First Look: Vita Urbana in Battery Park’s Shoreway Building


Vita Urbana (1200 W. 76th St., 216-600-5303), located in the ritzy Shoreway Building in Battery Park, will officially open its doors to the general public tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. The all-day gourmet market and café, operated by owner Mike Graley and chef-partner Scott Popovic, combines a 50-seat bar and bistro with a gourmet retail marketplace.

On Tuesday, management was putting the finishing touches on the space. The shelves are being stocked, the kegs are being tapped, the coolers are being filled, and the mise en place is in place.

In the morning, Vita Urbana functions as the neighborhood’s coffee shop, offering up fresh-brewed Rising Star and Cleveland coffees, espresso, cappuccino and fresh-fruit smoothies. To eat, there will be grab-and-go items like danish, muffins and croissants and made-to-order foods like oatmeal, granola, and sausage, egg and cheese empanadas.

Following breakfast service, an all-day menu kicks in. A large selection of snacks and starters features meat and cheese boards, a few salads, beef fat-popped popcorn with smoked sea salt, tuna tartar with orange and scotch bonnet gelée, Certified Angus Beef tacos with chipotle cabbage, and grilled salmon skewers.

More substantial small and medium plates include beef and ricotta meatballs with sauce and bread, rosemary roasted chicken mac and cheese, fried mascarpone polenta with roasted mushroom ragout, pan-roasted Canadian salmon with roasted new potatoes and spring pea sauce, and beer-braised beef short rib with polenta and swiss chard.

Prices are in the $5 to $13 range.

For in-house guests there are four beers on tap and nearly 50 wines by the glass. For those on the go, a well-stocked retail section has beer, wine, gourmet cheeses, charcuterie, pasta, olive oil, condiments and a few basic necessities. One section is dedicated to “first to market” food products originating in the Cleveland Culinary Launch and Kitchen.

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