NYCReview

Tasting menus can be polarizing. Sometimes, you sit for a few hours, drop a bunch of cash, and eat a parade of uninspired plates that make you feel like you’re in an exhausting meeting that you kind of want to end. You won't feel that way at L’Abeille.

This warmly-lit Tribeca restaurant has green velvet banquettes and brass accents, and the servers (all dressed in jackets and ties) attend to your every need. The experience comes across as upscale but not at all stuffy, and you’ll hear low-volume beats and jazz playing throughout your meal. But the impressive food is why you should come here. 

The $180 six-course tasting menu is primarily French with some Japanese touches. (There’s also an à la carte menu that’s only available at the bar.) We especially like the foie gras crème brûlée creatively paired with an onion ice cream and the perfectly-cooked tilefish with crispy skin that you’ll want to eat all by itself. The menus change seasonally, however, so we may never see some of these dishes again (or at least for another year). 

L’Abeille proves tasting menu places aren’t always just about pomp. The food is satisfying and imaginative, and none of the portions are tiny, so you won’t walk out rolling your eyes at what you just ate and wishing you had grabbed a few slices of pizza instead. The next time we want to surrender ourselves to a two-hour dinner that involves very little decision making, it'll be hard not to think of L'Abeille first.

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