This pop-up crew has settled down!
The new Prospect Heights bistro Oxalis has gone from unpredictable appearances to something special — just like the wild herb it is named for, said its chef and co-owner.
“It’s just something we kind of used to embody our concept — it’s a very wild herb, so it’s something that with a little bit of care and thought can be turned into something very special and highlight something very well,” said Nico Russell, formerly of the Manhattan restaurant Daniel and France’s Mirazur. “We use that for our reference point for everything we do.”
Russell opened Oxalis — the Latin term for wood sorrel — on Washington Avenue last week, after two years of cooking pop-up dinners in various Kings County restaurant kitchens, where the staff graciously welcomed him and his staff, said the chef.
“That was a great way for us to talk to our guests, hone in the on the concept. Some other restaurants let us use their space, we were supported by the community, specifically in Brooklyn,” he said. “We were super grateful for to see the snapshot of what we’re trying to create. Every step of that we were growing and evolving, it kind grew into this permanent home.”
The Prospect Heights community has welcomed the eatery, said Russell, because he was able to establish a fan base before opening his brick-and-mortar restaurant, he said.
“It’s going well, we’re super grateful. We love the neighborhood, it has been extremely welcoming,” said Russell, who lives in Crown Heights. “People were stopping in and saying, ‘We’re waiting for you to open!’ ”
Oxalis offers its guests two different food experiences — an ala carte menu at the enclosed backyard bar, and a five-course menu for $60 in its dining room.
The menus in each settings will never overlap, said Russell, but both rely heavily on vegetables, and they each focus on putting just one thing on the plate so as not to overwhelm the palate.
“We’re product focused, whether it’s a carrot or sunchokes or duck. Very minimal, feels simple but everything is trying to highlight that one main ingredient we are serving,” said Russell. “Not 1,000 things all over the plate — a very focused and concise flavor.”
Oxalis [791 Washington Ave. between St. Johns and Lincoln places in Prospect Heights, (347) 627–8298, www.oxali
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