Compose – Tribeca

Posted on 27 March 2011

The quiet block of Worth Street just found a reason to have people talking:  Compose is the Tribeca’s new hidden gem for a tasty and tasteful cocktail and culinary experience.  As you penetrate the discreet entrance of the chic and jazzy, intimate establishment you are instantly struck by the prominent and inviting curved bar, the focal point of the restaurant.  As you have a seat on a high stool and join the other happy guests at the bar you instantly feel immersed into both a conversation with the bartender standing on the other side of the magnificent granite slab and the life of the controlled paced kitchen that opens before your eyes with its army of impeccable looking chefs.

And this is exactly what Compose is about: a cocktail and dining experience based on interaction and the inspiration of the moment.  As you sit at the bar, surrounded by crushed ice with wine glasses in every shape and size hanging above it, no cocktail menu to choose from but instead a savvy and inspired bartender who will customize a drink based on your tastes.  I got my own Compose experience starting with the aesthetically intriguing Clover Club cocktail: a smooth and delicate mixture of Brooklyn Gin, fresh lemon, grenadine syrup and egg white.
Not only did I enjoy my drink but also witnessing the making of it as the bartender enthusiastically shared the story of each ingredient provenance and their craftsmanship.

When it comes to food, the young and talented Executive Chef Nick Curtin offers a tasting menu that may vary each day to reflect the freshness of the best available ingredients found that morning.  Going for the tasting menu I was very pleasantly surprised by the crispy poached egg with its cornichon emulsion: the egg is first cooked sous vide then rolled in bread crumbs before a quick trip to the fryer, revealing a perfect runny yolk melting on a thick smear of baby pickle emulsion.

I would definitely recommend then one of the most popular dish of Compose menu: the cheese steak with local cheddar “cheese whiz” and jalapeno: the hanger steak was seared to perfection and topped with a bold yet light textured cheddar- packed foam.  What comes next was probably the highlight  this gastronomic journey for my French palate: a seared foie gras served with crushed hazelnuts, citrus marmalade and a freshly cut herb salad, paired with a 2005 Les Pains Monbazillac.  This extra sweet South Western French wine balanced perfectly the complex taste of the locally farm raised foie gras.  Let’s not forget to mention at this occasion that the Compose oenophiles will find a well rounded wine list with an emphasis on old world wines with over 300 labels in the cellar.

Ready for the desserts, this quite traditional meal was about to take me to new territories in line with Compose “on the moment” inspired philosophy. The Chef has let his recent trip to Singapore lead him to create a root and citrus dessert with tastes and textures that promise to challenge any expectation.  If you are a coffee connoisseur and amateur don’t forget to finish your meal sipping on RBC drip coffee served in a carafe and one of the best coffees in the city and Compose Tribeca’s neighbor served on site.

My whole Compose experience was absolutely delightful from start to finish. It was one of these feel good moments where food, atmosphere and human experience come all at once to keep you smiling all the way back home!

-Deborah Hanau

Compose Restaurant
77 Worth St.
New York, NY 10013

Categorized | Eat & Drink

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