Food at the US Open this year is as sumptuous as ever, but the emphasis is on fresh ingredients provided by nearby farmers and fishermen.
That’s the assessment of Jim Abbey, supervising chef at the two-week event now underway in Flushing Meadows Park. He and three other chefs —Tony Mantuana, David Burke and Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto— showed off some of their offerings available at different venues at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
“It’s all about the fresh summer harvest and we’re working with Long Island farmers and fishermen from Montauk for the freshest ingredients that taste better,” Abbey said.
Mantuana was promoting a product made in Brooklyn. Called a burrata, it’s a mozzarella ball with a creamy cheese curd custard inside served with toasted garlic bread.
Like lobster? Try Burke’s two-pound butter-poached naked lobster served with shoestring potatoes, zucchini marmalade and spiced black honey. It goes for $48.
The restaurants at the US Open include Aces, where Morimoto oversees all the sushi creations; Champions Bar & Grill, a classic steakhouse; Patio Cafe, featuring locally raised chicken; Mojitos, offering Latin specialties; and the Wine Bar, with the burrata and flaming ouzo shrimp.
Then there’s the Food Village, a food court with international sections from Asia, India, France, Latin America and Italy. New this year is Farm 2 Fork with organic and locally grown items including a chicken sandwich and a roasted vegetable sandwich.
If you’re looking for more traditional stadium fare there are hot dogs for $5 and cheeseburgers for $8.75.
Once again, this year’s signature drink is the honey deuce made of vodka, lemonade and a touch of raspberry liqueur topped with melon tennis balls in a commemorative glass. It costs $14.
Don’t worry about the players going hungry, either. Popular selections include the made-to-order pasta bar, baked potato bar, grilled chicken, brown rice and smoothies. Sushi is also popular with the athletes and Morimoto will provide them with the best.
The Open has gone green with unused food donated to City Harvest, cooking oil recycled into biodiesel fuel and, Abbey said, other waste will be composted.
Now for the statistics. The US Open will serve about 15,000 pounds of beef tenderloin and steaks; 7.5 tons of crab, shrimp and lobster; 225,000 hamburgers and hot dogs and 85,000 pounds of poultry.