Slideshow: First Look: Saxon + Parole

"Mini" Seafood Tower ($20)
"Every meal should start out this way," opined Farmerie. "I hate how most seafood towers are such a commitment. I didn't want this one to be." A mix of seafoods traditional and a little less so, the platter includes raw oysters (West Coast and East; here, Kumamoto and Wild Goose) and cold-poached shrimp with a sriracha cocktail sauce, as well as garlicky Manila clams and Prince Edward Island mussels that've been smoked over Chinese black tea. Larger versions include octopus, salmon tartare, and razor clams.
Carrot, Ginger, and Lemon Soup ($11)
Carrot, Ginger, and Lemon Soup ($11)
It's hard not to think of Thanksgiving with a tureen of marshmallow-topped orange, but it's a carrot soup that you're spooning up. It's on the savory side, accented with ginger and lemon, while the marshmallow's spiked with aleppo chili. A little more fun than a crouton.
Portobello Mushroom Mousse Pot ($10)
Portobello Mushroom Mousse Pot ($10)
S+P's two "pots" fly out of the kitchen, as shared mid-courses or bar snacks ("almost everyone at the bar is eating"). While it's quite a meat-centric menu, Farmerie wanted some sort of balance: "We have a charcuterie program, but I didn't want to do all flesh. Meat gets all this special care but we never, well, luxuriate over vegetables. I want to." The earthy, silken portobello mouse is topped with a whiskey jelly, pickled hon shimeji mushrooms, and frisée.
Bowery Fix
Bowery Fix
The cocktail menu is boldly listed over S + P's bar, making for good reading as you're sipping (I'll admit, I'm amused by a cocktail called the "Lower East Cider"). This guy, the Bowery Fix, is a potent but vegetal shake of Espolon blanco, Yellow Chartreuse, bell pepper, and agave, with chili oil eyedropped on top.
Grilled Berkshire Pork Chop ($29)
Grilled Berkshire Pork Chop ($29)
"In my early days as a chef," said Farmerie, "I never wanted to do anything too familiar--no chicken, no salmon, no steaks. But my thinking on that's changed. Okay, I want to do a pork chop. Let's make it a bad-ass pork chop." This one is brined for 24 hours, leaving the Heritage pork supremely juicy; it's served over a purple potato salad with a quince-apple sauce spiked with sherry vinegar.
"The Burger" ($17)
"It sounds like a lot on the menu," said Farmerie, "but I don't want to overshadow the meat." He's using LaFrieda's 28-day dry-aged burger blend, topped with a Pennsylvannia-made Havarti ("Anne Saxelby found that one"); their own maple bacon, not aggressively smoky or sweet; and a fried egg. Their pastry chef makes the buns, a barely-sweet brioche whose top sports the garlic-seedy sprinkle of an everything bagel. The well-salted fries are somewhere between crisp and wiggly, with a chili ketchup and potent blue cheese sauce on the side.