Review: Milk Street Cafe on Wall Street

The sequel to Boston’s Milk Street Café opened its doors to the press on Monday, at 40 Wall Street, in the Trump Building. The successful Boston-based restaurant and catering company, which recently celebrated 30 years, partnered with the Trump organization and the SBA (Small Business Administration) to create this vast food hall in the middle of the Financial District.Guests were treated to select dishes prepared by Executive Chef Steve Mettle (former Executive Chef at AIG): Risi Bisi-Spring Pea Risotto, bruschetta, sushi hand rolls, Pan Fried noodles with Shanghai Bok Choy & Crisp Shitake Vegetable Spring Roll with Siracha Kewpie, and a selection tasty of smoothies. Mark Epstein, the man behind the café, chatted with guests as they took a look around. We were privy to the expansive 23,000 square feet space as guided tours were lead by the Milk Street’s Director of Catering Sales, as well as by Mark’s wife, Beth Epstein.

At Milk Street Café, emphasis is placed on high-end, freshly made foods that is prepared on-site daily and available to enjoy on-site or on-the-go. Interestingly, the diverse menu takes its cues from the building’s residents as a survey was circulated while the space was being renovated. The end result? Milk Street Café will feature numerous stations which will include: coffee, desserts and pastries, made-to-order breakfasts, a sushi bar, two create-your-own salad bars (one strictly vegetarian), a pasta bar, a grill, and a rotisserie and carving station.

What we found most impressive was not the innovative and technological firsts (though pretty cool): produce soak sinks (first to be installed in NYC), line busters (hand-held checkout system for those using credit cards) or even the flat technology tables (an Australian invention that prevents wobbling with the use of bungee cords), but the pride and the gratitude the Epstein’s have for their restaurants.

Milk Street Café could very well be the re-envisioning of the mom-and-pop food operations. The sprawling Monet-esque mural in the café (and on promotional materials) was actually done by Mr. Epstein’s sister, Shanee, so you know it’s a family affair. Thankfully, Milk Street Café will bring more than 80 much-needed jobs to the area as the economy continues to recover. Here’s to hoping this signals the valiant return of genuine small business owners.

Milk Street Café is slated to open on June 23rd and you’re invited! Complimentary cookies and coffee between 10-11am for the opening bell ceremony.
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