Tribeca Grill: A Steakhouse With A Touch of Hollywood Glamour
Tribeca is Robert DeNiro’s real-life playground, and Tribeca Grill was one of his first moves in transforming the industrial neighborhood from a warehouse wasteland to a truly coveted place to live. In the 20 years since it’s opening, the Tribeca Grill has become a downtown institution, a destination for uptown folk as well as a convenient landmark for the finance professionals in Battery Park and on Wall Street.
The restaurant is best described as classically elegant in a New York sort of way. It’s very big and brash, with a cavernous main dining room, at the center of which sits a sleek ovular bar of rich mahogany. High ceilings, original exposed brick and expansive paned windows give the Grill a chic industrial look, almost nostalgic for the neighborhood’s more working class heritage. DeNiro’s personal touches are everywhere, from the permanent display of his late father’s artwork throughout the restaurant to the private dining room that connects to the main screening room of his other labor of love, the Tribeca Film Festival.
The food is inspired new American with noticeable influences from the Mediterranean and the coastal regions of New England and the mid-Atlantic. Perhaps the most surprising thing about the menu though is how extensive it is. With almost 30 dishes to choose from, the selection is dizzying to the point of overwhelming and the range of proteins, flavors and inspirations is impressive, or perhaps unfocused. You can expect a vast array of starters that, depending on the season, can range from caviar atop mini potato pancakes to poached Maine lobster, braised short rib pierogis, a charcuterie plate, and red wine braised octopus. Entrees are classic expense account plates, with everything from a 16oz grilled dry-aged New York strip to a grilled Berkshire pork chip, an herb roasted chicken, and a hefty rack of lamb. Prices for a single dish can reach $40.
So, what’s good amongst so many options? The seared sea scallops are buttery and light, so plump that they taste like meat, and complemented with wonderfully crispy and sweet caramelized cauliflower. The grilled filet of beef is about as traditional as you can get – hulking and yet still tender, served with a side of addictive garlic whipped potatoes, and made more decadent by sinful crispy onion rings. The herb-crusted rack of lamb is big enough to feed two and served with savory bits of spring onion spaetzle (yum). If you’re looking for something on the lighter side, the heirloom tomato and goat cheese salad is salty and savory, with just enough creamy goat cheese bits to seem like a treat and not so many as to overwhelm the fresh tomatoes.
Tribeca Grill is an elegant bridge between the old and the new. It’s classic American steakhouse type place in an uber-hip neighborhood and a surprisingly diverse menu. It’s infused with a little Hollywood glamour (and pedigree, for that matter) and swank enough for client events, special occasions, first dates for the more traditional sort, and treating your parents to something oh so very New York.
Perfect For: expense accounts and corporate cards, DeNiro-stalking, your parents’ birthdays, the more traditional types, Tribeca bigwigs, after-work drinks, pre- or post-film festival vittles