Quiz: Dead Restaurants (Part 8)

Since the Tribeca Citizen Restaurant Guide was founded in 2011, many restaurants have been removed upon their closing. Here are blurbs describing 14 deceased establishments, with their names and other pertinent proper nouns redacted. Feel free to answer in the comments. (All of the restaurants are in Tribeca proper.) This is the final post—thanks for playing—and it should be a bit tougher than Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4Part 5Part 6, and Part 7. UPDATE: The answers are posted at the end.

1. XXXXXX and XXXXXX have partnered on a restaurant serving dosas (stuffed crepe-like things), uttapams (like thicker dosas), and Bombay Frankies (Indian wraps), as well as soups, a few premade salads and sauces, and lassis (yogurt-based drinks). There’s seating at the counter or upstairs. It’s all very vegetarian-friendly.

2. A funky little holdover from a time when there were funky little places everywhere, XXXXXX is as much of a bar as a restaurant—the curved bar takes up half the room, there’s a foosball table in front, and the waiters aren’t likely to look askance if you skipped food altogether. The place is also dim like a bar, which might smooth out some of the rougher edges. XXXXXX—who also owns XXXXXX—clearly knows how to conjure up France; the highlight here is the pretty vaulted wood ceiling. As for the menu, it’s small plates of respectable drinking food.

3. The revamped XXXXXX got a new name, a new layout, and more accessible food (there was also a cocktail menu of drinks that included insects and scorpions, but it has since been ditched). You still enter up a short stairway, but on either side of it are now lounge areas. The bar is on the southern side of the main room, with tables on the other side. With around 25 seats at tables and around 40 seats in the bar and lounge areas, XXXXXX feels like a bar that serves interesting food (as opposed to a restaurant proper). Chef XXXXXX’s menu is Italian with a twist here and there.

4. Like its half-sibling XXXXXX, XXXXXX serves a hybrid of Japanese and western food. At XXXXXX, it’s called “Tokyo casual”: The dishes on the menu look familiar at first glance, but many have Japanese ingredients or otherwise unfamiliar preparations. (The bartenders have a Japanese seriousness about cocktails.) Relatively new, the restaurant is handsome—brick wall, industrial lighting—and generally mellow.

5. XXXXXX isn’t so different-looking from when it was XXXXXX: That’s not a bad thing, because it was always an attractive room, with exposed brick, bookshelves, and great lighting. The restaurant is a collaboration between XXXXXX (the bar downstairs) and XXXXXX, the “Tokyo Italian” restaurant on Greenwich; the latter is consulting on the menu and front-of-house operation. The food at XXXXXX (Italian for “XXXXXX”) is straight-up Italian, and about as far as you can get from the quirky Japanese bar food when it was XXXXXX. Prices are higher and, as one would expect from an establishment affiliated with XXXXXX, the service is still relatively formal—they will fold your napkin if you get up to use the restroom, and crumb scrapers are in full effect.

6. What used to be XXXXXX has been transformed into XXXXXX, a taqueria. You can still see the ghost of XXXXXX in the fluorescent sign behind the register and the many refrigerated cases, but the menu is straight-up Mexican, with burritos, tacos, quesadillas, tortas, and entrées such as chilaquiles and carnitas. There are a few veggie options, but as at most inexpensive Mexican restaurants, carnivores will be happiest. Be sure to ask about the specials, which might include tamales. Note: The restaurant is open for breakfast, and dinner is BYOB (but the space feels fast-foody, so you may want to BYO candle, too).

7. XXXXXX serves food inspired by China’s Yunnan Province, which includes many traditional Southeast Asian ingredients, such as basil, mint, cilantro, banana leaf, and ginger—so when you see the restaurant touted as “Modern Chinese Cooking,” don’t go expecting an updated version of General Tso’s chicken. The back area, raised about six inches off the floor, is more of a bar, and cocktails might be infused with spices and savory flavors such as chili and Szechuan peppercorns. The dining room is dominated by red walls and a painting of a XXXXXX blossom.

8. A spinoff of XXXXXX two doors down, XXXXXX is tiny and bare bones—there’s not much decor beyond a handful of tables and a large neon sign—but the staff is friendly and outgoing. Heavy on Boar’s Head, the menu is reminiscent of diners and delis around New York: bagels and breakfast sandwiches; burgers and hot dogs; hot and cold deli sandwiches; tossed-salad bar and soups.

