Total Bill: $92.00 for two
It’s been a while! I’ve been picky about eating out now that I’m in my third trimester. But with the weather so great Wednesday, Jay and I caught a small, early dinner at Telepan Local in Tribeca, a sister restaurant of Telepan of the Upper West Side, which was one of our first date spots. I still remember those poached eggs!
The vibe’s very rustic, in line with its farm-to-table theme. You can tell its ingredients are fresh, but it’s a bummer they salt and sauce with a heavy hand. You’ll clean the small plates up, but see a pool of sauce left over on each.
A note that the portion sizes of the starters and “main entrees” — which are about double the price — are nearly comparable.
We started with the grilled octopus with red wine and almonds. It offered a nice crunch, but the red wine was reduced too far and made the accompanying greens a bit too vinegary.
The next two plates more than made up for that, however. The cauliflower and lobster gratin came plated with a beautiful array of autumn colors. Light green and white cauliflower, some toasted with a slight auburn hue, topped with bread crumbs and mixed with solid chunks of lobster.
My favorite of one of the specials that evening: butternut squash and ricotta wheat gnocchi. The texture was perfect and good for anyone who wants to try to avoid processed carbs.
By the end of those three small plates, the heavy flavors had gotten us pretty full. But then came the striped bass, which again was a bit over-salted with potent tapenade. The diced squash was a nice touch, but wasn’t enough to offset the briny fish.
The thought at Telepan Local is there, but the execution slightly lacking. The dishes are divided up like a traditional menu, although they’re marketed as small plates across the board — a bit confusing. I’d revisit to try out the brunch menu, but would otherwise steer clear if you’re looking for a balanced dining experience.