Bounty at Brookfield

Bounty at Brookfield

The Charcuterie at the bustling Le District.

No, this is definitely not a place I could take Bella to. My dear friend Bella, who lives on the Lower East Side and is an all-around foodie, lover of theater and great playmate to bop around the city with, does suffer from one serious affliction: SIDAR (serious indecision disorder at restaurants). She is aware of the problem and does what she can to overcome it, searching out online menus ahead of time so she can spend a week or two deciding what main course to order, sometimes closing her eyes and just diving into the menu, etc. But after wandering around the gleaming tower known as Brookfield Place in Lower Manhattan, I know that I could simply not be so cruel as to ask Bella to meet me here for lunch.

For starters, there is Le District, a food hall on the main floor billed as “New York With a French Attitude.” Stations and stations here of tempting French delicacies and hearty fare: patisserie, boucherie, rotisserie, charcuterie, and even tempting cafés that don’t end in an “ie,” like a Délices du Chef counter (craft salads, and at 3 pm, a mousse bar). On this particular rainy summer day, I settled in at the rotisserie for some good comfort food: roasted chicken, rice and vegetables that were oh so yum. But it wasn't easy, even for me, decisive Lois, as, I had also eyed the sandwiches made with grainy, housemade breads and soups at La Boulangerie. Oh, and I didn't even mention Beaubourg, the classic, French sit-down restaurant with a menu filled with such jewels as goat cheese onion tarts, tableside whole Dover sole and herb-crusted rack of lamb.

And yet it didn't end there: after lunch, I discovered Hudson Eats, another food hall, one elevator ride directly above Le District. Here is where Bella would have probably gone into a full-blown breakout of SIDAT: eats of every kind of cuisine, one after another: Blue Ribbon sushi, Dig Inn organic food, a California-style taco place, artisanal grilled cheeses at Little Muenster, Might Quinn’s Barbeque, North China cuisine at Northern Tiger, and still more. Whether you want to eat large, or get a light bite, healthy or decadent, dessert or just a cool glass of wine, you can get it here.

After lunch, eating well at a reasonable price paid off: The tony stores in Brookfield Place are a temptation for anyone from young mammas (Babesta baby and children’s boutique) to Club Monaco (luxury menswear).

Perhaps one day, when they come up with a good antibiotic for Bella’s condition, I can bring her along. Until then, though, I am content going through station after station at the fabulous Brookfield Place food halls all by myself.

» Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey St., 212.978.1698