The once-dingy streets north of Houston have become a major downtown dining destination
- Last Updated: 1:27 AM, April 29, 2012
- Posted: 8:32 PM, April 28, 2012
For so long, NoHo was a no man’s land. Sandwiched between its sexy southern neighbor, SoHo, and the frenetic, food-filled East and Greenwich villages, there was never reason to consider NoHo its own neighborhood, much less a dining destination.
How quickly things change.
Two of the city’s hottest reservations, Acme and Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria, are within a fork’s throw of one another on Great Jones Street, while other eclectic options continue to pepper the compact district. Now you can find Neapolitan pizza, British gastropub fare, and starting tomorrow, Jewish deli sandwiches.
“The neighborhood has changed quite drastically,” says Donna Lennard, owner of the new Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria and its older sister restaurant, Il Buco, just a block away. A NoHo resident for 15 years, Lennard was there when all that occupied the dark cobblestone streets were stray furniture shops.
But bit by bit, the area has been spiffed up, and reinvented. Five years after Il Buco’s debut in 1994, Five Points opened and became a beacon for brunching. The Bowery Hotel and its trattoria, Gemma, brought the international set when it opened in 2007. And by the time the subterranean hipster hangout, The Smile, debuted in 2009, NoHo was more swell than seedy.
“Twelve years ago, we walked by this neighborhood and said we’re going to live here one day,” says Daniel Ohrtman, 32, who’s in finance and moved to NoHo from Chelsea in late 2011 with his girlfriend Lindsay Pauly, 30, an event producer. “We’ve been coming here for the restaurants without realizing it, but now it’s amazing to be so close to everything,” adds Pauly.
Here are the newest additions fueling NoHo’s fire.