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A brand new French fine dining restaurant is scheduled to open up in Tribeca called L’Abeille. Opening up at 412 Greenwich Street, the new restaurant will be operated by Kuma Eats LLC.
Kuma Eats LLC was founded by Rahul Saito and his husband Howard Chang. Tribeca natives with a career in high finance, Saito and Chang decided to open up their first restaurant after a small coincidence introduced them to the the chef they’ve now hired to design their menu.
As a well-travelled couple, Saito and Chang have been all around the world and have experienced some of the best cuisine that can be found. In particular, they became regular patrons of Joël Robuchon’s famous Michelin starred restaurants and developed a relationship with star chef Mitsu Nagae. When the global pandemic hit and restaurants were forced to close, Saito and Chang invited Nagae to come cook for them at their regular dinners, as they were so deeply enamored by the quality of his cooking.
It was at these dinners where L’Abeille was born, named as a tribute to their star chef. Mitsu translates to “honey” in Japanese, and so the team decided to name their restaurant L’Abeille – The Bee. Working with both fish and meat as well as pastries, Mitsu will be guiding the entire culinary experience according to his vision – an elegant and sophisticated French restaurant that isn’t overly stuffy or intimidating to newcomers.
Saito describes his dream for the restaurant as a “Neighborhood place.” Acknowledging the critical role that locals played in keeping businesses afloat during the pandemic, Saito said that “We want people to come in not just for a grand experience, but also for a quick bite,” envisioning a romantic French bistro that is accessible to everyone.
L’Abeille will be replacing Dig Inn at 412 Greenwich Street, which shut down last year in response to the pandemic. Saito and his team have a lot of work ahead of them to transform the space into the French bistro of their dreams, but they are hoping to be operational by March 1st 2022.