The Farmhouse Fresh Philosophy at Tribeca’s Telepan Local
After spending a dozen years in some the city's best kitchens–Gotham Bar and Grill, Le Bernardin, JUDson Grill–in 2005 Chef Bill Telepan opened his namesake restaurant on the Upper West Side. Emphasizing local ingredients, prepared with a light touch, Telepan received a few solid early reviews (including two stars in the Times), and locals crowd the decidedly un-showy room nightly, but it never really became a destination restaurant for downtown food-lovers. Welcome, then, Telepan Local, the chef's new rustic-chic spot serving "casual, tapas-style American fare" that just opened in Tribeca.
Farmhouse Fresh: Telepan Local
I ate an early dinner at Telepan Local on its second night, really enjoyed everything, and am pretty sure the chef has another neighborhood winner on his hands. In addition to going the small(ish)-plate route with his downtown spot, the Telepan Local menu seems more playful than its UWS forbearer, with dishes like Foie Gras Jammers, a Cheese Ball (with "riss" crackers), and even three kinds of Sourdough Pizza, which are really more like flatbreads but, judging from my Fried Calamari "pie", are delicious nonetheless. In addition to the pizza, my plate of Lamb Tartare was also quite good, though maybe fewer black olive bits would allow the rich, gamey meat to stand out even more (also: why parmesan, and not feta?).
Comfort Food from Farm To Table
But the Telepan Local dish I was most excited about was the Fried Watercress, the crunchy breading bringing a sweetness to the bitter greens, the whole plate tossed with pecans and chili oil. I'm not sure I've seen this dish anywhere else in the past few years, and it's a good one. The room at Telepan Local is pretty and comfortable, with subway tiles adding an urban edge to the reclaimed wood, farmhouse-y feel. A long bar up front–there's a full "creative cocktail" program here–is likely to be mobbed once word gets out.
For Menu and More Information on Telepan Local
Telepan Local is located on Greenwich Street between Duane and Jay, and is open for dinner on Sunday through Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday from 5:00 until 12:30. For menu and more information check out the Telepan Local website and follow along on Twitter and Facebook.