THE CAFE AT A 120,000-SQUARE-FOOT GRAVESEND FITNESS FACILITY HAD A VISION BEYOND WHEATGRASS AND PROTEIN SMOOTHIES— IT SPECIALIZES IN CHEF-CURATED FARE DESIGNED TO SUPPORT SPECIFIC FITNESS AGENDAS

BY AMANDA McCOY

When the trio of entrepreneurs behind the expansive Gravesend health and sports club MatchPoint NYC acquired the lease for the 120,000-square-foot mega space back in 2011, their collective goal was to create a full-service and self-contained ecosystem for active lifestyles, offering something for every skill level, fitness objective, and age. Matchpoint ultimately came to house nine competition tennis courts, a gymnastics studio, and a junior Olympic-sized swimming pool, among other amenities, and has played host to a number of charitable events, most recently the Say No to Bullying! Fitness Day, in which Olympic tennis silver medalist Dinara Safina participated.

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But for the club to be truly comprehensive, the partners knew that they required an on-site restaurant and juice bar—one that would not only provide healthy, made-from-scratch dishes, but also serve as an educational guidepost for eating well.

So, Alexey Buschuev, a certified nutritionist and the complex’s director of fitness, teamed with Head Chef Eugene Belsky to curate a menu that would guide patrons in making smart choices tailored to individual objectives. Selections are partitioned into three goal areas (Slim Diet, Fit Diet, and Spartan Diet), in essence fostering shedding, toning, or growing.

Formally trained at the French Culinary School of the Art Institute of New York, Belsky, when approached about piloting the kitchen of a sports facility only 10 minutes from his front door, jumped at the opportunity. The chef first explained the number one diet mistake people make (“not adhering to one”)—but that all-natural, freshly prepared cuisine can help.

SIDEBAR PHOTAcai

His fare runs the gamut from light afternoon morsels to hearty evening meals. Weekend brunch is popular, with an array of made-to-order options for each of the three categories. For diners on a fat-burning diet, the chef recommends a fresh acai bowl blended with banana and almond milk (see recipe at left). Options like a scooped-out egg sandwich or burrata cheese are on deck for the Fit Diet lifestyle, while sweet potato waffles or a protein-laden buckwheat scramble will amp up the calories and healthy fats for benchers and builders.

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It wasn’t long before non-gym-members began coveting the fruit of Belsky’s labors.

“We had customers asking if we could cater their private events and bring food to their offices,” he said. “So, we sat down and decided to make it part of the package. We added online ordering, deliveries, catering, and private parties, so now they can enjoy our food anytime.”

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MatchPoint Cafe
MatchPoint NYC, 2781 Shell Road
718.769.0001 / matchpoint.nyc