There’s an art to creating a fine dining restaurant in Tribeca that feels like your neighborhood joint. With its venture in the downtown locale, L’Abeille seems to have hit Yahtzee. There’s not a white tablecloth in sight, but regulars take on full-on degustation menus in a modern dining room and at the bar. This is the restaurant that’s worth a look now.
The beauty of L’Abeille is that it’s a fine dining restaurant in Tribeca that’s set in an elegant-yet-laid-back atmosphere. You know the moment you walk in that something elevated is going on in the kitchen, especially by the patrons. You’ll fine everyone from couples celebrating a special occasion, to groups of friends, to solo diners at the bar. But, the common thread is clearly a foodie vibe. This is mostly a New York City crowd. So there’s also a built-in element of sophistication in the well-heeled clientele.
The dining room itself is effortlessly polished: velvet combines with Japanese-inspired clean wooden tables. The bar is a welcoming spot to drop by for a drink, a full meal, or even dessert. The best is that there’s no pretense when you walk in. L’Abeille is the type of fine dining restaurant in Tribeca that you would make part of your regular rotation.
The food is obviously a highlight at L’Abeille. What’s interesting about the menu is that Chef Nagae creates fine cuisine through subtlety. For example, the now-in-season corn soup is served with miso-caramelized sea urchin. This is not a dish that shocks your senses, but rather lingers. It’s about savoring each bite at L’Abeille. Menu highlights change frequently but include, sea scallops with sake-braised artichoke and a torched foie gras marinated in Sauternes. If you’re a foodie, this is the place where you will appreciate the fine elements of the meal. With the care that goes into each component, you get the same detail in the presentation. L’Abeille creates art on a plate without the traditional pretense of other fine dining restaurants in Tribeca.
There are few times that you should just go for the full six-course tasting menu, and this is one of them. It comes at a price of $195, with an option to add in a seventh course of cheese and a $125 wine pairing. It’s a value given how expensive it is to eat out anywhere nowadays. Otherwise, for those looking to eat lighter or drop in casually, try the a la carte menu.
The service — like the atmosphere — is polished, but warmly neighborhood. The team is not a group of aspiring actors but rather industry veterans. They know how to take care of you. And, if you come more than once, you’re adopted into the family. It’s the kind of place where they remember you, and you end up really getting to know them — that is, if that’s your thing.
One of the most interesting menus in NYC right now. I would go back to earn regular status.
Q: Is there a dress code for L’Abeille?
A: There’s no hard and fast dress code for L’Abeille. You’ll see people dressed up for special occasions, but also see locals come in a pair of nice jeans.
Q: Is L’Abeille a tasting menu restaurant, or can you order a la carte?
A: L’Abeille has both a tasting menu, and an a la carte option. People will even come sit at the bar just for dessert.
Q: When is L’Abeille open?