A few years ago, Saxon + Parole was a place called Double Crown. And Double Crown was a place you went if you were too old for the club scene but still wanted a night out. It was actually ahead of its time - a restaurant that could serve as the only destination for an evening on the town, rather than just somewhere to have dinner. Back in 2008, even ultra-clubby Meatpacking restaurants like STK were little more than pre-game for a big night of buying new friends at Tenjune. And the food at Double Crown was actually good.
Unfortunately for Double Crown, the party started to wane after a wave of new big-night-out restaurants came along (see Beauty & Essex) and let girls get drunk in the bathroom for free. Their solution? Shut the place down, come up with a new concept, remodel, and reopen. Before you even knew Double Crown was gone, Saxon + Parole was throwing a launch party.
So the question becomes, will the new coat of paint do the job? So far, the answer seems to be yes. On both of our mid-week visits, Saxon + Parole was buzzing with tables full of females, all of which seemed to be having a better time than they should be on a Tuesday night. The new space is extremely well done and far more comfortable than Double Crown was, but still exciting. As for the food - it's good, but nothing we ate is going to blow your mind. It's also expensive. I don't care how big the short rib is or how many spices it's glazed with (five), I don't want to pay $44 for it. The good news for Saxon + Parole is that somebody probably will. And if they don't? There's always time to remodel.
Saxon + Parole goes big with their seafood towers, and the raw goods are all high quality. The only item we couldn't really get behind were the tea smoked mussels. There's something about eating a cold mussel that makes me think I'm gonna die from it.
These little jars are billed as "seasonal pots of deliciousness", and I'd say that's pretty accurate. The first we had was a portobello mushroom mousse with Parole's house brand whiskey and truffle jelly. It's amazing. The second option available in this particular season is chicken liver mousse with port pepper jelly. This one's also pretty damn great, but not quite next level like the mushroom spread. Either way, one of them should be on your table.
A solid charcuterie plate with various pig meats, and little tiny servings of pickled items, like cornichons and cauliflower. Beware - those pickled things pack some punch, and will make your face do stupid things.
A standard but satisfying plate of appetizer vegetables. It's mostly satisfying due to the presence of pancetta and egg.
A huge and juicy chop, this was perfectly fine, but we got kind of bored half way through. Maybe it was too big.
We had both a summer pea and a sweet potato version of this dish, and both were pretty good. Summer pea was the stronger of the two, but if you're reading this in October, you're probably out of luck on that one.
A big mess of a burger with maple bacon and a fried egg. The bacon is a bit overpowering in it's smoky goodness, and this thing is pretty hard to handle, but otherwise, it's a decent burger.
This one seems to be a popular order at Saxon + Parole, and we get it. It's a nice fish, it's satisfying, and it's safe. Order away.
All I am going to say about the three flavors of "boozy" ice cream is that I want to learn how to make them so I can get wasted in public next summer. Damn those are strong. They're good too.