British pub fare gets a lot of flack, whether deservedly or undeservedly so, but the refined edge of Jones Wood Foundry has pushed its reputation in the right direction. The newly opened pub and restaurant serves British classics by partner-chef Jason Hicks, who betrays his English upbringing with a hint of French finesse from his years in fine dining restaurants.
One could make a meal solely from the Toast menu, a finger-friendly selection of various goodies on bread. One of our favorites is the Pickled Pear with blue cheese and port wine jam ($7). Piled high on top of a crusty baguette, it's a concoction that's hard to eat gracefully, but nevertheless, we find ourselves dabbing up the last bits of blue cheese off of the plate.
Goat Cheese with Seville Orange marmalade ($7) is marvelous in its simplicity. The sweet drizzle of marmalade mellows out the tanginess of the cheese, which has an already delicate flavor. It's a smooth complement to the punchy Pickled Pear.
The generous helping of Chicken Liver & Foie Gras ($13) makes it worth the extra cost. The whipped parfait walks the line between both distinct flavors—the foie is brightened by the distinct flavor of the chicken liver, yet mellows the offal's intensity.
If a hearty meal is what you need, go with the Myers of Keswick Bangers & Mash ($17), which features the tender, freshly made sausages of the popular British grocery in the West Village. The sweet caramelized onion gravy and buttery mashed potatoes are far better than anything we've come to expect in your typical bangers and mash. Add a hefty dose of vinegary HP sauce for that perfect balance.
Just don't forget to leave room for the Sticky Toffee Pudding ($9), complete with a warm and delightfully sticky treacle sauce.
Go early or late if you want a good seat at the bar, and if you plan on dining, make a reservation. The bar area is painfully claustrophobic during prime happy hour, and if you decide last minute you want a table, you may be waiting an hour and a half with little sympathy or recourse. (At least that's what happened to us.) Going on a Friday night is a rookie mistake on my part. Still, Jones Wood may be on to something—after that kind of wait, British food is just about the best tasting thing in the world.
Jones Wood Foundry
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