Recently Opened Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 01/20/2016
Le Turtle. Photo: Christopher Postlewaite
177 Chrystie St., 646-918-7189, Lower East Side, Manhattan
Butter is big in French cooking, and at Le Turtle it’s taken to rich, new heights—the restaurant whips up Normandy butter, seaweed butter, escargot butter and lobster butter for spreading on crudité and crusty peasant bread from Roberta’s. Taavo Somer (Freemans) and Carlos Quirarte (The Smile) are behind this small, loungey Lower East Side boîte; its hallucinogenic website hints at the creativity at play here. The contemporary design combines textured and neon art, slick white surfaces à la Miami Vice, quirky seating arrangements and steampunk touches like an espresso machine with its inner workings exposed. Greg Proechel, formerly of Blanca, is the executive chef. His indulgent menu includes chicken liver mousse, poached lobster, braised oxtail and Sasso chicken (a slow-growing, flavorsome breed) for two. For the health-minded, there are plenty of vegetables on the side. The French wine list, chosen by top sommelier Jessie Kiefer (ex-Semilla and Terroir Tribeca), focuses on small producers. A full liquor license is pending. Make reservations, especially if you want the clandestine crow’s nest booth behind the bar.