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Aug 22, 2014
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Martinis and Music in the Valley
By Matt Berkley • Photos by Ashley Gieseking
Posted On: 03/01/2010   

Since taking the stage in October, Tribeca Bistro Lounge has become a fast favorite amongst the martini-sipping, cocktail-stirring, see-and-be-seen crowd of Chesterfield Valley. Gunning on a cool, New York theme, Tribeca seems to throw out pretentious vibes, helped in no small measure by its Web site. (Do we really need a picture of two girls hanging out next to an orange Lamborghini?) So my first steps into this new suburban drinkery were taken with no little bit of hesitation. Having left my platinum Rolex at home, I expected any attempt at catching the bartender’s eye to get a drink to meet with little success.

I was wrong. Service at this bar is stellar, regardless of your tax bracket. Not only are bartenders quick to greet you – even in a heavy crowd – they’re enthusiastic, engaging and extremely outgoing with drink recommendations. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen someone behind a bar more eager to help out. 

There’s definitely an air of pomp about Tribeca, but hardly enough to mirror the exclusive Manhattan district it draws its name from. A sharp-dressed doorman greets guests, politely shuffling people to either side of an immense stone wall. Deep-pocketed clientele willing to indulge in bottle service are led to a gated-off section on the left, which offers oversized leather booths (complete with their own overhead flat screens) and a tapas menu. The drinking-only crowd steps to the right, past the booming band and around a collection of a dozen or so high-topped tables – already completely full before 9 on a weekend night. Leather stools line a dark, lavish bar lit by hanging red fixtures. Behind the bar are a few obligatory jumbo flat-screen TVs, thankfully turned off while the band is on stage. On the opposite side of the room, a small fireplace carved out of the rear of the aforementioned stone wall throws light on a couch – by far the best place to see/hear the band.

The drink menu offers a quantity of unique selections – from high-end bottles to $3.50 beers. Tribeca patrons choose between about 30 Martinis for $9.50 each; these are mostly sugary concoctions (e.g. Sex on the Piano, Razztini). Further down the list are a number of equally sweet specialty cocktails, shaken up at $7.50 a pop. A straight-up vodka Martini proved a disappointment; much better was one of the bartender’s picks, the Cherry Sunburst, a dark orange, frothy mix of Three Olives Cherry Vodka, Hiram Walker Crème de Banana, a splash of orange juice, pineapple and Rose’s Grenadine. Though nothing is on tap, Tribeca has a more than decent selection of domestic and import bottles. The bar is well stocked with high-end product (most of which is available for bottle service), with vodka being the obvious house, and fan, favorite. 

First-timers be warned: Tribeca is at its core a live-music spot with drinks thrown in on the side. When the band gets into its set of blues, rock ’n’ roll, Motown, you name it, the noise is immediately overwhelming (to say the least). But the bartenders do their work, and after a few songs and a few drinks, Tribeca’s vibrant atmosphere definitely takes hold. Pleasant surprises all around: Not only was the band good, but the clientele (mostly 30-somethings and older early on a Friday night) proved a nice mixture of well-dressed but unpretentious folks looking to have a good time and avoid the club crowd.

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