Magazine article The New Yorker

Lunchbox Food Co

Magazine article The New Yorker

Lunchbox Food Co

Article excerpt

357 West St. (646-230-9466)--On an industrial stretch of the West Side Highway, winched into a narrow lot between Weinstock Brothers Tools and an auto-repair shop, a stainless-steel-and-green diner lurks in the shadows, glinting. It sheds an aura of nostalgic luxury, with a long bar and retro-sleek leather banquettes visible through darkened windows.

Jennifer Kohns, who opened the restaurant last October with Lawrence Rudolph, trained at Judson Grill and Le Bernardin, and Rudolph trained at Joe's in Venice Beach, California, but in designing their neighborhood hangout, they put relaxation first. Once patrons walk into the main dining car, or past a row of trees to the roomy back garden, a surreal mood sets in, deepened by flickering lantern light.

The menu is simple. A single page offers "Snacks," "Vegetables & Greens," "Cheese," "Main," and "Sweets." The fare seems to have been chosen by a discerning globe-trotting backpacker: Monte Enebro cheese from Spain paired nicely with Iberian rose, Caribbean guava-pork-and-queso-blanco empanadas, Mediterranean-style grilled baby octopus, or, back on home turf, two ears of grilled corn with chipotle aioli. …

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