The South Street Seaport continues its post-Sandy rebuilding with the opening of the area's first new restaurant, Trading Post, which quietly started service at the end of June. The enormous restaurant takes over three floors of the former Yankee Clipper building on John Street, just a block from the tall ships and tourists at Pier 17. The owners found the space after years of searching, finally settling on the neighborhood in early 2012. Then Sandy hit, completely flooding the subterranean space and causing enough damage to delay the opening by months and cost the partners exorbitant amounts of money to fix the damage.

Looking at the restaurant now, you'd never know that gasoline-soaked flood waters had permeated the space less than a year ago. The two main dining spaces are outfitted with custom-made leather seats and chairs, beautiful wallpaper and smooth wood moldings. On the main floor, a beautiful wooden clock greets guests, who then have the option to slide up to the 100-foot bar or seek refuge in one of the cozy nooks around the perimeter. Upstairs, an elegant dining room boasts views out onto the East River and a quieter eating atmosphere, while the underground cellar bar offers a dark, intimate atmosphere to sip one of the many whiskeys, beers and house cocktails.

The team brought on Chef Stephen Woods (Brasserie 8 ½, Chez Josephine) to helm the kitchen, which turns out exquisitely prepared classic American dishes like Iceberg Slab salads ($13), Grilled Skirt Steak ($29) and a Black Angus Burger ($14). At a press preview this week we were treated to the Grilled Scottish Salmon ($31), perfectly cooked with nice char marks and a side of crunchy beans and corn relish. The bright green Asparagus Risotto ($24) was full of verdant flavors, tons of tender asparagus chunks and topped with a runny poached egg. The gorgeous Heirloom Tomato & Watermelon salad ($17) pairs sweet, juicy tomatoes and watermelon with a creamy aged feta, a lovely light dish for a hot summer's day. Daily specials highlight whatever foods are currently in season, with the culinary team anticipating the new food markets coming to the neighborhood next year.

Trading Post hopes to be the kind of spot locals will flock to as a respite from the mediocre offerings that abound nearby. We also observed a strong post-work crowd commanding the bar, snacking on flatbreads and other small bites in between sips of beer. The strong cocktail list should also be a draw, especially The Burling ($14), an effervescent combination of Caposaldo Prosecco, St. Germain and Elderflower Liqueur and the classic Moscow Mule ($14), served—as it should be—in a frosty, copper mug.

170 John Street // 646-370-3337 // Open Sunday - Wednesday 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 a.m.,
Thursday - Saturday 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 a.m.

Dinner Menu

Share and Cocktails

Beer and Whiskey