Massachusetts Restaurant Reviews
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Rating: 4 / 5
Shrewsbury Street is a mecca of fine dining, so it was no great surprise when Tribeca appeared there in late 2006. I went with a friend in December 2006, and was told the restaurant had only been open just over a month. It was relatively quiet when we arrived at 6pm, but by 8:30 when we left it was reasonably full.
There are two floors to this building - a lower area that is "medium high end" with a bar, and an upper floor that is "high end" with its own bar. The lower level is brick wall, tin ceiling, wood-grain (carpeted) floor. The upper level is grey and white with linen tableclothes and suited waiters. Both are relatively expensive. Even in the lower area, dinner for 2 people - with just one appetizer and one dessert, not counting drinks - was barely under $60.
The tables are black wood, the walls are either brick or light green paint, and the booths are golden. It gives the place an elegant look. The carpet really does look like wood, and it does a great job of absorbing the noise that would otherwise be quite loud. I compare this with the City Brew down the street which also has tin ceilings and is REALLY really loud. Here, at least, you can hear a conversation. The room is relatively small - a long rectangle, with about 15 tables. The few in the back are in a raised, set off area - I would go for one of these if I got here early again.
OK, on to the food. There was no bread served, so we waited for my yellowfin tuna sashimi appetizer ($12). I love this dish and have it in many places. It seemed a bit "chunky" here. Usually you do want nice big pieces of tuna when you have sashimi ... but this was a bit unwieldy. It didn't seem like great quality tuna, sort of ragged. It was served with two pieces of flat bread. My friend ate that so she'd have something to eat before dinner came. It just struck me as very odd that there was no bread served.
On to the main dish. They were very accomodating to give my friend risotto with her shrimp, as she asked. I had the haddock ($18) and they nicely substituted out veggies (asparagus) instead of potato as per my request. Both meals were delicious. I normally would have gone with tuna or swordfish, but I was curious how they'd handle haddock and it really was quite good.
For dessert we shared a white + dark chocolate mousse pie ($7), which was also very tasty. I asked for a glass of port and she said she'd have to ask what they had. So we waited a while. Eventually she came back with the pie but no port. We asked again. Apparently the bartender had to ask the owner what they had. Finally she came back and said they had Six Grapes, which was fine with me. The port finally did arrive.
This slow service was a problem the entire meal. The waitress would vanish for very long stretches of time. My wine glass was empty and by the time she showed up to ask about it, the meal was over. The water glasses sat empty. Our plates sat in front of us for a long while. It took a long while for the bill to get to us. When we finally got the receipt, there was no pen to sign it with.
The music was low key and, given the season, Christmassy. We were really looking forward to the "nightly piano music" though, and were sad that even at 8:30pm there was none. I wonder when it does start?
We'll have to come back here in a few months and see if the waitress / delay issues are worked out. Maybe they can afford nicer salt + pepper shakers too :) - the industrial ones they had on the tables didn't quite fit in with the otherwise elegant decor. With the high prices they are charging for food and drink, and given the number of other superb restaurants within a few feet of this location, they really do need to justify that price. We'll see how they do on our next visit - but right now when I'm looking for fine dining out with friends, it'll be one of the other Shrewsbury Street restaurants that I go to.
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