47 East Houston Street, Nolita
Status: Opens Tonight
Tonight marks the debut of Estela, the new project from sommelier Thomas Carter, chef Ignacio Mattos, and Mark Connell, who owns Botanica, the bar and lounge downstairs.
As previously reported, Estela is a restaurant in the tradition of places like Manfreds og Vin in Copenhagen, Cal Pep in Barcelona, and Le Verre Volé in Paris, where the atmosphere is meant to be lively and casual. Mattos, who last cooked at Isa in Williamsburg, has put together a menu consisting mostly of snacks (olives, Virginia hams, blood sausage croquettes) and small plates (burrata with radishes and lovage, kohlrabi with hazelnuts and fossa cheese, mussels escabeche on toast) meant for sharing, as well as a few larger dishes, like a steak with anchovies and cabbage gratin. Carter's list is organized by subregion and attempts to showcase wines from people who "are making wine every day [in the vineyard], coming up with a product that is linear but complex, with no oak treatment."
Estela is a walk-in restaurant, with reservations only accepted for parties of eight or more. It is currently open from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 6 p.m to 12 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The bar stays open every night until 1 a.m.
Further Reading: NY Mag, FloFab
Previous Coverage: Coming Attractions Feature, 6/10/2013.
Mattos and Carter [Daniel Krieger]