A legendary chef's effort to let the people eat gourmet, Trotter's To Go brings olive-oil-poached tuna and quinoa salad to Equinox Gym. Push past the revolving doors into the gym's lobby and two roads diverge into treadmills (straight ahead) and gobs of ready-for-baking cookie dough (in the cooler to your right).
The slightly sweeter option belongs to a refrigerated collection of slick drinks and desserts: Look for GUS (grown up soda) in sophisticated-indeed flavors like Extra Dry Gingerale, or rev up with a green tea-based Sencha shot. The aforementioned desserts feature carrot cake with honey cream cheese frosting and cups of butterscotch pudding that one staffer warns are "highly addictive."
If your taste for gourmet outweighs your sweet tooth, check out the coolers that wrap around the cafe counter. Its shelves are divided into "grain and noodle salads" like Israeli couscous with apricot curry and "entree salads" such as spicy chicken with black bean relish, white cheddar and chipotle-tomato dressing. On the bottom shelf, hand-carved artisan sandwiches include the elegant Darjeeling tea-cured smoked salmon with English cucumber and creme fraiche. Though the prepackaged food invites takeout, seating is available for about 20; pull up a stool at one of two widow-hugging counters or grab a seat at one of three, steel-topped tables.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Jennifer Berg