Compose, New York, NYC, Tribeca, Nick Curtin, Executive Chef, Chef, Recommendations, Q & A, Micah Phillips, Pastry Chef, 10013, Where to eat in Tribeca, contemporary american, Modern American, Cocktail Lounge, Cocktails, Wine, Food, Restaurant



Compose is a cocktail lounge / contemporary American restaurant in New York.


Twice a night, they create a ten-course tasting menu around an open-kitchen horseshoe bar, allowing for intimate engagement and dialogue between staff and guests.

Tribeca - New York, NY

Photographs courtesy of Compose

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Q & A with Pastry Chef Micah Phillips

Q. Tell us about your take on Compose:

A. I’m kinda in two different entities right now. I have a dessert tasting going, which philosophically is a little contrary to the actual conception of the restaurant itself. The ingredients I’m using are less indigenous, less locally focused. 

Q. What are you making right now that you’re saying to yourself ‘damn, that’s cool’?

A. One of the desserts that I’m making right now, that I’m happy with, is on the tasting menu, it’s juniper, applewood, pine and hay. All the elements are pulled from my time working in the Berkshires, with the small dairies up there. These were aromas that I was around frequently, just from being outside. We did a lot of walking, so we were around a lot of pine. Those aromas of comfort, hay and pine, and applewood from the fires that we would cook our breakfast on, these are all comfort aromas and I wanted to put them into a flavor profile that would taste delicious and conceptually would be palatable.



Q. Is there a gadget or tool that you find indispensable?

A. The offset spatula -- it’s a small hand-held one and it’s become my right hand. I use it for everything and I have a habit of putting it in my back pocket, even on my off days.

Q. Is there a book that inspires you?

A. Siete, which means seven in Spanish. They profile seven pastry chefs in Spain and show their techniques and it has some really beautiful pictures. A lot of them are very poetic and they are definitely artisans. Seeing the techniques and the passions is exciting.

[See details.]


Q. Where do you like to eat on your days off?

A. Peter Pan Bakery in Greenpoint for donuts. My girlfriend and I go there every Sunday and we eat about 10 donuts. They are super cheap, like a dollar, and they make some of the best whole wheat cake donuts that I’ve ever had.

I’m a huge cookie fan and Blue Bottle Coffee in Williamsburg has the best Snickerdoodles in the city. Pretty much all their pastries are spot on.

Saltie makes some amazing cookies. All of their pastry and cookies are beautiful.

[See details.]

Q. Where do you like to go for savory?
A. We eat out all the time and try different places and one of the places that I went to recently, that I really loved, was Franny’s. That place is amazing. We ate pretty much everything on the menu and everything was so beautifully seasoned, it was just perfect.

[See details.]

Q. You spent some time in Copenhagen, while working at Noma. Any pastry places that you found while you were there?

A. It’s kind of tough sell, but there is a chain of bakeries called Lagkagehuset, there are three or four of them around, but they are the most consistent that you can find in the city.

Sweet Treat - it’s a coffee place where the guys from Noma would go, and they have beautiful pastries as well. Get any of their cookies.

Coffee Collective in Nørrebro was one of my favorite places. It’s a small bakery shop and it’s really inconspicuous, but it’s the best coffee I could find in the city.

[See details.]


Q. Is there a spirit or liquor that works really well when baking?

A. Bourbon: when I incorporate it into baked desserts and caramels, there are so many notes that come out of it that are lost in the astringency of them when you drink them straight. Some of the real aged bourbons, they open up so much when you bake with them.

Q. Do you have a favorite bourbon?

A. Bookers is what I roll with. It’s my favorite to drink. I’m baking with it a little bit, but it’s too expensive to do that.

[See details.]

Q. Which bourbon do you use when baking?

A. Any Tennessee or Kentucky barrel-aged bourbon. None in particular, whatever I can get my hands on.

Q. Do you have a local watering hole?

A. There is a new place, The Post Office, that we’ve been going to every weekend, it’s really exceptional. The aesthetic on the inside is all natural wood, they have a small little kitchen and the selection of bourbon and whiskey is unreal.

[See details.]


Details of Micah Phillips’ recommendations for restaurants and bakeries Brooklyn and Copenhagen.

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Contemporary American


77 Worth Street

New York, NY 10013 (view map)

T: 212.226.1444 (make a reservation)



Tue - Thu: 6:30pm - 1am

Fri - Sat: 6:30pm - 2am

Sun - Mon: closed


Compose’s Chefs