Though already open for two weeks, the Liberty Village location of Origin (171 East Liberty St., at the corner of Hanna) held its grand opening yesterday as hors d’oeuvre-sized versions of menu items were handed out, like lamb sausage with caramelized eggplant and feta, oysters with yuzu, truffled popcorn, and grilled chicken with black mole on a fried plantain. The opening tapas menu ($4 to $17, plus a $79, 32-ounce ribeye) features the requisite Asian influences with which owner and chef Claudio Aprile loves to work (see: pakoras with mint yogurt and his take on peking duck), as well as “raw,” “chilled,” “hot,” and “snacks” sections. Open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, the restaurant also adds a tostada section that touches on Aprile’s Latin background. “I don’t want to just Xerox every location,” he says. “I like changing things up.” He’s also introducing classes at the restaurant to teach people how to make raw dishes.
The industrial-inspired space is 1,000 square feet bigger than Origin’s King East location, and plays up its past life as a gun factory: Hanging above the bar are chandeliers made from red, shotgun-shaped cutouts. As for the third location of Origin at Bayview Village, Aprile says it’s still a good 10 to 12 months away since the restaurant is being built from scratch. Currently, the site is just a giant hole.