For those of you who haven’t visited Limelight Marketplace, you’re in for a retail treat! Instead of a boxy mall or annoyingly exclusive boutiques, this marketplace is a conglomeration of unique shops under the soaring gables of a deconsecrated church. A classic instance of adaptive reuse in the Flatiron District where the faithful once genuflected under magnificent stained glass windows, the church was then converted into a nightclub in the 1990s and is now a shrine to specialty shopping indulgence. No chains or run-of-the-mill outlets here! My following 3 favorites just opened within the past month:
Grimaldi’s – famous Brooklyn brick oven pizza is now served out of its first Manhattan outpost with access both through the main hall of shops and its own separate entrance on 6th Avenue. Even though the Grimaldi’s empire has expanded well beyond its Brooklyn home-base years ago, all of its parlors including this one in “the Limelight” have maintained the classic formula arguably making it the most authentic and best tasting NY-style pizza. Hand tossed homemade dough is baked to thin crust perfection in a coal-fired oven giving it a distinct charred smokey flavor. The crust deftly straddles the right combination of chewiness and crispy thinness. No question that all toppings including the cheese are super fresh culminating in a masterpiece made to order right before your eyes.
Cana Wine Bar – situated in a two-story glass enclosed sky box in the nave hovering below vaulted ceilings, Cana is the perfect stop
for sipping excellent wines by the glass while nibbling Italian small plates of bruschetta, beef carpaccio, and charcuterie, as well as panini. Not only are over 20 wine varietals, wine-based cocktails, and beers ready for tasting but the luxe interior of purple upholstery, Lucite chairs, and silver accents coupled with a birds eye view make Cana a super comfy perch for people watching.
Ruby Et Violette – First it was cupcakes and now….cookies! It had to happen…over 120 different flavors of these home baked morsels are each strikingly genuine and unique. My pick is their Root Beer Float Cookie that’s soft and chewy with a distinct root beer bite just like you get from a pull of Barq’s. Baked in small batches, about a dozen ever-changing flavors of these fresh baked treats are ready at any given time and on display at the counter. They also sell gourmet brownies, cookie dough ice cream, and chocolate drinks. A must-visit refreshment stopover while browsing the Limelight Shops.
Hours: Sat. – Fri. 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. By subway: Take the F or M train to the 23rd St. Station & walk 3 blocks south on 6th Avenue to #656
photos courtesy of Steve Mirsky