Slews of stylish socials have made Narcissa, the Standard East Village’s new eatery, their hangout. Yet the farm-to-table restaurant is not named for the Greek God Narcissus who fell in love with his own reflection, but rather hotelier André Balazs’ beloved bovine, Narcissa. The dairy cow roams Balazs’ 90-acre farm, Locusts-on-Hudson, near Rhinebeck, N.Y., where ingredients for the menu are sourced. Chef John Fraser, of Michelin-starred Dovetail on the Upper West Side, relies on Balazs’ farm-fresh bounty to create dishes like the wildly popular rotisserie-crisped beets and carrots Wellington, served with bluefoot mushrooms, sunchokes and gremolata. Everyone also loves the roasted hake and the heritage milk-fed pig.
Taking up two rooms at Balazs’ ever-expanding Standard East Village, Narcissa’s simple stone floors and pale wood booths evoke a Zen lodge designed by very hip Swedes. A wood relief sculpture in rainbow hues by Andrew Kuo adorns one wall, and guests who so desire can watch the cooks in the open kitchen show off their skills at the chef’s counter. In warm weather, the back garden, with a bricolage piece by Chris Johanson and Jo Jackson, will be buzzing with the beautiful people.
Fraser’s Cali-style clean cuisine has already won raves from foodies who are fans of his “low and slow” approach to cooking. But seasonal and fresh produce isn’t all that lures fashionable and famous regulars like Sofia Coppola, Mario Testino, Prabal Gurung, Parker Posey, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. Like all Balazs boîtes, one wants to see and be seen. So book a booth in the main room (where the action is), and make sure you look your best to impress the Narcissa-ists.