The environs of Hell Square have heretofore been littered with dollar slice joints, but thanks to some well-placed newcomers, there might be reason for non-bros to brave the district—if they've got the capital to back it up. The latest of those is called, appropriately and confoundingly, Lowlife, a partnership between owner Hugh Crickmore of Mas (farmhouse) and chef Alex Leonard, formerly of Michelin-starred Blanca. Those resumes offer insight into why there's a $54 chicken entree on the menu here.

That chicken would be the Chicken Yakitori, Scallion, Smoked Cabbage—does anyone else find some menus lack of prepositions disturbing?—available at $28 for half and $54 for the whole bird, meant for sharing with a group. We're certainly not in NoMad territory, who sell their whole chicken with foie gras and black truffles for $84; but for a restaurant channeling degenerates in some form, it's certainly not the price point for that market.

Though not the priciest restaurant in the city, $34 (Squab, Escabeche, Pickles) can get you pretty far at other establishments located nearby and $24 usually buys you more than two scallops per plate. But food, overhead and other restaurant costs being what they are, this is the world we live in now. And it was under Leonard's tenure that Blanca was elevated to its current lauded status, so it stands to reason that his beautiful, deconstructed Borscht, Trout Roe, Raw Cream dish will be every bit worth the two decadent forkfuls and $12 involved in eating it.

Breads are to be sourced from Blanca mothership Roberta's—they're doing a a lot more than pizza and it's wonderful—and Leonard is making his own butter and cheese, among other accouterment. Wine connoisseurs will appreciate the selection of 20 by the glass, which we're told include some that Crickmore has "collected at auction," which sounds like it would be a fun way to spend an afternoon.

178 Stanton Street, 212-257-0509; website

Lowlife Opening Menu