Hg2 : The Hedonist


Part-restaurant, part-bar, Estela is both these things, and more. Owned by Thomas Carter, the former Beverage Director at the famed Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and James Beard-nominated chef, Ignacio Mattos, Estela is a bold, exciting restaurant. And one that can boast feeding Barack Obama during his stint as US President. Not too shabby.

The food at Estela is Mediterranean in inspiration, with a tapas-style bent. But don’t bother looking for the patatas bravas here. Instead, indulge in oysters with trout roe, cured fluke with sea urchin, or mussels escabeche on toast. The lamb ribs – served thick and sticky with honey and charmoula – are a thing of legend among those in-the-know. And the grilled foie gras and grape leaf is a dish to be remembered. The wine list, meanwhile, will keep you occupied for a while. If in doubt, opt for a bottle of bubbles; there’s a whole page of international options to choose from, but you can’t really go wrong.

Heavily trod, reclaimed wooden floors hold bistro-style tables and chairs in the narrow but light space that is both elegant and understated. As is often the case, some of the best seats here are at the long bar where you’re right in the middle of everything. But to have a hope of any seat at all – make a reservation in advance. Not everyone’s got Obama’s clout, after all.

47 East Houston Street (Mulberry),
East Village,
NY 10012
+1 212 219 7693
Opening Times
daily, 5.30pm-12am (1am Fri/Sat). Brunch: 11.30am-3pm Sat/Sun.
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