Listen To This Post
If you’ve ever visited Chef Cedric Vongerichten’s celebrated Wayan restaurant, you know you were in for something special. If you happened to have been enamored by its warm teak paneling, lush plants, and whitewashed brick, then I’ve got some exciting news for you.
Wayan, the popular French-Indonesian restaurant headed by the Vongerichten family, has acquired the lease for the space next door at 22 Spring Street and is planning on expanding the restaurant, nearly doubling the available space. Founded by husband-and-wife chefs Cedric and Ochi Latjuba Vongerichten, Wayan is known for its showpiece bar that consistently turns out innovative cocktails that highlight ingredients inspired by Southeast Asian cuisine.
As the son of renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Cedric set out on his first independent venture with Wayan. Inspired by his experience operating his father’s restaurants in Jakarta, Cedric opened up his first solo restaurant with his wife as a tribute to the cuisine he fell in love with. In Balinese culture, every person receives one of four names based on birth order, and as Wayan was Cedric’s first restaurant, he named it after the Balinese title for first-borns – Wayan.
The new expansion will be guided by Cedric’s wife, Ochi, and is described as the first crudo restaurant in Nolita. Crudo is the Italian and Spanish word for “raw”, and the food is best described as a kind of Mediterranean sushi – though it isn’t always necessarily fish. Often dressed with seasoning, olive oil, citrus juices, or a vinaigrette, crudo is a popular style of cooking in Europe that has been slow to catch on stateside. Thankfully, Ochi and Cedric are leading the charge and exposing American palates to important new sensations.
Inspired by the flavors of the many countries the couple has explored, the new extension will highlight raw cuisine from around the world. With about 1,300 square feet of space available in the new space, Wayan’s extension will remain a more intimate experience, offering around 21 seats for guests in the new premises. Replacing a picture frame store that used to operate next door to Wayan, Ochi and Cedric have quite a bit of work ahead of them to transform it into a new restaurant space. If you want to try out Wayan before the new extension, be sure to visit their website to make a reservation.