Lights On…In Lower Manhattan
By Kelly Rush
In this edition, the trend of new Mediterranean restaurants continues with a grill that also fills the last vacant space at 100 Maiden Lane. We say good-bye to a Chinese restaurant and welcome a new Vietnamese restaurant, and Lower Manhattan foodies will also welcome a great addition to the health scene with a restaurant that’s free of artificial additives but chock-full of flavor. So grab a plate from one of our newest eateries and find a spot at Pier 15 to enjoy your meal in the late-spring sun.
The mantra for this restaurant is “food that loves you back.” It’s healthy and doesn’t skimp on flavor. The menu features pitas, couscous, fire-roasted meats, and hummus, but doesn’t stop there. A variety of sauces and preparations gives the serious eater a lot of choices. Falafel and veggies are plentiful for the vegetarian-minded. The restaurant also offers catering services to large and small gatherings.
Dave Bagan, owner of Dave’s Hoagies, left his job in finance to open this sandwich shop, which he calls a taste of Philly in NYC. The hoagies come on freshly baked bread, and are served with the works, which include hoagie sauce, provolone, lettuce, tomato, onions, red and cherry peppers, artichoke hearts and grated parm. He offers the classics, such as the Italian, turkey and roast beef, plus a vegetarian option.
On the side, diners can choose pretzel chips and homemade hummus, or order Tastykakes, cream-filled buttercream cupcakes, butterscotch Krimpets, or peanut butter Kandy Kakes.
Co-founders Genevieve Lynch and Michelle Gauthier subscribe to food author Michael Pollan’s theory that a healthy diet should consist of 80 percent vegetarian foods and 20 percent animal protein—and Chef Justin Schwartz’s creations reflects this belief.
The eclectic menu offers vegetarians dishes such as curried freekeh with cauliflower, mango and cashews and soups with plenty of lentils and veggies, while the meat lover can choose entrees ranging from turkey Bolognese to poached chicken breast with lemon basil salsa verde. They also offer a variety of grab-and-go salads and a breakfast menu.
A La Saigon – 8 Liberty Place
In the former Dumpling House spot we have A La Saigon, A Vietnamese restaurant that’s already winning positive reviews for its spring rolls and chicken sate. The location is a little hidden away, but worth the trip for one of the restaurant’s signature dishes, including the crispy whole seabass, from Chef Wu, alum of the former Saigon Grill on the Upper West Side. Manager Dharma Chandra also recommends the Vietnamese steak cubes and BBQ ribs.
Berkeley College -130 William Street
Baoguette – 75 Nassau Street
For more information on retailers in Lower Manhattan, visit the Alliance for Downtown New York at www.DowntownNY.com – where you can check out an interactive map with details on hours, locations and services and search the events calendar. Or, stay connected through the Downtown Alliance mobile app, available for download here.