When the Dutch arrived in Manhattan, the island was surrounded by great oyster beds that fed the Lenape Indians and delighted the oyster-loving Dutch. The islands we know as Ellis and Liberty were Little Oyster Island and Great Oyster Island to the Dutch, who might have been sitting on half the world's supply. For the next two centuries, the oyster and New York would be inseparable. The Collect Pond (or Fresh Water Pond) was a body of fresh water near the southern end of Manhattan Island in New York City, occupying approximately 48 acres and as deep as 60 feet. For the first two hundred years of European settlement of Manhattan, Collect Pond was the main water supply for the growing New York City. The pond, fed by an underground spring, was located in a valley, with Bayard Mount (at 110 feet, the tallest hill in lower Manhattan) to the northeast and Kalck Hoek (Dutch for Chalk Point, named for the numerous oyster shell middens left by the Native American inhabitants) to the west-located in close proximity and steps away from 527 Broome Street, our present location. Naming our restaurant after the "Chalk Point" not only pays homage to the history of our location, but also gives insight into our style of food, which couples sustainability and high-level composition with approachability.
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