Guide to New York City Part IV: TriBeCa

During my first year living in New York, I rarely visited Tribeca. I knew it was largely residential, with many luxury apartments as well as families. I also knew that it used to be an industrial wasteland–an unattractive and undesirable area of the city. This changed, however, in large part due to Robert De Niro, the incredibly talented polymath who invested in Tribeca property and subsequently transformed the area into a trendy, hip, and bustling neighborhood. I am not too well-versed on the subject, but if I am not mistaken, I believe that his restaurant, Nobu, helped attract an A-list crowd, which thus contributed to Tribeca’s glamorous makeover. My family and I had the privilege of staying here prior to my move back home for the summer. I discovered just how fun Tribeca was and how much more there was to explore. Bits and pieces revealed themselves to me during the year, when I met my brother for dinner, or enjoyed the final day of the Tribeca Film Festival (which just entailed viewing a bunch if movies at a nice movie theatre near Battery Park–not what I expected, but fun nonetheless). Staying here, however, elucidated Tribeca’s fun character, one I believed to be nonexistent, or at least banal in comparison to other neighborhoods such as the East Village or the Lower East Side. Once again, New York proved me utterly and completely wrong.

The Greenwich Hotel: Robert De Niro’s charming, cozy, and delightfully fancy hotel in Tribeca, complete with funky art, a lovely courtyard, a delicious restaurant, and impeccable design. The hotel room doors are wooden with a large knob in the center, and rooms house old books and vintage cameras. Details like these make the hotel so special! The staff is really friendly as well.

Locanda Verde: delicious rustic Italian restaurant at the Greenwich Hotel. Super fun and happening!

Tiny’s: a truly tiny restaurant that is at once intimate, romantic, refined, and delicious. Their thoughtful, well-composed menu contains ample mouth-watering options.

The Greek: probably one of my favorite restaurants in the city. The Greek serves authentic Greek food with a focus on seasonal, local, and organic ingredients. They have an outstanding natural wine list, and most of the staff are in fact Greek!

inside the Greek

Two Hands: though I have not been to their Tribeca location, I have been to their Nolita one, and it was delicious! This healthy aussie café serves up some delicious food with plenty of options for those with any dietary restrictions or those looking for a meal a little more on the healthy side.

The Greek

I find it rude and distasteful to take pictures of the food or the restaurant, for that matter. This is just a sneaky snapshot of the interior. I apologize for a lack of pictures–as I find they detract from the experience. 🙂

The Greek, a lovely restaurant situated among the cobblestone streets of industrial Tribeca, is at once welcoming, delicious, sophisticated, and cozy. Upon entering the dimly lit space, what I assumed to be traditional Greek music greeted me, as did a kind hostess, who had a Greek accent.

My brother was–as usual–running behind, so I was offered to enjoy a drink at the bar while waiting for his arrival. The handsome bartender, with a friendly smile and Greek accent, handed me a menu complete with Greek titles for each dish. (As a lover of languages and an amateur learner of Ancient Greek, I greatly appreciated this element.)

The wine list consisted only of Greek wines, and, not knowing what to order among the natural/biodynamic selection, I timidly asked for some guidance. The bartender kindly responded by inquiring about my preferences: did I prefer full-bodied, etc.? Not too well-versed (yet) in the beautifully complex world of oenology, I stated that I enjoyed Malbecs, unsure of which adjectives applied to this varietal amongst the wine-adept.

The bartender then selected two wines to taste. Both were fantastic, and, upon witnessing my surprised/delighted expression after swirling and sipping the second selection, a man–whom I assumed to be the sommelier–approached and began to passionately share his love of Greek wines, in particular the one I had just tasted, speaking of the islands on which the grapes were grown and ancient history of some varietals.

Such passion and hospitality permeate throughout every element of The Greek. Not only are the staff incredibly kind and hospitable–as well as extremely knowledgeable–but also professional, a rare combination in New York City’s competitive food environment.

The food is also insanely delicious and fresh. The Greek proudly holds itself to high standards with regards to the experience it seeks to create, especially the culinary element of this experience. Dedicated to cooking with seasonal, local, and organic produce, as well as scrupulously chosen Greek products, the food is of extremely high quality, as evidenced by its refreshing simplicity and unpretentious beauty and flavor.

Think whole-roasted bronzino so tender and flaky it melts in the mouth, accompanied by braised greens that lend it a delightfully chewy, lemony accompaniment; or a simple salad of spicy arugula, crisp Persian cucumbers, sweet tomatoes, and luscious, triangular slices of feta; or creamy Greek yogurt, kissed by sweet honey and cherries, with crunchy almond halva.

The authenticity of The Greek is evident and shows through its lively music, its rustic interior, its friendly (mostly Greek) staff, its Greek translations on the menu, and its beautifully-crafted, delicious food, made from the finest ingredients. The Greek refers to itself as a “home away from home” and humbly shares how the restaurant is, for those who work there as well as its guests, a house.

This designation could not be more accurate.