After about an hour of drinking and chatting and nibbling, we all sort of looked at one another and proclaimed, We have to come back here when it's cold. The menu, which is seasonal-American with French and Swiss influences, was full of the kind of toasty, rich (borderline heavy) fare that goes best with scarves and coats and lots of red wine. (The cocktail menu, however, was all Summer: refreshing drinks with bitters and fizzy things and cucumbers and watermelon...there were maybe eight signature drinks and the three or four that we sampled were absolutely delightful. Delightful enough to have had seconds. And by seconds, I mean thirds.)
I started with a glass of Riesling -- it was sweet, almost too sweet to have had with food, but was perfect as a cocktail -- and we split the charcuterie plate which featured some nice, nutty cheeses. Emilie has a hard time resisting sweetbreads and the bite I had of hers was pretty fantastic; seared to a crisp and served over white asparagus with pea shoots, they were actually a really nice balance to the Riesling, now that I think about it. Caroline and I both had the crepinette of pork shoulder, which - according to my South Carolina-born girlfriends - was like home cooking: braised pork shoulder formed into a sort of pattie (although I don't remember a casing, which I'm pretty sure is what makes a crepinette a crepinette, no?) and heaped over sauteed greens, and it was very, very good.
Emilie also tried the chilled tomato soup because it is served with corn and crab meat, which are two things that are basically impossible to resist. Caroline and I went straight for the heartiest, heaviest, most comfort-foody thing on the menu, the gratinéed pizokel with onions and gruyère, which was, more or less, a trough of fried dough, onions, and cheese. (And when I say a trough of fried dough, onions, and cheese, I mean to say YUUUMMMMM.) The downside, sadly, was that I had a stomach ache for the better part of the 15 hours that followed our meal, but it was worth it. However, in case you are wondering, ONE order of the pizokel is more than enough for three people.
In terms of design and atmosphere, Trestle is exactly the sort of place I love. It's small but airy, comfortable and cozy while still maintaining a nice, sleek vibe, and the music playing was fantastic. The service was a little off, and sort of hard to describe; our waiter would be extremely attentive but then forget to bring us something we'd requested (I got a wine glass 5 minutes before I got the wine, and another 10 minutes went by before Emilie and Caroline got their cocktails, and the bar was not that busy). Still, the overall experience makes me comfortable recommending Trestle as a great weeknight neighborhood option. I plan on returning, for sure. And I highly recommend the cocktail that is called a Scottish something or other, because WOW, it was good.
Trestle (212 645 5659) is located on the southeast corner of Tenth Avenue and 24th Street, and accepts all major credit cards.