Courtesy of Pennsy

Consider it your new go-to spot for where to eat near Penn Station.

Laura Itzkowitz
January 11, 2016

Good news for commuters and travelers passing through Penn Station: a swanky new food court has arrived. Often considered the ugly sibling of Grand Central Terminal, where good dining options can be found in the downstairs food court and the renowned Oyster Bar, Penn Station has long lacked good places to eat, despite being a major hub for Amtrak, the Long Island Railroad, New Jersey Transit, and six subway lines. That all changed when the Pennsy at Pennsylvania Plaza opened in the space formerly occupied by Borders.

A bar anchors the 8,000-square-foot space, which features food stalls by an all-star lineup of chefs. The Pennsy is the brainchild of Mary Giuliani, caterer to the stars and the force behind Giuliani Social. She teamed up with Mario Batali to create Mario by Mary, an Italian soup and sandwich shop serving dishes like fontina and black truffle honey grilled cheese and daily-changing soups. Iron Chef Marc Forgione took inspiration from the poplar chili lobster dish at his namesake Tribeca restaurant to create the Lobster Press, whose mouthwatering signature dish is fresh Maine lobster meat in a pressed Panini with a side of chili lobster dipping sauce.

And there’s plenty more to be excited about. Acclaimed butcher Pat LaFrieda’s first brick-and-mortar opens in the Pennsy with made-to-order sandwiches including meatball subs and a filet mignon sandwich. Franklin Becker, who appeared on Top Chef Masters, opens a new location of the Little Beet with his popular veggie-centric, gluten-free food. Expect dishes like his signature little beet bowl, with quinoa, beets, arugula, goat cheese, and chicken with sherry shallot dressing. Finally, the Cinnamon Snail food truck gets its first stationary location, where it will serve vegan fare like Thai BBQ tempeh with pickled red onions and Thai basil, arugula, smoked chili roasted peanuts and sriracha mayonnaise on grilled spelt bread.

Travelers passing through can stop by the bar for a selection of cocktails, wine, and beer to take the edge off train-travel-related headaches or just enjoy a happy hour drink before heading home. Pull up a stool or grab some food and sit at the communal tables or sofas in the lounge area. An outdoor patio will be open in the warmer months.

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