Joining industry stalwarts and fine diners Colicchio & Sons and Del Posto in the former Nabisco factory under the High Line on Tenth Avenue is Willow Road, a decidedly more laidback option where the vibe screams ‘gastro-bar’ and the food superbly showcases rustic American-with-a-twist. The industrial atmosphere is preserved with high ceilings and concrete floors, hanging lamps and wooden tables, 65-inch flat screens broadcasting sports games, and an old ‘Baked By Electricity’ Triscuit slogan illuminated on the ceiling.
Executive chef Todd Macdonald (formerly of Cru) and Top Chef alum Grayson Schmitz have crafted a short-but-sweet menu featuring small plates like spiced lamb burger bites with sumac aioli and iced red onion, and their creative take on mussels a la plancha, served with kumquat butter.
Entrees include black bass ‘en papillote’ with leeks and Minnesota wild rice, and buttermilk fried chicken with jerk spices and orange blossom honey. If you’re going for share plates, try the decadent 28-day dry-aged, bone-in prime rib eye, served with bone marrow and roasted garlic. Willow Road has also recently begun weekend brunch service, where the eggs slow-cooked with steel-cut oats, smoked bacon, and maple hollandaise have already gained a fan following. Roll on the weekend.