Restaurant Of The Week: TriBeCa Standard, Pretoria

This stylish bistro is one of the more distinctive eateries in Pretoria, which is not exactly a hotbed of fine dining. Located in the upscale Lynnwood Bridge center, the restaurant combines equal parts of ambiance and menu for a deliciously buzzy experience.

tribeca standard

Photo by Karen Elowitt

TriBeCa’s flagship branch (there are four in Pretoria and one planned for the Mall of Africa in Centurion), the store offers a creative menu of starters, light meals, mains, salads, pizzas, delectable beers and cocktails, with a few enticing desserts for good measure. There is a distinct French influence in the food, with souffles, tarte tatin, escargot, and croque monsieur/madame all making an appearance on the menu. There’s also a distinct presence of hearty American-style comfort food (probably owing to the fact that the owner is American), such as the Philly cheese steak, the New York burger, and the classic Caesar salad. In between the two extremes you’ve got a whole array of choices from pork belly, to roast bone marrow, to the Kobe meatball sandwich.

The gourmet pizzas are a highlight of the menu — I chose the “Cali Beach,” and unusual but delectable combination of mozzarella, bacon, white cheddar, sour cream, chives and fresh avocado salsa. My companion helped me scarf it down, but also tried the tempura prawns, which were equally fantastic. The desserts are also not to be missed, with the chocolate lava cake being a standout. If you don’t like sweets, you can opt for a cheese plate.

At TriBeCa there are many ways to wash down your meal: martinis are served up nine different ways (chocolate and litchi being just two of the yummy flavours), and there’s a huge selection of wines, Champagne, mojitos, margaritas, coffees, smoothies, milkshakes, and pressed juices.

A great deal of attention has been paid to the decor at TriBeCa, which has a sort of industrial-chic vibe to it. Grey slate floor tiles are offset by warm leathery brown booths, distressed wood tables and a huge brass pizza oven indoors, and the curved outdoor patio features silvery tables accented with colorful red planters and gold-flecked beams. Outdoors is the place to see and be seen, and in winter heat lamps provide warmth when the chill sets in.

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