LES Bites: Shaved Snow Stand, Moon Dinner, Cider Bar, Beauty & Essex Brunch

LES Bites: Ochado Opens, Yunnan Chef Interview, Hockey Watching

This week on the LES restaurant and bar beat: new and existing ramen, an in-depth chef interview, where to drink while you’re watching the hockey playoffs, and Calvin Trillin eats at Russ & Daughters Cafe.

New at Yunnan Kitchen: Dessert

The menu at Erika Chou’s Clinton Street restaurant is expanding with the arrival of a talented young pastry chef.

LES Bites: Ivan Ramen Approaches, Antonioni’s Slideshow, Tea at NuMu

Clinton Street’s Restaurants Rising

Pig & Khao, 68 Clinton Street. Photo by Zandy Mangold.

Editor’s note: The following story first appeared in the March 2013 issue of The Lo-Down’s print magazine.  Since the magazine came out, there’s been more Clinton Street restaurant news. As we reported yesterday, Alias, the creative comfort food spot at 76 Clinton, might be closing after a decade on the LES to make room for a new seafood-centric restaurant from the team behind Wild Edibles.

When 71 Clinton Fresh Food opened with wunderkind chef Wylie Dufresne in 1999, it was widely credited with launching the Lower East Side’s fine dining scene. By the time Dufresne opened his own shop, the wildly successful wd~50, across the street four years later, the blocks of Clinton Street between Delancey and Houston seemed destined to become a hotbed of exciting new cuisine.

While Dufresne racked up award after award, though, the flow of restaurants around his destination dining spot surged and ebbed, never quite reaching critical mass. While Clinton Street Baking Company has drawn rave reviews and long, loyal brunch lines since arriving in 2001, and neighborhood joint Alias has demonstrated staying power, celebrating its 10-year anniversary last year, others that seemed destined for long-term success have come and then gone, most notably Falai and Frankie’s, which both closed in 2012. Countless others have opened to loud fanfare but then burned out quickly, such as Ed’s Lobster Bar.

Also Open For Dinner Tonight: Yunnan Kitchen, Alias & Clinton Street Baking Co.

Yunnan Kitchen.

Our friends at Yunnan Kitchen are excited to be back open as of noon today. They write: We will be open this weekend! We will have a special LUNCH service for this weekend only- starting Saturday at 12PM and will stay open through dinner til 9PM. We plan to resume normal business hours next week. Please stop by for a comforting bowl of fried rice.

Also opening back up this evening: Alias, on Clinton Street, with a limited “post-Sandy menu,” beginning at 6pm, and the Clinton Street Baking Company will be back to serving pancakes and burgers.

JP’s Food Adventures: Yunnan Kitchen is a Worthy Splurge

Photos by Cynrhia Lamb.

With the opening of Yunnan Kitchen, our neighborhood now boasts one of only two Yunnan restaurants in Manhattan. Until recently, the only Yunnan place in the city was is a tiny noodle shop in Brooklyn, where Cynthia and I have eaten.

We were struck by the similarities to Vietnamese food: the use of fresh herbs, crunchy veggies, chopped peanuts as a garnish and just a little bit of sugar added to play against the hot pepper. This is not surprising, as Yunnan Provence shares a border with Vietnam. They also use vinegar to balance out spicy, sweet and salty flavors. The result is food that’s often simple and fresh tasting, yet nuanced.

I had some trepidation about Yunnan Kitchen — a “small plates” joint on Clinton Street.  Like many New Yorkers, I consider the ability to get delicious Chinese food for cheap practically a God-given right. If I must sacrifice some of the bourgeois niceties in my dining out experience to that end, so be it. I’d rather eat good food in a dive than pay top dollar for okay food in a place with great service and décor.

AndrewAndrew Visit Yunnan Kitchen

Our friends AndrewAndrew recently visited the new Chinese restaurant, Yunnan Kitchen, on Clinton Street. They had a little extra help with their video review on this one.  Take a look.

New York’s First Full Scale Restaurant Featuring Yunnan Cuisine Planned on Clinton Street

Coming soon to 79 Clinton St.: Yunnan Kitchen.

Last week we posted a brief item about Yunnan Kitchen, a new restaurant coming to 79 Clinton St. A few days ago, we met Erika Chou, the owner, to discuss plans for the regional Chinese spot in the former home of the Lucky variety store.

There’s a lot of work to be done in the space. A kitchen must be added and the storefront will be opened up to take full advantage of the street-side exposure. So on a beautiful fall morning, we sat on a bench outside Atlas Cafe and chatted.

Yunnan Kitchen Coming to 79 Clinton St.

The storefront at 79 Clinton St. has been shuttered since the Lucky variety store closed last year.

It looks like 79 Clinton St., the former Lucky variety store and once-rumored Falai expansion, finally has a new tenant. Later this month, Community Board 3’s liquor license committee will field an application from Yunnan Kitchen, a new Asian restaurant whose owners are seeking a beer and wine license.