One of the joys of New York summers is the easier pace. And one of the signposts of the easier pace are lazier park lunches surrounded by children feeding pigeons, dogs playing on the hill, quiet citizens absorbed in a good book. Central Park, often called the lungs of the city, is also its beating heart, its passion point. There are so many beautiful corners in the park – we, who use it constantly, have our favorites – but one of them is in the east 60′s where the old trees cast their leafy shadows, where the glockenspiel from the zoo sounds the hour, where the sound of children’s laughter as they single file in to see the sea lions, mixes with a Madison Avenue work force striding to and fro.
So it is special to find the red cart – actually the tomato red cart – on the corner of 64th and 5th.
The nearby restaurant, Rouge Tomate, has relaunched its bright red, $30,000 food cart at the Central Park Zoo on Fifth Avenue and East 64th Street with a new menu that is intended to kick things up a notch.
Among the offerings: Amish Country chicken with North African spices, harissa, sweet peppers and onion, and minted yogurt ($8). And marinated portobello mushroom with Goodale Farms feta cheese, cucumber tzatziki and black olive tapenade. There’s also the chilled English pea soup with Meyer Lemon yogurt and the chilled spring garlic, leek and potato soup (both $5).
Oh yes, the whole wheat buns are baked for the cart by Amy’s Bread, and menu items are served with pickled Greenmarket vegetables on the side.