Jones Wood Foundry
401 E 76th St (First Ave)
City: New York, NY
Phone: (212) 249-2700
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Chef: Arjuna Bull
Cuisine: Pub Food
2nd Cuisine: English
Area: East 70s
Summon your inner Brit, say Patrick Stuart or Maggie Smith, and step into Jones Wood Foundry, a little bit of the U.K. on East 76th Street that calls itself a modern British gastropub. The lights are low, there is a communal table and at dinner the place is packed especially up front at the bar. Fight your way into the back room and order a few of the shareable "toasts" like the pork rillettes, steak tartare with a quail egg or the salt cod mash.
There's plenty here for rabid Anglophiles as well as more traditional fare. The Rule Britannia crowd can chow down on Scotch eggs, bangers (sausages) and mash or the fish and chips which don't quite cut it for everyone due to overbreading. The burger is mouth-stretching, with the aged beef adorned with your choice of Stilton or Cheddar, substantial pieces of bacon, red onion and strips of pickle and comes with a generous serving of chips--that's fries to you-- that are delicious if a little salty.
At dinner you can begin with the roast marrow bone or the nicely executed Welsh rarebit (Cheddar cheese melted with Guinness lapped on a hunk of sourdough bread) or have a mushroom, beet or green salad. Different days bring different Foundry pies in a nod to the area's history when the space between 66th and 77th streets known as Jones Wood was truly a forest housing an old commercial space for a plumbing and hardware supply business. The lamb pie has hunks of sauced meat beneath a pasty dome while the ploughman’s pork pie brings slices of spiced meat on a cutting board with celery rémoulade, a pickled onion, and a boiled egg.
Drinking here, which is what the young-skewing bar crowd enjoys, gets going with beers and wines only. Beers are divided into Lights (Boddington's Golden Ale from England, Stella Artois from Belgium, Alagash White, USA); Mediums (Old Speckled Hen and Fuller's Pride, both pale ales from England or Goose Island Sofie from the US) or Dark meaning Irish Murphy's Stout. And these are just some of the draft offerings. There's an equally large selection of bottled beers that include ciders, ginger and fruit beers. Red and white wines and several sparkling varieties are also available. My top dessert choices here are the sticky toffee pudding served with vanilla ice cream and the chocolate and Maldon salt pie with a dollop of salted caramel ice cream.
One of the things you're paying for here is the British influence and the place's originality. Grumbles have been heard about high prices (that fish and chips is $23 which would give a UK citizen pause) but where else nearby will you find Kedgeree. i.e., smoked haddock with a curry sauce, rice, hardboiled eggs and fried bread?
Brunch happens on Saturdays and Sundays starting at 11 AM; weekday lunch (very empty with no bar crowd) is from 11 to 4 PM and dinner Monday through Saturday begins at 6 PM (5:30 on Sundays.) The bar opens at 11 am and stays that way. Do the Queen proud and drop by.
Review By: Mari Gold