Opening Report: Day 1 at Mission Chinese Food

Danny Bowien. Photo: Phi Vettel, Chicago Tribune.

Danny Bowien’s anxiously anticipated Mission Chinese Food is now open on Orchard Street.  Lower East Side food aficionado Mitch Weinstein couldn’t wait to try it out.

Last night was “opening” night, and a friend and I were lucky enough to score a pair of seats at Mission Chinese Food, after a nominal 20 minute wait, at the ungodly dinner hour of 6:30; normally, we’re drinking at that time – and aren’t you?  Whatever; here we were, greeted warmly by the host and hostess (Anna and Aubrey), and invited to share a celebratory beer while we waited for our seats to become available.  

Pizza a Casa Lets a Little Light In

We were excited to learn you can now see inside the Pizza a Casa storefront (the front window used to be stacked to the top with pizza boxes).  Lo-Down contributor Mitch Weinstein caught those devoted pizza makers hard at work last night. He writes. “Pizza a Casa opens up. Last night, walking by, and whaddya know…you can actually see what’s happening inside! I wonder what happened to all those pizza boxes…”

Pizza a Casa at night - photo by Mitch Weinstein

A Plea for A.C.

Lower East Side food fiend Mitch Weinstein has a message for the restaurants of the Lower East Side: close the windows and doors! Here’s the latest post from his blog, Tasty Travails:

Restaurateurs – listen up. I have one word for you…Friedrich.

Allright, admittedly, I’m a grouch…just ask Significant Eater, our friends, family, anyone I come into contact with, whomever. But, something happens every summer, and it doesn’t make me happy. That is, either restaurants in the city are not turning their air conditioners on at all or they’re greatly lowering the amount of conditioned air they’re sending out.

Wing Shoon: Decent Dim Sum, Great Air Conditioning

Wing Shoon Seafood Restaurant, on the site of the former Garden Cafeteria, East Broadway, New York

From Eating in Translation's Flickr photostream.

Once a legendary kosher cafeteria, 165 East Broadway, has been home to the Chinese restaurant Wing Shoon since the mid-1980’s. While not exactly legendary, it’s a fairly popular place and a go-to spot for dim sum East of Allen. Our food guy, Mitch Weinstein, and his culinary companion, “Significant Eater,” recently gave Wing Shoon the once-over:

High Anxiety

This one might not bring a tear to your eye, but hopefully you'll be amused by Mitch Weinstein's sad plight. I know I was. You see, perched 15 stories above Seward Park, Mitch (our food contributor) might be losing something very precious.

By Mitch Weinstein/

New Yorkers are fairly fond of their views. At least those who have
some. But views in New York can be fleeting. And they're certainly
always changing. That's why when I'd heard that Gouverneur Healthcare Services was getting ready to undertake a rather massive expansion program, I started to get nervous about one of our four teensie views of the East River.You
see, Significant Eater and I live on the 15th floor of our building. We
fell in love with our apartment when we first walked into it six years
ago, because of the views and "the light." SE and I can see four slivers of the
river from our bedroom window. Slivers, mind you, with the Manhattan
Bridge just visible in the background. This is a view that
over time is likely to change, just as the skyline all around the lower
east side is changing. Tall buildings, Blue building, Gertel's building, every time I hear of a new project, I wonder how our "light" is gonna change.

So, after looking at the renderings for the new expansion, I started to get really worried. I mean, take a look see…

thing is huge. So, I got out my protractor (yeah, like
anyone uses one of those), and started calculating vectors and shit,
just to figure out if one of (maybe my favorite) slivers was going
to disappear.  And for a
year, all they were doing was foundation work. But then, it started to
grow up…and here's a diary of photos…