Silver Lining, the Tribeca jazz bar opened by the owners of Little Branch, has all the expected characteristics of a Sasha Petraske-run cocktail den—meticulously crafted libations, swank style, and a gentlemen's code of propriety. The nightly live jazz is serious enough to satisfy any aficionado, yet demure enough for conversation.
In comparison to the rest of the bar, Silver Lining's overall food offerings are a bit clumsy, lacking the same panache as their cocktail counterparts. But there is some quality food to be found. Dishes such as the Moules au Pastis ($18) are a solid bet, with the mussels served in cream sauce with shallots and basil. The distinct anise flavor of the pastis shines through without overpowering the shellfish.
Baked Camembert ($14) is exactly what it sounds like: a wheel of cheese warmed to gooey perfection. Though the toast points were plentiful, the diminutive ramekin of fig jam on the plate was a cruel tease.
Charcuterie ($20) would have been more aptly named Salumi, as it encompassed a delicious selection of Italian coppa, prosciutto di San Daniele, and soppressata.
A trio sampler ($14) of bar bites sounded great on the menu but fell flat on arrival. The Kefteh Slider, spiced lamb on brioche with tsatiki and harissa, and the Grilled Veggie Slider, made with eggplant, zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese, were a bit on the bland side. The Mini Bastilla, a crunchy bite-sized version of a Moroccan sweet and savory chicken dish, was the best of the three, balancing sweet and savory notes.
The prices are not quite value-oriented, but the finger food-style eating, classic cocktails, and unobtrusive, gracious service makes Silver Lining a great date spot, with jazz and booze flowing all night long.
Silver Lining75 Murray St. New York, NY 10007 (map)
About the author: Nancy Huang, who comes to New York by way of Los Angeles, writes The Wanderist, a food and travel blog of adventures here and abroad. She loves noodles, subway maps, and word games.