The wind was icy and powerful, chilling me to the bone and practically lifting me off my feet. I pulled with all my might to open the door to an old, abandoned coffee factory, and then pushed mightily to close the door against the relentless gale. It was the winter of 1989, and this was my introduction to 375 Greenwich Street. My first thought was that no one in his or her right mind would make the trek down to such a forlorn place. Now, 27 years later, I can happily say that I was totally wrong.
The doors I forced open and shut led to the constuction site for the Tribeca Grill, a restaurant that has helped define a neighborhood and has become a beloved New York City destination. It started with a shared vision of Robert De Niro and Drew Nieporent to create a warm and welcoming restaurant with good food and drink that would anchor the first two floors of the Tribeca Film Center. Add Martin Shapiro, the managing partner, who two decades later, and with total dedication, still oversees a restaurant that has greeted millions of diners. Mix in executive chefs—currently Scott Burnett—who serve up food that brings a smile, David Gordon, who has helped create a world-class wine list and an incredible staff—many of whom have worked at the restaurant since the beginning. The result is a successful restaurant with substance and integrity that has stood the test of time. One journalist endearingly called Tribeca Grill "a neighborhood restaurant for the whole world."
As for those cold, harsh winds? They still sometimes whip down Greenwich street in winter. But open the doors to Tribeca Grill, and there's always a warm welcome inside.