By Kelly Rush
In this edition of Lights On, we have food for the body, food for the soul, and piquant cocktails that would make the worst day a distant memory. Lower Manhattan is just starting to wake up from its hibernation, Punxsutawney Phil is hiding from potential lawsuits, and we’re looking forward to seeing what’s around the corner.
El Toro – 69 New Street
Why did Mike Tempera, owner of the Grotto Pizzeria, decide to open a Mexican restaurant right next door to his Italian eatery? “Straight up challenge,” he said. “I’m an Italian guy running a Mexican joint.” Tempera joined forces with Carlos Correa, a MarkJoseph Steakhouse alum, and together, they’re creating Mexican specialties such as quesadillas, burritos, and tortas. A selection of various hamburgers is available for the occasional customer who wanders in and discovers he’s not in the mood for south-of-the-border cuisine.
Tempera is taking the same formula that has made the Grotto a 30-year staple in the community, and applying it to El Toro: “If you own a business, be there. Mom and Dad are in the house.” And everything is being made from scratch, because people know the difference between fresh and frozen, he said.
Aroy Dee Thai Kitchen – 20 John Street
Just across the street from the newly refurbished Corbin building sits Lower Manhattan’s newest Thai establishment. Aroy Dee is serving an express lunch for $8 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with dishes such as Thai fried rice, pork panang and pad see ew. They also offer a variety of curries, wok dishes and soups. The house specials include a pumpkin chicken curry and a rambutan duck curry. To top it off try a lemongrass, lychee or coconut juice for $3.
One moment, Sean Muldoon was creating cocktails at a hotel in Northern Ireland, the next, he was standing over an unmarked grave in Greenwood Cemetery toasting one of bartending’s forefathers, and the moment after that, he found himself opening up Lower Manhattan’s newest cocktail bar. Read more…
This new studio aims to treat the whole person, says Ricardo Soares, who moved here from Portugal to open a branch on Murray Street. The practice, which combines flexibility and strength exercises with nutrition, focus and concentration techniques, was originally founded by Sergio DeRose. Practitioners have since opened studios throughout the world.
Soares said the method seeks to enhance an individual’s performance in both day-to-day tasks and improve overall quality of life. Beginners can start with an introductory course and then move on as their ability and schedule allows.
Details – 78 Nassau Street
Details has a wide range of women’s apparel – from shoes to accessories – for a very reasonable price. With dresses suitable for work or your day off and shoes that are both comfortable and stylish, Details has the variety to keep pace with a busy Manhattan lifestyle. And for those of you who are fascinated with purses, they have a great handbag collection as well.
This Japanese curry spot keeps it simple and quick. Described as Japanese comfort food, Go Go serves chicken katsu, shrimp and sausage curry in several sizes and with several varieties of sides, including rakkyo, or baby onions, and natto, a fermented soybean dish. Since “go” means “5” in Japanese, the restaurant is offering specials on the 5th, 15th and 25th of every month.
Rainbow – 40 Fulton Street
For more information on retailers in Lower Manhattan, visit the Alliance for Downtown New York at www.DowntownNY.com – where you can check out an interactive map with details on hours, locations and services and search the events calendar. Or, stay connected through the Downtown Alliance mobile app, available for download here.