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August 28, 2013

Grand-Slam Snacking

By Ingrid Skjong | Food

Grand-Slam Snacking
Courtesy of United States Tennis Association

Forget Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams. A new set of stars is taking over at the US Open: celebrity chefs. The 700,000 fans attending the Grand Slam tennis tournament, which started this week at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens and runs through September 9, are in for a real gourmet treat.

David Burke, Tony Mantuano and Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto are all setting up shop, as well as New York barbecue eatery Hill Country and its pit-smoked turkey or chopped-brisket sandwiches (pictured here). In all, a culinary team of 250 mans five restaurants, 100 suites and 60 concessions stands throughout the complex.

“No sporting event in the entire world matches the US Open," says Mantuano. "It's the best of the best and the food matches the tennis.”

Along with dishes like sushi (Morimoto), dry-aged, bone-in rib-eye steaks (Burke) and marinated artichokes and tomatoes with rosemary breadsticks (Mantuano), a new oyster bar is offering caviar, lobster rolls and shrimp cocktails, while a Pat LaFrieda filet mignon steak sandwich joins the menu at the popular East Gate Grill. The Honey Deuce (Grey Goose vodka, lemonade, raspberry liqueur, honeydew-melon-ball garnish) remains the Open's signature cocktail.

Players are, of course, also getting the royal treatment. Balance Kitchen, featuring items developed by chefs, trainers and nutritionists to maximize wellness, serves juices, nutrient-dense dishes, gluten-free options and varieties of chocolate milk for recovery. Who knows? This year’s winning moment could come down to whoever has the healthiest appetite. Flushing Meadows Corona Park Rd.; usopen.org.

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