With opening day around the corner, both Yankee Stadium and Citi Field are brimming with elaborate dining options. People are asking whatever happened to peanuts and Cracker Jacks, some more whimsically than others. The food news has been piecemeal for the most part but is picking up steam now: A menu preview with photos (think pulled pork) accompanied a Times article about Citi Field Tuesday, while Grub Street got first dibs on the Brother Jimmy’s BBQ Yankee Stadium menu (think pulled pork and fried pickles) yesterday. The combined food service operations at both stadiums encompass what might be the equivalent of 20 or 30 non-stadium restaurant openings, highbrow and otherwise.
It’s long been known that the exclusive Delta 360 Club locations opening at both Yankee Stadium and Citi Field will comprise the priciest food choices. Also at Yankee Stadium, The New Stadium Insider calls foul on “class-segregated” dining choices. "Only Field Level and Legends ticket holders have access to the Field Level,” NSI writes, and access to Field Level dining choices, which include Famous Famiglia Pizza. Will angry fans demand unfettered access to all menus at both stadiums? Will Citi Field-goers demand that Shake Shack’s Windy City centric “Shake-cago Dog” undergo a name change? Only time will tell. In the meantime, rest-assured that Cracker Jacks will be available at both stadiums. Below: pretty much everything that is known about the new stadium food.
In Queens, Citi Field’s food choices will include venerated returning players Mama’s of Corona and Gabila's knishes. Daruma of Tokyo will sell sushi, and Nathan’s Famous is the official hot dog of the stadium. Union Square Hospitality Group will operate what they’re calling Taste of the City: a pavilion/food court that includes Shake Shack (ShackBurgers at Citi Field will cost one dollar more), Blue Smoke (the bbq will be made in Manhattan and trucked to Queens), Box Frites (Belgian style French fries with one million dipping sauces) and Verano Taquería, where Tabla’s Floyd Cardoz will oversee Baja-style taco production. The long rumored (going back to 2007) Untitled Dave Pasternack Seafood Project was invoked in a tweet from Gourmet’s Ruth Reichl earlier this month, fueling speculation that some project from the Esca chef will in fact be unveiled next Tuesday at the official press preview.
Full service restaurants at Citi Field include the 550-seat Acela, named for the Amtrak train. According to Florence Fabricant, Drew Nieporent is consulting on that project. “The model is Tribeca Grill,” the restaurateur told the Times last week. And finally, the Delta Sky360 Club (1600 seats behind home plate, with a 109-seat restaurant) will not be easy to get into ($175 to $495 for tickets), but will feature food by Union Square Hospitality Group, including pizza. The Delta Sky360 Club will pour Brooklyn Brewery beer and wines selected by Zachy’s.
In the Bronx, Yankee Stadium has a veritable grocery list of partners, including traditional hot dogs from Hebrew National and Nathan's Famous, nuts from Bazzini, Carvel cups, and yes, Cracker Jack. Though some up-market dining choices are being installed, a Yankees press release maintains that “$3 hot dogs and $3 soft drinks” will still be available as a commitment to affordable food choices. The new Yankee Stadium will have outposts from Happy Days malt shop overlords Johnny Rockets, Brother Jimmy’s BBQ (“put some South in your mouth”), Moe’s Southwest Grill, Tommy Bahama’s Bar, Famous Famiglia Pizza, and Asian Noodle Bowl. Less branded snacks include two West Coast-themed offerings, a fresh produce stall operated by Melissa’s Produce of L.A. and a Garlic Fries stand. Cuban sandwiches will be sold at Latin Corner, and the local businesses represented include Lobel’s (dry-aged steak sandwiches), a sushi spot called Soy Kitchen, and Arthur Avenue legend Mike’s Deli (this means zeppoli!).
Full service restaurants include an open-year-round outpost of the Hard Rock Café, “located at the end of a 31,000-square-foot glass-enclosed concourse called "the great hall”” and its upstairs neighbor 125-seat NYY Steak, a haven for USDA Prime dry-aged meat. The Yankee Stadium Delta 360 Club will operate under a very special kitchen guest star format. According to the Times, “Food Network chefs” will man the griddles; between club and suite areas, appearances will be made “by Masaharu Morimoto of “Iron Chef” fame, April Bloomfield of the Spotted Pig, chefs from Le Cirque and cooks from Elaine’s.”