After four years as a disgruntled accountant, Thomas Chen went to cooking school and landed kitchen positions at Eleven Madison Park and Commerce. Now he’s opening his own East Village restaurant, where he’ll meld his classic training and Chinese-American ancestry in a menu filled with seasonal ingredients and Asian accents. Watermelon is garnished with ricotta, crispy farro, and chrysanthemum (pictured); corn is seasoned with kaffir lime and curry; and the Berkshire-pork “pig out” for two is accompanied by spicy peanut noodles and a grilled-peach salad. The 45-seat space replaces Ramen Kuboya and the aesthetic is reclaimed rustic: Wool spools come from a Pennsylvania knitting factory, and bar stools from a college science lab.
Tuome, 536 E. 5th St., nr. Ave. B; 646-833-7811
*This article appears in the August 11, 2014 issue of New York Magazine.