New Kid on the Block: Saleya

Saleya, the long-gestating restaurant owned by Michel Cohen of Tribeca Pediatrics, has finally opened—well, halfway. The downstairs is serving lunch; construction upstairs will ramp up once the liquor license comes through.

The space used to be Bangal Curry, although you’d never guess it. Downstairs is lovely, which an extremely high ceiling and a wall of windows looking out onto W. Broadway. Opposite the windows is a mirrored wall decorated with vintage steamer-trunk lids lined with antique wallpaper (which Cohen collects); eventually the lids will function as shelves for wine, liquor, and possible market products such as pickles. The restaurant’s name comes from the Cours Saleya, a plaza and market in Nice—where Cohen grew up—and the use of color feels bright and beachy: The façade is painted sky blue, the tables are lilac, and royal blue and yellow are used as accents. The room seats around 30, including the bar.

Downstairs will be more of an all-day café—right now it’s open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.-ish—serving soups, sandwiches, flatbreads, and salads. Chef Kevin O’Connell’s menu (click to enlarge), currently on the limited side as the restaurant gets on its feet, draws from around the Mediterranean, including North Africa and the Middle East. The plan for upstairs, meanwhile, is to serve tapas, and manager Stephane Dorian (who got his start working for David Bouley and at one point managed Kurt Gutenbrunner’s Blaue Gans.) Dorian says the wine list, also Mediterranean, will extend beyond France, Spain, and Italy: “All the wine will come from within thirty miles of the water.”

He gave me a tour of the upstairs, which is significantly bigger. (It reminded me of Pepolino in that it extends beyond the downstairs footprint.) There are two dining rooms conjoined by a zinc bar; total seating is around 65. Dorian says the atmosphere will be “more rustic” than downstairs, making the most of a wonderful old brick wall and floorboards that Cohen bought upstate.

Saleya is at 65 W. Broadway, 212-510-7390.

Recent New Kid on the Block/First Impressions articles:
Roberta Roller Rabbit
Westville Hudson
Sushi of Gari Tribeca
Barry’s Bootcamp
Trinity Place Department Store
Dirty Bird To-Go
Super Linda’s Taqueria
By Joy Gryson

6 Comments

  1. oh this looks awesome… i walked by a few weeks ago and wondered what was going to be behind that beautiful blue facade! glad to see nicer places coming south of chambers.

  2. That does indeed look very nice, both the space and the menu. Not the same-old same-old. I could go for some merguez right now!

  3. And I am going to assume that gorgeous painting on the wall is Dr. Cohen’s wife — Jeannie — fabulous! I’ve always been warmed in the heart when seeing her work — it should be all over Tribeca and beyond. Can’t wait to be a local there.

  4. The west side of West Broadway between Warren and Murray offers an incredibly diverse menu.
    Moving north to south on West Broadway we have:
    Mexican at the corner of Warren
    Cambodian/Thai
    North African
    Italian on the corner of Murray.

    Happy that I can live and dine in Tribeca.

  5. hopefully the service is better than at Tribeca Pediatrics!

  6. magnifique. et c’est des niçois qui le disent…….