The space that is now Union Fare was one hell of an undertaking. It is a massive city block-sized entity that is a restaurant, two bars, coffee shop, gastro hall for pizza/pasta/poke, and a bakery. After nearly two years in the making, the team has now revealed the space. If you spend that kind of money and time on anything it better be damn good. And it damn well is that good.
Union Fare is actually two venues. To the right, a modern gastro hall with choices galore. To the left, you will find a restaurant that houses two bars and seats up to 180 not including their private event spaces. The sheer size is staggering and a beauty to behold. The space is urban and polished; no hip detail overlooked. The ceilings are high with exposed pipes and 100’s of lights hanging above you. The effect is that of an urban indoor garden. My concern with eating in such a large space is that it can feel cold and cavernous. However, the place was totally packed and buzzing with excitement.
The menu is as vast as the space. The choices are all seasonal and fresh takes on varied types of cuisines. Executive Chef Yvan Lemoine is fortunate to have the Union Square Greenmarket just steps from his restaurants and clearly uses the offerings for inspiration. The menu is designed for sharing, broken down into charcuterie, tons of vegetable dishes, and heavily focused on seafood. I rarely say this, but every dish we had was good; memorable, seasoned perfectly, beautifully plated. The pink beets with bonne bouche cheese and pistachio pesto is the perfect creative take on a salad. For small plates, try the falling-off-the-bone ribs or the ahi tuna melt with tuna tartare and parmesan foam. As an entrée, we went crazy for the crispy skinned black seabass perched on top of clams and lentils.
I don’t eat dessert. I didn’t have it in the house growing up, I quit pastry school 2 weeks in because I don’t have the patience for it, and I don’t enjoy eating it. All that being said, the desserts at Union Fare blew me away. The desserts aren’t just good or special, they are the best desserts in New York City. Thiago Silva is the pastry chef behind the stellar menu. Everything was in balance, not overly sweet, and stunningly presented. Try the strawberry creamsicle with shortcake streusel to be transported back to childhood. Oh, and they also have a chocolate louge. A fucking chocolate louge. If that doesn’t get you going, I don’t want to know you. Here’s what we had:
SPROUTED TOAST/ RICOTTA / HONEY / TRUFFLE
SWEET CHILI RIBS / PICKLED SLAW FARE
MONTAUK SCALLOP SHISO / CUCUMBER / WHEATGRASS / PINEAPPLE
PINK BEETS / HERB FLOWERS / BONNE BOUCHE CHEESE / PISTACHIO PESTO
SUCCULENTS & GREENS / AVOCADO / PUFFED QUINOA
MAINE LOBSTER FETTUCCINE / SOFRITO / SUGAR SNAP PEAS BUTCHER STEAK / PURPLE POTATO ALIGOT
SEARED BLACK BASS / LENTILS / CLAMS / FIDDLEHEADS / FAVA BEANS / PEAS / BABY CARROTS / FINE HERBS
BUTCHER STEAK / PURPLE POTATO ALIGOT
HAND ROLLED GARGANELLI / LAMB RAGU / PARMESAN / KATSUOBUSHI
PASSION FRUIT / TRES LECHES CAKE / COCONUT SORBET
CHOCOLATE LOUGE / DEVIL’S FOOD CAKE / CHOCOLATE MOUSSE / CARAMEL
CORNBREAD CREME BRULEE / BLACKBERRY HIBISCUS SORBET
STRAWBERRY CREAMSICLE / SHORTCAKE STREUSEL / STRAWBERRY SORBET
Address: 5 E 17th St, New York, NY 10003
Phone: (212) 633-6003