Jones Wood Foundry: A New “Food Driven Pub” on the Upper East Side
Jones Wood Foundry, just recently opened on the Upper East Side, is the latest entry in a ever-more crowded field of NYC gastropubs–or, if you prefer, of casual restaurants serving refined, or elevated, British pub fare. The category has had more than its share of duds in recent years, but the good news for locals is this: Jones Wood Foundry offers several first-rate versions of pub classics, AND some of the best snacks we've sampled in a while, courtesy of the silly-sounding but hopelessly addicting Toast menu.
Jones Wood Foundry falls very much on the safe end of the British-pub-in-NYC spectrum–the soundtrack, for example, is way more Beatles than Clash… and not too loud–which certainly makes the decidedly older demographic more comfortable, dining there in the cozy, low-ceilinged back room; up front at the bar, no surprise, things are younger and a bit rowdier, but this is no Wilfie & Nell, say, or, it goes without saying, and still the one to beat, the Spotted Pig. Anyway, we've stopped in to the Upper East Side's Jones Wood Foundry last week, and despite a couple of misses and the somewhat snoozy vibe, mostly enjoyed both the room and the food quite a bit.
The Toast Menu at the Jones Wood Foundry is the place to start any meal or round of drinks. Yes, the toast "trend" is rather ridiculous, but this is really about the toppings, about twenty choices divided into three price points, all served with slabs of chewy, crunchy, toasted bread. The cheese-and-fruit combos are satisfying–especially the Pear and Blue Cheese–but the big winner here is the Chicken Liver and Foie Gras, a huge-ish, whipped-smooth scoop of gamey, rich, earthy delight. Perfect.
Also very good at Jones Wood Foundry is the Myers of Keswick Bangers and Mash, a trio of fat, tender sausages sitting high atop their respective mounds of fluffy mashed potatoes, smothered in a sweet onion marmalade. This dish, so often bungled in pseudo-pub places such as this, is here given the care and ingredients it deserves. For dessert, for us, the only way to go is the Sticky Toffee Pudding, which is appropriately cakey and gooey and sweet in its treacle sauce BUT definitely needs a scoop of ice cream if it wants to compete with Schiller's Liquor Bar for best in town. All in all, though, Jones Wood Foundry succeeds where so many other Upper East Side restaurants fail, by providing lots of selection, good food, reasonable prices, in a relaxed, neighborhoody, drop-in setting. Good show.
Jones Wood Foundry Details
Jones Wood Foundry is located on 76th Street just east of First Avenue, and is open every day for lunch, brunch, "toast" and dinner from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. For more information as well as a look at the complete Jones Wood Foundry menu, please see the Jones Wood Foundry website.