With the 1898 consolidation of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and The Bronx into the Greater New York that we know today, the old police headquarters on Mulberry Street wasn’t cutting it, so this fantastic piece of New York City history was needed to house the new and expanded police department.The Police Building was built by Hoppin & Koen between 1905 and 1909. As crime escalated to epic levels in the 1960′s and early 70′s, it’s likely that this “exuberant Edwardian Baroque” edifice no longer was able to strike fear into the hearts of the city’s underworld, so the cops moved about a mile south to their current fortress at 1 Police Plaza. This Police Building was converted into an apartment house in 1988 and has been home to many celebrities in the worlds of fashion, art, sports and music. Today it certainly strikes passersby with a sense of jealousy for one of the multi-million dollar apartments within.
There are so many ways to experience a chef’s talents in this town of extreme culinary diversity. One of my favorites is to book a reservation, sit down, and let the chosen chef bombard your with their talents. Omakase in Japan. Prixe-fixe in France. ”Oh my God!” at Torrisi on Mulberry Street.
Lesa and I booked reservations for the Chef’s Tasting Menu a couple of weeks in advance and our mouths watered heavily as our date neared. I’m going to spare you the blow-by-blow for each course, because you can read about it from actual food writers here, here, and here, but I will tell you that the 22 course culinary journey through the history of New York that unfolded for about three hours after being seated was absolutely phenomenal and, dare I say, fun. Here is a list of each course as presented at the end of the meal.
Every course had a purpose beyond looking good and tasting pretty. The atmosphere is cozy, unpretentious and thoroughly un-modern with a healthy dose of old funk and hip-hop keeping the mood decidedly upbeat. And the service was perfect. Food and wine were never over-described, each course appeared at a perfect clip and everyone working to give each diner the best experience possible seemed to be actually enjoying themselves. The feast felt real…nothing forced or over thought. It was an amazing experience that should be had by as many as possible. We’ll be headed back for round two as soon as the credit card recovers!