There’s a new go-to spot on the Lower East Side.
Lowlife (178 Stanton St., 212-257-0509), a new restaurant by Hugh Crickmore (Mas Farmhouse) and Alex Leonard (Blanca), opened earlier this month. It’s a spot where seasonal ingredients are plated thoughtfully and technically — paired with excellent service.
The great thing that happens when two guys who care about sustainability come together is their dedication to quality. Even the butter is made in-house — and served melty with hot bread.
Walk into Lowlife and it feels like you’re in a cozy cabin (a really pretty one) with yellow pine from the Berkshires lining the walls and wooden tables. But keep stepping through and you’ll get to my favorite part: the long open kitchen with bar seating. Cozy up to that bar and you can see all the magic happening as the chef carefully uses tiny tweezers to pluck caviar out of the tin and onto the fluke crudo ($16) or works two spoons to make a perfect quenelle of raw cream for the deconstructed borsht ($12).
The stars of the evening were definitely the garganelli with a lamb Bolognese ($20) and the chicken. The pasta was super light and could just hold the weight of the Bolognese. The chicken — you can order a half ($28) or a whole ($54) — is served yakitori style. You can smell it from your seat, smoky and sweet. It’s not fancy (especially for that price tag) but it’s comforting and good. Paired with the show in the kitchen, it makes for an excellent meal.
Ariel Kanter is an editor at Gilt City.