Tribeca is a tricky neighborhood. Nestled in between the Hudson and the rest of downtown Manhattan, it has developed into a hub of high end steakhouses, upscale restaurants and stylish cafes. As the dining scene has developed, Puffy’s Tavern has remained a constant in an always changing restaurant landscape. Puffy’s is completely the opposite of the new upscale restaurants that have developed around it. It’s the bar that you can come to grab a pint and watch a soccer game. It’s a place that has a dart board in the back and hosts tournaments. It’s a place that you can go to escape what Tribeca has become and go back to what it was before, relishing in the New York that once was.
Reminiscent of a traditional Irish pub, Puffy’s dark wood interior gets brightened up during the day by the large windows that frame the side and front of the restaurant. Light shines in on the lunch crowd that packs the tavern every day to enjoy their freshly made Italian sandwiches from Alidoro. Served on bread from Grandaisy Bakery, the meat is sliced fresh and sandwiches made per order right on the bar counter that turns into a mini kitchen for the lunch crowd.
The lunch menu includes a wide array of cold subs on freshly baked bread, or numerous panini sandwiches pressed to gooey perfection. With over 20 sandwich options, there are plenty of combinations to choose from, all made with Italian deli meat and fresh mozzarella cheese. The Matteo is served with prosciutto, arugula, mozzarella and balsamic dressing on a crispy but light Italian baguette. The Marina is made with smoked chicken, mozzarella, sundried tomatoes and arugula, and topped off with dressing. The sandwiches are just as satisfying in size as they are in taste. As you watch the one man sandwich-crafter, you can sit and enjoy their $3 draft special at lunch, or just call ahead and do take out. Aside from the Alidoro sandwiches, Puffy’s also offers bar bites including wings, jalapeno poppers, onion rings and their own “Puffmaster Pizza” made to order.
Whether you go for the sandwiches, the drinks, or the company, Puffy’s brings the essence of old New York into a neighborhood that has modernized right before its eyes. It’s exactly what this part of Manhattan needs, old world charm and a nice, cold beer.
81 Hudson Street