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Bonjour: French-Inspired Lafayette Opens in NoHoAndrew Carmellini and Team Open Lafayette, a Grand Cafe and Bakery
It’s a new dawn for the expansive dining room that formerly housed Chinatown Brasserie. Renowned restaurateurs Andrew Carmellini, Josh Picard and Luke Ostrom (the same masterminds behind Locanda Verde and The Dutch) just opened the long-awaited and gut-renovated Lafayette, a bi-level 150-seat grand cafe outfitted with brown leather banquettes, mirrored wall panels, Art Deco tiled columns and large windows that give the room plenty of natural light.
Chef Carmellini decided to return to his French culinary roots after a 15-year hiatus, but fear not, his menu stands the test of time, inspired by traditional dishes from the southeast and southwest corners of the French countryside. What does this translate to? Think grilled octopus and smoky eggplant ($17), squid ink linguine with seafood and chorizo ($25), spring mushroom risotto with asparagus ($24), duck with smoked bacon ($30) and chicken for two ($40) made on a large rotisserie with a shiny exterior visible from the restaurant’s foyer.
Enjoy breakfast or a snack from the bakery, located just inside the entrance. A variety of pastries are made fresh daily, including croissants, muffins, and pastries, along with a selection of macaroons (we loved a delicious birthday cake flavor!) and a special blend of Stumptown coffee. Although it’s open to walk-ins all day, the restaurant is currently limited to lunch and dinner, with breakfast and brunch service to follow soon. Make sure to make a reservation, and bon appétit! —CASSIE KREITNER
Lafayette | 380 Lafayette St. (at Great Jones St.) | 212-533-3000