Best Pots, Pans, Etc.
477 Broome Street
The right equipment has been known to enhance performance in the kitchen, that is. Pro and amateur gourmands alike load up on cooking paraphernalia at Broadway Panhandler, which started out as a supplier to the U.S. Army during World War II. Verbena's chef-owner, Diane Forley, counts it among her favorites it stocks the brands she uses in her restaurant, All-Clad saute pans and Bourgeat pots. There are also 580 different types of pots, pans, and skillets; helpful salespeople to hold your hand through the selection process; and great discounts. And the Panhandler's über-organized, well-lit interior makes it a pleasure to idle there even for the mere window-shopper.
1000 Third Avenue
The aptly named Main Course at Bloomingdale's, complete with "open-air kitchens," has nearly a dozen brands — everything from Calphalon to Le Creuset and a staff that'll deconstruct high-tech kitchenspeak like hard-anodized and heat-shielded. Stop by in the evening or on the weekend it may mean battling the crowds and registering brides, but you'll get to sample some cooking demonstrations and free finger food.