Oxalis originally launched as a pop-up in New York City in 2016, but the restaurant planted roots in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, at the end of last year. Chef Nico Russell, beverage director Piper Kristensen and Steve Wong all partnered together for this new venture that Russell calls a modern take on a neighborhood bistro.
Kristensen is the beverage director and has spent time at Booker and Dax lab and The Bearded Lady. Russell previously worked at Daniel for three years and the newly-minted three-Michelin-starred Mirazur for one year. At Oxalis, Russell offers a carte blanche menu of about five plates for $60 per person, where the dishes are about 70% vegetables. (There is also an à la carte menu available in the enclosed backyard patio.)
"One of the first little bites when you come into the restaurant," says Russell, is his dish of potato, bay leaf and nori, which has been on the menu since day one of the permanent location. The original idea was a hash brown, though Russell's version is actually a take on the classic pommes paillasson. It consists of shredded russet potatoes cooked in melted duck fat, seasoned with salt and bonito, pressed into a cake, deep-fried and then topped with bay leaf egg white aioli and toasted nori. ("I love potatoes and seaweed together.") Though it is more complex than one might think, it's still a fried potato at the end, which is what Russell wants—an approachable way to welcome diners to his restaurant and to get them to relax at the beginning of the meal.
Watch the video below to see how this dish is made and hear more about the restaurant.
Photo by Margarita Garcia Acevedo.
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