Tribeca brings three things to mind: cobblestone streets, chic converted lofts and hip restaurants. Hang with the cool kids and head for one of our favourite local eateries when you’re next in town.
Jungsik, New York
Restaurant, Korean, $$$
Jungsik offers innovative, high-end Korean fare in an elegant and contemporary space made up of unadorned walls, clean white curtains and crisp white linens that cover the tables of the dimly lit dining rooms. Chef Jung Sik Yim, whom The New York Times has christened ‘The Pioneer of Modern Korean,’ brings ‘the innovations of French cuisine and new Spanish movements into the Korean realm’ while crafting playful dishes packed with bold flavor. The elaborate tasting menu changes seasonally, highlights include Golden Osetra (a rare form of Osetra caviar), crispy red mullet, octopus, a lemon olive sorbet and scallop with Korean pepper paste. Diners may also complement their dinner with professionally chosen wine pairings.
Atera combines culinary creativity with a deep appreciation for nature to create an immersive sensory dining experience. The modern American restaurant offers fixed-price-only menus that reflect the color and feeling of the seasons. In the summertime, it serves ‘green, juicy and vigorous creations, while wintertime follows a darker, deeper and more thoughtful trail.’ Atera offers a continuously sensory 18-course experience. Diners are seated on soft leather high chairs around a countertop where they observe a team of cooks preparing intricately designed dishes in silence. Executive Chef Ronny Emborg delivers a deft combination of elemental flavors, using first-class technique and fresh seasonal ingredients to create exquisite flavors.
This chic sushi spot has moved next door from some quality brunch. Nobu Next Door is serving a spin on traditional brunch classics, like the bagel and lox, which is salmon on a crispy rice bagel with aioli instead of cream cheese. It’s perfect for sharing, and the rice cake provides a nice crunch. Their chicken and waffles, which is chicken karaage and green tea waffles with yuzu syrup, is amazing. The chicken is perfectly cooked with a yummy yuzu syrup. Like Nobu, the place next door is professional and inviting.
Edward’s is the epitome of Tribeca cool. The menu is filled with simple and classic American continental bistro choices, and the vibe is laidback with no frills. The casual dining experience at Edward’s is great for families, especially those with young children, and the servers are very accommodating, rarely up-charging for tweaking your order. The huevos rancheros (“rancher’s eggs”) is a delicious everyday choice, and Edward’s offers half-price wine bottles every Wednesday night.
Named after a variety of thyme that grows wild in Tuscany is Pepolino. This place serves dishes that are prepared tastefully with flavorful herbs that bring out the best of the natural flavors in every bite. Indeed, the chefs at Pepolino have perfected quintessential Italian meals seasoned artfully to taste, as owners Partizio Siddu and Enzo Pezone were trained in culinary arts in Florence and Naples, respectively. The fettuccine with clams is a fresh, light favorite, and the rich pear ricotta tart is lovely for the finish. If the weather is nice, sitting out on the airy balcony is the perfect place to enjoy your meal and the beauty that is New York City.
Equipped with a mouthwatering “cake-pole” as a nod to the café’s previous tenant, Harmony Burlesque, Baked Tribeca is not your common coffee house. Chocolate and sweet curry cookies, pumpkin whoopee pies, and chocolate Coca-Cola® cakes round out the café’s menu of off-beat offerings. Endorsed by Goop, Bon Appetít, and Oprah herself, Baked Tribeca deserves a spot on any dessert lover’s New York itinerary.
From charmingly mismatched plateware to communal tables to generous portions of wholesome dishes, everything about Maman Tribeca gives the impression of dining in someone’s home. Specializing in “family-inspired recipes” hailing from the south of France, the spot serves soft-boiled eggs, market veggie-filled quiches, croque mamans made with truffle béchamel, and more. When the café does decide to venture from tradition, creative concoctions such as lavender hot chocolate and deconstructed avocado toast don’t disappoint.
Squeezed into a three-story TriBeCa townhouse that dates back to 1810, Tiny’s exudes a wonderful warmth and coziness thanks to brick walls, tin ceilings and custom banquettes. On the first floor, there’s a bar and back dining room, replete with a wood-burning fireplace; upstairs houses more seats, filled with guests sipping negronis and bourbon on the rocks.
Smith and Mills occupies an old carriage house | Courtesy of Smith and Mills
You’ll have to pack yourself into Smith and Mills to snag a seat at the bar or the white banquettes. After all, the place is undeniably small: it used to be a carriage house, but these days it’s been repurposed as a bar and restaurant. The bartenders can quickly stir together an Aperol spritz or a Pimm’s cup brightened with lime juice and mint, or you can choose from a small selection of beer and wine. If you’re hungry, spring for a charcuterie or cheese plate, or pop back some East Coast oysters.