Quiz: Dead Restaurants

Keeping the Tribeca Citizen Restaurant Guide up to date means not just adding restaurants, but deleting them. Looking through all of the entries that I’ve hidden from view since the guide was started in 2011, I decided they could make a fun guessing game. So here are blurbs describing 10 deceased restaurants, with the establishments’ names and other pertinent proper nouns redacted. Feel free to answer in the comments. (All of the restaurants are in Tribeca proper.) And if this proves enjoyable, there will be more posts, and they’ll get harder each time….

1. On Friday and Saturday nights, XXXXXX is a hotspot, with jazz bands and burlesque dancers putting on buzzy, fun shows. On school nights, the restaurant can be downright quiet. Either way, the food is good—with a Creole touch here and there—and reasonably priced, while the room has a flavor all its own, thanks to trompe l’oeil black-and-white wallpaper and antique-style wooden furniture.

2. Owned by a French mother-daughter team, XXXXXX serves breakfast (pastries and eggs), lunch (salads, sandwiches, a few entrées), and dinner. At the same time, it’s a café/bakery set up to handle to-go business. The look is French—black-and-white tiles, tufted banquettes, and chandeliers. XXXXXX’s outdoor seating is of the French variety—i.e., chairs in rows, with small tables.

3. When converting the old XXXXXX space to a wirsthaus, chef XXXXXX had the good sense to leave the fabulous array of gallery and museum posters all over the walls. As a result, XXXXXX is one of the best spaces in Tribeca, thanks also to the lofty, barreled ceiling and the dramatic flower arrangement that usually lords over the bar. The food is German/Austrian, but with XXXXXX’s light touch. (Standouts include the sausages, the sauerkraut, the pretzel, and, for dessert, the exquisite Salzburger Nockerl.) XXXXXX is a reliable brunch option, and at any time except perhaps after work—when crowds can drop in—the bar is great for solo diners.

4. If you’re British, you’ll be in heaven at XXXXXX. Besides the quintessentially pubbish name, there’s a Tudoresque façade, a crease (it’s a cricket word) on the floor near the bar, and all manner of British knickknacks. The menu focuses on British greatest hits—not just fish and chips, Scotch eggs, bangers and mash, and sticky toffee pudding, but chicken tikka masala, mushy peas, baked beans, cottage pie, and a “full and proper English brekkie!” There are also more American options: burgers, sandwiches, and entrées such as chicken Marsala and steak.

5. Serving Spanish food, XXXXXX is among the most designed restaurants in the area—from the wall of mirrors to the colored LEDs to the oil paintings to the lizard wallpaper (which, in a trompe l’oeil effect, appears to be bedazzled with rhinestones but is actually 2-D).

6. The locally owned XXXXXX is a cocktail bar, but it’s also a pizzeria, where you can even buy pizza by the slice, and a café serving home-baked goods during the day. And it’s circus-themed: The decor is an over-the-top mix of rococo and circus and contemporary New York, with pedestal tables, leather banquettes, marquee lights, subway tile, vintage circus and NYC photos, crystal chandeliers, glass urns holding various elixirs, and vaulted ceilings painted gold. It comes off as a labor of love, which is not always the case in these parts.

7. Formerly known as XXXXXX, XXXXXX was established in 1967, and it has the photos to prove it. (Look for Dean Martin, Mick Jagger, and Burt Reynolds—all the greats—in the framed photos on the walls, along with wonderful pictures of the neighborhood.) The decor has been updated since then, but, thankfully, the exquisite wooden-beam ceilings and brick walls remain. Upstairs are two dining rooms and a lounge; downstairs is a bar with a separate, more casual menu. The food at the former is Italian; the famous dish is the “Angry Lobster,” cooked with garlic, red pepper flakes, and basil. The food downstairs is more Italian-American—pizza, chicken parm, meatball sliders, and a delicious sandwich made with that “Angry Lobster” and pizza dough.

