In the first installment of BRIDES's spotlight on all-things City Hall wedding ceremonies, food writer Ariel Kanter rounds up the best spots for you and your new beau to get your foodie fix after your downtown NYC vow exchange. Stay tuned for more City Hall-centric content, focusing on what you need to know about the people, places, and everything in between.
Having a City Hall wedding just might be the most liberating way to tie the knot. You don't need to fuss over your hair (messy buns are A-OK), you can wear whatever the hell you want, and your witness can be a total rando. But there is one thing every wedding day requires, whether it's at City Hall or Carnegie Hall: food.
It's likely that after you say your "I dos," you'll be starving. You and your new spouse may want to celebrate alone or invite the whole crew for a party—the good news is that you won't need to travel far. Here are our favorite spots for post–City Hall wedding meals in NYC (stay tuned brides around the country—there's more to come soon!), where the honeymoon starts at first bite.
Tiny's and the Bar Upstairs
Housed in a quaint pink building in Tribeca, Tiny's is a lovely spot for you to enjoy alone time over great food. If the season calls for it, sit in the intimate back dining room by a roaring fire or head upstairs for a casual bite at the bar. Start by diving into the meatballs with DiPalo's mozzarella, then, share the saffron cavatelli, and the Hudson Valley duck with apricot glaze. You won't even miss that expensive wedding cake with a bite of the dark chocolate brownie (topped with ooey gooey whisky caramel).
You could also head over to Khe-Yo, a Laotian restaurant in Tribeca by Marc Forgione and Soulayphet Schwader. Here, you and your dearly beloved can be adventurous and messy, sharing everything from chili prawns on ginger scallion toast to Berkshire spare ribs. The vibe is usually pretty poppin' and you might find yourself making friends at the table next to you. Who knows—maybe they'll buy you the beef jerky as a wedding present! Who needs a registry when there's food like this?
If you're looking for something a little quieter and a touch more refined, trust in Andrew Carmellini. His beautiful restaurant in the Smyth Hotel is just the spot. Start with cilantro-topped fluke crudo and house-made ricotta, followed by bright carrot risotto, herb-crusted scallops, and Long Island duck with quince. Finish with the cinnamon toast ice cream. Trust us...just do it.
If you're the couple who forewent the expensive wedding to spend all your funds on the food, Atera should be your destination. This is the kind of place where you won't find a dish that hasn't been adorned by beautiful little flowers and sprigs of fresh herbs. The tasting menu is ever-changing. If your mind is open and your stomach is growling, prepare for what they call a "sensory experience"—basically just insanely delicious bites of food.
Marc Murphy's Landmarc has long been on our list of restaurants that are great for groups. It is easy to make a reservation, and you can always work with their private events team if you want the VIP treatment. Landmarc's menu is full of reliably good dishes, from a classic rigatoni pomodoro to the burger on a house-made Gruyere bun. For dessert, make like a kid and go for the cotton candy—and grab a few caramels to eat later in bed.
Tucked into the Beekman Hotel is Keith McNally's Augustine. The space itself is gorgeous, and with restaurant cousins like Balthazaar and Minetta Tavern, we're not surprised. For a group meal, I suggest contacting the private events staff. They'll take care of everything, whether you want a full-blown dinner (please order the dry-aged sirloin) or a swanky cocktail party.
For something laid-back, casual, and delicious, take your group to Distilled, a cool public house–inspired spot in Tribeca. Simply put: this is the type of place where your grass-fed and grain-finished burger can be paired with tater tots. If that isn't perfect post-wedding food, we're not sure what is.
This classic bistro is a city institution. If you and your new partner love food as much as you love New York, you should absolutely go here. It's always bustling at The Odeon; make sure your table goes for the Brasserie specialties—think moules-frites with saffron cream and a cheese-lovers croque monsieur. Because fitting into a wedding dress will never need to be a worry again!