Telepan Local

Total Bill: $92.00 for two

Telepan Local - Butternut Squash GnocchiIt’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.

Telepan Local - Grilled OctopusA 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.

Telepan Local - Cauliflower and LobsterThe 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.

Telepan Local - Striped BassBy 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.


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