Your pre-holiday restaurant notes:
- In a piece carrying the headline, “A chef regains his focus,” the Times looks at Danny Bowien’s comeback on the Lower East Side. A second, “grownup” version of his wildly popular restaurant, Mission Chinese, opened at 171 East Broadway last Friday. The original spot was shut down by the health department months ago. Bowien admits that he let his status as a super-star chef and too much alcohol obscure what put him on the culinary map in the first place: cooking. With the help of more seasoned food-industry luminaries, Bowien has matured and learned a few lessons about making it in New York City.
- Peter Hoffman confirms he’s closing Back Forty, the farm-to-table restaurant on Avenue B. He tells Eater the decision was prompted by “a difficult landscape and lease uncertainty.”
- Amanda Cohen says she expects to open Dirt Candy on Allen Street in late January.
- From the in-box: Recently Espoleta Tapas & Wine Bar replaced Forcella, the well-regarded pizza restaurant, at 334 Bowery. Now a pizza test kitchen, dubbed SRO, is opening in a hidden back room of the restaurant. Look for a debut shortly after the new year.
- Why do Jews eat Chinese food on Christmas? To answer that question you need to look no further than the Lower East Side.