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“Saxon + Parole”

  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out New American East Village Moderate Great

I was sad to see Double Crown go. I loved the space - a mix of British colonialism and Asian exotic--and enjoyed several very good meals there. But the owners--the chef, Brad Farmerie, the design team at AvroKO, along with Partner Dan Rafalin --had a hunch that Double Crown might be better suited for a smaller space. They'd also been bouncing around the idea of an American grill -- Saxon + Parole -- and could not find the right space. So they decided to pack all the elements of Double Crown into a large storage unit until a more intimate space became available, and reopened it as Saxon +Parole. The switch was a wise one.

Saxon + Parole, which is named for two 19th-century racehorses, works well in the cavernous corner-of-the-Bowery space, filling it out beautifully. With its open air stable-chic décor--iron horseshoes, riding blankets, bridle and tack, and weathered barn wood accents--it feels warm and leafy, like a rustic North Salem horse farm crossed with a 1830s blacksmith shop. The sweet smell of hay and the more ripe scent of manure, most often associated with horses in my world, are both missing, but I think that's best for all involved. When the design firm AvroKO is at work, visual cues are all that are needed.

Like the décor, the menu is a much more straight-forward American affair than its previous cross-cultural occupant. It's a traditional grill, kind of a steakhouse plus, I'd say. There are pork chops with purple potato salad and quince and apple sauce ($29), five-spiced short ribs brewed for hours in pints of Guinness ($44). There's a roasted organic chicken with oranges and olives ($24), and big fat juicy steaks-a fillet ($33, 7 ounces), a bone-in NY Strip ($48, 16 ounces), and a Bone-in Ribeye for two ($90 for 32 ounces). There's also a Maine lobster, grilled whole with sun-dried chili butter and pickled tomatillo (MP), and a whole roasted branzino stuffed with toasted panko and parmesan ($32). Appetites are well-served here.

At a long overdue brunch date with Court, we caught up in a big booth by the door, and watched groups of guys and girls amble over to the Make Your Own Bloody Mary Bar like children heading to Disneyland. The need for internet dating would be completely eliminated if single folks simply visited Make Your Own Bloody Mary Bars more often. Just saying. While boys and girls mixed horseradish, Worcestershire, and tomato juice with capers, olives, sea sa ... [more, click below]

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