Not content to rest on the laurels of his perennially popular, eponymous Japanese restaurant on 10th Avenue—in addition to his restaurants in Philadelphia, Mumbai and Tokyo, among others—"Iron" Chef Masaharu Morimoto opened Tribeca Canvas yesterday, where he serves up his interpretations of Western comfort food. Although the menu has yet to be finalized, given Chef Morimoto's exceptional culinary pedigree, whatever dishes make the final cut are bound to be both delicious and meticulously prepared. And you'll have plenty of time to sample them: the restaurant is open from 5 p.m. to 4 a.m. daily.
Chef Morimoto has drawn inspiration from multiple locales, from France to Mexico to the States, and created dishes reminiscent of classic comfort dishes but with Asian flair and traditional Japanese culinary techniques. Tune Tostada ($8) are served in a crispy, parmesan cheese tortilla and garnished with an anchovy aioli and Takoyaki ($10.50), fried balls typically filled with octopus, are instead stuffed with escargot and served with an herb butter and kewpie mayo. The quintessential American summer treat, the Corn Dog ($9, two per order), gets upgraded with Kurobuta pork and a spicy side of whole grain mustard.
No comfort food menu can be without Mac & Cheese, and Chef Morimoto's version blends four cheese and then tops with a decadent poached egg ($12). His Chicken Pot Pie ($23) and Skirt Steak ($25) lean towards the American side while a Deep-fried, Seasonal Whole Fish (served head-on!) with spicy tofu sauce, pickled vegetables and cilantro and a Pork Belly ($23) with sweet ginger soy sauce, sauteed bean sprouts and cabbage speak more to the chef's origins. Dessert offerings include a classic Brownie Sundae ($9) with rum ice cream, Apple-Persimmon Tart ($9) and a Tiramisu "Burger" ($9) with chocolate sorbet, marsala marscapone and Kahlua coffee syrup.
The whimsical space, designed by Thomas Schoos—who has designed other Morimoto spaces across the country—echoes both nature and fine art, a nod to Tribeca's history as a green parkway and its present as a mecca for art and culture. Enormous white canvases, adorned with hand-painted trees, cover the walls and ceilings, which keep to a predominantly black and white palate. Intricate chandeliers made from intertwined Indonesian vines keep up the nature theme as does a funky, jagged-shaped bar. Unfortunately the liquor license has been delayed by Hurricane Sandy but eventually you'll be able to order specialty cocktails, sakes, beers and American wines.
313 Church Street // 917-720-2845