Sometimes, and only very rarely, and really only on very specific occasions, do we fully back a cuisine mash-up like the one you're poised to read about below.
So hat's off to Lumos Kitchen, a beautiful new spot doing French-inspired modern Chinese and doing it well, now open Wednesdays through Sundays in the East Village.
It's a bright, inviting sort of space, with larger-than-life azure blue florals strewn across the walls, deep navy velvet chairs and cherry blossoms and eucalyptus rounding out a pleasantly springtime vibe. No surprise its a date spot, so come with someone you enjoy and start with a couple of baijiu cocktails.
A little backstory: this place is the brainchild of Qifan Li, who's credited for introducing New Yorkers to the interesting Chinese spirit, and you'll find three dozen varieties here, in addition to finding it in most cocktails—like the Gojy (baijiu, vermouth, hibiscus, sumac) and Sesame Colada (baijiu, Cocchi Americano, purple mangosteen, Chinese white sesame paste), which both boast vaguely island-y flavors.
The menu is Chinese cooked in the French tradition, mixed with French dishes cooked with Chinese ingredients and elements. Which is a truly inadequate explanation of things like slow-roasted pan-seared quail with foie gras with apricots, goji berries and pearl onions in a Chinese wine sauce with black truffles. Drool. And also spiced roasted lamb enrobed with edamame and wasabi powder served with potato croquettes.
Lumos Kitchen, now open Weds—Sun, 188 2nd Ave (at E 12th)