“An oldie but a goodie “is the phrase that comes to mind when thinking of The Odeon restaurant on West Broadway in the heart of TriBeCa. Ok, so maybe I stole the phrase from Sex and the City who probably stole the phrase from somewhere else but what can I say, it’s true!
I lived in New York back in late 80’s-early 90’s before Giuliani entered the scene and when it was still acceptable to take your 9 year old out at night with you to cool funky places… Yep I was the 9 year old.
The memories of my time in New York that make my heart feel warmest often include The Odeon. I remember sitting at the bar for hours chatting with the actor/bartender who I had a huge crush on. I’d sit there blushing and slinging back my specially crafted cocktails (non alcoholic, come on there still were some laws back then) till I became woozy at which point I would retire to the plump banquette facing the bar. I’d quietly say my good nights as I’d be carried out to a taxi or on rough nights woken up to start the trek back to Brooklyn when no taxis were in sight.
I was pretty excited to walk into The Odeon this last Sunday after 24 years to find it…. Exactly the same (yeah yeah I know you did the math there). The people might be a bit more trendy, a bit more contemporary but otherwise it was like stepping into history for me and I loved every single minute of it.
While waiting for our table, I sat on that same banquette across from the bar where I had laid my head so many nights and I felt like… Well I felt like I was home. I think that’s why people love The Odeon, sure the bartenders and servers may change faces, a couple new things on the menu, but does the heart, foundation and soul of the place change, no.
Especially on a Sunday, the restaurant was buzzing. Upper east side millionaires at one table, twenty something fashionistas eating at the bar, French couple catching up with their out of town friends in a booth, THIS is New York. The icing on the cake was our amazing, just absolutely amazing server who you guessed it, is an actor, because isn’t everyone who works at The Odeon.
I decided to celebrate my homecoming by indulging and ordering the all natural petite NY strip steak frites with an addition of Béarnaise sauce. I don’t think my words will do it justice, you just need to go eat it yourself. Traditional frites meaning they are actually skinny along side a perfectly cooked and seasoned steak. Once I combined it with the Béarnaise sauce, it was a symphony of delicious flavours that I wish I could experience at every meal. There was not a single morsel of food left on my plate. My companion had the eggs Benedict with smoked salmon which was also a home run. For those of you cutting down on carbs you will be happy to hear the English muffin was thin and really allowed the eggs and salmon to be the stars of the dish.
I was stuffed and content but could not resist (after 24 years) a dessert. I decided that I needed to eat New York too, so happy was I to be at my old haunt, that I ordered the NY cheesecake with raspberries. This was a traditional NY cheesecake with an Odeon spin. The cheesecake was not dense but deliciously light and flavorful and had an equally tasty moist crust making me want to lick the plate.
If you want the true New York experience then this is where you want to go, and please don’t flake out, order a cocktail! I went with The Odeon cocktail but you’ll do no wrong with any of them.
I solemnly swear Odeon, it won’t be another 24 years before I return. Next time I might just need to reclaim my old spot at the bar….
The Odeon website HERE