Sassafraz is a Yorkville legend in the big city. And – it’s a legend which burned down a couple of years ago. I never did get to it before the heartbreaking fire, but its a joy to visit now. A cheery yellow building in the heart of the stomping grounds of the well-heeled and celebrity set (Belair @ Cumberland), the facade is welcoming.
Stepping inside, there are two sides – the more dark toned bistro, and the long, brighter dining room. Both sides are modern but certainly not stark, elegant but not stuffy. We ate in the dining room, at the back where there is a lofty skylight decorated with Fortuni light fixtures and a tall wall of a waterfall flanked by 2 walls of live ivy. It is like a modern painting painted in large swaths of water (motion) and plants (life). The huge wine racks are fab! The tufted banquets and chairs are understated and comfortable.
If you are taking someone special on a date, this will knock her off her feet!
The food was DIVINE. So much so, I find myself looking for excuses to head back for another lunch in the next week or so. It was so perfect, I would just have the same meal over again! I’d call the food modern French, as well as the atmosphere. They have a wonderful cocktail/wine selection that makes it hard to choose from. I started with the Buffalo Mozzeralla (pomegranate seeds, pink peppercorn pine nuts, balsamic figs, fisèe in a kumquat vinaigrette.) We had the Lamb (summer squash, feta, white asparagus, sweet potato strings and juniper redcurrant reduction) and a Penne Pasta (wild mushrooms, arugula, light truffle cream, thornloe asiago) for our mains; both of the dishes were prepared very creatively, with style and infusion. I like the preparation they put into each dish.