Established chefs and restaurants have continued to expand upon their brands with fast-casual concepts and low-key, affordable spots; think David Chang’s Fuku, Brooks Headley’s Superiority Burger, and Chris Jaeckle’s Uma Temakeria. And the newest entrants to NYC’s “good food to-go” scene are the health conscious, Lower East Side bistro, Dimes, and George Mendes’ 6-month-old Lupulo, which serves Portuguese, seafood-focused small plates in Chelsea.
Taking over their original, significantly smaller location, Dimes Deli offers customer favorites, like the seasonally-changing “Big Salad” (currently made with market greens, delicata squash and pickled raisins), but in a considerably more takeout-focused set-up. With only three small tables and a handful of stools, it makes a lot more sense to grab an Energy Acai Bowl while on the way to work, along with a Madame Patron, perhaps (ham, turkey and raclette on doppio bread) for munching during lunchtime at your desk, and maybe even a whole Rotisserie Chicken along with a side of market vegetables, for an at-the-ready dinner later that night.
Over at Lupulo, they’ve recently debuted an adjoining coffee and takeout window called Bica, which means “espresso” in Portuguese. Along with a selection of teas and a full range of beans from Coffee Labs Roasters, the sleek spot carries Egg Custard Tarts, Blueberry and Rye Streusel Muffins, as well as Plum, Apricot and Raisin Scones to serve the rush of commuters thronging nearby Penn Station. There’s also a series of sandwiches, such as Housemade Linguica Sausage and Egg, Presunto Ham and St. Jorge Cheese, and Bentons Bacon, Tomato and Avocado on mini brioche buns during lunch.
Not that it presents much of a challenge to Lupulo’s own midday menu, featuring Manila Clams steamed in vinho verde, Red Snapper Crudo in coconut milk, and Baby Squid with white corn grits, but for diners who don’t have the luxury of time (or the money to splurge on anything other than salads and sandwiches), it’s a canny way for Mendes to expand his already impressive reach.
143 Division Street
835 Ave. of the Americas