If Tribeca were a vineyard, its terroir would include hints of iron running boards, aromas of heavy wooden beams, a nose of well-heeled neighbors and loads of pale yellow riesling. The East Village's new downtown sister Terroir Tribeca has captured and distilled these topographical elements into a characteristically more sophisticated and much larger space, from which the land is definitely benefiting. The guys behind the bar are riesling fiends, so if you're a Rhine region lover, it'll behoove you to consult with the whip-smart staff about summer's stock of long-necked bottles and inquire about an audience with Germany's Riesling Queen (no joke). If you're not a fan of Germany, you can try a barbaresco reserva described as "Robert De Niro in a Stella McCartney gown, or consider a South African cabernet sauvignon preceded by a 700-word essay entitled, "The Glory of South Africa, Volume 1." A bit intimidating at first shuffle, Terroir's wine binder is fun at second thumbing. Between inviting Vladimir Putin to a glass of wine, poopoo'ing Robert Sietsema's Voice grumblings and praising Jane Jacobs' neighborhood planning efforts, Terroir manages to entertain and entice the wine-shy into something new and strange. The food is familiar, but if the East Village's bar snacks were solid, Tribeca's are superior. Still simple and only slightly serious, dishes like the frisÃ©e salad with crispy duck confit ($10) and thick slices of bruschetta with divine Fett' Unta olive oil ($4) may lead you to forget your glass for a moment. Faultless paninis like the house smoked ham, fontina and mustard ($11) raise the question, "Why don't we put everything between two slices of bread and smash it on a hot grill?" Happily, panna cotta with grappa soaked cherries ($6) and a glass of Hermann Wiemer's Fingerlake Magdalena riesling ($13.50) confirm exactly why not.
24 Harrison St.