The Tin Building Opening Party: Jean-Georges’ Dream Marketplace Becomes Reality!

The opening party for the Tin Building was a truly unique experience! It started out with a ribbon cutting, a drum corps and dancing troupe dressed up in chef’s garb, confetti, 1920s cars and some circus performers. Inside this giant foodie marketplace created by Jean-Georges Vongerichten are counters of fare from raw seafood to burgers to Mexican food to “old school sweet shop” ice cream cones as well as stalls selling gourmet poultry, meats and dry goods. My favorite area is the upstairs speakeasy called House Of The Red Pearl, which serves all sorts of interesting dumplings; at the party, I saw Martha Stewart go up for seconds and thirds on these, just like me. I will definitely be going back! There is almost no type of cuisine that you won’t find at the Tin Building! They also have rare ingredients for your home cooking that you will not find anywhere else! Here are a few highlights of this most special of opening parties, even by New York standards.

Jean-Georges himself showed up for the ribbon cutting and he had a little help from David Reilly, the CEO of the Howard Hughes Corp and Melissa Roman Burch, COO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. The famous food entrepreneur then went and checked out some of the food prep areas and mixed and mingled with the hardcore NYC foodie crowd in attendance. Celebs that I saw floating around in the aforementioned speakeasy area were Martha Stewart, Carol Alt, Nicole Miller, Alexander Wang and Countess Louann De Lesseps.

You can’t get anything more perfect for the opening of a high end food marketplace than a drum corps willing to play in chef jackets and hats–with confetti eventually coming down on their heads.

They pulled out all the stops for this event! The raw bar downstairs always had a line. People went crazy for the king crab claws, raw oysters and more. Here’s one of the chefs clowning around with a cooked lobster that was about to be served!

It was helpful that there were actors portraying 1920s “newsies” handing out a paper called The Tin Times, which talked about the history of the building, the different food areas and what can be purchased in the “market” areas. I noticed a special refrigerated section for high end meats and was amazing at the assortment. There was a beautiful produce area as well. The Tin Building is truly farm to table. The second reason actors were dressed up as “newsies” was because Jean-Georges wanted to convey the history of the building, which has served several purposes since it was built in 1907. It was actually very damaged in Hurricane Sandy and it took years to be lovingly restored and raised seven feet to protect it from flooding in the future.

You can see the confectionary area known as The Spoiled Parrot–which features walls of colorful candy for purchase–behind these two “cotton candy pink” garbed circus performers. The Spoiled Parrot serves mini cones of homemade ice cream here not unlike the ones that you find in Paris at Berthillon Glacier. I ate a double scoop strawberry cone and perused the many types of unusual and retro candy with glee!

On the way out, I tried to hitch a ride in one of the old cars parked out in front for the Tin Building opening event, but no one would take me, LOL! I had to take the bus (but it looks like a robbery was going on Bonnie and Clyde style anyway)! All the way home I thought about all the wonderful fare I had just partaken of. I have no shame in saying that I ate three of the burgers in soft, flaky, croissant-like rolls at the first floor area known as the T Brasserie. They will be having a repeat customer and you can guess who it is. I also plan to go back to “shop like a chef” for my at home recipes although I have about one-millionth of the kitchen talent that Jean-George and his team have! For more info on this most magical of Seaport venues, go to

Article by anne241

Hardcore NYer who loves to enjoy the good life here in the Big Apple and beyond!