Apt4: The Morning After

A couple of weeks ago, I got excited that dinner-party club Apt4 was throwing an event in Tribeca. I had noticed on Twitter a while back that they had found an excellent space in the neighborhood, and we all know how much I like an excellent space. So I signed my partner and myself up, and I invited readers to join us. Tickets were $65.

The party was last night (nasty weather, eh?), at 39 Walker. The apartment wasn’t special, though it did have nice cast-iron columns and tin ceilings, and the crowd was decidedly younger than one usually sees in Tribeca (or that we see at all these days). The demo and the rental decor made it feel like the kind of party we used to go to without having to pay.

Of course, those parties were more about drinking than eating. The food last night was passed, which we knew going in, and some of it was very good: The summer rolls with shrimp and taco seasoning, in particular, were a standout; the hard-boiled eggs with salted cod were also delicious. The mushroom risotto was fine, but it was very hot, and we wondered whether it was safe to be served in plastic Dixie cups (it certainly wasn’t elegant). As for the pork croquettes, well, they hit whatever the opposite of the spot is. Wine flowed freely, as promised—one of the wines, amusingly, was one we had had the night before at home. We left before dessert.

Am I being ungracious? Probably, but that’s one main difference between Apt4 and, say, Worth Kitchen, where we were truly guests. I may end up feeling like a schmuck for this—because the six folks running Apt4 are young and having fun and doing something interesting, and the other patrons seemed to be enjoying themselves—but when I pay, I’m buying the right to complain (or at least compare). For $65 a head, we could’ve eaten at many neighborhood restaurants where we would have had (a) seats; (b) real plates; (c) a full dinner—instead, afterward, we went to Stuzzicheria; (d) and a nice setting. The disappointment was certainly a result of my high expectations; moreover, we value certain things more than the opportunity to mingle with new people, which was obviously the point of the event.

As for the apartment, I will say this: I looked it up on StreetEasy, which claimed the rent was once listed at $8,500 a month. The apartment—one real bedroom and one makeshift one with walls that don’t go all the way to the (high) ceiling, plus one bathroom—faces an air shaft. If nothing else, I learned something about the rental market in Tribeca. And I’ll think twice before leaving my partner. (Sorry, babe! It was a joke!)

There was one wonderful upside to the evening: As I was taking a photo of the eggs, a woman asked if I was Tribeca Citizen. (Who else would be taking a photo of hard-boiled eggs?) Her name was Katie, and she and her friend, Traci, came to the event at my instigation. Meeting and hanging out with them—both at the party and later at Stuzzicheria—was far and away the best part of the evening. We agreed to get together again soon… at a restaurant.

P.S. One of Apt4’s founders just emailed me to point out that I’d probably the group’s chef’s-table dinners—”enjoy multi-course sit-down meals with 6-10 people” more, and I’d have to agree. When they do one in Tribeca, I’ll be back!



  1. oh come on, you had a lousy time (like if your best college friend knew how to cook and serve) and then you had to add on that sit-down invitation that you’d go back to just to appease the subject of the article. makes me want to go to neither…

  2. @Pieter: You made me laugh…. I’d stand by the P.S.—the sit-down dinners would be much more my style—except maybe for the last line. It’s not appeasement—I don’t owe them anything—so much as I sometimes get uncomfortable being negative (believe it or not).

  3. It was super interesting seeing what $8500 a month could get … a walk-up; three flights on un-even stairs … made me appreciate my apartment where the elevator works at least 80% of the time. A nice concept, good to meet neighbors, not enough food or wine. Fortunately there was a restaurant around the corner where we could get a great meal and drink for half the price.