Wylie Dufresne casts an awfully long culinary shadow. And yet his chef and mentee, Jon Bignelli, managed to shine during his final days at wd-50, as well as his truncated run at the short-lived Alder — taking the reigns on cutting edge dishes like rye and pastrami pasta tossed with mustard sauce, and clam chowder topped with oyster crackers (comprised of real oyster). He made another impressive appearance as the opening chef for the seafood small plate-focused Brooklyn bar, Grand Army, and now, after a brief sabbatical, is back at the burners in Manhattan, overseeing the food program for Sons & Daughters of NYC.
Hunkered under the High Line and directly across from Chelsea Market, the snazzy bar/restaurant catches plenty of tourist overflow — luring them in with the promise of powerful cocktails, such as the “Concrete Jungle” with pisco, aperol and grapefruit beer, and the “Intrepid” featuring rye, mezcal, cynar and vermouth. But while the neighborhood is hardly lacking in viable food options, it would be a shame to stop in just for a nightcap, considering Bignelli’s array of appealing, frequently South American-leaning bites.
A selection of skewers pairs perfectly with pitchers of rosé and cinnamon-spiked sangria; think Grilled Pork with pineapple and chile, Shrimp with green curry and coconut, and Salmon with soy and lime. A duo of savory toasts (reliable winners from Bignelli’s time at Grand Army) currently include Ricotta dolloped with mushrooms and marjoram and Artichokes mixed with citrus and parmesan, but the must-order dish is a platter of Peruvian Chicken; tender, garlic oil-burnished joints poised over starchy sticks of fried yucca, and paired with pots of creamy green and white sauce.
At first glance, Sons & Daughters may look like your average sceney, touristy, Meatpacking District bar. But with a culinary talent like Bignelli on board, it’s obvious that they’re thinking beyond just drinks.
Sons & Daughters of NYC
85 10th Ave