HOME > Chowhound > Kosher >
What's your latest food quest? Share your adventure

milk street cafe at 40 wall st nyc-photos

koshergourmetmart Jun 12, 2011 08:22 AM


it gives a Glimpse Inside the Massive Food Hall, Milk Street Cafe

it is a massive 23,000-square-foot food hall located at 40 Wall Street. Perhaps aiming to become the international Eataly of the Financial District, the eatery will feature an oatmeal bar, pasta bar, sushi bar, salad bar, a grill and rotisserie, pastries, a café, and much more

according to the article it opens on June 23.

  1. m
    mggn Sep 21, 2011 11:42 AM

    Finally made it there today for lunch. Though I was impressed by the wide array of choices, the one thing I was in the mood for, a hamburger and fries, was no where to be found. I was in a hurry so I opted for the pre-made turkey sandwich($8.95). Though it tasted fine and the bread was very good, there was less than two slices of turkey in the sandwich. I will withhold further judgement until I have an opportunity to try some other things on the menu.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mggn
      avitrek Sep 21, 2011 02:14 PM

      I've heard they don't offer a burger because they didn't want to have to explain why they couldn't offer a cheeseburger. In terms of other food options, I just had the smoked brisket sandwich today which was excellent. I've also become a fan of the pesto chicken sandwich. When I'm in the mood for dairy I really like the paninis too. In fact, I don't think I've tried anything I didn't like(besides the price). They are far and away the best option for lunch downtown.

      1. re: avitrek
        queenscook Sep 21, 2011 04:14 PM

        So is it really "hidden" that the place is kosher? In other words, if someone asked for a cheeseburger, would they actually NOT say "This is a kosher place, so we can't cook meat and cheese together"? There must be other dishes that combine milk and meat that those who don't keep kosher would expect from a lunch place, aren't there?

        1. re: queenscook
          bagelman01 Sep 21, 2011 05:38 PM

          There sure are:
          Meatball, Veal or Chicken Parmigiano hero/sub/wedge
          Pastrami Special (swiss, tomato and onion).

          30-40 years ago it was common for out of town kosher delis to sell you the cheese separately, serve on paper plates and with plastic utensils and the customer assembled the sandwich. The delis would have separate meat and dairy counters (no separate deli and appetizing stores) and the tables themselves were basically treif, everything was served on disposable ware

          1. re: queenscook
            avitrek Sep 21, 2011 05:48 PM

            If it came to it, I'm sure they would say, "we can't do that, we're kosher." But there are very few cases where it would come up. I guess if someone asked for cheese and meat in their salad since the two salad stations are next to each other.

      2. b
        brightside16 Jun 23, 2011 05:59 PM

        I work near Wall, so I tried this place out. I ordered a "turkey festival" sandwich, which was sliced turkey that was prepared with thyme, cranberry relish, and stuffing that had waaaaaay to much celery (I hate celery though). For 10.95 it wasn't a bad choice. The turkey was moist, and the cranberry relish had ginger in it, which was a twist for me. The stuffing seemed a little salty, though. On the meat side, most customers ordered a half a rotisserie chicken, which cost $10.50. It came with 2 sides.

        The prices seemed incredibly high. Most customers seemed to be the wall-street types for whom the prices may have been average, or at least no one else seemed to be flinching. 6-8.00 for one sushi roll is crazy. $12.00 for Baked Ziti? How amazing could it be to be worth $12.00? The salad prices (make-your-own-salads) were on par with what I've seen, the ready made salads were $10.50, which isn't doable on a regular basis for me. The desserts, I'll try. Maybe a soup for 4.00, or a chili dog if I'm having a pretty crazy day. But there's no way I can justify splurging on some of those prices. YMMV, though.

        They do have chalav yisroel milk for the coffee beverages, according to staff. You have to ask for it.

        I am excited that they have parve baked goods. If I bring a fleishig lunch from home, I'm totally going to grab a blondie bar. The coffee prices are on par with Starbucks. It's great for what it is, and it felt good to have food so widely accepted by the general public. I am excited about the variety, like the Bahn Mi sandwich, or the meat options. But it's just simply out of my price range for a typical everyday lunch.


        1 Reply
        1. re: brightside16
          avitrek Jun 23, 2011 07:47 PM

          For comparison, here are the prices for an equivalent treif place on Wall Street.
          So prices are a couple dollars higher than the treif competition, but hey seemed reasonable to me in comparison to the kosher competition downtown, but the question is will non-Jews be willing to pay the kosher premium.

          In terms of the food, I got a grilled chicken sandwich. The chicken, veggies, and sauce were very good, although they need a better crust on the baguette. I'll be back next week to try some of their other items.

        2. i
          iambarry Jun 23, 2011 10:14 AM

          I just had lunch from there. It opened today. I got the KC BBQ beef bisket. I also tried a sushi rainbow roll.

          The brisket was amazingly good. Jucy and tender, it was cooked to perfection, although there was no sauce, and by itself on the roll it was a little dry.

          The sushi wasn't so great, perhaps because its their first day. I'll give it some time and try it again.

          The place was amazing. Its bright and clean. They have what seemed like over a dozen diffenent food stations. Seemed like plenty of room to sit and eat (although I took my food togo).

