Sneak Peek: Chela (on day one)

It is hardly fair to visit a restaurant on their first day in business, but it gave me a chance to meet Ronny Jaramillo in person and see the former Distilled space (at West Broadway and Franklin) brought back to life. It’s a one of the prettier interior spots in the neighborhood thanks to its height (it is several feet off the sidewalk), its corner location and the expanse of light and air over Finn Square and the Franklin Street station that spills light into the space, especially at Golden Hour.

And with Chela, it seems like it is going to be a very warm and lively spot. It is a soft open for these first two weeks while they get staff up to speed.

The menu is familiar yet the plates are original. My son’s quesadilla was sprinkled with Huitlacoche — aka Mexican truffles, or the small lavender fungus that grows on corn; the guacamole came with thick, crunchy homemade sweet potato chips; one vegetarian option is a cauliflower steak in pistachio mole. Since Ronny Jaramillo already has a Chela in Park Slope along with several other bars, and this is the 18th restaurant he’s opened in his career, there’s a confidence already in the air, even for the first-time servers.

Of course more when I can chat with Ronny and make them an official New Kid, but in the meantime, see the menu here.

Chela Tribeca
211 West Broadway at Franklin
Hours TK