Dinner at Saxon+Parole
Located on Bowery and Bleecker Street in NoHo New York, Saxon+Parole boasts a fairly small yet elaborate menu. Featuring cuisine from burgers to bone-marrow, the restaurant serves dinner seven days a week and features brunch on weekends. In addition to featuring unique and flavorful dishes, Saxon+Parole has an interesting tie to the airline industry.
Since its launch, jetBlue Mint has featured a wide array of plates curated by Saxon+Parole’s chefs. To stand out amongst the airline’s peers, jetBlue took an interesting approach in in-flight service. In addition to featuring tapas style plates catered by Saxon+Parole, Mint Class passengers receive espresso from a Brooklyn cafe, headphones assembled in New York City, and an amenity kit created by a New York-based company.
Having flown in jetBlue’s fantastic Mint Class product, I decided that it might be worthwhile to stop by Saxon+Parole to see what inspired jetBlue to feature the restaurant onboard its premium class product. The decision to dine at Saxon+Parole was made last minute.
After visiting Fordham University’s Rose Hill Campus in the Bronx, my family and I began to argue about where we should have lunch. I then began to fumble around on Yelp, hoping to find the perfect restaurant. It then occurred to me that I was in New York City, home of Saxon+Parole. So we made our way over to Saxon+Parole. Unfortunately, we made the mistake of assuming the restaurant served lunch on weekdays. Upon discovering that we were sevenish hours too early, we made reservations with the hostess for later that evening.
Later that Evening…
Saxon+Parole was about a ten-minute drive from our hotel, the W New York-Downtown. We arrived at a relatively empty restaurant around 6:15 PM and were seated on the first floor in a sectioned off dining room.
The first thing you notice about Saxon+Parole is the warm and rustic interior. Saxon+Parole’s wide selection of whiskey is displayed on a rustic and worn shelf and is bottled in green mason jars. Much of the interior is decorated with wood, much of which appears to be repurposed. Restaurant lighting features rod iron fixtures accompanied with vintage Edison-style light bulbs creating a warm and homely atmosphere.
The restaurant is named after two 19th-century racehorses. As an homage to the restaurant’s history, the restrooms located in the basement resemble horse stalls while much of the equestrian themes decor resembles something out of a 19th-century farmhouse. In addition to horse stalls, a massive sliding door which sections off two first floor dining rooms resembles a barn door while the basement has the appearance of an antique cellar.
Accompanying the warm and homely decor was service that was just as welcoming. The hostess was professional and retrieved our reservation quickly. Our waiter was superb and unbelievably professional. Within minutes of sitting down at our table, our drink orders were placed and that evening’s specials were presented.
I ordered a Coke, however, instantly recognized how absurd my request was. I realized that a hip NoHo establishment like Saxon+Parole probably didn’t carry Coke products. Our waiter recommended that I try a Baylon Cane Soda, so I did. My father ordered a Cherry Whiskey featuring the restaurant’s signature whiskey. My mother ordered the house chardonnay which was Sebella Chardonnay from the Sonoma Valley region of California. Though I prefer Coke products, I cannot complain about my hipster cola and my parents seemed more than satisfied with their drink of choice.
My parents and I, being used to a more traditional restaurant set up, spent twice as long as we would normally do, deciding what to order. Before ordering our main course, we decided to get an order of the squid and calamari.
The calamari was a relatively small dish, however, delicious. The squid and calamari were fantastic and cooked to perfection. Additionally, our appetizer was served with warm dinner rolls and sweet butter.
The Main Course
After nearly a half hour looking intently at the menu, we were ready to order. We ordered three entrees and a side. I chose the pappardelle pasta with mushrooms; my father chose the pork chops, and my mother ordered the scallops. My parents also shared caramelized brussel sprouts.
By far my favorite dish of the night were the pork chops. Not only were they presented in such an elaborate and appealing fashion but they were also flavorful and tender. The flavor was a cross between savory and smoky as if they were dry rubbed. The pork chops were accompanied by pickled plums and served on a bed of risotto.
Coming in at second place was my pappardelle pasta with mushroom, a light sauce, and topped with Main lobster. Saxon+Parole specializes in meats and seafood, so it was no surprise that the Main lobster was phenomenal. I found the noodles to have been cooked to perfection while; the dish lacked a sufficient amount sauce.
Though by no means my favorite dish, the scallops were also fantastic. The scallops were cooked to absolute perfection and tasted neither too fishy nor bland. The escargot that accompanied the dish, unfortunately, did not go over well with any of us.
Dinner Overview: In Pictures
We decided to pass on a full dessert and instead, ordered two espressos. The espresso was bold and almost a touch too bitter. However, at the time I had begun to feel the first symptoms of my cold, so the bold beverage kept me energized for the rest of the evening.
Also noteworthy, throughout dinner, our waiter engaged in genuine conversation with us. This conversation began when he noted my DSLR camera. When I told him that I am a “travel blogger,” he then asked us where we were from. When I responded, “St. Louis, Missouri”, he then awkwardly repeated the city and state as if he were confirming that he knew where that was. In retrospect, I now realize that he had no clue where St. Louis was but, I can’t blame him. Eventually, we got into the purpose of our trip. This lead to a conversation about colleges. This conversation was pretty meaningful as he, having graduated from a CUNY school only a few years before, offered a few tips on schools in the New York area.
By the time we had finished our espresso, it was nearly eight o’clock, and the bill was up to $250. When the bill arrived, my father’s mood changed instantly so; it was probably best we skipped dessert.
Though dinner came at a pretty steep price, I’m glad I managed to stop by at the restaurant I had heard so much about. Having flown in Mint Class three times now, each time reading the overview of jetBlue and Saxon+Parole’s partnership, this dinner was that much more meaningful and enjoyable. In addition to having a connection to the airline industry, the fare was simply fantastic. Being from St. Louis, our family rarely gets to indulge in such unique and flavorful takes on classics like pork chops or pasta. The service, atmosphere, and cuisine were all phenomenal. I highly recommend Saxon+Parole to anyone that is looking for a true New York City dining experience. From homemade whiskey to bone-marrow, you can’t go wrong at Saxon+Parole.
Saxon+Parole is located on the corner of Bowery and Bleecker in New York City, NY.