This weekend we celebrated a birthday, and we chose Distilled in Tribeca to host it. It was a good decision. We highly recommend going there to celebrate any life event or to kick it with friends.
The first thing that happened to us upon our arrival was that we recieved a hug from the hostess when she learned it was our birthday. Alhtough not usually a fan of "stranger hugs," this one was different, without the slightest tinge of that awkward feeling.
Before we talk about the food, we should mention that the service is perfect. Neither dripping with insincere sweetness nor overly aggressive, you have the feeling you are well taken care of by happy people who genuinely want to be there. We know, that never happens in New York. It's one of those things you have to see to believe.
While the menu is minimalist, balanced, and delicious, this place's claim to fame are the wings and the cocktails. We know what you're thinking: you can get wings anywhere, wings are boring. While the first part of that sentence is true--you can get decent wings at quite a few places--the second part is not. The wings that Distilled serves are epic. They are made with Korean Gochujang sauce, which makes them the right amont of sticky and crunchy, and they pair well with either a hangover or an entree. We had sampled the wings prior to our arrival and was very disappointed to learn they had sold out during brunch.
The cocktails alone make this place worth gonig to. We had two cocktails: the Dram Betty, which was made with vodka, rosemary, cucumber, and herb salt. The second was a berry lemonade with bruised mint leaves and tequila. Both were perfectly mixed without too much alcohol. There is nothing worse than drinking a cocktail and having it hit you like a sledgehammer, preventing you from enjoying a coherent conversation. This is not a place for you to get sloppy drunk; you want to be sober enough to take in the positive experience.
The food is awesome. There are many New York restuarants that strive to impress, and in this quest overpower the tastebuds with clashing spices and too much salt. It is a rare thing to be able to taste the flavors of the foods themselves as they meld together and release their own aromatic power. We enthusiastically recommend the mushrooms and garlic dish that comes with an amazing soubise sauce. The atmosphere pulls off a rare combination of both upscaled and casual, allowing you to feel like you can take your friends there for drinks on a Friday night or host your parents from out of town.
A cake was preordered and crafted by the pastry chef just for us, and it was a classic favorite: tiramasu! It's good to know that you can pre-order a cake if you wish, but the dessert menu is wonderful. You can have s'mores, a kitchen sink sundae or even an ice cream sandwich if that tickles your fancy. We're going to make Distilled one of our regular spots, and we recommend you do the same.
Distilled, 211 W Broadway 212-601-9514