Long time readers and my East Village food tour (RIP) participants are all too familiar with Foxface, the little sandwich shop that could. It is now Foxface Natural. As in the natural progression from a successful sandwich shop to a full service restaurant in the former Harry and Ida’s space. This first meal was a bitter sweet moment for me, after spending countless hours munching on pastrami at Harry and Ida’s over the years. They did call the cops on me once, but two nights in jail was a very small price to pay.
My first meal, of most likely many, at Foxface Natural was a memorable one. Though there’s one tiny issue with the place I should tell you about first. Its not really open yet. This was a pre-opening hummus and oysters themed event with chef Maoz Alonim of the famed Basta in Tel Aviv. EWZ historians will tell you that I dont normally attend such events, as I’m more of a “see you in about a year” type. But I attended this one, as I’m all too familiar with chef/owner Sivan’s capabilities.
So this is more of a public announcement rather than a lengthy review. What we got was a small preview of things to come. And with Sivan’s range, its anyone’s guess what will be on the menu on day one. Although something tells me the plate of the most distinct tasting pickles I’ve ever seen, and I, will exchange pleasantries in the future.
The old smoker that stayed behind is responsible for most of the hits. A superb lamb shoulder sitting on top of ultra creamy hummus, with a punchy green S’chug (Yemenite hot sauce). I’m more of a red S’chug guy, but good S’chug is good S’chug. Another hit was a slow smoked goat that comes with a soothing spiced yogurt sauce, almonds and mint.
And just because we dont eat nearly enough Feta at home (inside joke), we just had to try the Feta with eggplant, roasted in the new wood fired oven, sitting on a beautiful nettle puree. The lone dessert of Tahini Gelato with pistachios was just the proper finish.
Its a refreshing “mom & pop” debut in an increasingly corporate Manhattan. Old Harry and Ida’s fans will not recognize the new space, about a year in the making. The bar dominates the long room (I forgot to take pictures), and its safe to expect good wine. There will be wonderful smoked meat, glorious fish, but more importantly with Sivan, expect the unexpected.