Photos, story by Cassie Hepler
Sure, they dub themselves as an Italian wine bar but Tredici Enoteca is pretty full of it. Multicultural food options, that is. And delicious wines, bubbles, booze and beer.
Rolling out with dinner only in 2015, surely 2016 will bring an extensive hot-spot option for midtown lunch at the 114 S. 13th street location across from the sister restaurant, Zavino. This is entrepreneur Greg Dodge and Zavino Hospitality Group‘s third endeavor into the foodie world, this time encouraging tapas style sharable plates with Italian influences.
The architecture is clean, cool and precise with a NYC vibe. The front is full of boisterous bar patrons and cozy, casual wooden booths while the back is more quiet for couples huddled together. A slight smell of the ocean greets you at the door due to the open raw bar, a quieter option and focal point in the back seating area. And tucked away is the far back is a private dining room for parties or large dinners (and soon corporate lunches we’re sure).
Let’s take a look inside…
Huge windows allow the space to be bright during the day and alluring at night.
Director of Operations Jason Brooke in the blue suit immediately takes us to our table in the back. A buzz is in the air and only gets more packed as the night goes on. We asked him how he stays so slim between working at all three restaurants. He runs. And sometimes, between restaurants. Soon, he may be stationed downtown so he might get a bit fluffier.
White oak herringbone floors and an S-shaped dining room integrates the 8-seat bar and adjacent 5-seat raw bar, plus an attractive open kitchen, into the warm, welcoming space. High ceilings and floor-to-ceiling doors opening onto Sansom Street which face sister restaurant Zavino, will bring the outdoors in and lend a breezy feel to the crisp, open dining room; outdoor cafe tables will offer seasonal al fresco dining. Light-colored marble accents throughout will add brightness, while curved Italian glass will cap the ornate overhang sheltering the bar seating and large antique mirrors will reflect the ample natural light. With 50 seats, the restaurant will maintain an intimate, neighborhood feel.
Looking toward the front of the restaurant with the raw bar to the right and the main bar in the front. We had a cozy little nook in the corner and watched an array of couples pass through – all curious as to what we were eating and how it was (par the course of a food writer).
The private dining area was bring prepped for its first holiday party that night. Better known as The Horseshoe Room, seats up to 20 guests seated or 40 guests standing. The room’s name refers both to its shape and to the restaurant’s location on “lucky 13”th Street.
Cozy leather chairs and marble countertops compliment the raw bar.
A peak through the glass at the raw bar beckons us to try some crab claws and watch the chefs in the back, busy at work.
Tredici is certainly not missing any booze options. We found the selection amazingly affordable with half glass options for sampling or full for gluttony… we mean enjoying your favorite when you find it (or both)!
Olives are delivered first, delicious and juicy as a complimentary snack with a handy pit bowl. We much prefer this option as opposed to a traditional bread basket.
We had a hankering for some bubbles and wine that night and fell immediately in love with the rose champagne Moet with it’s strawberry and cherry refreshing sweetness and the riesling Urban 2013 from Germany with it’s peachy off-dry flavor. We went for full glasses (6.34 oz.) rather than half (3.17). We were also surprised at the affordable wines by the glass or bottle with 230 diverse and unusual wines to choose from. A six-bottle preserving system offers premium wines poured by the glass, as well as chilled champagne and white wines on ice at the welcoming bar.
Sometimes you just go with the flow and enjoy Executive Chef Carlos Aparicio’s recommendations. The Mediterranean Tasting Board is a hearty light and healthy meal for one or a hefty snack for two. With some of the best hummus we’ve tasted in the city (the other being Zezty’s in Manayunk), falafel (Dodge’s wife Emily has contributed her famous falafel recipe to the restaurant), veggies, tuscan bread and ever so addicting quinoa tabouli, dinner started with an impressive bang.
Let’s fry some goat cheese! If you love some light grease around your cheese, this is your chance to taste some premium melted yum with pea shoot pesto. Also, we hear the chicken meatballs are bangin’ too!
Mushroom anything is always a winner in our book and this mushroom toast is no exception. With maitake (healthy) mushrooms and creme fraiche this was a warm, gooey dream to eat especially with the wine to chase it down.
The hanger steak with cipolini onions, mushroons and red wine reduction was cooked perfectly (without even asking, they’re just physic). Each bite was more complex and delicious, so much so that we may have fought over the last piece…
Healthy carb addicts rejoice! Spinach gnocchi with butternut squash, sage and brown butter were fluffy puffs of heavenly clouds. We could seriously eat a whole plate of this with a side of the hanger steak for dinner.
The braised lamb reginetti with mint ricotta had hearty chunks of lamb intertwined with a hearty sauce, however we loved the sauce below more and wish we could have switched it up.
We loved the bite on this spicy asparagus sauce and would have liked to switch sauces for the above two plates for the perfect pairing.
We couldn’t leave without trying the fishy options. Not usually fans of yellowtail, this was impeccable with the crunch of the pistachio with sun-dried tomato and oregano.
A huge fan of tuna (steak) and in any form, this was so thick and meaty, fresh and juicy packed with healthy fats including the avocado slices. The sweet soy, jalapeno and black sesame seeds are barely noticeable but certainly add a nice touch of taste and texture.
Ironically, we were eating these in order of favorites and even though the madai snapper came in third with charred onion, roasted peppers and coriander, it will still delight the palate but was certainly trumped by the above two options.
And because we weren’t yet about to burst, we tried the raw bar sort of a sampler option. Those daily oysters that usually come in 6 were perfection with just a drizzle of lemon and the Moet rose champagne. We would eat those all day. The oversized shrimp were crisp and fresh while the stone crab claws were just as delicious. We ordered a side of butter because butter makes everything fatter, ummm better.
Greg Dodge himself popped by to make sure we were happily eating and loving everything. And that we were, thanks Greg!
Desserts switch up by the week but we hope this one finds a permanent home. You would never guess that gluten-free anything tastes good (usually like cardboard) however we have to explore every option and were so glad we did. The gluten-free tiramisu with vanilla almond cake, cream chocolate glaze, mocha powder and sea salt was perfectly layered and the mocha powder was quite addicting and perfect to dip your bite into it. A dessert perfection for chocolate and non-chocolate lovers alike.
We also tried the greek cannoli made with layers of phyllo dough, packed with butterscotch cream and salted caramel dip. Unfortunately, we’re not a fan of butterscotch or caramel so it did not disappear like the tiramisu above.