Missing 6th Street Kitchen Already

6th St Kitchen-2Courtesy of Eater NYThe 6th Street Kitchen last spring and after this morning’s fire.
507 E. 6th St. FireSuzanne Rozdeba

The premises at 507 East Sixth Street, stricken by fire early this morning, housed the yearling restaurant 6th Street Kitchen which had replaced the long-established Oriental Grill early last year.

“O.G.,” as it was universally known, enjoyed a long run by New York restaurant standards – some 15 years – offering an Asian-fusion menu ranging from duck rolls to BBQ pork at reasonable prices. Regulars, including myself, missed the cozy, lived-in feel of the place and the friendly service when it closed. What replaced it looked altogether smarter and trendier, with communal tables, and an open kitchen; but an owner of O.G., Chris Genoversa, was behind the project, the prices were reasonable, and so I soon found myself eating there.

Gone were the Asian flavors, replaced by shareable plates of modern American food, evidently market-driven and seasonal, with a few hearty entrées like pork belly and radicchio topped with a poached egg. I found the transition to the new régime painless, and continued my patronage. My interest intensified last fall, when a new chef, Greg Torrech, began to stamp his personality on the menu. I discovered a remarkably light flan made with summer’s corn and topped with arugula and chanterelles, and a plate of fried chicken and waffles with what looked like cream but turned out to be smooth, seasoned ricotta.

Recently the wheels turned again and Andrew Kraft, who Mr. Torrech had brought in to work as his sous chef, assumed charge of the kitchen. He has continued the family-style dining theme of shared small plates, and you can still get the signature house-made chorizo and Manchego sliders. Publicist Annie Wang told The Local that the fire has been “devastating” for the kitchen team. Kitchen supplies were destroyed with the exception of one lucky chef’s tools. Mr. Genoversa’s guitar also survived, discovered undamaged in a well-charred guitar case. Here’s hoping this kitchen can rise again from the dismay of this morning’s ashes.

Kim Davis is the community editor of The Local East Village. He also authors a blog about restaurants and food.