A new French market is bringing a classic feel to Chelsea’s hip culinary scene.
The European-style bazaar, in Chelsea Triangle Plaza, sells specialty items ranging from organic dried pasta to honey-and-maple syrup to French cannelles and madeleines.
Bensidoun USA, an operator of French open-air markets, recently opened the location — its first in New York City — just in time for Bastille Day celebrations on Saturday.
Dan Biederman, president of Chelsea Improvement Co., calls the market “immensely better than your typical New York street fair, which sells unhealthy food and terrible retail goods.”
The new market, operating on Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 24, is urban and attractive — just like its neighborhood.
“It complements the fact that Chelsea Market is in the district,” Biederman says.
The market likely will attract customers looking for fresh produce or a quick lunch, says Sebastien Bensidoun, executive vice president of Bensidoun USA.
But he hopes people will eventually come for food to cook at home and food to eat on-site.
Make no mistake: This isn’t another greenmarket. Bensidoun stresses that his setup creates the sense of shopping in an authentic Parisian market.
“We have the guy selling the organic pizza, the baked goods, cheese and olive oil. You won’t be finding only the produce that you find in farmers’ markets,” he says.
The market features 10 booths, which 13 or 14 vendors will rotate through.
The extensive food lineup includes frozen beef and pork, homemade mozzarella and pickled vegetables, as well as an array of gluten-free and vegan items.
Eventually, Bensidoun hopes to stay open year-round and bring in vendors directly from France. For now, the retailers are all from the New York City region, just like the customers they primarily serve.
He also plans to keep prices reasonable.
“I don’t want people to come and say it’s too expensive. We want everybody to feel comfortable that they can buy something,” he says.
What about a familiar custom in some foreign markets — haggling over prices?
“It’s up to the vendors and what they want to do. It’s really at their discretion,” he says.
Biederman says the market makes Chelsea more interesting than ever.
“You can make this part of a trip where you also go to Chelsea Market and see the Meatpacking District and the High Line and the galleries,” he says. “We think it’s well-placed.”
YOU SHOULD KNOW :
Chelsea Triangle Plaza French Market, Ninth Ave., between 14th and 15th Sts.
Open Fri. and Sat. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Nov. 24.
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