After celebrating its 10th anniversary not eight months before, Salt Bar on Clinton Street closed its doors, but as promised, Chef Melissa O'Donnell has reopened the space as Thelma On Clinton, a new eatery "more representative of [the] community on the Lower East Side." Named for O'Donnell's grandmother, born to Lebanese immigrants and married to an Irishman, Thelma On Clinton represents the many different nationalities who have populated the historic neighborhood while still offering favorites from the restaurant's previous iteration.
Nightly entree specials like braised half chicken ($22), beef wellington with balsamic brodelaise ($24) and a homey cream of tomato soup with toasted brie on baguette ($15) bolster a menu of eclectic flavors and ingredients. Curried cauliflower with raisins and alonds ($7) and homemade Merguez sausage with labne and mint ($13) share the stage with house kippered salmon ($14) and braised short ribs with marrow bone ($16). A Chef's Choice option ($30 or $50) takes the choosing out of the diner's hands and into the chef's with a platter of dishes selected by O'Donnell.
The neighborhood themes extend to the cocktail selection as well, with drinks like The Five Points (a potent tequila drink with absinthe and Thai basil) and the Tenement (bourbon, hot apple cider and curry). Wines are sourced from organic vineyards, whenever possible; beers include drafts from Belgium, California, Rhode Island and an unfiltered cider from Normandy.
29A Clinton Street, (212) 979-8471; thelmaonclinton.com