          I'm certain to go again and often. Of course thats not saying too much given that they are one of six kosher options downtown.

          BTW - I tried Crisp on Fulton st yesterday. Looks like the downtown location just got supervision.

          1. z
            zsero Jun 12, 2011 09:10 PM

            Sounds like it will be both milk and meat; a NYC first. And the mural is by Shanee Epstein, who (I assume) flew in from Israel to paint it.

            13 Replies
            1. re: zsero
              DeisCane Jun 13, 2011 09:56 AM

              That's amazing. And not a single mention of it being kosher. This could be a pretty amazing crossover story if it actually works.

              1. re: DeisCane
                avitrek Jun 13, 2011 10:04 AM

                I've heard a rumor that they decided to keep hamburgers off the menu because they wanted to avoid having to explain why they can't put a piece of cheese on the burger. I wish them the best of luck, Wall Street needs a decent lunch option.

                1. re: DeisCane
                  AdinaA Jun 13, 2011 10:35 AM

                  Yes. They have had this business model in Boston for years. Locate in the financial district where they are not at a disadvantage for closing on Shabbos since lots of restaurants there are weekday only. Serve really good, well-priced food. Attract mostly to a non-Jewish (or at least non-kosher) market of people who just want a good lunch. And cater lots of platters for business lunch meetings.

                  1. re: AdinaA
                    DeisCane Jun 13, 2011 10:37 AM

                    True but in Boston it's only dairy--though they had that meat cart for awhile (do they still?).

                    1. re: DeisCane
                      AdinaA Jun 13, 2011 10:47 AM

                      No. One of the national chains outbid them for the kiosk in Post Office Square. I can't remember which chain.

                      But I think that the catering side of the business is larger than the restaurant side, at least, judging by the trucks and carts pulling out of that entrance, they send out an enormous number of lunch platters. And those are dairy, veggie and meat lunches.

                      1. re: EvanM
                        queenscook Jun 13, 2011 10:29 PM

                        According to Koshertopia (http://www.koshertopia.com/blog/tag/m...),
                        the supervision will be the OU. I do not know much about Koshertopia, so I don't know how accurate they tend to be.

                        1. re: queenscook
                          mrogovin Jun 14, 2011 10:18 AM

                          Milk St confirmed to me by email that it will be OU.

                        2. re: EvanM
                          zsero Jun 13, 2011 11:08 PM

                          Village Crown managed the meat and milk thing; Nagilah in LA manages it; Cafe Rimon in J'm does too. I assume the Milk St situation will be simpler, by only having disposable plates and cutlery; if nothing comes back into the kitchen, most of the risk disappears.

                          Anecdote: my aunt and uncle visited Israel about 1970, and on entering a restaurant the owner asked them whether they wanted milk or meat. When they stared at him in puzzlement, he asked "and in your home you don't cook both?"

                  2. re: zsero
                    Kosher Critic Jun 14, 2011 08:24 AM

                    Just for the record, many years ago, a restaurant in Midtown called David's Harp had 2 meat floors and a dairy floor.

                    1. re: Kosher Critic
                      AdinaA Jun 14, 2011 10:12 AM

                      What's the relationship betweeen "Cafe Classico" and "The Great American Health Bar" Meat "Classico" upstairs Dairy "Health" downstairs. I just assumed that they were the same management, but I don't actually know that.

                      1. re: AdinaA
                        zsero Jun 14, 2011 05:01 PM

                        I don't think there's any connection, because they have wildly different hechsherim. I think it's just a coincidence that they happen to occupy the same building. Whereas, e.g. Village Crown used to share some facilities, staff, and even pareve menu items.

                        1. re: zsero
                          Hirscheys Jun 14, 2011 09:23 PM

                          Hi - At one point there was the same manager, although I don't know about the owner. I asked the guy about it and he said for meat, the premium is so high you are not getting the general population so you need a hechsher acceptable to the broadest possible audience. With dairy, he said that alot of kosher people are more flexible on dairy, plus they get lots of non-kosher customers since the price points can be much closer to non-kosher. Don't know if the mgmt has changed, but i thought it was an interesting point.

                      2. re: Kosher Critic
                        mrogovin Jun 14, 2011 10:18 AM

                        And before them, there was a place on 47th Street that had both, on a single floor. Supermarkets have meat and dairy counters and in Israel, mall food courts have meat and dairy in close proximity. This sounds more like a food court/market concept than a table service restaurant (where meat and milk would be a problem).

                    2. e
                      ellkay Jun 12, 2011 09:22 AM

                      Here's a link to a review of the press opening that was held last Monday - also with pictures. Looks wonderful!


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ellkay
                        AdinaA Jun 12, 2011 04:04 PM


                        "What we found most impressive was not the innovative and technological firsts (though pretty cool): produce soak sinks (first to be installed in NYC)"

                        Interesting, since I assume this addresses both the universal concern about E coli, and our special concerns about insects.

                      2. a
                        AdinaA Jun 12, 2011 08:57 AM

                        Lucky Wall Streeters. Milk Street's Boston restaurant is excellent.

                        And they send very good breakfasts, lunches, sandwich platters, etc. to meetings. You know, so good that no one at the meeting notices that it's kosher. They just like the food.

                        Show Hidden Posts