I am late in receiving this terrible news. But apparently my favorite late night eatery, Grace, was seized by the NY state department of taxation around August 7th. This sucks. For ten years, it was the best place to grab a martini and burger at three in the morning (or on a quiet Sunday evening watching Sunday Night Football). It was the restaurant and bar that served the downtown restaurant and bar industry.
[Insert Anthony Bourdain voice-over here]
It was the insider's place to drink and dine on fine American food in Tribeca. And it had the longest natural wood bar in the city, at over 40 feet. Its menu staples were nothing fancy, but it was upscale pub food done right. They included a California-style chicken and goat cheese salad, 10oz burgers done with whatever toppings you wanted, white pizza topped with bacon and sausage, pulled duck sandwich, fish tacos, duck tacos, tuna tartar, popcorn shrimp, dangerous jalapeno poppers, and daily pastas and quesadillas. Its signature drink was the Grace Kelly, a late 1990s raspberry cosmo topped with champagne. But it had a solid list of whiskeys and ales available for the 'real drinkers' as well. And every now and then, owner Fred McKibbin would score a fine bottle of champagne or dessert wine that the nearby Tribeca Grill couldn't find. If you knew Fred personally, you had a connection to the downtown restaurant scene. And if you knew Jay, who was there between 2004 and 2007, you knew the best young bartender in town. Whatever happened to Jay?
[Switch back to Dhalgren's voice-over]
It was where celebrities were spotted dining after midnight, such as Joe Finnes, Rob Thomas, John Lurie, Adrian Grenier, and I believe Hugh Laurie at one point. It is where I took my girl on our second date, and several dinners and brunches. And it is where I often drank and dined with my buddy, D-Brown, on Monday nights. It could come back, but if Fred the owner owes the state big bucks, it is unlikely.