Take Care of Business at These Downtown Arrivals
BOSTON: The Vault, 105 Water St., (617) 292-9966
Formerly of Chicago’s Charlie Trotter’s and Boston’s La Bettola, talented chef Rene Michelena and a partner recently bought the Financial District’s Vault. The name’s the same (the building was once a bank), but the team updated the interior. And the menu now indulges Michelena’s passions for both Italian and Asian food in a split menu. Where else can you get lo mein with clams or monkfish scallopini?
CHICAGO: Kevin, 9 W. Hubbard St., (312) 595-0055
Chef Kevin Shikami goes solo with his namesake Kevin. The intimate River North eatery serves up Shikami’s signature Asian-inflected French cuisine, where foie gras and duck confit thoughtfully mingle with the likes of Japanese custard and wasabi. Menus change frequently, but don’t miss Shikami’s tuna tartare if available. Lunch features several salads and entrees derived from the dinner menu and rarely costs more than $15, making Kevin a treat with or without an expense account.
NEW YORK: Stone Street Tavern, 52 Stone St., (212) 425-3663
Just steps from Wall Street, the Stone Street Tavern converts a vintage 1836 building into a cozy, convivial nook in the bustling commercial neighborhood. Stained-glass panels, cast-iron columns, and brick walls boost the historic feel, as do tables and chairs made of recycled barn wood. Stop in for traditional American comfort food, including “hot plate specials” such as chicken potpie and beef stew. —