It’s getting to be that you can’t throw a salmon cornet these days without hitting a downtown kitchen run by a Per Se alum. There’s Jonathan Wu at Fung Tu on the Lower East Side, and Matt Danzer and Ann Redding, the co-chefs of Uncle Boons, in Nolita. Noreetuh, the new Hawaiian-themed East Village restaurant, has four graduates of Thomas Keller’s excellent finishing school on its premises. Add to this growing list former Per Se sous-chef Christian Ramos, who, along with Locanda Verde vet Reed Adelson, is opening Virginia’s in Alphabet City. The look is old-world bistro (marble bar, smoked mirrors, vaulted ceilings, tan banquettes), while Ramos’s menu is more modern-eclectic (braised duck with fermented soybean; Morcilla salad; and chocolate-beet cake). The partners’ families have done their bit, too: Adelson’s fine-dining-enthusiast father contributed vintage menus that line the walls, while Ramos’s uncle built the restaurant’s oak tables. The name honors Ramos’s and Adelson’s mothers — both of whom happen to be Virginias.
Virginia’s, 647 E. 11th St., nr. Ave. C; 212-658-0182
*This article appears in the May 4, 2015 issue of New York Magazine.