How Many Foodies Live In The LES?

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Chef [Daniel Boulud], the man behind the famous $50 truffle-topped, foie gras and braised short rib-stuffed hamburger, is planning to bring his upscale, fine dining downtown to a new [restaurant on the Lower East Side]( DBGB, a play on the chef’s name and the famed CBGB’s, is slated to occupy Avalon Chrystie Place at 299 Bowery, just steps from where the famed music hall once stood. Boulud is promising that the new eatery will be more casual and edgier than his others, though it doesn’t look a heck of a lot cheaper; the menu, already available [here](, features a $29 burger and $10 hot dog. “It’s Daniel’s alter ego. He wants to live downtown and be cooler,” a spokeswoman told Metro. Quick tip: The first step to being cool is not saying you want to be cooler.

But don’t start calling for a reservation just yet. Last year, the chef’s efforts to open a restaurant at Bowery and 4th were road-blocked after Community Board 2 refused to support his liquor license. Now, Bowery residents are ramping up efforts to stop the culinary legend’s arrival for fear that the area is losing its gritty authenticity. Nah, Whole Foods is super gritty. “The Bowery’s commercial restaurant district and lighting district are disappearing. What’s going to be left is Anytown U.S.A. There won’t be anything unique or fun about that,” Anna Sawaryn, founder of the Bowery Alliance of Neighborhoods told Metro. Sawaryn is even circulating a “Save the Bowery” petition to include the stretch in a Lower East Side and East Village preservation plan in hopes of fending off encroaching development.

And while Chef Boulud may be garnering some attention, our pick of the week for best foodie news has to go to the creatively monikered [Crab Orgy] at the Grand Central Oyster Bar. The $50 three-course all-crab special menu that ended Friday featured crab cake, crab soup, and a bucket full of blue crabs served with cole slaw, corn on the cob and a big ol’ mallet to crush their poor little shells. Maybe if Daniel’s willing to provide weaponry, residents will be more eager to open their arms (and mouths) to some East Side charm.

Photo courtesy of [kellypuffs on Flickr]

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