My L.E.S. – Carlin Greenstein

Carlin Greenstein at the Hester Street Fair

This weekly feature spotlights a wide variety of people who live and work on the Lower East Side.  If you would like to participate in “My LES,” please email us here.

What do you do?

I am a Private Chef.  I’ve spent the majority of my career cooking for celebrities in the entertainment industry.  I also run a small business called, Chew On This. We design and sell two culinary wheels (guides), one for buying local, seasonal produce and the other on how to use fresh herbs in your cooking. It speaks to my passion for eating locally and seasonally.

ChewonThis.org's New York area seasonal food wheel

How long have you lived on the LES?

I have lived here four years.  I moved from Union Square to South of Delancey and East of Essex feeling like it was the farthest reaches of the earth!  Now I love it and feel I live in a diverse, family oriented neighborhood that is quiet but also a stones throw from plenty of action.

Favorite block in the hood?

There are too many to just pick one area. I love where Orchard and Broome intersect for the sweet shops, especially Kaight for the clothing and Fringe for hair color/cuts. The garden on Rivington between Chrystie and Forsyth is another favorite.  We belong to a CSA and look forward to picking up our farm share every Thursday evening from spring into the fall at the garden.  I am a runner and love the easy access to the East River and down to the Seaport to the West Side or across the Manhattan Bridge.   I love the Vietnamese sandwiches underneath the Manhattan Bridge, my husband loves the Hot Pot restaurant on Eldridge Street for some traditional Chinese street food and Dim Sum GoGo for, what else but, dim sum.

Favorite date spot in the hood?

Ten Bells for a glass of vino and small plates of salty, tasty bites. Although it is a little far north to be considered the Lower East Side, Back Forty is our favorite place to eat. The owner, Peter Hoffman, who also owns Savoy, is the true NYC pioneer of the local and seasonal restaurant.  It’s casual and all of the food is delicious.

Favorite coffee in the hood?

I don’t drink coffee but I frequent Organic Avenue on Suffolk for their green juices.

Favorite slice in the hood?

While I am not pizza person, I love Saxelby Cheese in the Essex Street Market. They carry some excellent local cheese and are great at steering you in the right direction as to what you will enjoy.  We grab a few cheeses and some bread and head to one of the many pocket parks in the neighborhood for a picnic.

Where do you take your visitors when they’re here?

We live in the best neighborhood to trot around with friends. Russ and Daughters is a must for the overall true New York food experience, Kaight for her fashion forward clothing Vanessa’s for the sesame sandwich and dumplings, The Sweet Life for childhood fantasy candyland and The Tenement Museum for the bookshop and the Museum on Eldridge Street for their street fairs and great tours.

Favorite dive/locals bar in the hood?

Clandestino is the perfect local bar, we have had quite a few birthday parties there.  It is a great place to meet a friend for a quiet local drink.

Favorite LES memory?

Getting married in the M’finda Kalunga Garden last summer.  We hired this incredible five piece Balkan band called the Raya Brass Band, and following the ceremony had a parade (with all 125 guests) to Public for an outrageous meal!  It was a gorgeous evening and definitely one of the best memories of my life.