Restaurant Preview: Little Drunken Chef Tapas + Oyster Bar
Chef and Owner Bonnie Saran makes an eclectic nightlife destination with tapas at a reasonable price.
LDC's Chef Bonnie Saran wanted décor that was both eclectic and indulgent—we think she succeeded.
Photos by Michael Polito
Chef/Owner Bonnie Saran has taken a slightly different path with her fifth and largest food venture, the 84-seat Little Drunken Chef Tapas + Oyster Bar. While her signature offbeat décor is present (highlighted by the use of elements like exposed brick walls with sayings like “We Buy Eggs” in old-timey type), the fare is unlike the locale-specific menus at her other businesses, Little Kabab Station, Little Crêpe Street, Little Spice Bazaar, and Little Mumbai Market. “Little Drunken Chef takes on many regions of the world, throws them together in a pot, and gives it a good stir,” says Saran. “There are so many exotic flavors and styles across the globe, so why pick just one?”
Some of the dishes she’s most excited about include smoked salmon caviar paired with a chilled vodka shot (“It’s very European in the pairing of flavors”); Tibetan momos or dumplings (“We make them authentically from scratch. I love them because it reminds me of growing up in the mountains…in the northeast of India...”); and the jamón and Manchego croquetas with chipotle sauce.
Other dishes to sample include chorizo and fresh figs sautéed in red wine; tiger prawns in a garlic-chili sauce; wild mushroom ravioli; and Vietnamese bánh bao, or steamed buns filled with either pulled pork or eggplant. And, like all Saran’s eateries, the prices are reasonable; small plates range from $4 to $10, and entrées (basically five varieties of rice pans/paellas) start at $13. The freshly shucked oyster offerings change frequently, but diners may find options like briny Pemaquids from Maine’s Damariscotta River or ecologically farmed Beaver Tails from Narragansett Bay.
LDC also differs from the other “Little” businesses because it’s a nightlife destination with a full bar, late-night hours Thursday to Saturday, and lots of loud music, whether from a DJ cage or sound system. Behind the copper-topped bar are fun cocktails like the Slumdog Billionaire (bourbon, fresh lemon juice, grenadine, bitters) and Poppin’ Sangrias—a strawberry, mango, or pineapple popsicle dunked in white or red sangria.
Little Drunken Chef Tapas + Oyster Bar
36 E Main St, Mount Kisco