IMAGE VIA @YUNGBLUDLAU | INSTAGRAM
It’s a ceramic shop. It’s a cafe serving crispy sunchokes and cups of Prana Chia. It’s a catering company dishing anything from rabbit with pickled apricot to sweet corn flan with tomatoes. Can’t guess it? It’s New York’s buzzy farm-to-table spot with soul and hippie vibes: l’estudio.
The Lower East Side cafe is the magical brainchild of chef/artist-duo Fernando Aciar and Alejandro Alcocer, vets of the NYC restaurant scene (what can we say, NYC is like that).
Fresh, Latin and Mediterranean flavors mingle like lifetime partners. Here, instead of creme brulee you’ll find Goat Cheese Custard with toasted almonds, cherries, celery, and rose (yes, the flower). Instead of caprese salad, you’ll find Burrata & Roasted Cherries with pickled mustard seeds, tarragon, and caraway toasts. And instead of calamari, you’ll get marinated octopus with green olives, garlic, olive oil and lemon. If you’re mouth isn’t watering, you’re not human.
Oh, and served in a hand-crafted mug, even the java seems to taste better.
With a California light-filled ambiance and an average customer who could just as easily be spotted at a Phish concert as the gym, the people-watching rivals that of Washington Square Park. From from eavesdropping on business hors d’oeuvres and appreciating the neato ceramic plates (that are literally made in the kiln next door) to sipping biodynamic wines while you nosh on farm-fresh, green artisanally-plated tomatoes and summer vegetables, this place has got an aura we can’t get enough of.
To give the Instagram-friendly, belly-happy spot a try, head to 61 Hester Street between 4pm and 11pm Wednesday through Sunday. You should call ahead to make a reservation, but don’t worry — there are literally zero bad seats—that is, unless you’re opposed to sunny nooks and rustic bar seats.
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