As summer begins to wind down, various publications are coming out with their fall food previews. We noticed a few interesting Lower East Side/Chinatown-related entries in the past few days.
New York Magazine leads off its fall eating extravaganza with a spread on Lalo, the new spot in the former Winnie’s space in Chinatown. The chef is Gerardo Gonzalez of El Rey, the popular “SoCal health food” cafe. His partners are the owners of Dudley’s on Orchard Street. Gonzalez describes his new menu as “hippie Chicano” cooking. You can expect “border-crossing cuisine and a quick, cheap set-menu lunch option that reflects the chef’s fondness for the intimacy of the old-fashioned lunch counter.” While Community Board 3 approved a liquor license for this restaurant back in January, a number of locals showed up to complain about the application. The permit is listed as “pending” on the State Liquor Authority’s website. An October opening is expected at 104 Bayard St.
Zagat includes Chinese Tuxedo at 5 Doyers St. in its feature, “45 Most Anticipated NYC Restaurant Opening of Fall 2016.” This was another concept that ran into community opposition before ultimately winning approval for a wine and beer permit in October of 2015. The high-end restaurant from Eddy Buckingham and Jeff Lam will ” reimagine classic dishes from the (Cantonese) region” of China. The operators are aiming for a November opening.
Finally, New York Mag mentions a Latin-accented coffee shop from Fernando Aciar, who runs a place called OCafe in the West Village. It will be located at 61 Hester St., the former site of Brown Cafe (in recent years it’s been a special events space). Aciar, an Argentinian, is also a potter and plans to take an adjoining storefront for his retail store (Fefo Studio). In the restaurant, brunch will be served daily and small plates at night. A September opening is planned.