Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Eat It - Saxon + Parole

on monday nite, i went to a late dinner (not for new yorkers) at the new noho restaurant, saxon + parole, located at the corner of bowery and bleecker. opened in september 2011 by chef, brad farmerie and avroKO hospitality group (both from the restaurant, public), the saxon + parole website describes their menu as grilled domestic meats and aquatic delights. i'd say that's a pretty apt description.

first with the decor and ambiance - i was in love with the space and energy that filled the room. as i noted during dinner, everyone around us was having a great time, laughing and seemingly engaging in great conversation. the music was a great blend of soul and oldies that contributed a great vibe but never got close to drowning out the conversation. it was noticeably a great blend of chatter and music. even our waiter was full of energy and all smiles, which can sometimes border on annoying if you happen to not be in the mood but in this case it didn't bother me at all simply because the atmosphere was a lot of fun. the space and design was very trendy yet warm - they have a bar area as you walk in, with a room in the back and another, more intimate room downstairs.

onto the food - in general, the meal was quite delicious. there are a lot of concoctions on the menu and though we didn't stray too far, there were a few gems. first off were the prince edward island mussels with fire-roasted piquillo peppers, tomato & caper broth. quite simply, they were some of the best mussels i've ever had. the mussels were sublime and all the sauce was a perfect compliment of flavor and texture.

for the main course, i was deciding between the bone-in ny strip or the whole roasted branzino stuffed with parmesan, toasted panko bread crumbs and smoked paprika. i am a big fan of branzino in general, but the waiter did a good job of selling the strip. we also got the fillet and for sides, whole grain mustard mashed potatoes and sautéed edamame/sun-dried tomatoes/feta cheese.

though a tad bit salty for my liking, the steaks were still very very good. i guess that, to some extent, it's sort of hard to mess up a good piece of meat as long as the cut is good. but, i am certainly not an easy person to please and i was happy to say that they were cooked to perfection, tender and flavorful. the bone-marrow béarnaise was good, but their homemade steak sauce was even better, with a great sweet and tangy flavor.

as for the sides, i am not a big fan of mustard so i guess i'm not sure why we went with mustard mashed potatoes. it probably is delicious for those that can stand mustard seeds. the edamame, however, was fantastic even though they failed to mention the presence of cilantro (which i detest). but in this cold side dish, the combination of the edamame, tomatoes and feta cheese essentially nullified even the strong overpowering taste of cilantro. it was a very muted blend that i actually found to be a great contrast to the explosion of flavor found in all the other dishes.

overall, i had a wonderful time which was in large part thanks to my beautiful companion, but regardless i would highly recommend this dining experience to anyone looking for a fun meal.