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LES Bites: Mission Cantina’s Mixed Reviews, Luke-Warm on Contra, LES Beat Returns

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Mission Cantina, 172 Orchard St.
Mission Cantina, 172 Orchard St.

Today’s Lower East Side food headlines:

  • The Observer’s Joshua David Stein calls chef Danny Bowien a poet, raving about Mission Chinese, while acknowledging a few stumbles. But he cautions: “The main danger I see in Mission Cantina is that Mr. Bowien might lose interest or money (as he did at Mission Chinese…) Indeed, the place seems provisional, like it’ll burn brightly and brilliantly and then for some reason—rats, boredom, because Mr. Bowien can’t be restrained or won’t compromise or evolves away from the project—it’ll close.”
  • Max Falkowitz at Serious Eats has a different opinion, writing, “I can feel the dedication and energy going into the restaurant. But the crushing ordinariness of the food suggests it’s not enough.”
  • Time Out says of Contra, the Orchard Street newbie: “(It’s) more experimental kitchen than well-oiled machine. And in a town with plenty of stellar tasting menus available for reasonable asking prices, it will have to hit a steadier stride to endure beyond its newcomer buzz.”
  • Louie & Chan, the new spot at 303 Broome St., debuts brunch this coming weekend, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. A few more details on their Facebook page.

 

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