Nobu Next Door
105 Hudson St. (btwn Franklin and No. Moore Sts). 212-334-4445. Nobu Next Door is the quick and more affodable to it's older sister next door. Everyone is a little more crammed in here but it wasn't as snooty as I expected. Nice staff, Japanese food tasted delcious. Fair price. Found myself in the toilet of Cafe Noir 15 minutes after we left for 30 minutes as my guts 'did a number on me'. Maybe I had a bad bit of raw fish?? Pains lasted all night.
The Stanton Social
99 Stanton Street, NY 10002 - 212 995 0099 - OK, so the Stanton Social is the look of things to come in Lower East Side. Sure, I imagine some of the old locals and the hipsters hate the place but there's no denying that LES is changing. Around the corner the Rivington Hotel now opened - it's tall glass structure juxtaposed against the tenement buildings.
If you're looking for a more upmarket bar in LES this is it. Go upstairs, and yes it's full of Upper East and West Side tourists and yes it don't have an 'edge' but at the same time it's buzzing, busy and a little more fun than Pianos ever was.
And as for the restaurant? Supposedly American/French/Japanese/Sushi/Thai. Take me there!