Tag Archives: counter

Rai Rai Ken

This restaurant has a narrow kitchen, serving ramen and gyoza to a clientelle seated along an equally narrow bar.   Three or four people work in the kitchen at one time taking turns cooking, serving and cleaning.  English, Spanish and Japanese are spoken.  Tacked to the kitchen ceiling in phonetic chinese characters  is a list of  Spanish words.  One of their most popular dishes is the Shoyu Ramen, a typical Tokyo ramen.  The owner, Mr. Yagi, who is from Japan and a longtime New Yorker, owns a total of 11 Asian restaurants, nine of which are within blocks of each other in the East Village.  Decibel, which was recently featured on this blog, is another of his very successful establishments.  214 East Tenth Street

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Filed under East Village

Classic Coffee Shop

This old school establishment has been in business for 34 years.  It’s owner, Carmine Morales, of Italian and Puerto Rican parents, started out working in the shop with his father.  When his parents passed away, he took over the business, which he now runs alone.   Family portraits hang on the shop’s walls alongside photos of famous boxers, the Beatles, and Frank Sinatra.  Mr. Morales attended school across the street and has always lived in the neighborhood.  He likes to play an eclectic mix of big band, oldies and current pop music.  56 Hester Street

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Filed under Lower East Side

The Ten Bells

Owned by a Frenchman named Fifi – former GM of the French bistro le Pere Pinard – and several partners, this wine bar was built by combining two tenement building apartments. It is named after a historic London pub said to have been frequented by Jack the Ripper and some of his victims.  They serve tapas, and raw oysters, which are all prepared behind the bar.  Each Sunday night is dedicated to a pork dish featuring a different part of the animal.  English, French and Spanish are spoken.  247 Broome Street www.thetenbells.com/

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Filed under Lower East Side