic plate-glass windows overlooking the field featuring uninterrupted and exceptional looks at the action on the field, an outdoor patio with seating overlooking left field, and welcoming climate-controlled, Acela is a 350-seat home run of a restaurant that lets you have your cake and eat it, too with Mets baseball and dining akin to that of Tribeca Grill.

And why not? Acela's executive chef is Michael Sobelman, previously of Tribeca Grill, and the entire operation is managed by Myriad Restaurant Group, in collaboration with Aramark, the food service company.

"The model is our Tribeca Grill, with good, solid American food," said James Beard Foundation 2009 Restaurateur of the Year Drew Nieporent of Myriad, who is also an owner of Nobu and Corton.

Branded rights to the name "Acela Club" come from sponsor Amtrak.

But all the ample, tasty, mouth-watering, gourmet items on the menu come courtesy of Myriad Restaurant Group's upscale and creative management team headed by Nieporent, Tribeca Grill’s Executive Chef Stephen Lewandowski, and Sobelman.

Innovative features at Acela's $41 price fixe lunch menu include four "Market Table Selections" stations which brings to mind an over-the-top wedding where you go from location to location, bringing back all kinds of tempting morsels to your table: Salads & Such, "Antipasti," "Butcher Block" and "Al Forno" And that is just the beginning.

Entrees, served at your table, range from Italian fennel sausage to grilled swordfish to a grilled "Kobe Flat-Iron Steak." And of course the jumbo lump crab cakes. Served with tomato, caper and cauliflower chutney, rumor has it they are incomparable. Rumor is correct.

Crab Cake (cr. Marc Levine)

At dinnertime, a $48 prix fixe menu gives you unlimited access to the Market Table Buffet, enhanced by a selection of soups, and an expanded choice of entrées -- the Rosemary Rubbed Prime Ribs will even tempt one who has sworn off beef.
With wine available by the glass as well as the bottle, the entire Acela operation is suitable for a king, a queen, a baseball fan, and especially a Mets fan -- who deserves nothing but the best. Dining at Acela equals dining at a quality Manhattan restaurant with the bonus of seeing the Mets play and hopefully win.

Anyone with field box and premium seating has access to the Acela Club, which opens two hours and forty five minutes before game time. Reservations are strongly suggested (718-565-4333). Go for it.

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