After restaurateur Josh Pickard teamed up with Andrew Carmellini and Luke Ostrom to open Locanda Verde and the Dutch, the partners directed their attention north of Houston to breathe new life into a few long-standing Pickard properties: First, they jazzed up food and beverage at the Public Theater’s Joe’s Pub and debuted the new Library. And then they tackled the Romanesque Revival landmark at 380 Lafayette, once home to Pickard’s Time Cafe and Fez and most recently to Chinatown Brasserie. With a mahogany-floored, zinc-barred design by Roman and Williams, the space has been reconceived as Lafayette, a French grand café and bakery slated to open for dinner within a week. The culinary team includes a bread baker from Per Se, a pastry chef from Aureole, and chef de cuisine Damon Wise from the Craft empire. Their mission: to hone a contemporary version of a classic cuisine, incorporating everything from charcuterie and bouillabaisse to Japanese-accented oysters “Sargent,” tripe Bourguignonne, and rotisserie chicken.
Lafayette, 380 Lafayette St., at Great Jones St.; 212-533-3000
*This article originally appeared in the April 15, 2013 issue of New York Magazine.