Louie & Chan
New York City-Lower East Manhattan
May 11, 2018
This Lower East Side newcomer reflects the cultural collisions written in the area’s history, the merging and mingling of Chinese and Italian immigrants in this part of the city in the early part of the 20th century and the continuing influence of these cultures on the neighbourhood today. The bar sits, aptly, on the border of today’s Chinatown and Little Italy and contains echoes of both cultural traditions. It’s an attractive space, with delicate lanterns hanging from the ceiling and plum coloured walls. Upstairs there’s an elegantly weathered bar serving a range of affordable Italian dishes with a Neapolitan twist, including numerous tasty house-made pastas and wood-fired pizzas, and a range of cocktails which feature Italian amaro in abundance, including a Venetian Spritz, the lesser spotted white Negroni and the Louie Louie, a blend of rye, amaretto and nutmeg (these are also reasonable, priced around the $13 mark, a rarity in this area). The mainly Italian wine list is also worth exploring. Downstairs, there’s a separate venue called The 303, which boasts a beverage list full of intriguing Asian flavours. The vibe is altogether different down here in the dark-walled basement space; there’s an impressive line-up of DJs on offer as well as the Chinese-inspired libations.