Buzzy NYC Restaurant POPULAR Is a Smash Hit, Both for Food and Atmosphere

Anything Ian Schrager is nothing short of a sophisticate’s dream.

The lauded entrepreneur’s Lower East Side-located PUBLIC Hotel recently relaunched with a new restaurant, POPULAR.

The space is dressed in neutral tones and complemented by potted plants spooling verdant foliage. To the back, outdoor seating in the hotel’s Bowery Garden charms guests with its intimate setting and serves as a dreamy location for a meal under the stars.

Chef Diego Muñoz is at the helm of the POPULAR. He curates a menu that celebrates his native Peru’s authentic, multicultural cuisine with thoughtful incorporations of Spanish, Moorish, African, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese influences.

Accoladed and well-praised, the seasoned chef was the force behind Astrid y Gastón in Lima, named the Best Restaurant in Latin America by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Salubrious cooking methods, made-to-order ceviche, wood-fired specialties, and sublime vegetable preparations seduce diners’ tastebuds. Each dish flaunts tantalizing flavors with every bite—you can’t go wrong ordering the Ceviche Nikkei, which consists of ahi tuna, miso, aji panca, and shisho.

Weekend brunch at POPULAR is an excellent idea. Treat your tastebuds and order the Sticky Prawns—includes marinated lime, soy, ginger, garlic, sugar, beef mein noodles with two different textures and a sticky chili sauce, as well as a mixture of Asian and American chilies. If you prefer sweet over savory, choose the French Toast, equipped with vanilla & raspberry compote, mascarpone, and a side of crispy bacon.

Peru’s pisco traditions are transported from below the equator to New York’s Lower East Side, courtesy of Chef Muñoz. He proffers the country’s hallmark unaged brandy via a nine-item cocktail list, each libation more creative than the last. The stirring POPULAR Pisco Sour—made up of puro quebranta, lime, egg white, and angostura—as well as the Por Las Puras—muscatel, nigori sake, cucumber, and lime—are worth every sip.

Needless to say, POPULAR needs to be at the top of your New York City restaurant bucket list.

Photos by: Liz Clayman

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