Published January 04, 2008
The MPD's Latest Food Temple
Over the years you've found your way to the mega-temples of haute eating from Asia
It's a New Year. Time for a new continent.
Introducing Merkato 55
, chef Marcus Samuelsson (Aquavit) and nightlife vets Kyky and Unik's (PM)
Pan-African fusion resto, opening Wednesday in the MPD.
Based on Samuelsson's revelatory food trip to Africa, Merkato is the latest multi-story continent-defining
food temple run amok. Walk into the lively first floor and you'll immediately notice the Mali-inspired clay
bar with shelves for the house-infused spiced rums. Start with a drink and a plate of hummus and dips at one
of the communal tables before heading up the wrought iron stairs to the more formal dining room. Upstairs,
the décor is a tribute to the faces and colors of Africa: Portraits printed on large silk screens,
hanging basket lamps and brown and yellow leather banquettes all color the bright space.
Adding to the celebratory international feel is a soundtrack mixing African beats and world music (your
opportunity to move past Ladysmith Black Mambazo
). And just in time for Fashion Week, a downstairs
lounge will open with a stone well in the center of the room.
Which is sure to be the best African lounge with a stone well in the MPD.
55-61 Gansevoort St
(between Washington and Greenwich)
New York, NY