The first time I walked past One White Street I just knew there was something special about it. Subsequently, there always seemed to be folks gathered around, having a good time and seeming like they were neighborhood regulars. So, I put it on my list and was able to snag a seat at the bar early Saturday night.

When I arrived, the staff was already buzzing about, deeply involved in tasks for the night ahead. The bar sat next to a tiny open kitchen, so you get a front row seat here. Since the bar only had four seats, I was feeling lucky to have gotten one of them. I have always loved doing an early reservation. The crew is fresh, the food is freshest, and the mood is anticipatory. You always get a bit of more personalized service before the jam starts around 7pm. (Since Covid changed everything, including eating times, this may not be as advantageous as it once was, but I stand by it.)

More and more restaurants are catering to those who are looking for alternates to drinking alcohol, and One White had a couple of nice options, which were mentioned and offered right away. I started off the night with a glass of French Sparkling Cider, which has a rich sweetness, and whet the palate. With my main course, I tried the Kolonne Null, a very light verdejo, that leaned toward a beer essence, in my opinion. Both were very tasty and a welcome addition.

Little did I know when I made this reservation of the talent I would be encountering. The owner and Chef Austin Johnson sure has cred. He has been in the kitchens of Canlis, in Seattle, Eleven Madison Park and the NoMad hotel in NYC. In Paris he became Executive Chef at Frenchie, which earned a Michelin star while he ran the group’s three restaurants. Many of the staff also hail from NoMad or Eleven Madison, and other superior spots. Best of all, they have partnered with a farm from Columbia County in upstate New York. Rigor Hill Farm is the brainchild of Eliot Coleman, a proponent of small-scale organic farming and Chef Austin Johnson and they specialize in hard-to-find ingredients.

The dining room on street level is small and only can seat about 20 people in addition to the bar. This floor provides the a la carte menu, and welcomes walk-ins. Outside tables double that, weather permitting, and you could not get a more quaint corner. It’s on the part of West Broadway that does not get a lot of car traffic, because it is below the small park that delineates the start of TriBeCa. What I did not realize is that there are three floors to this place. Head upstairs to do the Tasting Menu, six courses for $228, wine pairing is an additional $148. Now I know what to do next time!

I started my meal with the Long Island Fluke Crudo which sat in a carrot leche de tigre sauce accompanied by snow peas and English peas. The color was astounding, as carrots made their way in every aspect, from the cooked bits in the sauce to the paper thin rounds on the top. While I was still enjoying the crudo, a small gift appeared from the kitchen. These Crispy Potato Croquette were piping hot, crunchy on the outside, and sat in a smoked labne sauce with a pickled chili on top. Such a thoughtful gift, how did they know!

Keeping with one of my recurring themes, I ordered the duck, and was so glad that I did. This one was a Honey Roasted Duck which sat alongside a row of sliced, smoked carrots, and in another dish altogether was a duck confit, perfectly soft, with a crisp bottom along with a cucumber raita. It was quite the portion, so I did take half of it home.

For dessert, Beck, the bartender, asked me if I knew what Eton Mess was (I thought, that describes the way I eat, as there is usually a flurry of crumbs left around my plate after it is taken away). Beck explained that the Eton Mess is a British dessert which sounded similar to trifle, a mixture of fruit, meringue, and whipped cream. Since it had rhubarb, I had no choice but to order it in order to savor while it is in season. Rhubarb Eton Mess was super creamy, and had little puffs of meringue strewn about, as well as rhubarb.

After dinner I popped into the market next door. This is the place to go to get the same ingredients that were used to create those luscious dishes I just savored care of Rigor Hill Farm. The vegetables looked so fresh and I made a note to come back and shop (since I just moved to the area). Coffee and take-out also available.

One White Street, 1 White Street (NE corner West Broadway), Tribeca, Instagram @onewhitestreet