The Iconic Dishes of Tribeca

tinys kale salad 2413Tinys menuWhenever I’m at Tiny’s, I wonder how much kale the restaurant goes through. Every other diner, and possibly more than that, orders the Kale Salad. Last time I was there, I decided that the salad had entered the pantheon of Iconic Tribeca Dishes, those ones that become deeply associated with the restaurant (and that chefs can’t remove for fear of ticking off patrons). I don’t just mean that I like them—I mean that everyone seems to like them.

I spent the rest of my lunch thinking about what other dishes would be on the list. Here’s what I came up with:

••• Black Cod with Miso at Nobu

••• Sheep’s Milk Ricotta Crostini at Locanda Verde

••• Porcini Flan with Dungeness Crab and Truffle Dashi at Bouley

••• Chili Lobster with Texas Toast at Marc Forgione

••• Salzburger Nockerl at Blaue Gans

••• Caramels at Landmarc

I’m sure I’m forgetting others, so please weigh in!

(Matt: I’d still love to post the kale salad recipe….)

P.S. If you’re affiliated with a restaurant, please don’t comment about it.

UPDATE: Besides the suggestions in the comments, I’ll add here the ones that come in via Twitter:
••• “Brussels sprouts at The Harrison, Blue Crab at The Hideaway, Fish Tacos at Super Linda…?” —Douglas Mercer (@mexicaliblues)



  1. Lamb sliders and mac and cheese at Ward III are amazing. Best Mac + Cheese EVER!

  2. Oh yes, the shrimp + cheese grits at Duane Park – so good!

  3. Tuna burger at Odeon.

  4. And then there’s that frisee salad with lardons and poached egg at Odeon. I’d give that iconic status too.

  5. The Spaghetti del Marinaio at Max.
    Red Pie at Saluggi’s.
    Veal & Ricotta Meatballs at Terroir.
    Chili at Walker’s.

  6. Kutsher’s Pastrami Eggrolls!

  7. The beet pasta at Giginos

  8. Along with the chili lobster toast at Marc Forgione, I would add the Halibut En Croute and Banana Pecan Pie Bread pudding (pretty much the entire menu is iconic there!)
    Also would add the Rigatoni with Eggplant from Max to the list. And the Bubby’s Breakfast is another classic!

  9. /ʌɪˈkɒnɪk/ – adjective
    relating to or of the nature of an icon; very famous and well known, and believed to represent a particular idea

  10. Black Spaghetti with Spicy Shrimp at Max’s
    Square white pie at Dean’s
    I’m fat, clearly.

  11. Fettuccine al SugoToscano at Max
    Souffle at Capsouto Frères
    Cincinnati night at Edwards!

  12. Some of these are great, but I’m confused about all the Max suggestions – The original was in the East Village and I never think of Max as Iconic Tribeca… Nor did I realize it had such a big following…

  13. @Strollerless: If you’re implying the comments are PR-y, they’re not….

  14. @Erik – I know you didn’t write them, but Max was an offshoot of an East Village chain, hardly Tribeca. And the reviews on your Restaurant Guide are pretty bad… It has gone so downhill. Iconic, no. Who are all these fans?

  15. Max is my Italian go-to in Tribeca, great reliable food and not crazy expensive.

  16. @Strollerless: It never occurred to me that you might have been suggesting I wrote them! My point was that I recognized the commenters (I see their email addresses) as people who had commented before, and not about Max. And of course just because a few people posted negative comments on one page doesn’t mean that others might not post positive ones on another.

  17. I commented regarding Max. To clarify, I have no affiliation. I have lived in Tribeca for over 5 years. Is Max my all time favorite Tribeca restaurant? No, but I do like it. Is it an iconic Tribeca restaurant? No, but it has been around longer than some of the others listed – Tinys, Locanda Verde. I just know I love their Rigatoni and Eggplant and would be sad if they ever took if off the menu ;)

  18. Rotisserie chicken @ Bouley Bakery!

    … oh wait, never mind. :(

  19. Chicken banh mi at Mangez Avec Moi!!
    Cucumber Gin Martini at Odeon!!

  20. How could I forget Blue Crab Monday’s at The Hideaway!!

  21. If that dog’s breakfast of a kale salad is iconic of Tribeca, the neighborhood is in a sad state. It looks like a mess–and kale salads have no right being considered as food, in any case. Kale is a great vegetable, but it is not now, nor ever was, meant to be eaten raw. Salads like that are what hipsters (and, I guess, residents of Tribeca) try to eat to show how crunchy-green-conscious they are, when really all they can manage to do is chew and chew and chew and chew and force it down as a mass of fibers. Well, at least that does some good in the end.

    But I guess that mess IS emblematic of Tribeca these days, just like other food I’ve had at Tiny’s: more is more, regardless of discretion or flavor/taste or esthetics–flaunt it, baby (with or without a stroller).

  22. Cavatelli at Roc is the best dish in New York.

  23. Baked turkey burger w/ fries in a paper bag @ Ivy’s

  24. Duck Schmaltz Fries at The Harrison
    Braised Lamb Shank and Black Lentil Daal at Tamarind
    and, of course the Shiso Cocktail at Brushstroke

  25. I’ve lived in Tribeca for 29 years, so while it’s long gone, I would note the residential, commercial and industrial strength chiies at Exterminator Chili. That was a treat!

    Also, the Gnocci and the Ricotta Tart at Pepolino. the gnocci is the lightest I have ever had and the Ricotta Tart by Enzo Pezone has won several awards and its recipe was in the NY times Food Section several years ago.

    The Oxtail Ravioli at Roc, the Seared Tuna Sandwich w/wasabi mayo at Edward’s and the fried oysters at Walker’s, too.

  26. You are spot on with Nobu’s Black Cod & Miso!
    How about Bouley’s luscious Lemon Loaf that accompanies all guests home?

  27. I’m with meredith and sth here: very very few of these actually meet the definition of iconic. Iconic doesn’t mean your personal favorite. It doesn’t even mean a local favorite. It means celebrity food, food that has come to stand for a restaurant or chef or in this case a neighborhood. Iconic food is something that transcends personal sensibility to become a collective fantasy: people who live nowhere near TriBeCa desire the food because other people who live elsewhere also desire it. Most of the places mentioned here are wanna be iconic. They’d be thrilled to be iconic. But truly iconic food is often no longer even good food (eg black cod, Bubbys brunch – perfect examples of iconic food). Much as I myself might like many of these dishes and places, frankly these days the most iconic food in TriBeCa is probably the take out bar at Whole Foods. Sad but true.

  28. Oh for crying out loud! Some of these comments are a bit over the top, don’t you think? Who CARES whether the word “iconic” doesn’t perfectly describe the delicious dishes listed above? I thought the point was to take a moment to celebrate just a few of the yummy reasons we’ve come to love dining in this great little neighborhood of ours. Relax. Take a breath. Have a glass of wine. Try a new meal at a local restaurant ;)

  29. Roast lacquered duck and sweet sausage fried rice at Viet Cafe. Yum!