As far as I know, no one has written a first-person report about Louro, on West 10th St. For fans of David's food, this is an exciting development.
I'm happy to say that the spirit of the private Um Segredo dinners lives on in the restaurant. Louro is offering fine-dining style food in informal surroundings. No dress code. No tablecloths. No sommeliers. Warm and enthusiastic service.
The menu is divided into four parts: Bites; Small Plates; Eggs and Grains; and Large Plates. After two visits, I'd say that some of the "bites" are as big and filling as all but the entrees. And don't think of Large Plates as Carmine's-sized platters -- they are "normal" entree-sized offerings.
Some of the highlights we've tried: seafood fritters; sweetbreads (chicken fried, with collards gravy and spiced honey); striped bass crudo; gnocchi with truffle cream, cipollinis and crispy onions; poached duck egg with brown butter and sage atop polenta; and the baked egg with chorizo and tomatos.
There are two seasonal specials that I strongly recommend. A crudo of scallops with grapefruit and truffle oil that's every bit on a par with the superb scallop crudo at Marea (and a much bigger portion) and an insanely rich and delicious parsnip soup. I warn you, though: the parsnip soup is filling. But so worth it. The crudo may not be available for long.
The regular menu can be found here: http://louronyc.com/1202_Louro.pdf
On another forum, some people are having a tough time categorizing Louro. They love the taste of the food, but the menu seems disconnected to them. But to me, the eclectic menu plays to Santos's strengths and proclivities. The food is elegant and beautifully plated, but the ambiance is informal and approachable. His Portuguese background is discernible, but it's not a Portuguese restaurant. My take: for the first time in his career, Santos has full artistic control of his kitchen, and he's cooking what he wants, inspired by the best ingredients available at that time.
On Monday nights, Santos is offering fixed-price dinners similar to what he was doing in his apartment on Roosevelt Island. Upcoming special events including a tribute to Elvis on January 7 (the King's birthday), a New Jersey Italian meal done DS-style, and a Portuguese winter dinner on the 28th.
I'd be curious about what other Chowhounds think, and especially which of the large plates they like or dislike. I just realized I haven't ordered any of the large plates for myself.
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