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the sweet scoop
Power duo Hugh Crickmore, former partner of Mas (farmhouse), and chef Alex Leonard, of two Michelin-starred Blanca, teamed up to open Lowlife on the Lower East Side.
Officially open to the public on Monday, the 70-seat restaurant showcases a thoughtful approach to seasonal ingredients. The à la carte menu, which draws inspiration from Japanese culinary techniques, features refined dishes—including lamb tartare with mint and shrimp salt, borscht with raw cream and trout roe, and yakitori-style chicken grilled on a robata—all elegantly plated, though the setting is casual and comfortable.
Leonard is embracing more complex techniques and flavor combinations, while allowing the ingredients to shine. Much of the kitchen’s produce hails from an organic Catskills farm owned by Crickmore’s brother, breads are sourced from Roberta’s in Brooklyn, and the chef makes his own vinegars, pickles, kimchee, freshly-churned butter, and cheese in-house.
With beautifully presented modern fare, a wine list focused on natural and sustainable winemaking, and a mid-century-modern-inspired interior, one thing is certain about this Stanton Street newcomer: there’s nothing lowlife about it.
Lowlife, 178 Stanton Street, 212.257.0509, lowlifenyc.com | Image: Melissa Hom for Grub Street
Wednesday kicks off the 21st annual New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, and my excitement over heading down to the Big Easy for all the food, fun, and festivities is overwhelming.
It was an absolute honor to be invited to be one of the judges of the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off—a yearly cooking competition where celebrated local chefs create their most delicious signature dish showcasing fresh Louisiana seafood in all its glory. Helping select a winner will surely be a tough task, considering the caliber of chefs competing. So am I ready for the challenge? You bet! I may even pack my elastic waist pants.
Last year, chef Keith Frentz of Lola restaurant won over the judges and was crowned “King of Louisiana Seafood” for his “Friday Lunch Special,” a cornmeal-dusted wild Des Allemands catfish with Camellia red beans and local crawfish succotash, braised collards, and homemade tartar sauce (get the winning recipe here). And on Saturday, one of these talented ten will snag the coveted 2013 title. It’s thrilling to be able to play a role in this year’s Cook-Off excitement — wishing all participating chefs the very best of luck! Really looking forward to meeting you and trying each of your dishes.
Image courtesy of LouisianaTravel.com