TriBeCa is synonymous with three things: great eats, clever acronyms, and of course, the TriBeCa Film Festival. In recognition of the festival’s 40th birthday, this year’s innovative programming features a new wave of media, from digital interactive storytelling, virtual reality, and gaming to conversations on technological advances and issues that shape today’s creative community. A revolutionary lineup of tech-driven events in conjunction with acclaimed screening selections await creators, futurists, and industry aficionados for an international multimedia event like never before.
Key feature documentary film screenings include CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap, The Diplomat, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, and Misery Loves Comedy. The festival proudly presents two advance premieres of the latest episodes from the long-awaited Comedy Central series, “Inside Amy Schumer” and from Netflix’s “Chef’s Table.”
We rounded up the neighborhood essentials, from the best brunch in town to our go-to nightcaps. Taking on TriBeCa Film Fest has never been so palatable.
FOR THE GRANDEST OF BRUNCHES
TriBeCa Grand Hotel
2 Avenue of the Americas
Ah, freedom of choice. Not only does Grand Brunch feature live jazz and film screenings all day long, but the spread itself is something else. We're talking made-to-order Belgian waffles and omelettes, slab bacon, Doughnut Plant donuts and other fine baked goods, Russ & Daughters lox, baked ham with red chile marinade, a splendid salad selection, and more. Smartly clad staff ensure that no glass goes empty with endless mimosas, bellini, and bloodys for all.
FOR THE ULTIMATE BURGER
363 Greenwich Street between Harrison and Franklin Streets
Iron Chef Marc Forgione’s off-the-menu burger is American Cut’s best kept secret. Blending American cuts (pun intended) of prime brisket, short rib and dry-aged ribeye, Chef tops this burger with caramelized onions sautéed in bourbon and beer cheese (Brooklyn Lager, fontina, and cheddar to be exact). Serving a limited number of their in-house burgers every night starting at 5pm, it’s best to get there early before they sell out. Stay updated via @americancut's daily tweet.
FOR A ROUND...OR THREE
305 Church Street between Walker and Lispenard Streets
A kitschy amalgam of old school nostalgic décor, dark woods, and worn leather banquettes brought forth by the team behind Employees Only and Macao, each element from service to crowd and general vibe reflects Belle Reve’s unpretentious setting. Bonus: live music! Don't be surprised if there's a banjo involved. This neighborhood newcomer is perfect for a late night round and some serious bites after an evening of screenings, or even a leisurely brunch the following morning. Here’s our selection of menu musts:
-Marrow splashed fries (what fries should always be)
-Baked farro with parmesan and pesto
-Cauliflower with caper pesto and cherry peppers
-Arugula atop almond purée with lemon and sea salt
-”Starving Artist Steak” with whiskey peppercorn sauce and a side of mac and mornay
-Disco Billy: vodka, lemon, tea syrup, splash of ginger ale
-The Grandpa: dark rum, orgeat, lime, Cointreau, splash of prosecco, bitters
-Mamita (brunch only): Belle Reve’s take on a bloody - made with mango nectar and love.
FOR A TRIP BACK IN TIME
Macao Trading Co.
311 Church Street between Walker and Lispenard Streets
“Macao, a crossroads of the Far East. A fabulous speck on the Earth’s surface. The Monte Carlo of the Orient. Here, millions in gold and diamonds change hands, some across the gambling tables, some mysteriously in the night. Macao, a fugitive’s haven from which there’s no turning back…”
Macao’s provocative allure draws quite the dinner crowd with its inventive Eurasian cuisine and fantastical Old World décor, evoking the feel of the 1930s port city and its “red lantern district.” The TriBeCa staple seals the deal with what is arguably one of the best cocktail menus in town, which comes as no surprise with the Employees Only crew at the helm. Go for the Drunken Dragon’s Milk, truffle croquettes, hoisin hakka noodles, and a trip downstairs to the semi-secret lounge for a night to remember (or maybe not).
FOR A PICK ME UP
130 Franklin Street between Hudson and Varick Streets
Great coffee is always a necessity -- especially when powering through screenings and events galore. Located in a TriBeCa historical landmark, Gotan pays homage to coffee culture through passion for the trade, precise brew methods and techniques, and an undying devotion to providing the perfect setting for ultimate coffee enjoyment. Perfect for coffee purists. Go for a flawless espresso shot and a light, seasonal lunch from the kitchen.
FOR A HEALTHY FEAST
Smyth Hotel, 85 West Broadway between Chambers and Hudson Streets
Andrew Carmellini has done it again with Little Park and Evening Bar, The Smyth Hotel’s brand new dynamic duo. The Italian-influenced cornerstone gem boasts a fleet of craft cocktails and a seasonal vegetable-forward menu, flanked by its sister den just around the corner through the ultra-chic lobby.
FOR PARM EVERYTHING
22 Warren Street between Broadway and Church Streets
Just when we thought casual elegance was bygone, Gran Morsi brought it back into the rotation with its open, airy TriBeCa space and impeccable Italian fare. Clean lines and simplistic accents adorn the intimate bar, an inviting segue into the ultra cozy main dining room (we’re talking exposed brick and vertical gardens). Executive Chef Kenneth Johnson turns out inventive takes on familiar favorites, proving that parmigiana is capable of much more than we thought.