Posts Tagged ‘Lali restaurant’

Spotlight: Lali Restaurant

In this week’s Spotlight, we’re featuring Lali Restaurant, a family-run business Dominican restaurant located in Hell’s Kitchen. This is part of a longer story that Executive Editor Karina Taveras wrote as her thesis for graduate school (which she just completed last week, WOO-HOOOO!).

On an unusually clear and breezy June afternoon, Lestiel Lopez, her curvy silhouette crowding the doorway of Lali Restaurant in midtown Manhattan, declares her latest plan.

“We start selling frio-frio today,” she announces to her staff.

Dressed in a cotton t-shirt and skirt, Lestiel, 30, known as Les, swiftly enters the restaurant, hugging a green jug filled with fresh mint that hides half her face with its wild stems. She walks past the vinyl stools at the counter and plops the greenery down on a table. A gold headband keeps her dark curls in place. Her skin is the color of brown sugar. more »

an ode to color

I promised many things this summer: paletas, cookbook reviews, culinary finds in the city, and even though I haven’t written about them, it doesn’t mean they haven’t been on my mind. The past three months proved to be exhilarating and exhausting. I worked on my thesis for graduate school, which, by the way, ended up being a story about a Dominican restaurant in my neighborhood. It’s called Lali and they serve a mean rice and beans and chicken stew, just like back home. They also have awesome empanadas, tropical juices like chinola and morir soñando, and funny characters (like a sword-swallowing belly-dancer, a Hawaiian performing artist, “Grandpa”). The owners, Lali and Les, were very gracious with letting me hang out in the restaurant all the time, talking to their customers, eating there, taking photos. They made me feel at home.

Now that my project is finished, I miss those hectic days that wouldn’t end until midnight. I would get home full of stories to share, inspired by the strong people that inhabit this city. More than ever, I feel humbled and proud to make NYC home. It’s a generous city that continues to amaze me every single day.

So friends, in honor of home and to kick start the new season (hopefully it will be an especially fruitful one), here are some images capturing the last days of summer.

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