Jones Wood Foundry is a legend of the Upper East Side and where authentic English grub along with the occasional Modern American or Mediterranean dish is served. Owned by Chef Jason Hicks who hails from Stratford-on-Avon, England, he also has introduced a touch of Modern American and Mediterranean dishes to the menu. Hicks opened Jones Wood Foundry after excelling at the helm of both La Goulue and Orsay kitchens.
Located on East 76th Street, Jones Wood Foundry is housed in an old foundry building tucked between other classic old five-story brick walkup buildings. It has a dark, cozy vibe with an ultra-long wood bar in the front room and two dining rooms scattered with British and general vintage bar memorabilia.
Hicks loves the UES and told us, “It is my comfort zone, having been here since 1996 as the chef at La Goulue and Orsay. Over the years, I have gotten to know many clients, and I thought they would like a place with a British twist.”
AN INDOOR/OUTDOOR VIBE
The design of the restaurant is interesting. It looks like the ground floors of two turn-of-the-century tenement buildings connected with a courtyard in the middle. “Our building is two separate buildings. The one in the back is one of NYC’s oldest non-listed wooden buildings. The middle room is a breezeway and was covered and turned into a dining area,” explained Hicks.
“Having the courtyard in the middle of the restaurant is impressive and helps create an indoor/outdoor vibe. The courtyard is covered and heated but is open to the elements on all sides. The building was once a foundry manufacturing utility hole covers for NYC,” he continued. The actual foundry is now my kitchen. This area of the UES was bequeathed to the city by Robert Jones, and at this time, it was a wooded area, hence the name Jones Wood Foundry.”
AN UNPRETENTIOUS CROWD
With a mix of ex-pats and Anglophiles, Hicks’ attention to his guests is always warm and inviting. We very much respect that we are part of the neighborhood and strive to make them proud to have us as their neighbor. The space and decor give you the feeling that you could be in England.”
Like most chefs, Hicks thinks outside the box. In this case Hicks explains the addition of other cuisines to the menu. The goatee sporting chef explained, “I do it, but only when it makes sense. We change the menu every season, but as our space is limited, we must be careful the menu doesn’t get too big. Tuna Tartar Japanize on the lunch/dinner menu and Huevos Rancheros on the brunch menu are good examples.”
ALL-DAY ENGLISH BREAKFAST
It is no surprise that the British classics are genuinely the most popular items on the menu at JWF. “Fish And Chips, Scotch Eggs, pies, and the Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding on the brunch menu are far and away the favorites,” he told us. “Of course, pies are my favorites. We make everything from scratch, and there is a lot of detail in the recipe work—this is also something I enjoy.”
Be sure to check out the ultra-large portions of Toffee Pudding, their most popular dessert, and its sister item Banoffee Pudding. The warm Apple and Blackberry Crumble is hands down the favorite as it is thick and warm.
With holidays here, we wondered if there might be legendary British holiday dishes. “For the holidays, we will have Mince Pie (AKA “Figgy Pud”). Roast Beef is always extremely popular and, of course, will be included. We will also offer a full English Breakfast and Roast Beef And Yorkshire Pudding-To-Go Box for Christmas, accompanied by a tutorial video. Both will be on our website in the lead-up to Christmas.”
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