If you read the exhaustive New York Times piece over the weekend on DBGB, Daniel Boulud's new restaurant on the Bowery, you know even restauranteurs with impeccable credentials and huge bank accounts are more than a little nervous about big ventures these days. In the words of one restaurant consultant, "does the word bloodbath mean anything to you?" Recently we checked in on three fledgling restaurants on the Lower East Side to see how the newbies are doing. None was empty, but they weren't exactly bustling either. In all cases they deserve a shot at success, even if they're not perfect in every way.
- Antibes, 112 Suffolk, open for lunch and dinner. The French food is straightforward but mostly well prepared. BYOB for now – incredibly gracious service. Best bet: guiness braised short ribs, $17.
- La Barra, 250 Broome Street, open for lunch and dinner. A Mexican ceviche and taco place. The chef, Allen Feldman, has cooked at La Grenouille and Veritas. No liquor license yet. Best bet: chef's special ceviche.
- The Clerkenwell, 49 Clinton Street, dinner and weekend brunch only. The English gastropub from Shay Kelly, a veteran of the London restaurant scene. Best bet, yorkshire toad in the hole with English sausages.