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L’Estudio Cafe and Ceramics: South-of-the-Border Style on the Lower East Side

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L’Estudio Cafe and Ceramics: South-of-the-Border Style on the Lower East Side

March 13, 2017

A recently-discovered brunch favorite: L’Estudio Ocafe, a new small-plates restaurant on New York’s Lower East Side. The latest from Argentinean chef/ceramicist Fernando Aciar in collaboration with Mexican chef/designer Alejandro Alcocer, L’Estudio has a bright south-of-the-border vibe, and the healthful Latin-influenced dishes are served on Aciar’s own bowls and plates, fired in his studio next door. Here’s a look inside.

Photography by Talley Carlston, courtesy of L’Estudio.

aciar designed the cafe himself. 9
Above: Aciar designed the cafe himself.

The small dining area is mostly neutral, but bowls of fruit, bright ceramics, and flowers from nearby Fox Fodder Farm provide natural color. Shelves stacked with Aciar’s Fefo Studio bowls and plates create a divide between the dining room and kitchen.

built in plywood shelves line one wall, and louis poulsen flower pot pendant li 10
Above: Built-in plywood shelves line one wall, and Louis Poulsen Flower Pot pendant lights hang above the counter.
aciar&#8\2\17;s planters evoke traditional mexican molcajetes (mortars). 11
Above: Aciar’s planters evoke traditional Mexican molcajetes (mortars).
hand carved birds double as coat hooks. the ceramic and brass light is aciar&am 12
Above: Hand-carved birds double as coat hooks. The ceramic and brass light is Aciar’s own design.
the black painted coffee bar and rough hewn wood floors. l&#8\2\17;estudi 13
Above: The black-painted coffee bar and rough-hewn wood floors. L’Estudio will soon serve natural wines and small plates in the evenings.
a matcha latte in one of aciar&#8\2\17;s cups. 14
Above: A matcha latte in one of Aciar’s cups.

Aciar says that, for him, cooking and ceramics are natural complements: Both involve crafting by hand and baking (or firing), and he notes that he uses many of the same tools in his studio and in the kitchen.

the food provides the color. (if aciar&#8\2\17;s ceramics look familiar, y 15
Above: The food provides the color. (If Aciar’s ceramics look familiar, you may have seen them on the tables of some of NYC’s top restaurants.)

For more, check out @lestudiony on Instagram. And stay tuned L’Estudio Retail, the soon-to-open shop next door featuring Aciar’s ceramics, leather goods by Jessica Moriber (who also crafted the door pull on the cafe’s front door), and other housewares.

Looking for other healthful small-plates spots? A few of our favorites:

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