An acronym for “Triangle Beside Canal,” TriBeCa is the swanky art deco suburb of New York where celebs like Taylor Swift and Robert De Niro so proudly reside. The Auckland incarnation embodies this fancy art deco theme just like the place it was named after, in a little brick building in Parnell. For the past two decades, it has been showered with all the possible awards an Auckland restaurant can get, so there’s no better place to go when you’re feeling a little affluent.
Walking in, the first thing that struck me was the quiet. The “you could hear a pin drop” type of quiet. But it’s not a bad thing. It creates a peaceful atmosphere where you can serenade your other half in whispers of love. Well in my case, peacefully gather my thoughts together and reflect on the possible meaning of life. Despite being half the age of the other patrons and speaking with double the decibels, the waiter was nice enough that I didn’t feel too out of place and made sure I too enjoyed my evening. Another remarkable feat was that wait staff consisted of a one man team, even on a Friday night! This actually worked out pretty well, the andante pace allowed some quality time to have a long uninterrupted deep meaningful conversation (or mediation in my case), something almost extinct in our hasty 21st century lives.
Although it is mid-October, this place has the power to make it feel like Valentine’s Day, every day, with its candlelit tables and walls of renowned pictures and paintings. But maybe for this occasion, alcohol will be my significant other. With a wine menu that has quotes like “where there is no wine, there is no love” on each page, you know you can’t go wrong with the wide range of local and French varietals they have on offer. I just wish they had an equally charismatic cocktail list, to go with the whole New York Sex-and-the-City vibes.
TriBeCa though, is most famous for its menu, which like the fresh local produce it uses, changes with season. I opted for the fish du jour and the poussin, both of which were succulent yet grilled enough to leave a nicely seared aftertaste. For all you green machines, you’d be thrilled at the amount of veges award winning head chef Joseph Stubbs manages to pack into each dish, so that you get your 5+ a day. In a nutshell, the food here is all about perfectly executed tried and tested techniques and slightly less about experimentation and new inventions. That’s why the dessert menu had the classic four options: crème brulee, pannacotta, chocolate fondant and a semifreddo. Seemingly simple, anyone who’s tried to make any of these will know how hard it is to get the right sweetness and consistency. And getting it picture perfect is another story all together, but TriBeCa flawlessly nails it, leaving you wanting more. Or wanting to come back next week. Temptingly evil, like all things delicious. It’s on my bucket list to try the degustation menu – will definitely return.
I’ve always wanted to experience places in upmarket New York with acronyms like SoHo, NoHo and TriBeCa. If you do too, but like me can’t afford to get anywhere out of the NoIs (North Island) pay TriBeCa a visit. If you want to see how classic fine dining dishes should be made, don’t watch My Kitchen Rules, go to TriBeCa for a delicious education.
All photo cred from TriBeCa