The US Open Goes Gourmet
There are some serious new food options at the annual Grand Slam tennis tournament.
The US Open returns for its 137th straight year, and for the 29th time at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens. While you’re watching the likes of Federer, Nadal, and Sharapova compete for the final major title of the season from August 28 – September 10, you’ll need a tasty snack, or something more substantial. Good thing that’s not a problem.
This year, there are a bunch of new, gourmet food items to choose from, brought to you by big-name chefs like David Chang, Masaharu Morimoto, and a few others that you might’ve heard of.
If you’re more of a sit-down eater, the US Open boasts a quad of fine dining options starting with Mojito Restaurant & Bar by Marcus Samuelsson that features Latin-influenced dishes like pescado a la plancha, a crispy skin red snapper filet served with coconut crab fritters. If you’re a fan of Top Chef Masters, you’ll recognize the name Tony Mantuano, whose Wine Bar Food brings Mediterranean flavors to the Open grounds.
Looking for something just a touch fancier? BLT Prime by David Burke is bringing the meat in a big way with a massive cowboy ribeye that you’ll likely need help eating. His bacon appetizer is one you won’t want to pass up; savory strips glazed with sweet maple syrup and black pepper, presented clothes line style. There’s also an Iron Chef participating at Aces by Ed Brown, whose restaurant will feature Masaharu Morimoto’s famed sushi alongside Chef Brown’s menu that features crab cakes, tuna tartare, and sweet figs topped with homemade ricotta and coarse salt. FYI: For BLT Prime and Aces, you’ll need reservations.
The cowboy ribeye
Concessions this time around are revamped, and there are a bunch of possibilities including the Melt Shop’s grilled cheese sandwiches, and other tasty treats like crêpes (both sweet and savory), Neapolitan-style pizza, Wagyu beef hot dogs, poke bowls, and kimcheese fries (yes, that does mean cheese sauce and spicy kimchi on top of French fries).
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Chef Burke has a few casual concessions worth visiting like Angry Taco, that has tasty two-bite tacos, and BLT Fish Shack that scores with a po’boy that’s stuffed to the max with fried shrimp, topped with a smoky chipotle aioli and a relish of corn, red onion, pepper, and bacon. Carnivores will want something handheld worth diving into mouth-first, so Pat LaFrieda’s Meat Purveyor’s is what you seek for its hand-cut filet mignon sandwich with gooey Monterey Jack, caramelized onions, and natural juices. Lobster roll lovers should flock to Lure by Josh Capon, for the decadent New England sandwich with plenty of tender lobster, Applewood smoked bacon, and ripe Jersey tomatoes, all served on a brioche bun.
My personal pick is Fuku by David Chang, who, if you spend any time on the NYC restaurant scene, you know from his Ssäm Bar, Ko, Má Pêche, Milk Bar, and Noodle Bar concepts. At The Open, his fast casual Fuku brings it with their habanero-brined-and-fried spicy chicken sandwich with pickles, or you can opt for a similar fried chicken sandy experience but with bacon and ranch dressing. They’re also cooking up a US Open exclusive, the 163 Burger; two juicy Pat LaFrieda patties, melted American cheese that oozes out the sides, lettuce, and Big Mac-like special sauce atop a Chinese bing bread bun — basically a flatbread-like texture, but crispier and not at all doughy — that’s baked by Hot Bread Kitchen. Additonally, Chang has teamed up at Fuku locations, including this concession, with Wylie Dufresne of Du’s Donuts, so save some room for a donut ice cream sandwich.
Donut ice cream sandwich
You may not have a hard time with picking which matches you’re going to, but with all these guilty pleasures, you’ve got your work cut out for you! For more information on the U.S. Open, visit www.usopen.org and if you take an Instagrammable photo, there’s a hashtag for that!
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