Note: Well, that was fast. Less than three months in, Trigo closed. It was replaced by Bar Artisanal (a branch of Chef Terrance Brennan’s cheese-happy restaurant franchise), and later by Pelea Mexicana.
The instant we walked into Trigo, we knew that it was planned before the recession. It’s a cavernous space, decked out in medieval gloom, with towering ceilings and wooden arches. It’s termed a Mediterranean brasserie, with the food seeming more Italian than anything else. The chef, Michael Garrett, has stints at Aquavit and Merkato 55 on his C.V.
The menu has a bunch of categories, and the server tried to steer us into a four-course meal. We were having none of that. Three small starters and an entrée apiece was more than enough.
House-cured gravlax ($11; above left) was too small a portion to make an impression. Wild Boar prosciutto ($9; above right) was perfectly fine. The star of the appetizers, though, was a Lamb Tart ($14; above right), made in the restaurant’s wood-burning oven. If you visit Trigo, go straight for anything that comes out of that oven.
We concluded with two pasta entrées, Lobster Parpadelle ($26; above left) and Linguine with Clams ($23; above right), both of which struck us as hearty nourishment but not food worth going out of the way for.
I can’t find serious fault with anything Trigo served, but it was unexciting (except for the lamb tart). With a $32 bottle of wine, the total came to $115 before tax and tip, a bit more than I care to pay for food this boring. The space was never more than half full, but by the time we left the hard surfaces made it loud indeed.
Trigo (268 West Broadway at Lispenard St. & Sixth Avenue, TriBeCa)