It may not feel much like spring, but the Opening Day for the Mets’ 2017 season is less than two weeks away on Monday, April 3. After back-to-back appearances in the postseason, the team will be ready — and so will Citi Field. Here’s a preview of what’s new at the stadium, including all the new restaurants, bars, swag and more coming to the Mets’ home field this year.
An early (unofficial) start to the season
Baseball fans do have the weather to thank for one thing. The Mets are coming home a little early to play their ninth annual exhibition game against the Army’s baseball team on Friday, March 31. Usually held at West Point, the match had to be moved because the blizzard damaged their field; first pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. and tickets are $10, with proceeds going to the Mets Foundation.
Try the hottest trend in desserts
Edible cookie dough sensation DŌ will have a stand serving three of its most popular flavors (chocolate chip, sugar and cake batter, $6-$13). “They were looking for a dessert that’s a little bit different than the usual ice cream,” says founder Kristen Tomlan (though you can still get the cookie dough with vanilla ice cream). No guarantee that the line will be any shorter than the regular two-hour affair at its Greenwich Village storefront though. Promenade Club
Another fine-dining chef goes casual
Michael White is the latest big-name chef to join the roster at Citi Field. The outpost of his casual restaurantNicolettawill serve a first for the ballpark, surprisingly: a chicken parmesan sandwich, along with fried pepperoni-mozzarella sticks and stromboli balls.Section 141
Taste a six-time Burger Bash winner
As far as chef Josh Capon is concerned, “If the lineup on the field is half as good as the culinary lineup in the kitchen, we’re going all the way!” His Bash Burger stand will serve his New York City Wine & Food Festival-winning dish, made with a Pat LaFreida patty topped with onion bacon jam, American cheese, secret sauce and pickles. Section 135
Roll up to two new bars
The 7 Line Army has a new watering hole just behind the scoreboard: The Jim Bean Bourbon Bar (Section 141) will serve cocktails with a great view of the action. In left field, Bud Light Landing will be an indoor-outdoor fan lounge with a Budweiser bar and photo ops like an oversized beer can. (Excelsior Level, Section 334-339)
— Jeff Eisenband (@JeffEisenband) March 23, 2017
A festival food makes a home
The guys ofBig Mozzenjoy their nomadic lifestyle of Smorgasburg, music festivals and special events. Now, they’ve found the closest thing to a permanent home for their oversized mozzarella sticks, which come with four seasonings and pesto, chipotle and marinara sauces (4 for $10).Promenade Club
Say hello Chairman Bao
Food, fashion and entertainment mogul Eddie Huang’s East Village shopBaohauswill be bringing its pillowy (and punny) buns filled with Taiwanese-styleheritage Berkshire pork belly to the Promenade Club.
Porsche rolls in, because…?
The Acela Club, the left field restaurant accessible only to higher-tier ticketholders, is now the Porsche Grille, under the management of Myriad Group (Tribeca Grill, Nobu). The new menu ranges from smoked BBQ ribs to roasted Atlantic cod. The luxury carmaker is also displaying some of its vehicles in select areas, which leads us to wonder: You know the speed limit in the city is 20mph and parking costs as much as rent, right?
More kid fun on Sundays
Family Sundays now feature three inflatable attractions for kids: a batting cage, a pitching target and a bounce house with slide behind the outfield. And, as per tradition, all kids get to run the bases for free after the game. We’re not jealous at all.
Menu (and off-the-menu) changes
Two Bootspizzeria has created a white pie inspired by the Mets’ home borough, the Queen of Queens, topped with Creole chicken, broccoli, cherry tomatoes and fresh garlic.Catch of the Dayhas added two great seafood options: Loaded Bayside Fries topped with zesty fried clams and clam chowder fondue, and South Bay Lobster Tacos with citrus slaw and tomatillo-avocado salsa. AndDavid Chang’sFukuhas a new, off-the-menu dish: a Mets hard hat overflowing with two chicken sandwiches, chicken fingers, potato wedges and sauces ($42).
Saved the best for last — swag!
The Mets gave out just under a million pieces of swag last year, and that’s going to continue. Free Shirt Fridays will continue of course, with every fan receiving a free one-off design — the homecoming shirt on April 7 will have long sleeves, in deference to our weird weather.
The best merchandise is usually given out on select Super Saturdays to the first 15,000 fans. Mark your calendars for July 22, when the swag will be a bobblehead of Marvel’s Thor dressed as pitcher Noah Syndegaard, the first time the superhero franchise has licensed one of its characters to a baseball team.