As part of the “glamorous” new $500 million Perelman Performing Arts Center that opened this fall near the World Trade Center, celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson is opening a new restaurant inside the building on Wednesday, November 1. Metropolis, at 251 Fulton Street, near Greenwich Street, is a 135-seat restaurant with a high-powered culinary team inside a dramatic dining room, with a bar and landscaped terrace.
“This is the last of the rebuild of the World Trade Center after 9/11 in terms of theater, art, and food,” says Samuelsson, who noted that he was among those who cooked for workers at the site after the fall of the towers and in the excavation. “It is the highest honor to be back at the site over twenty years later,” he says.
Samuelsson, who also owns Hav & Mar in Chelsea and Red Rooster in Harlem, was one of a handful of chefs to be considered for the space and has been working on the development of the restaurant for around three years.
Of the Perelman Performing Arts Center that opened in September, New York Times architecture critic, Michael Kimmelman, called the building, “a spectacular marble cube,” — a mere eight stories and 129,000 square feet — “that may yet turn World Trade Center into a neighborhood,” he says. The building was conceived when the economy was struggling post-9/11, with the city still gripped by fear and grief, he notes. Advocates said that for the neighborhood to “come back to life” it needed “a place for the arts.” Twenty years later, it has arrived.
The entrance to Metropolis is inside the arts building, up a “staircase that is a stoop for the neighborhood,” that “rises under the south corner of Perelman, which is raised up like the hem of a skirt,” writes Kimmelman. Inside the restaurant designed by David Rockwell’s Rockwell Group, behind designs of New York’s Zaytinya, Wayan, and Daily Provisions, among others, the space displays a sleek mid-century minimalism and maze-like ceiling throughout. In addition to the restaurant, there’s also a separate lobby lounge that will house Samuelsson’s Wine Barre with a selection of wines, local beers, and snacks.
In assembling a team, Samuelsson has drawn from the upper echelon of fine dining for the restaurant and bar starting with executive chef Ed Tinoco, who had been the culinary director at Alinea until July 2023 (the first Mexican culinary director for the group). He has returned to his hometown after a decade in Chicago.
There’s a through line of Mexican references that resonates with Tinoco, whose family is from two hours away from Oaxaca, though he grew up in Long Island City. It’s a nod to one identity of many that represent “every borough of New York,” on the menu, Samuelsson says. Starters include the farmers market platter ($45 to $100), with seasonal fruits and vegetables presented like a seafood tower alongside condiments and dips. There are also oysters — with preparations that nod to Flushing, Queens — served with lemon, shiso, and XO sauce ($18), or smoked hamachi tacos ($29). Mains include a lamb trio (neck, sausage, chops for $51) with Filipino kare kare sauce, and Arctic char with uni beurre blanc and agrodolce cucumbers. Marcelo Malta Andrade is the chef de cuisine, and pastry chef Onika Ayana Brown, formerly at Per Se, will make desserts like a chocolate cake with strawberry jam.
The beverage director is Alexis Belton formerly of the Aviary, also in Chicago, who is leaning into martinis on the menu — with a selection of five — a Vesper, Basque, Martinez, and a savory option — as well as four classics and the revived appletini. Drinks beyond martinis include a Grasshopper and a float, low-alcohol cocktails, and a selection of beer and wine.
Metropolis is one of the biggest openings in this neighborhood, following the dramatic reopening of the city’s oldest restaurant, Delmonico’s, and the debut of Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Tin Building last year.
Metropolis will open serving dinner, Sunday through Wednesday from 5 to 10 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m.