Here’s what’s new on the Lower East Side restaurant/food scene:
- In spite of persistent rumors to the contrary, representatives of the Seward Park Co-op tell us no decisions have been made about a new tenant for the old Noah’s Ark Deli space at 399 Grand St. The troubled kosher restaurant closed for good last fall before the Jewish holidays. The co-op, which owns the commercial space, is entertaining offers from several food-related businesses, including at least one proposal for a kosher-style restaurant. Seward Park President Kate Nammacher and General Manager Frank Durant both said the applicants have been asked to make presentations before the co-op board next month. Sources have described a proposal for an establishment serving kosher food but one that would also appeal to non-kosher customers. Most locals agree there are not enough observant Jews remaining on the Lower East Side to support a narrowly focused kosher restaurant. Among those expressing their support for some kind of kosher business in the space is Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who has an apartment on Grand Street and is influential with the co-op board.
- The other day we mentioned the arrival of a new coffee shop at 511 Grand Street from the team behind Ost Cafe in the East Village. Reports at the time indicated that the new spot would be open by the weekend. This week’s snow storm has delayed the opening, though. We’re told Ost Lower East Side should be open by early next week. Initial hours will be 7:30 a.m.-7:3o p.m.
- Chef Owen Clark, formerly of Gwynnett St in Brooklyn, is returning for a stint at Contra.
- Yunnan Kitchen is offering a special Chinese New Year dinner.
- Chef Wylie Dufresne of wd-50 will be on Jimmy Fallon tonight.
- Time Out offers a pastrami history lesson.