Quiz: Dead Restaurants (Part 2)

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.) These might be a bit tougher than Part 1, and subsequent posts will be worse.

1. XXXXXX might serve the very definition of New American food, straightforward with the occasional exotic influence. The broad-shouldered restaurant is grown-up but lively, comfortable, and extremely well-oiled. (If you want a languorous meal, you might have to put the brakes on.) The handsome room has a few rustic knickknacks but is far from fussy; the bar is popular with drinkers and diners. In warmer months, there’s extensive outdoor seating on XXXXXX and XXXXXX.

2. The spin-off of XXXXXX serves some of the classics of its progenitor—those cookies! those pretzel croissants!—as well as an array of soups and premade salads, sandwiches, and entrées. The space looks unfinished, but that’s intentional: XXXXXX is a “green” bakery, with reclaimed wood, biodegradable cups made from corn, and so on. There’s room for three or four people to sit on benches by the windows.

3. Owner/confectioner XXXXXX —who is often visible in the open kitchen—ditched her investment-banking career to focus on baking, and her love for it shows in her perfect little cupcakes, cookies, brownies, and chocolates. “Little” isn’t a pejorative: XXXXXX’s philosophy is that it’s easier to avoid overindulging when portions are reasonable. The made-to-order cakes are excellent.

4. Don’t be fooled by the generic name: XXXXXX is one of the more idiosyncratic restaurants in Tribeca. While the notion of “Tokyo-Italian cuisine” might make some wonder if Italian food isn’t Italian food wherever it’s prepared, XXXXXX will make sense to anyone who has enjoyed high-end Italian in Tokyo. The menu is mostly Italian/Continental, with Asian touches here and there and a precision that can only be described as Japanese. As befits a Tokyo-inspired restaurant, the service is a bit stiff but not oppressively so, while the main dining room—located in the rear—is one of the prettiest around. (The circular booths in the front room have their own retro appeal.) Downstairs is a related-but-different restaurant, XXXXXX.

5. The Tribeca location of this mini-chain has charm to burn—black-and-white tiled floor, blue-and-white checked tablecloths, buttery yellow walls. Yet for all the old Belgian style, it can get relatively young and hip (relatively for Tribeca, that is) when the high-octane beer starts flowing. The menu sticks close to the classics—mussels and frites, vol au vent (chicken stew), carbonnade flamande (beef stew)—with American intrusions (burgers galore, mac and cheese). Note: Various weeknights have specials that can be good deals.

6. XXXXXX looked good when it opened over a decade ago, and it looks just as good now—an effortlessly stylish room, elegant and minimal but also fun (and in summer the vibe spills out into the copious outdoor seating). Owner XXXXXX warmly welcomes friends and strangers alike, and if it appears that there’s no table for you, fear not—he might get one wheeled in from the back. The Italian menu has something for everyone, from fresh pastas to seafood to a variety of meats. XXXXXX can feel like a party on any given night, but at holidays—especially Halloween—it has been known to really turn it out.

7. At XXXXXX’s sumptuous flagship restaurant, jackets for men are preferred, not required, but it’s the kind of restaurant where anyone who doesn’t wear one will feel decidedly underdressed. This is fine dining at its finest: a multitude of courses, formal service, and a room so romantic that it could reunite Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin. XXXXXX’s cooking marries French technique with Asian ingredients and an emphasis on the seasonal.

8. XXXXXX is a huge Japanese restaurant tucked away on quiet XXXXXX Street. The mod decor is impressive, even flamboyant, while the food sticks to what you tend to see at the big Japanese restaurants around town—sushi, tempura, and a notable number of grill-your-own dishes.

9. XXXXXX, the third restaurant from sibling team XXXXXX and XXXXXX, gets its name from their great-grandparents. And XXXXXX and XXXXXX, who owned a Harlem delicatessen, would recognize much of the menu: kasha varnishkes, pastrami, carrot tzimmes…. But perhaps in homage to their grandparents on the other side—he was a fisherman, she was a French-trained chef—the XXXXXX have taken a lighter tack than at XXXXXX and XXXXXX, both in the East Village. So while pastrami is still the headliner, the dishes are 75 percent vegetarian overall, and most of those are vegan. Even the chopped “liver” is actually a blend of mushrooms, peas, walnuts, and other ingredients.

10. A Tribeca landmark since 1996, XXXXXX is aptly named: The menu specializes in Champagne and other sparkling wines, while the space is far more XXXXXX than bar, with banquettes, low tables, brick walls, and throw pillows. There are nibblybits and desserts, and occasional live music and dancing. Note: You can enter off XXXXXX or XXXXXX.

 

11 Comments

  1. 4 = Greenwich Grill

    5 = Petite Abeille

  2. 10. Bubble Lounge?

  3. 1=The Harrison?
    2=Birdbath Bakery?
    3=Tribeca Treats
    4=Greenwich Grill
    5=Petite Abeille
    6=Roc
    7=Bouley
    8=Megu
    9=Harry & Ida’s Luncheonette
    10=Bubble Lounge

  4. You’re late to the party. I still miss How’s Bayou, Hoi An, and Riverrun.

  5. This guessing game is in rather poor taste. Good God, don’t you people have anything better to do?

  6. Just a reminder of what has been lost…………

  7. Rivverun made the best Pad Thai ever despite the Joyce reference. And of course Bill’s Delphi Literally cornered the market on Greek food forever. RIP

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