The Pennsy: Easy Commute, Uncomplicated Food

Leaving the comfort of my own home isn’t easy in the winter, especially when I’m expected to schlep into New York with my kids. But that doesn’t stop out-of-town guests from wanting to connect (in the city, of course) and since I’m the one who lives locally, I’m supposed to recommend a meeting spot. (As if I EVER get into the city…)


  • in the city
  • that everyone loves
  • where I can bring my kids
  • without worrying about the commute
  • or the food.
  • (Or the salt and pepper shakers, or the business-people, or the price, or any of the things that make dining out in NYC a no-go for parents.)

The Pennsy is located ONE BLOCK from the 33rd St. PATH. That means all I have to do is get to the PATH (my kids are cool on the train) and then walk a block to the restaurant. And there’s a taxi stand out front as an added bonus (Mommy! Look!) – the Pennsy is located right next to Madison Square Garden.

The Pennsy isn’t an uptight New York restaurant. It’s more of a market, a high end food court, with five specialty eateries and a full bar. The seating is ample, there’s no fussy table service, and the ceilings are sky high, making the space feel airy and open. My kids can be kids (they can even tantrum or cry) and no one will be bothered, no one will be embarrassed.


Food choices range from vegan pastries and sandwiches (at The Cinnamon Snail) to renowned butcher Pat LaFrieda’s premier brick and mortar sandwich and specialty shop. Dining options also include The Little Beet (gluten-free, seasonal, and locally sourced), Lobster Press (fast casual lobster creations by Chef Marc Forgione), and Mario by Mary (Mario Batali’s collaborative Italian concept with celebrity caterer Mary Giuliani.)

Cutting to the chase – The Pennsy is an easy win. It’s New York quality food in a kid-friendly space with a bar. And between you and me, last time I was there, I left the kids with my mom and my aunt at the table and I ordered a quick & sneaky tequila at the bar on the way to the bathroom.

Hey – A mom’s gotta live a little, right?



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Mel Kozakiewicz a professor, editor, writer, and mother of two.

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