Seth Levine Talks About New Role at Hotel Chantelle

Seth Levine. Photo supplied by Hotel Chantelle.

Seth Levine. Photo supplied by Hotel Chantelle.

Last week, the Lower East Side club, Hotel Chantelle, announced it hired Seth Levine as executive chef, just a couple of months after he left Sons of Essex amidst a dramatic management shakeup.  The other day we caught up with Levine, who’s juggling a bunch of other projects, including the Munchies Joint on Stanton Street.

The former reality show contestant (“Hell’s Kitchen”) says he’s moved on from the Sons of Essex experience, continues to have good relations with some of the investors and wishes them “the best of luck.”   Levine said “it would be a shame to lose some of the menu items” he created there, especially dishes like the truffle grilled cheese.  He’s now integrating some of those popular items into the menus at Hotel Chantelle and other restaurants in his portfolio.

New Year’s Eve on the Lower East Side

Sons of Essex will celebrate its first New Year's Eve this year.

The last night of 2011 is three weeks from Saturday. Have you bought your noisemakers yet? No? Well, no problem, you can always get those at the last minute. But what you can’t get at the last minute is dinner reservations and party tickets. Here at The Lo-Down, we’re starting to collect tips on the New Year’s Eve events and offerings at a few neighborhood haunts. Drop us a line if you know of others at One note about the calendar: New Year’s Eve falls on a Saturday night this year. That means no special exemptions for establishments to keep the parties going past 4 a.m., since the state liquor laws kick in on Sunday mornings. (More on that from BlackBook’s Steve Lewis here.)

Click through for a list of what we know so far.

Restaurant Report Card: June 2011

Here at The Lo-Down, we know our readers care a lot about our local restaurants. We are all fortunate to live, work and play in a neighborhood full of interesting places to eat and drink. We welcome the new ones and look forward to giving them a try; we grieve the loss of old favorites; and we love to analyze all the ones in between. The second Wednesday of each month, we post a summary of the previous month’s health department inspections for eateries in the 10002 ZIP code. Click through to read the June report.

Food Wire: Mo Pitkin’s, Prune, Hotel Chantelle

Neighborhood food news to start off the weekend:

  • The former Mo Pitkin’s House of Satisfaction, which became the doomed Aces and Eights, may become Mo Pitkin’s again, according to EV Grieve and Fork in the Road.
  • Prune chef Gabrielle Hamilton’s moment in the NY Times’ spotlight continues this week with a profile, following up on their review of her new memoir, Blood, Bones and Butter.
  • Top Chef alumna Camille Becerra, who bagged on Orchard Street’s APL (which is due to open any week now, without her), has a new home in the kitchen at Hotel Chantelle.

Food Wire: German Bread, Food/Roof Dining at Hotel Chantelle, Real Buttermilk

Hotel Chantelle, via Gothamist.

In food/restaurant news today:

  • Landbrot, a new German bread maker, has signed a 10-year lease for a ground floor space at 185 Orchard (the Thompson LES Hotel). It’ll be one of two Manhattan locations. According to Crain’s the cafe should open in around three months.
  • Gothamist chats with Hotel Chantelle (92 Ludlow) owner Benjamin Shih; a full-scale restaurant (French Colonial) is planned to complement the cocktails currently being served — AND — there’s going to be a large rooftop dining area.
  • The Post is in a dither because “Chinese Restaurant News” only included two New York restaurants on its top 10 list (Congee Village is #9).  A place in Bryn Mawr, PA is number 1! Bryn Mawr?
  • Florence Fabricant talks up the “real buttermilk” that Saxelby Cheesemongers gets direct from an Orwell, Vermont farm.