After stints at China Grill and Lucky Cheng’s, Chris Genoversa opened the pan-Asian neighborhood joint O.G. in 1993. He fondly remembers that pre-retro-speakeasy age when East Villagers had less disposable income and more culinary curiosity. “Now,” he says, “all they want is sliders.” After a fifteen-year run, Genoversa, who also experimented with French-Indian fusion at Raga before it became Death & Co., split with his chef-partner and finally closed O.G. in 2008, and has spent the interim leisurely renovating the small spot: replacing kitchen equipment, ripping out beams and floors, and contemplating what New Yorkers are hungry for in 2010. His conclusion, debuting this Wednesday, is 6th St. Kitchen — “very homespun, very simple,” with multi-culti comfort food, beer and wine, and, eventually, all-day service.
Genoversa will launch dinner first, and although the menu has yet to be finalized, he’s considering crowd-pleasers like chicken-noodle soup and a three-for-$15 assortment of small plates, including baba ganoush, housemade chorizo, and two kinds of meatballs (lamb with garlic-yogurt sauce, Calabrese pork and veal). To address slider demand, there’ll most likely be a burger and fries, plus roasted chicken, a French omelette, and lasagne bolognese, and at lunch, fish tacos and a cheesesteak. Ironically, in this era of the Food Network and the celebrity chef, “Nobody I know knows how to cook anymore,” says Genoversa, “which works out well for me.”