Michelin-starred chef from Peru at the head of public hotel restaurants
Popular, Cantina & Pisco Bar, Louis
Global hotelier Ian Schrager has completely renovated the restaurants, entrance and garden of his public hotel on the Lower East Side, which has been closed due to the pandemic. He opened it just four years ago with Jean-Georges Vongerichten as renowned chef. Now he introduces Peruvian star Diego Muñoz to New York City to create the food at Popular, the property’s new signature restaurant, and also to oversee the adjacent Cantina & Pisco Bar. Mr. Muñoz’s credits include the kitchens of Astrid y Gastón in Lima, Peru, and the Edition in Bodrum, Turkey, another Schrager hotel, as well as other projects in Peru. Along with Mr. Muñoz, John Fraser, another head of programming for Mr. Schrager, will mainly take care of the management of the restaurant. Mr. Schrager noted that this collaboration of two great chefs was something he had never done. Mr. Fraser will also organize the prepared items to take away, some of which will be from Mr. Muñoz, at the Louis, a market and a café-bar on the ground floor. The Cantina & Pisco Bar is a pair of marble counters, one with fresh fish on display for the made-to-order ceviche, the other for cocktails with pisco. There are also tables. Popular has indoor and outdoor seating for a menu showcasing multicultural traditions – African, Chinese, Inca, Italian, Japanese and Spanish – which shape Peruvian cuisine in many seafood preparations, as well as in dishes like papa a la Huancaína, a classic Peruvian potato dish; filet mignon saltado, a dressier version of the staple; salmon tiradito for Japanese influence; and wood-smoked seafood paella, not to mention the unmissable burger. There are three wood-fired ovens. On the menu of Cantina & Pisco Bar, knives and hearts of palm with avocado. Louis will offer a bowl of ceviche, Peruvian sandwiches and also a loaded Chrystie Street kosher hot dog; Mr. Muñoz will offer cocktails at Cantina and Popular, many of which are based on pisco, the grape spirit of Peru. Peruvian and South American selections dominate the wine list. (Opens June 12; reservations accepted from June 5.)
215 Chrystie Street (Houston Street), 212-273-9403, popularnyc.com, publichotels.com/eat-and-drink/louis.
For nearly a year, Ed Szymanski – once chef at Cherry Point in Greenpoint, Brooklyn – and restaurant manager Patricia Howard ran a pop-up fish and chip restaurant, Dame Supper Club at 85 Macdougal Street. They have now opened their restaurant next door. The seafood-based menu, which has looked a bit across the pond since Mr Szymanski grew up in London, includes grilled oysters and a green Chartreuse hollandaise, squid on skewers with shishitos, a hot lobster pie and for dessert, Eton Mess. The partners plan to continue their guest chef program on Sunday with a charitable donation selected by the chef.
87, rue Macdougal (rue Bleecker), 929 367-7370, damenewyork.com.
Queen of plants
A global herbal restaurant group headquartered in Toronto is opening its eighth location and the first in New York City. Steven Salm, the founder and CEO, described his concept as “a celebration of vegetables”. Its co-founder and executive chef, David Lee, does not use meat substitutes. The New York menu will be more Asian-inspired than in some other places. Dishes emerging from the open kitchen along one wall of the spacious, neutral-toned dining room include dumplings, Thai coleslaw, General D’s cauliflower, spicy Seoul noodles, and pineapple fried rice. Mr Salm said he has been on a plant-based diet for five years and is happy that it has become mainstream.
15 West 27th Street, 917-675-7700, plantarestaurants.com.
Restaurateur John McDonald transformed what was his El Toro Blanco for Mexican cuisine into this elegant American-style bistro in which restaurateur Serge Becker had intervened. Chef Ryan Schmidtberger, formerly of the Waverly Inn, will serve oysters, grilled cauliflower, squid ink linguine, veal cutlet, vegetable pie and roasted Dover sole. Hancock Street was once the name of this stretch of Avenue of the Americas. (Thusday)
257 Avenue des Amériques (Bedford Street), 212-645-0193, hancockst.com.