By Ava Stryker-Robbins
Fairway Market, on West 74th Street and Broadway, is always bustling with energy. With aisles and aisles of every food you can imagine, the market is a welcoming place to all residents of the Upper West Side. And, just one staircase (or elevator ride) above the deli meats, baguettes, and produce, is a peaceful cafe with delicious food.
Fairway’s 74th Street Cafe, which has been open for at least 20 years, reopened on September 20th after a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic. It is now operating under new management with a new chef. Its Classic Chicken Matzoh Ball Soup is a comforting, tasty, and flavorful meal to eat on a chilly fall day. It contains fresh shredded chicken breast, carrots, celery, and matzoh balls. One thing that makes the dish unique is the sheer size of the matzoh balls. They are giant. Though their doughy, dumpling-like, slightly salty taste is subtle, they soak up the flavor of the broth and add more textural variation to the soup.
The chef who helped create the menu has 15-20 years of experience, according to Trevor Arnone, the new general manager, in a phone interview with West Side Rag. 74th Street Cafe serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Arnone hopes to “elevate this to pretty much the best cafe on the Upper West Side,” he said. “I am really hoping to tap into that old customer base that used to be here all the time. I know they’ve missed us.”
Growing up with a certified master chef as his father, Arnone was exposed to the kitchen at a very young age. “By nine years old, he had me at my first catering party in the back of the kitchen cutting herbs,” he said.
From there, Arnone’s passion grew. He has worked in the industry since college, first through an internship at a country club in Georgia, then running a food truck in upstate New York. “It was a passion and a love of mine,” he said.
Fairway first opened in the 1930’s as a small, corner produce store, according to its website. In 1954, founder Nathan Glickberg and his son, Leo, worked to transform the market and opened the 74th Street storefront. Though much has happened to the Fairway business since, including bankruptcy and a sale in 2020 to Village Supermarkets, which runs a number of ShopRites, the 74th Street market remains a quintessential Upper West Side location.
Arnone and his team are excited to transform the cafe and make it better than ever. “We cannot wait to welcome the entire community back and all new customers as well!”
The Classic Chicken Matzoh Ball Soup costs $10.
The Dish: Classic Chicken Matzoh Ball Soup
The Restaurant: Fairway’s 74th Street Cafe (2131 Broadway at 74th Street on the 2nd Floor)
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