For years, Eldridge Street, the block I grew up on, was littered with empty crack vials. Businesses of any kind were scarce. These days, new, enchanted establishments are popping up. From Apizz, where my parents (artists who renovated their tenement home in the ‘80’s) proudly spent an anniversary dinner, to Family Recipe, a sleek Japanese restaurant run by Akiko Thurnauer.
Akiko was born in Japan, but has spent the past fifteen years in New York. “I wanted to open a restaurant that was a little bit hidden, not on an obvious street like Orchard or Ludlow, where it’s more party and people come for drink. I like to have people who really come for food,” Thurnauer told me in her open kitchen space, which she helped design. “I moved to Grand Street five years ago, but I’ve always lived in Nolita or the Lower East Side, so I know the neighborhood.”