This is a Foxface feed now
Foxface Natural, Saga, Le B., Momofuku Ko, stereo stores, Manhatta, class C offices, MORE
RESTAURANTS • First Person
Foxface Natural is blowing up as we type
Last Wednesday night, 7:45p, Alphabet City — a couple pushed through the door into the narrow entryway of Foxface Natural on upper Avenue A. After perusing the menu, they engaged in a brief conversation, then turned around and left, leaving empty the two seats at the end of the bar.
Big mistake. Huge.
Foxface Natural, which opened in May, is about to blow up. When we asked our server how it’s been going, she leaned in conspiratorially. “We’re going to have some pretty big reviews coming out next week,” she said. (Almost on cue, the New Yorker dropped a rave. Then Pete Wells awards three stars, in tomorrow’s NYT.)
It will be harder to find empty bar seats — and you do want to sit at the long bar that almost runs the length of the restaurant, not at the few tables sprinkled around — but get here: This is wildly exciting eating.
The overall scope of the menu is impossible to classify. (Check this sample menu for a sense of it, and if you order the kangaroo tartare, do report back.) It’s all happening in a tight East Village setting that recalls the early years of Momofuku right down to the awning that lists only the building address.
“I can’t stop eating this,” my dining companion said to me as we somehow made it through two entrees, smoked Boer goat and Montauk striped bass roasted on the bone in a wood oven, doused in a beguiling tomato sauce. (Our server recommended sharing one main. This is correct.) Along with the bass came a single Italian frying pepper on its own plate, with anchovy: exactly what I want to be eating right now. Which is precisely how I feel about Foxface Natural. –Lockhart Steele
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RESTAURANTS • Intel
LIVING LARGE WITH LEE PITOFSKY:
At Saga, 63 floors above Wall Street, the new menu begins with a “Kento Box” (above), named for chef James Kent — a DIY canapé set featuring toro, uni, mackerel and more. Next, a celebration of sungold tomatoes, followed by the dry-aged duck tagine, still among the best fowl in the city.
A recent meal at the dining room counter of Momofuku Ko proved the restaurant remains more than the bar room’s epic cold fried chicken (with caviar and ranch). Perfectly executed ankimo (monkfish liver) lays in a hibiscus dashi with fennel kimchi. Simple, balanced, delicious. As for their aged Wagyu, Ko’s version breaks an otherwise stiff mold — theirs is barely cooked, thinly sliced, brushed with bulldog sauce and Japanese mustard, and served alongside a savory smoked onion soufflé.
It’s the end of an era at Gabriel Kreuther: Culinary director Joe Anthony, a fixture since opening night in 2015, is off to open his own restaurant in Miami. But not before a last meal featuring East Coast diver scallops baked in a banana leaf, served tableside over a bed of crushed celery root and a shellfish emulsion, and a black truffle-miso sauce. An oceanic masterpiece. No successor has been named.
→ Saga (Wall Street) • 70 Pine St. • Resy.
→ Momofuku Ko (East Village) • 8 Extra Pl. • Resy.
→ Gabriel Kreuther (Midtown West) • 41 W. 42nd St. • Resy.
→ HORSE TRADING: Chef Angie Mar is making moves: 1) She’s closed her haute French restaurant Les Trois Chevaux (West Village), which 2) she’s bringing back on the Upper East Side next year. 3) This week, in the old LTC space, she’s opening open Le B., a Continental cuisine tribute (of sorts) to the defunct Beatrice Inn, where she previously worked. 4) At Le B., she’ll serve the original Beatrice Inn burger, one per bar seat per night. Reserve.
NYC RESTAURANT LINKS: Sneak-peeking the new Marcus Samuelsson restaurant at Perelman: ‘Tron-like but also very Pacific Northwest’ • Original Scarr’s Pizza is now a sushi counter called Sushi Oku • Contra is done next month after a decade on the LES • Why Luke’s Lobster in Grand Central is the best place to cry in NYC.
GOODS & SERVICES • The Nines
A proper stereo can produce audio conveying width and depth. At its most resolving, a stereo system will allow you to count the heads of the violinists in an orchestra, or feel the gasps of breath between notes of a singer, as if they’re in the room. It’s majestic. A wireless Bluetooth speaker, no matter the cost, cannot begin to approach this majesty.
And while the internet is a reliable place for both opinions and price-comparison shopping, establishing a relationship with a local dealer has its benefits.
At one time, there were countless stereo stores in NYC where you could walk in and audition equipment. Today, it takes a little more planning, as many of the surviving legacy stereo dealerships have gone appointment only. But it’s an appointment worth making. Following, a list of nine dealers that specialize in two channel stereo systems. –Nick Solares
Park Avenue Audio (Nomad), open to walk-ins (Sat. by appointment only)
Stereo Exchange (Flatiron), can walk in but schedule ahead for demos
Sound By Singer (Chelsea), epic store for serious audiophiles
In Living Stereo (Noho), friendly team with record store on top
Innovative Audio (Midtown East), walk-ins welcome, appointment recommended
HiFi Loft (Hell’s Kitchen), in a Manhattan townhouse or upstate in Glens Falls
Audioarts (Nomad), proprietor literally wrote the book on hi-fi
High Water Sound (Seaport), not wasting time on its website
Sky Fi Audio (Glen Rock, NJ), for vintage audio gear
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GOODS & SERVICES LINKS: The last butcher shop in Little Italy turns 100 • NYC’s swankiest Duane Reade to shutter • Brace: one month until Wegmans Astor Place • The fall ’23 denim guide • Why do we keep clothes?
WORK • Commercial RE Report
A quick refresher on the New York City post-pandemic office building hierarchy:
Class A: Oh, NICE. There’s a new fleet of treadmills in the gym and an upscale food court on the ground floor. Would do three days a week here.
Class B: Okay, yeah. A little older and smaller, but the courtyard gets afternoon sun and the HVAC is humming. Mandatory Wednesdays? Sure!
Class C: Hm, wow. Do these lights work? Have I told you how much more productive I am from home?
There’s no official definition of a Class C office building — you’ll know it when you don’t see the amenities — but Crain’s estimates there are at least 1,000 in Manhattan. And right now, they’re having an especially tough go of it. One option for salvation: embrace the city’s push to convert to residential. Except conversions cost money, and class C landlords aren’t known for having extra room on their balance sheets.
“Most owners of these functionally obsolete properties have debt levels so high that they could not justify borrowing more to renovate and sell as condos,” Cushman and Wakefield’s Mark Weiss told Crain’s. “The old debt plus the new debt will not be canceled out by condo sales.”
Class, we have a problem.
WORK LINKS: Annals of unpaid rent: X in Chelsea and WeWork in Midtown • Brooklyn hip to proptech • Lessons learned from Lehman’s collapse 15 years on • ‘There is no work to balance’: how shrinking budgets, Covid and AI shook up life in consulting • RIP work happy hours.
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WORK • Tuesday Routine
Food for thought at the Starrett-Lehigh
TARYN BRANDES, founder, Brand Urban
Neighborhood you work in: Flatiron District
It’s Tuesday morning, where are you working?
If I’m not on a plane and traveling with a client, a New York City workday starts with a breakfast meeting at Maman Nomad,