I knew I would like Compose when I saw the Tribeca building housed two dog businesses … We walked into the small dimly lit space on the ground floor and took the last two seats around the bar, filling out the 10pm seating. There also were three small tables squeezed into the spaces near the windows. It was cozy and clubby, about 15 people total.
Our server asked if we wanted to start with cocktails. There was no list. He simply asked us to describe what we liked to drink. Now this was a challenge, I usually drink scotch and soda. A scotch-based drink? Gross!
Our mixologist made me a drink called penicillin, blended scotch over a custom cut ice cube, mixed with lemon and herbs, with a spritz of peaty scotch atomized over the top of the cocktail to finish it off. It was surprisingly spectacular. I was impressed. It was going to be a great meal.
I can’t say I recall all 10 courses, and it was too dark to take decent photos. The plates were well-portioned, so we left full, but not bursting at the seams. The one time I didn’t finish every last bite of a sweet course, the servers followed up with polite and friendly concern. Did you not like the dish? Of course I did, but I was just getting full …
G thought the stand out was the cheese course and could not stop raving about it. My favorites were probably the poached lobster or the crudo with the shaved asparagus and dehydrated manchego. I even liked the spring vegetables with the herb olive oil and the poached egg yolk, and I detest egg yolk.
Our wine pairings were excellent, as well, and unusual – seven glasses of white and only one red, a gamay from Burgundy. The wines were funky in flavor, and mostly from Burgundy, as well, very Old World – a grower’s champagne, an Austrian gruner veltliner, a fortified white. In other words, G’s sweet spot. At one point, our mixologist joked that now the wine pairings would take a turn, toward oaky chardonnays – hahaha!
We finished dinner with a lively discussion of exotic coffees and a dessert cocktail that tasted like the most delicately-flavored egg nog that I had ever tasted. Of course, the rum in the drink did put us over the edge – in a good way, of course.
So book a spot at Compose, if you can snag one. I’d recommend the later seating, which for some reason is not as popular, but I think is probably more fun. After all, the bar remains open after the kitchen closes, and the wait staff is happy to mix up magic to suit your mood.
Just thinking about our next visit puts a smile on my face.