Ox Cart Tavern takes pride in crafting almost every component of its creative comfort cuisine from scratch, from fresh grinding all meats in-house to handcrafting its own ketchup. Chef David Pitula’s contemporary spin on American classics start with appetite whetters such as chili-coated sweet-onion rings ($4) or roasted-garlic and goat-cheese spinach pies ($7) with zesty chipotle dip. A board of burger options present variations on a beefy 9-ounce theme, with selections as versatile as a hula burger ($12), which dances to its doom with a sweet-savory stack of grilled pineapple, Italian ham, and Swiss cheese, to the bacon, cheddar, and sautéed-mushroom-topped Good ol’ Boy ($12), which attempts to distract diners by singing all 37 verses of “American Pie.” A pastoral version of fish 'n' chips situates beer-battered white fish near a pyramid of pickled vegetables and a heap of hand cut fries ($13), and the Gelato sundae ($6) sweetly caps the meal with a tower of homemade fudge and bourbon caramel, crowned with maraschino cherries, fresh whipped cream, and praline.
The warm woods and worn brick of Matts Grill welcomes guests to a menu of casual American fare arranged on colorfully painted china by executive chef Ray Camacho. An appetizer of buttermilk calamari begs for dipping in a duo of cilantro-tartar and sweet-chili sauces, and the grilled flatbread pizza melts three cheeses over a bed of bacon, mushrooms, and tomato. Nestled between French bread drizzled with basil aioli, a sirloin steak sandwich combines Continental and hearty American influences more elegantly than a steer dressed in a beret. A main course of imported penne mingles with fresh basil in a savory tomato sauce, and the roasted barbecue chicken beds down on southwestern fried rice. In a final dish of apple crisp, autumn flavors peek through light, crumbly pastry like a prize pumpkin hiding in a rose garden.
Dorian Gray, a literary-themed gastro pub bedecked with mahogany and distressed bricks, permits patrons to cozy up to beer and Irish-influenced fare. With one hand toting a pint of Dorian Gray Amber ($5) and the other a glass of Vinvita pinot grigio ($7), guests can use their mouth to graze on Irish cheddar mini burgers ($6) or signature, french-fried curry chips with four in the mornin’ sauce ($6). New Zealand lamb chops share a diner's attention with peas and mash ($14), and the doughy cradle of shepherd's pie bears beef, onions, carrots, and peas ($11).
His restaurant may be called Pour George, but don’t shed a tear for George Garrity. Raise a glass, instead, to his gastropub’s craft beers and seasonal cuisine—the latter courtesy of international chef Will Rogan. Flat-screen TVs broadcast sports throughout the dining room, which Garrity has tastefully outfitted with a working stone fireplace.
The rear of Tribeca Tap House's bar looks like it's survived since colonial times, with thick planks of aged wood sunk into the brick wall. The bar itself stands in contrast, sporting a clean, modern design that includes tap handles mounted on polished metal. It's a fitting image for a restaurant that sticks to the basics of a neighborhood watering hole—namely cold drafts and hot food—and then elevates them with a heavy selection of craft beers and New American gastropub dishes.
The all-day menu tempts patrons with specialties such as crispy shrimp ‘n’ chips and the Tap House burger, a ground-in-house blend of sirloin, chuck, and brisket. The chefs' sandwiching skills continue to shine in more complex assemblages as well, such as the short-rib grilled cheese, which enfolds wild mushrooms, caramelized onions, and chipotle gouda on texas toast. And no pub meal is complete without a fried appetizer, of which Tribeca Tap House has many, including cornmeal-crusted pickle chips—frickles—accompanied by ranch sauce. Bartenders pour more than 20 draft beers at any time, keeping guests cool and calm as they watch sports games on one of many flat-screen televisions. The surrounding decor is heavy on rustic wood and brick, although works from local artists interject the handsome earth tones with pops of color.