The Mets put on a showcase that scintillated the senses on Tuesday, with the unveiling of their partners at the Culinary All-Stars event at Citi Field. The team displayed a food menu as diverse as the World Baseball Classic, mixing old classics with future favorites.
"We feel poised to deliver on our goal of creating a new dining and entertainment destination attraction in New York City," said Jeff Wilpon, COO of the New York Mets. "When we designed our new home here, we set out to have a couple of goals, to create Citi Field as a distinctly New York destination for our fans. Considering New York's place as the entertainment capital of the world and the food capital of the world, it only made sense to team up with the city's world-renowned restaurateurs and bring them here to Queens."
Picking your favorite dish will probably be as difficult as choosing your favorite Met. A plethora of options are sure to please the most finicky eaters and sophisticated palates, with hot dogs, hamburgers and tacos juxtaposed with lobster rolls, clam chowder and sushi.
Among the delectable options are such local favorites as the Shake Shack, Nathan's, Brooklyn Burger, Blue Smoke, Catch of the Day, The Original Cascarino's, Daruma, Mama's of Corona, Box Frites, El Verano Taqueria and Premio. The Mets have also entered a partnership with Zachys Wine and Liquor Inc.
"Having grown up a Mets fan, and now, with the opening of Citi Field, this was a tremendous personal opportunity to improve on the dining options we offer ballpark guests," said Dave Pasternack, owner of the Myriad Restaurant Group, known for Nobu and Tribeca Grill. "It's time for sports and entertainment venues to serve the highest quality food, and we're excited to help Citi Field lead the charge."
"We believe we have achieved a diverse, innovative and world-class menu befitting of this world-class ballpark that every guest, regardless of seat location, will enjoy," said Marc Bruno, president of ARAMARK Sports, Entertainment and Conventions. "Our priority is to serve a quality product that exceeds the expectations and provides prompt and courteous service for all Mets fans."
The Taste of the City, located behind center field, and the World's Fare Market, on the field level in right field, will be accessible to all fans and carry most of the new vendors. More intimate and relaxed gatherings can also be had throughout the stadium.
The Delta Sky360 Club, on the Sterling Level, has waiter service and serves such items as specialty coffee, sandwiches and salads. The Caesars Club, with sweeping panoramic views of the city skyline, is located above the rotunda and seats 900 guests, serving Brooklyn Burger, wraps and rotisserie.
The Acela Club, at the high end of the spectrum, takes table reservations and has seasonal brunch, lunch and dinner menus by the Myriad Restaurant Group. The multi-tiered glass restaurant is located on the Excelsior Level in left field.
With Citi Field's lavish amenities, the average fan may be swelling with excitement while simultaneously cringing in fear of high prices. Dave Howard, the Mets' executive vice president of business operations, did his best to alleviate those concerns.
"Our pricing here at Citi Field is overall, on average, less than what our pricing was at Shea Stadium last year by about six percent," Howard said. "We're very happy that the efficiencies of this building produce some cost savings that we will be passing along to our fans and customers."
Another victory for fans is the once-dreaded task of leaving a seat to get food. Due to the incredibly practical, as well as aesthetically pleasing, design of the stadium, fans waiting on line for food will not miss any of the action on the field, because there are clear sightlines from the concourses -- a stark contrast from the tunnels at Shea Stadium.
"We know that the reason people come to the stadium is to see a Mets victory," said Danny Meyer, CEO of the Union Square Hospitality Group. "We know that anything we do, good, bad or otherwise, will do nothing to match the sweetness of a Mets victory. We also know that if we do a great job with our food, it's going to make a victory taste even sweeter and maybe even take the sting out of the rare defeat that happens."
Howard Kussoy is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.