8. XXXXXX emphasizes the local, sustainable, organic, humanely-raised, and community-minded, as the Vermont-born XXXXXX chain has since it was founded in 1985. The menu has salads, pizzas, dessert, and drinks. New for New York: two additional salads, a more robust wine program, and spirits (only some restaurants offer hard liquor). This is also the first outpost to have an espresso machine. The room is airy and spare, with high ceilings and windows offering wonderful street views. There’s seating for around 140, at tables, at counters facing the ovens—sure to be a hit with kids who want to watch the action—and at a bar on the north side of the room.

9. Between all the Danes, the food, the decor—Danish furniture and tableware—and the northern light, you’ll feel like you’re on a quickie to Europe. The highlight is smørrebrød, complex open-faced sandwiches: Atop the rye dense bread is a smear of something creamy (butter or mayonnaise), something substantial (meat, usually), something crispy (fried potato slices, perhaps), something piquant (maybe pickled green tomato cubes), and a dusting of herbs. The smørrebrød are small, but nicely priced ($7-$10), and filling, thanks to the bread. The restaurant makes its own aquavit in house: Flavors might include dill, lemon, roasted pumpkin, or toasted rye bread.

10. Few restaurants are as committed to the farm-to-table movement as XXXXXX. Like the original XXXXXX diner in the upriver town of Hudson, the burger-centric restaurant gets its beef, pork, chicken, and dairy from the owners’ XXXXXX farm in Ghent, N.Y., and almost all remaining ingredients are from other nearby farms. That means no Diet Coke; instead, they make their own sodas. Both are the first restaurants in the world to be Animal Welfare Approved, an effort to identify the farms that are truly doing everything possible for their animals. Ingredients are also entirely organic. The Earth-first ethos extends to the condiments (you’re asked in advance what you’d like, to minimize waste); napkins and takeout packaging (made from recycled materials and/or biodegradable); and the decor itself. The wood is from a barn in Greenville, N.Y., that was built in the mid to late 1700s.

 

11 Comments

  1. I’ll take some easy ones: 3=Blaue Gans, 7=Filli Ponte, which became Ponte’s, 10=Grazin. 8 looks like American Flatbread. Was 1 at the northeast corner of Church and Reade?

  2. #2. Yaffa’s?
    #6. Cyrk ?

  3. #9 was Aamans, located by the Tribeca Film Festival building

  4. 1. Duane Park, 2. Josephine, 3. Blaue Gans, 4. Cricketers Arms 5. Super Linda 6. Bar Cyrk, 7. Filli Ponte, 8. American Flatbread, 9. Aamanns Copenhagen 10. Grazin. = lots of years heading up the Taste of Tribeca Restaurant Committee- TC Restaurant guide was always the best resource for us!!!

    • #1 is the second, and much shorter-lived version of Duane Park. The original, and, for our family at least, much missed Duane Park was a gracious, grown up neighborhood restaurant perfect for celebrating life milestones and achievements:

  5. Yaffas was the best and friendly place. Circle Rouge had great atmosphere

  6. this just makes me sad ;(

  7. This makes me so sad.. remember all of them and so many more… Plumeri (the best… chicken parmm yum!) Silver Lining, Flor de Sol, Roc, Capsouto Freres, El Teddy’s, Chanterelle, Nobu, Nobu Next Door, Kitchenette, City Hall, Acapella, Bouley (on West Broadway!), The Harrison, Yaffa’s, Il Mattone (the original), Ivy’s, Fresh, Danube, Ceci Cela, Circle Rouge (when it first opened), Le Zinc, Layla (ok, I don’t really miss this one..) Sosa Borella… too many more to list.
    1. Duane Park (was the best!), 2. Josephine 3) Blaue Gans, 4) Cricketers Arms 5. Super Linda 6. Bar Cyrk, 7. Filli Ponte (my parents used to go there in the 70’s), 8. American Flatbread (stopped in when I was in Burlington last weekend), 9. Aamanns, 10) Grazin

  8. RIVERRUN. HOW’S BAYOU. My favorites.

  9. Tenbrooks, Breadshop Cafe, Barnabus Rex, Ham Heaven to name a few really old ones.

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