New York Goes Nuts for Narcissa

Narcissa

Naming your restaurant after a cow? Well, when that cow has a spunky personality and grazes at one of the best looking farms in Upstate New York, it makes a hell of a lot of sense. Meet Narcissa, the dairy cow and the restaurant, André Balazs’ newest culinary adventure.

Located in The Standard East Village (yes, that Cooper Square hotel was gutted and is now a gloriously cool destination), Narcissa opened in February and has been the new farm-to-frenzy spot.

Balazs partnered with Michelin-starred chef John Fraser to offer New York an opportunity to sample the crops from Balazs’ own farm, Locusts on Hudson. Chef John Fraser’s menu marries the clean flavors and impeccably-sourced ingredients of California cuisine with new techniques of roasting, rotisserie and slow-cooking.  He features seasonal, local and organic product. The healthy, multi-layered American menu offers both simplicity and sophistication. And that rotisserie thing, oh it’s the deal.  More to come on that.

While Locusts on Hudson was known primarily as a dairy farm (enter Narcissa!), it was reborn four years ago to focus on vegetables and herbs which now support Chef John’s menu.

We have dined several times already and highlights included the incredibly juicy and rich duck breast, the steamed black bass and lamb loin. But we could easily order a pile of sides for a meal – they were so sensational. Carrot fries with jalapeño-tofu dip,  Sunchokes, and twice-baked celery root with bacon are our top picks. But back to that rotisserie. The rotisseries are exposed for guests to watch beets and sweet potatoes rotate to crisp, caramelized perfection.

The neighborhood restaurant features two distinct dining rooms, both featuring a lively, warm ambiance. One room hosts a large open kitchen, chef’s counter and vast windows, while the second room is accented with a grand, marble cocktail bar and seating which overlooks a charming private garden. Artist Andrew Kuo created a custom piece for the restaurant, adding a little color to the otherwise understated Nordic-inspired decor.

Be sure to book ahead, this place is popping, and when you order a drink at the bar, be sure to raise a glass to Narcissa, her portrait has a special place right next to the bar.