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Former Nobu Chef Opening 'Rustic' American Restaurant in Hudson Square

By Andrea Swalec | February 15, 2013 7:45am

MANHATTAN — A little bit of Nobu is coming to fast-changing Hudson Square.

Chef Chris Cheung, who formerly whipped up delectable dishes at acclaimed restaurants Nobu and Jean-Georges, is currently perfecting the menu at the soon-to-open Spring Street restaurant Cherrywood Kitchen.

Cheung said Thursday the 300 Spring St. eatery, specializing in smoked meats and seafood, will serve up hearty, smoky fare when it opens in early March near the corner of Hudson Street.

"We're planning a rustic new American restaurant featuring seasonal local food with really good ingredients," he said.

Diners will be welcomed to their tables with homemade, tear-apart garlic ciabatta served with an "airy" blue-cheese foam.

Despite the complimentary foam, don't expect precious molecular gastronomy at Cherrywood Kitchen.

"We're cooking with fire," boasted Cheung, who has appeared on "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" and "The Martha Stewart Show." 

The menu includes cherrywood-smoked baby back ribs with sweet chili glaze and apple kale slaw and a burger made of two dry-aged patties, served with hand-cut fries topped with bacon salt. Prices are still being worked out now, but large plates like these will cost between $16 to $46, with an average of $26 each.

Cherry wood, Cheung explained, has a "slightly stronger, smokier" taste than oak.

The chef, a Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, resident, will carry the expertise he gained at Nobu and Jean-Georges to the new restaurant but little else will be the same as the Japan-inspired spots, he said.

"This is showing my range," he said.

Hudson Square, also known as West SoHo, has seen a wave of new businesses open in advance of city rezoning that will allow the creation of as many as 3,200 new residences in the former industrial zone.