NEW YORK, NY
I do not drink natural wine. Well unless I am at Chambers and Pascaline is picking for me at least. So that really has been my excuse for not visiting Foxface Natural despite everything I had heard about them. Now what finally brought me in was the fact that I have truly been in search of a new home base wine bar. While this place is quite a trek from my apartment, I have been exploring the Lower East Side lately so I am open.
I got to the restaurant fifteen minutes early starving and with my feet hurting in my heels. The view of the inside through the square opening on the door with the light wood covering was calming. It was a bar lined with wine glasses with low lighting and I became more excited for my entry.
The first glass I asked to taste was orange and tasted exactly like natural wine that I do not like. I was guided to a Chenin which was quite mineral with no flavors of “naturalness” whatsoever. I felt a sense of relief for this glass. Next was ordering. As I was given an overview of the menu, I could not quite set my mind on that “oomf” dish from the names on the menu but the descriptions better expressed what I was about to enjoy. I settled on foie gras donut holes, percebes (barnacles), oysters casino and the aged quail. I felt this had a balance of seafood, which is their specialty and meat. I appreciated that they get their seafood directly from the fishermen as opposed to the regular food supply chain.
The foie gras donuts came out first and I was instructed to eat in one bite. The outer shell is pretty firm but when you chew it, it falls apart allowing the warm insides to ooze out. On flavors, there is the expected decadence of foie gras paired with the savory shell which also grounded the dish flavors. I quite enjoyed this dish.
The oysters came out and my thought was this looks quite busy but I cannot wait to get this in my mouth. For me, this is a dish that I qualify as a flavor bomb. The oysters are grilled to perfection with strong citrus flavors with the last flavors on the palate being the buttery breadcrumb. With this dish, I truly believed that they get their seafood straight from the fisherman. The oysters are so fresh that you can still taste the brine dimly but it is not in the least bit offensive. It is almost like a little game chef is playing with that. Finally there was homemade ricotta which brought a finishing decadence to the flavors. This is undoubtedly a must order dish.
The next dish that came out was the percebes. I was told ahead of time that this was a messy dish and you eat with your hands. This is normally something I do not do but when you are told something is juicy, looks regal and tastes like a cross between an oyster and lobster… well you kind of roll with the times. So the flavors on this dish are interesting. It starts on brine and deep rooted earth and finishes with that light airy flavor that is freshly steamed lobster. I had to wear a bib for this as when you open up the barnacle it squirts juice. Dipping the meat into the fermented tomato sauce brought it all home to an interesting finish. I think this is only an order for the adventurous palates like mine. Be careful opening these little devils though as they squirt EVERYWHERE!
My final dish came out and it was the aged quail. It was wood fired and came with runner beans cooked in the quail jus. It also had caraflex cabbage. The sauce had a sweet tomato richness and was giving vibes of luscious baked beans when having a traditional British breakfast. The quail is just absolutely perfect on temperature and preparation maintaining all its juiciness while being perfectly roasted. I am really not the biggest fan of cabbage so I stayed away. Enjoying the quail with the beans and the sauce together is a flavor experience that should be had by all.
So that was the end of my delightful visit to Foxface Natural. I will be sure to return and maybe on my next visit I will ask for the inspiration for the name because I forgot to this time.