9. XXXXXX has deep neighborhood roots: Back in the day, his great-grandfather and grandfather had a paper-and-twine stall at the XXXXXX. For his second restaurant (after XXXXXX), he went upscale. The two public floors—a 90-seat dining room upstairs and a downstairs “tavern”—have custom paneling and millwork throughout, leather banquettes, and USB chargers at the bar and booths (with wi-fi). Upstairs, at the rear, is a pretty raised area, lit by skylight, that can be used for private events. Notably, while there is a television near the bar, it’ll remain hidden behind a chalkboard unless a truly major event warrants its presence.

10. XXXXXX partnered with folks from XXXXXX and XXXXXX on his do-over of XXXXXX. The layout certainly calls the former to mind—dark, with a bar to the right as you walk in, opening up to a high-ceilinged, windowless dining room; a dramatic stairway in back leads to a balcony with two tables. Those other two restaurants make you feel like you’ve entered another world, but XXXXXX is less successful at that, possibly because it’s much more spare than its neighbors, with none of their patina (artificial as it may be). The street-art murals and tattoo photographs are presumably there to add edge—whether a huge close-up of someone’s navel piercing stimulates your appetite is another question. XXXXXX is said to be the Japanese word for “XXXXXX,” and the menu is New American with Japanese touches, such as yuzu baked oysters and steak frites with togarashi butter, and uni carbonara. Some of the city’s press outlets that tend to slobber over everything have touted the burger and the wagyu burger (with teriyaki onions and wasabi aioli) and the selection of whiskeys, and XXXXXX might make more sense if you think of it as a bar with food, and order accordingly.

11. XXXXXX has brought an old New York theme to the space that was previously XXXXXX and XXXXXX. You’ll find black subway tile, bare brick, Edison bulbs, black tufted banquettes, and an extensive raw bar. The menu, meanwhile, aims to update classics like lamb chops, steak tartare, and asparagus with Béarnaise. There’s also a burger that has received raves. Downstairs is a separate bar, XXXXXX, open Thursday through Saturday.

12. XXXXXX opened the first XXXXXX in Chelsea in September of 2015, and now, just over two years later, his second one has debuted in Tribeca. (And he has plans for more.) The former phone store has been renovated into a crisp, high-ceilinged room with a handful of low tables, a bar in the window, and free wi-fi. The coffee is from Toby’s Estate, and XXXXXX makes all its own syrups; pastries sweet and savory, meanwhile, are from Amy’s Bread, Fika, Ceci-Cela, and Balthazar.

13. With its deep, inexpensive menu of Italian standards—pizzas, pastas, panini, etc.—and unpretentious atmosphere (love the light fixtures made from wine bottles), XXXXXX is perfect for families or diners who want to grab a bite without a lot of fuss or attitude.

14. The food at XXXXXX is a fusion of Roman and Italian; the lunch menu plays things fairly safe, with panini and pastas and a burger of the day, but the dinner menu is more ambitious (spaghetti with clams and bottarga; risotto “cacio e pepe” with fava beans; oxtail stew with pine nuts and raisins, served with Roman-style artichokes). The kitchen is even baking its own bread, breadsticks, and cracker-like bread. The interior is casual-rustic, enlivened by Hulbert Waldroup’s paintings. (The one hidden in the back—of a three-way kiss—is provocative, to say the least.) Outside, wooden bar seating has been installed around the edge of the terrace.


Answers: 1) Dosateria at Whole Foods. 2) Café Noir. 3) White & Church. 4) TriBeCafe. 5) Ristorante Aglio. 6) Burro Borracho. 7) Lotus Blue. 8) Saluggi’s Sandwich Shoppe. 9) Washington Market Tavern. 10) Bisutoro. 11) Church Street Tavern. 12) Perpetuum Café. 13) Franklin Caffé Buon Gusto. 14) 2Spaghi.



  1. Wow, really kicking it up a notch…
    4 – Tokyo Bar?

  2. 1. Dosateria
    5. Daruma-Ya
    7. Lotus Blue
    12. Perpetuum Cafe

  3. Again, I share my disgust that you have made a game of lost businesses. Creepy. Yet you remain steadfast in your distastefulness.

    • Yes, you’ve mentioned it every time. My guess is that you care more about this than the restaurateurs (most of whom I met over the years), who might actually be delighted that people remember their endeavors.

  4. Yeah sure – keep telling yourself that Erik.

  5. Sheesh, lighten up TG. Do you really need to get into self-righteous outrage about nostalgia? Maybe we should ban history classes – students getting quizzed about DEAD PEOPLE, how ghastly.