New Kid on the Block: Warren Street Bar & Restaurant

I wouldn’t usually visit a restaurant in week one, but it seems people are extra curious about the Warren Street Hotel and its bar — aptly named the Warren Street Bar & Restaurant — so I roped a couple pals into coming with me this week. It’s special and very worth a visit, but there are some caveats.

Since we live in a neighborhood that seems to be constantly under construction, I have to pause to acknowledge the neighbors who surround the hotel on Warren, Greenwich and Chambers. They were tortured by the construction of the hotel for four years, much longer than any 11-story building should take, and along the way there were some serious issues that should serve as cautionary tales, that is if anyone ever learns from past actions. The construction garnered dozens of 311 complaints, as I learned from their CB1 liquor license hearing, and there was — and continues to be — damage to the neighboring building from the excavation, which was originally supposed to go 50 feet down. The four-year sidewalk shed was the site of constant public urination, fires, littering of hypodermic needles, etc.

Granted, that site has been empty since the early ’60s and it’s not easy to come to terms with the loss of light and air. Still, neighbors must be able to expect that their property will be protected when construction starts next door.

With all that said, the building is built and here and open, and it’s a positive — and colorful — addition to the neighborhood. This post is for the restaurant only; I will get to the hotel later this week, when they give me a tour.

I can’t say I know of any designers quite like Kit Kemp, who with her husband is the owner of Firmdale Hotels, and her inventiveness, her attention to detail and her commitment to real art is really showing off in this space. There’s warmth and charm and idiosyncrasies in every corner, and this word is overused, but everything looks and feels authentic, which is hard to do with interior design. As K. said when we were there for drinks on Monday, “It has the aesthetic of a world traveler.” I don’t know how she does it, how she combines color and pattern and layer upon layer without any dissonance. (But maybe that’s why I live in a white box.)

My only complaint about the bar is the barstools are not comfortable — they are too narrow in the back, so you can’t slide back (well, maybe you could with a narrower backside). But of course they are beautiful and I love how all her seats (I saw this at the Crosby too) have leather pulls at the top.

When we arrived on Monday night, the beverage director was experimenting with efficient ways to punch a mushroom shape out of a grapefruit rind for the negroni champignon — and it started a fun conversation throughout the night with the lovely staff about the bar, the menu, the drink recipes, etc. (Turns out it’s not so easy to punch grapefruit rinds, but it’s worth it.) As for the cocktail, I don’t drink them but I was assured this one was tasty — a five-bottle concoction batch-made with local spirits and poured over a giant cube.

We went for a drink and ended being there for three hours since the food was more robust than I expected: if they are serving the foie gras, get it. It’s cut from a loaf with the fat cap and smooth and dry with frisee and chutney on the side. We also loved the Hamachi crudo — substantial and tastes a little bit like Thanksgiving with the dollops of sweet potato puree. We ate all the prosciutto fritters, but I wouldn’t order them again given the other offerings.

I love the stemware, which is saying something because I generally don’t like drinking out of glasses with stems — in fact I love the little juice glasses you get for wine at Edward’s. But these were easy drinking and beautiful. And the tableware is just beautiful — a woodland theme, which extends throughout the restaurant (the pottery tucked in orange niches in the back, by a great-great-granddaughter of Sigmund Freud, is all fungus-themed; there’s the afore mentioned negroni; little ceramic bluebell-shaped lights hang from the ceiling).

I will go back even sooner for lunch, for the amazing tea service and the frisee salad. (We got to eat in the back under the skylight of the Orangerie, but only because of a photo shoot; that space will be open in mid-March; tea service should start then as well.) Between the two of us and our order — tea, which of course required pots and cups but also saucers for the cups, strainers and a dish to hold the strainer; as well as the Warren Street club sandwich — it felt like we had about 40 dishes on the table. But the club was a treat — crispy, smokey and delicious — and the fries were perfect. “Just the right thickness where they are perfectly crunchy but you can still taste potato,” my pal noted. I don’t usually dress a salad, but this was light and mustardy.

Everyone will rant and rave about the prices, but that’s how things roll in Tribeca these days. I do not regularly go out for a $23 glass of cabernet, but the hotel is not that far above the neighborhood standard of I would say $18-20. We still have spots in the neighborhood — tried and true — where you can get a reasonable glass of wine or beer: Sarabeth’s ($8 on tap!), Walker’s, The Hideaway, Puffy’s, Terroir (at least part of the list) — chime in with your favorite.

But for a special treat, or a drink with the boss, or a friend-visiting-from-out-of-town lunch, add this to your list.

Warren Street Bar & Restaurant
86 Warren | Greenwich & West Broadway
7a to midnight
On Resy



  1. The space looks nice but the menu looks lame. Very boring and similar to other boring restaurants like Tribeca Grill. I feel like they had an opportunity to make this different and they went the boring route.

  2. We went for brunch this past weekend. Lovely ambiance and very attentive staff. I’ll echo the previous comment that the menu is a bit boring. I got the French toast which was good but includes just one (fairly large) piece of toast. That’s it. Nothing else on the plate. Also, the dining chairs are too high! My feet barely reached the ground. We’ll return but it’s not quite the gem we were hoping for.

    • Agreed, Steven.

      It’s only been a week or so, but the Warren needs to significantly improve food quality, quantity, presentation. Even in this neighborhood, the prices are high enough that it should be a lot more impressive.

  3. Every day a great group of people with strong work ethics and integrity bring their hospitality genes to work at Tribeca Grill in a success story that now extends to 34 years. To put it into perspective, the industry average for longevity is about 5 years. Tribeca Grill has a robust and diverse menu. All the pastas and desserts are made in-house. The prestigious Grand Award-winning Wine List is consistently one of the very best, not only in NYC, but also in the entire country. From the earliest days of Tribeca, through 9/11, and then Covid, Tribeca Grill has been steadfast and resilient, and continues to stand the test of time.

    • Tribeca Grill is my go to restaurant and I have lived here for 33 years. I am never disappointed. The food and service are excellent. Thanks for being a neighborhood legend.

      • Tribeca Grill is a dependable option for us, too, and has been for 16+ years.

        There’s a reason it’s been packed on our last two visits there: it’s consistently good. The warm atmosphere, professional staff, good food, excellent wine list and reasonable prices make it one of the best restaurant values in the area.

        Throw in the De Niro touches–posters of Robert’s movies downstairs, lovely artwork by his father in the dining room–and it has an unusually personal touch.

  4. I love bar dining so tried lunch @thebar. The frisées salad was yummy and bartenders were friendly and professional. I adored the colorful whimsical decor. I plan to return to dine at the bar again and again.