Tribeca, known for their upscale restaurants, is a perfect home for Church Street Tavern, the first venue from Tribute Hospitality Group. Thought of as a haunted address that shuttered Bisutoro and Tribeca Canvas, Church Street Tavern shows no signs of being a quiet newcomer.
As we walked in for our reservation, we passed the bar on the way to the hostess for the dining room. The bar was packed with the post-work crowd looking to unwind, and only got progressively more boisterous throughout the night. The decor is earthy and simple, but sophisticated. The dim lighting gives a romantic aura, but we found it to be more of an energetic crowd with overlapping excited conversations.
Starting off with their cocktails, the list is curated with a lot of thought behind all the ingredients, putting a new twist on staple cocktails. The first on the list was the first cocktail we tried, the Vernanzza with Belvedere vodka, muddled basil, peach puree, lemon juice, and sparkling rose, refreshing but not too sweet. The Fig & Pine was very smooth, with Santa Teresa rum, pineapple juice, lemon juice, and fig preserves. For a kick to your tastebuds, try the Senorita Margarita with Jose Cuervo, spicy berry puree, lemon juice, lime juice, and combier d’orange.
To start, share some items from the raw bar with their selection of oysters, little neck clams, and jumbo shrimp. If you’re feeling extremely indulgent, try the pound of Alaskan King Crab. Un-raw, they have fried oysters and steamed clams, as well as a Tavern Board of charcuterie and cheeses. Our favorite dish that I almost did not share was the burrata with tomato and basil that came slightly warmed, allowing the cheese to melt as you cut into it. We also tried the truffle cauliflower gratin, the perfect creamy and cheesy side to any entree.
For main dish, the Crispy Rock Hen was paired with a sherry reduction, giving the tender meat a bit of tang. The Grilled Branzino is expertly filleted and salted, with lemon and rosemary marinating in the inside. For a really hearty dish, go for the Lamb Chops with white beans and coriander relish, soaked in delicious meat juices.
We topped off the delicious meal with dessert and sampled the ice cream flavors, milk chocolate and salted caramel. The milk chocolate seemed like regular chocolate ice cream, but it was far from – the chocolate was dark, smooth, and extremely creamy. The salted caramel balanced the salty and the sweet perfectly. Their fall specialty dessert is their pumpkin cheesecake, which was paired with a side of even more deliciously creamy ice cream.
Word on the street is that downstairs there is a separate bar called Bandits Roost that will only be open from Thursday through Saturdays starting at 10:00 PM. There are rumors flying about a password system, or a secret handshake with the bouncer, or decoding a puzzle in order to enter. Whatever the case, we want in.
Church Street Tavern
313 Church Street
btw Lispenard & Walker Street
Images via Hospitality Design and by Socially Superlative