TriBakery, hidden under New York scaffolding
[ NEW YORK, NY - NYC - 3/17/2002 - www.Littleviews.com ]
>> When you visit Midtown Manhattan, everything is right out there, pushed in your face, especially expensive shops.
When you walk up 5th Avenue, for example, you'll have no trouble spotting world-famous department, clothing and jewelry stores. Likewise, upscale restaurants are equally easy to see. If they are not showcased in fairy lights (like Tavern on the Green), at least their name is in well-buffed brass.
If, however, seeing is not believing and you don't want to take a chance on dining in a gorgeous establishment without a reference, relax! All major publications print lists that tell you exactly where, for $$$$, to go. The signs are there, just follow with your wallet.
No matter what the decor, however, the best memories of a great meal are often about its bread and desert! With that in mind, it's important to remember that great restaurants don't always produce their own specialty items. They buy it from local bakeries.
If you are hunting for outstanding food without the overhead associated with restaurants, the paths to fabulous bakeries are not clearly marked. Rather, they weave all over New York City in out-of-the-way neighborhoods or former industrial areas. Many can be found near Hudson Street (which turns into 9th Avenue as you go north) and TriBeCa.
Like Duane Park Bakery, the exteriors of restaurant-supplying bakeries can fool the eye. If you don't know one exists, it's easy to walk right past, missing dining experiences fit for kings, but at peasant prices.
TriBakery is no exception. Its interesting, old New York location suffers from Manhattan's most vexing problem. Scaffolding. Be assured that when you visit TriBakery, you won't be hit on the head with a brick. Unfortunately, this scaffolding obscures a very high class establishment; one that's perfect for entertaining guests.
TriBakery was created by respected restaurant-owner, Drew Nieporent, to support his New York establishments, including the top-rated Tribeca Grill and Nobu.
It has an 1800s warehouse-feel, but with buffed, gleaming, antique-looking fixtures and dark, European charm. Bakery goods are up front, with a cafe in back. If for no other reason, stop in to see their chocolate creations! They make cakes topped with chocolate sculptures that suggest delicate cabbage flowers as well as sea plants waving in shallow pools.
If consuming a cake is too much for you, try artfully decorated cupcakes or slices of the most delicious-looking carrot cake I've ever seen. All the usual suspects are there, too. Croissants. Danish. Sticky rolls. Torts of all sizes.
And then there's bread. Ask for a freshly made sandwich between sourdough, white boule, batard, sourdough whole wheat, whole wheat boule, whole wheat batard, olive or walnut bread, to name a few selections.
Located near the former World Trade Center (bottom, left on the map), stop by when you are visiting New York's fabulous City Hall or equally fabulous JR Electronics, which is to the immediate south of City Hall.
Nearby West Broadway (as distinct from "Broadway") is home to unique import shops, antique dealers, world-famous crafts people and exclusive "design" stores. Weave in and out of the streets between Greenwich and West Broadway to find art dealers, more import houses and interesting old architecture.
If you want to eat outside, go to the park at Greenwich and Duane, or see if City Hall's park grounds are available. Best, you can snack while strolling across the Brooklyn Bridge, which is east of City Hall (to the right on the map). Eat bakery, see beautiful skylines and exercise at the same time.
TriBakery, 186 Franklin Street, Manhattan, NY 10013. (212) 431-1114 www.myriadrestaurantgroup.com
Article and photo by Karen Little. Map produced through Microsoft Streets & Trips 2002, annotated by Karen Little. First published on 3/17/2002. All rights reserved by www.Littleviews.com.