The Tribeca Film Festival (April 17-27) is legendary among cinephiles. The 11-day showing extravaganza of independent films and documentaries, which come from some of the most talented folks working in film today, is nothing short of inspiring. And while the film showings are now spread across the city, the heart of the festival is still in TriBeCa. And if you’ll be there, you’ll need to know where to eat — here are five great places to eat and drink in Tribeca, whether there’s a film festival playing or not.
Robert De Niro was a co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, and he happens to be a a co-owner in Andrew Carmellini’s excellent TriBeCa Italian spot in The Greenwich Hotel, as well. (It’s safe to say he has a thing for the neighborhood.) Perennially packed since the day it opened, Locanda Verde has a lively energy at dinner but is tranquil and light-filled at lunch; at either meal, don’t miss the famous whipped ricotta appetizer or the housemade pastas. 377 Greenwich St., 212-925-3797, locandaverdenyc.com
Michael White made his name cooking elegant Italian fare, but The Butterfly, a recent addition to the neighborhood, celebrates mid-century cocktails and refined comfort fare in a cheery “supper club” atmosphere. 225 W. Broadway, 646-692-4943, thebutterflynyc.com
Tribeca isn’t fully stocked with the cozy neighborhood restaurants of, say, the West Village, but The Harrison is a comfortable restaurant that would be the envy of any neighborhood, with a menu of seasonally inspired New American fare that always feels current but never too overwrought. 355 Greenwich St., 212-274-9310, theharrison.com
Some elegant drinking dens can feel a little too serious, but Ward III knows that you can have first-class cocktails and still be a fun, upbeat, make-new-friends, have-a-night-out bar. Anything on their menu is worth an order, but their bartenders are exceptionally skilled at the bespoke cocktail game; tell them what you love to drink and except something fabulous created just for you. 111 Reade St., 212-240-9194, ward3tribeca.com
Whereas many recent restaurant openings trended downscale — no-reservation Brooklyn spots, chefs opening burger joints — Atera and chef Matthew Lightner buck that trend, with a hyper-cerebral 20-course tasting menu of truly innovative dishes; think geoduck with larder and an “air baguette” or a re-imagined “lobster roll” with yeast and meringue. 77 Worth St., 212-226-1444, atera.com