The Nolita neighborhood (which got its name from being geographically North of Little Italy) is one of NYC’s trendier areas featuring a mod shopping area bustling with designer stores and home-design shops. With street cafes and new restaurants gracing the area, it’s a “must-watch” region constantly in flux.
While rustic, Italian wood-fired restaurant Peasant has been a beloved staple for two decades, at the end of last year ownership was transferred to restaurateur and celebrity chef, Marc Forgione. Made famous by his creation of rustic, chic environments and farm-to-table cuisine, he seems to be just perfect for the Nolita neighborhood. Supervising the wine program there is Matthew Conway who has – together with Forgione – been a regular at Peasant for many years. They are going to be continuing the legacy which was set in place by the old owners – married couple Frank DeCarlo and Dulcinea Benson who are will be focusing on Barba Bianca, their Long Island eatery.
Zooba just opened up too in the area. A Cairo-inspired fast-food chain is bringing its Middle Eastern street food to the hood in a large Kenmare Street location, offering mint-iced tea bubbles from its self-serve fountain. Spectacular flashing blue, pink and purple geometric LED light fixtures top the open kitchen. Menu items include aish baladi, hawawshi among other Egyptian culinary delights. The attempt by co-founders Chris Khalifa and Moutstafa El Refaey (the latter who is also the chef) to steer clear of Westernizing the eatery seem to have been most successful.