Belle Reve Brings A Party And Great Food To Tribeca
The northern reaches of Tribeca, that semi-barren zone just below Canal Street, has long been the site of the neighborhood's rowdier side, where bar and restaurant patrons can spill out onto nearly-empty (especially in the summer!) streets and get a little feel for the freedom this whole part of town used to grant its nighttime visitors. Have a blast! Go a little crazy! No one's watching! And while many of the establishments in this vicinity have seemingly been around forever (Nancy Whiskey Pub, Tribeca Tavern, that old bad-behavior icon Odeon), a new place just opened in February on the prime corner of Church and Walker that, both aesthetically and attitude-wise, seems like it fits right in. It's called Belle Reve, and if you like to have fun while eating some top-quality bar-ish food, this is the next spot you need to check out around here.
Welcome To Tribeca's Belle Reve
Belle Reve (French for "beautiful dream", though not really sure how that applies) is, first and foremost, a party place, the room dominated by a bar, with all of the tables fully integrated into the scene. There is no separate dining room. You are eating in a bar. Belle Reve also features an appealing list of strong cocktails, as well as a whole section of "Breakfast Drinks" like the Arthur Avenue, which combines Bronx Summer Ale, Watermelon, and Gin. Good morning to you, too! When I stopped in for a quick bite early on a recent, lazy, summertime Sunday evening, they had popped the fire hydrant out front and set up a kiddie pool. Familiar 1990s hip-hop anthems played at appropriately loud levels inside (you could bop and sing along, but didn't need to shout to have a conversation), the folks at the bar were not at all ready to let go of the weekend, and a party of 40 was scheduled to arrive shortly. Be interesting to see what this place is like in the fall, when everyone's back in town.
What To Eat At Belle Reve
The Belle Reve menu is all over the place, from Frisee/Lardon/Egg Salad to Lobster Roll to Guacamole to Lasagna to a whole section of Veggie small plates which you can combine any way you want, three-for-$19, as a meal. Here's the thing though: at least judging from the two things I tried, the food is really good, much better than it needs to be to feed the happy imbibers. Burger fans from all over the city need to try the Belle, which will likely pop up on a few "Best of the Year" lists. It's not that the meat is so special here (though it is pretty good, and the double patty works well in doubling the char without sacrificing juiciness), but rather the genius topping of a hefty mound of ham salad. I'm pretty sure I've never seen that done in a NYC restaurant, but it's terrific, adding tons of flavor and a pleasant creamy/messiness. Also smart and tasty on top: the pickled red chilies. Because the burger comes with chips I didn't try the fries, but the simple grilled asparagus with lemon performed its side function admirably. The kitchen crew obviously knows what they're doing.
For Menu and More Information on Belle Reve
Belle Reve is located at 305 Church Street, on the corner of Walker, and is serves lunch from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., dinner from 5:00 until midnight, with the bar open until 4:00 a.m. nightly.