Orphans of Les Enfants Terribles, the Afro-Brazilian restaurant that was on the Lower East Side for almost 10 years, can now make themselves at home at owner Stéfan Jonot’s new space, LES Enfants de Bohème, which opened today. Located at 177 Henry Street, the café, restaurant and bar is reminiscent of the bistros of Jonot’s hometown of Paris.
“For the last couple of years there’s been a big food movement in Paris and it’s starting to come here,” said Jonot, referring to the restaurant’s focus on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. “I like the quality of local farms,” he added, “because the guy, he knows the name of his goat and the name of his cow.”
David Malbequi, formerly a chef with the Daniel Boulud and Laurent Tourondel empires, will guide the rotating menu and every week a charcutier will prepare the meats and cheeses on site.
The café features organic coffee and pastries made in-house in the morning, and at lunch there’s beer or wine to accompany your meal. The atmosphere transforms for dinner service when the full bar becomes available.
On the advice of neighbors, Jonot, who lives across the street, plans to introduce a “family friendly” seating in September. From 5 until 7 pm, children will sit on one side while their parents can socialize on the other. “But at 7 they need to be gone!” he laughed.
The casual, modern space is graced by a black-and-white mural, created by Brooklyn artists (Jeanne Verdoux and John Gibson) and featuring lines from Marcel Pagnol’s Marius (“it’s completely absurd, but every French person knows this text,” said Jonot.) Outside, there’s public seating offered as part of Street Seats – a Department of Transportation program that creates more free seating in the summer by repurposing parking spaces.
Like his old spot, LES Enfants de Bohème is on a corner, but this one, just a few blocks southeast of his old place, promises to be a little less busy. “I’m a neighborhood guy,” Jonot explained. “I like to not be in the tourist area, I like to be on the outside. If you’re local then you know I’m here.”
Check out the seasonal dinner menu, which will be available for the next two weeks.
LES Enfants de Bohème is located at 177 Henry Street; open daily from 8 am to 3 am. Cash only.