An Asian Italian

An Asian Italian

By Hillary Latos

By creating a turn of the century tale of friendship and a shared lifelong passion of individual pursuits to a better life, Louis and Chan evokes the many facets of its locale from the gritty history of the Lower East side coupled with the cultural intersection of Little Italy and Chinatown. One part Italian trattoria and one part Asian opium den, this bi level Lower East Side hotspot blends Old World charm with a New World Italian menu featuring vibrant and fresh flavors.

Step back in time to the Prohibition Era, in an atmospheric dining room created by the dark muddled burgundy walls, cognac leather banquettes, antique mirrors and candlelit sconces and vintage pendant lamps. The menu is whole heartedly Italian based featuring an extensive selection of imported Italian cheeses and salumi, house made pastas, and a range of Neopolitan style pizzas. The starters shine through with unique pairings such as a Gianduja crusted bone marrow with chile and white balsamic jam, foie gras stuffed truffled arancini with fig and brown butter, crispy fried artichokes, lamb meatballs with maple syrup and mint, and burrata pockets with brown buttered dates and chocolate vincotto. The wood fired pizzas are unlike anywhere else in the city and use house made mozzarella. Some of the favorite toppings are the lobster with green tomatoes and black radish, fennel sausage with Peroni braised fennel and sundried tomatoes, and the fiery Kiss of the Devil "Bacio del Diavolo" with San Marzano tomatoes laced with Calabrian chiles and a honey drizzle. The fresh house made pastas feature delectable sauces layered with distinct flavors and spectacular presentations. A house specialty is the Tagliatelle Ricci with sea urchin, caviar and cucumber served in a sea urchin shell. Another favorite is the spicy Spaghetti all'Arrabiata with butter poached Maine lobster and white shrimp as well as the winter based cannelloni stuffed with roasted pumpkin, pancetta, preserved apricots and almonds.

In keeping with the spirit of the Prohibition Era the bespoke cocktails have a vintage Italian flair with hand crafted infusions. Try the herbaceous Roma-Milano with vodka, Peroni basil syrup and Amaro Rammazotti, or the potent Tuxedo Sbagliato with gin, Amaro Nonino and absinthe that's not for the faint of heart.

After dinner, the subterranean lounge turns into one of the area's hottest nightlife scenes without the attitude. The 303 has the ambiance of a dark Asian speakeasy opium den adorned with a collection of Chan's curiosities from the circus. Adding to the mystique and allure are the Asian inspired cocktails and rotating DJs playing a selection of the world's latest and best electronic dance music in an atmosphere with nary a velvet rope or bottle service in sight.

Louie & Chan
303 Broome Street
NY, NY 10002
212 837 2816

Resident Magazine