Hold on to your pastrami, deli-lovers--your humble eatery-of-choice has just been embraced by the fashionable crowd. We?re talking about Umamicatessen, the hip new downtown restaurant that?s a deli plus four trendy eateries rolled into one.
Though we hate to use foodie jargon, this ?restaurant concept? really is unique: It?s a soaring 170-seat loft with five separate eateries scattered around the space--like an upscale food court with table service. There?s Umami Burger, the hit SoCal burger joint (burgers from $10). Then there?s Pigg, from nose-to-tail specialist Chris Cosentino, whose menu includes cured ham from Italy, Spain and the United States (servings from $16 to $40); pork-liver-pâté sandwiches ($12); and a controversial raw Iberico de Bellota crudo ($18). Next, there?s the Cure, serving traditional deli sandwiches and the Back Bar, where mixologist Adrian Biggs of La Descarga serves artisanal cocktails (from $10), beer and wine that you can enjoy at the bar or at your table. Finally, there?s Spring for Coffee & a Donut, where Handsome Coffee Roasters and other chichi blends are served with made-to-order doughnuts in flavors like Meyer-lemon curd ($3) and tres leches ($4).
On a recent afternoon, our orders were all over the place. First, we enjoyed a lean yet juicy pastrami on rye with a side of juniper-and-rosemary popcorn fried in lard. Then we lingered over a doughnut and coffee while we chatted with the guy manning the meat slicer at the Cure. If all this choice leaves you longing for some fresh air, fear not: Outdoor seating is in the works.
Umamicatessen, 852 S. Broadway; 213-413-8626 or umami.com