The U.S Open adds smoky brisket sliders and chicken tenders to the fare offered up to hungry fans for the first time, thanks to Hill Country Chicken Executive Chef Elizabeth Karmel.
For those who want a chocolate dessert that’s 10 miles north of decadent, Karmel has imported the $4.50 miniature “Texas Billionaire Pie” from her Manhattan restaurant. The ingredients include bittersweet chocolate, salted caramel, mini marshmallows and toasted pecans.
“Most Texas oil tycoons are billionaires, and it’s way richer than a millionaire’s pie,” the North Carolina-born Karmel said in an interview.
The U.S. Open has taken a page from other professional sports venues by elevating its cuisine beyond hot dogs and burgers with the help of boldface-name chefs.
In 2010, “Iron Chef America’s” Masaharu Morimoto joined the tennis tournament’s culinary team, offering sushi at Aces restaurant in the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens.
Last year, restaurateur David Burke, who has appeared as a judge on Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America,” brought his signature steaks to the Center’s Champions Bar & Grill. Tony Mantuano, a “Top Chef Masters” champion and chef-partner at Chicago’s Spiaggia, returns to offer Mediterranean small plates and his signature flaming ouzo shrimp at Wine Bar Food.
Karmel is the newest addition to the culinary team.
“It’s nice that barbecue and southern food now have a place at the table along with Italian, sushi and the American steakhouse,” said the chef, whose restaurant is in Manhattan’s Chelsea district.
The Tennis Center will sell food to more than 700,000 fans at 60 concession stands this week through Sept. 9. The complex has 5 restaurants, 100 luxury suites and the Player’s Lounge, a private cafeteria for the athletes.
The stands include an oyster bar, Fresca Mexicana for tortas and other Mexican dishes, and Heineken House, an outdoor venue in the Food Village with three bars.
Another addition, East Gate Grill, should attract carnivores for its Pat LaFrieda Steak Sandwich, which layers filet mignon, onions au jus and Monterey Jack cheese. It’s named for Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors, a top New York supplier.
Morimoto’s sushi menu ranges from $6 to $25. His spicy tuna roll is a favorite of the U.K.’s Andy Murray, the defending U.S. Open champion, said Mark Stone, president of MM Management LLC, which manages Morimoto’s restaurant empire.
But if you’re sticking with meat, you might try the $49 grilled rib eye at Champions Bar & Grill. The steaks served up by Burke’s team have been dry aged for 55 days and finished with beef fat, roasted garlic and mustard powder as they come off the grill.
“It’s marinated in what we call love,” said Burke, whose Manhattan restaurants include David Burke Townhouse and Fishtail.
To contact the writer on this story: Patrick Cole in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org.