Situated in a location that’s a little off the beaten track in the Lower East Side, the restaurant is surrounded by shops that flip their sign to “closed” early in the day. The hidden location doesn’t seem to deter any of the food aficionados and long-haired men in clever button downs and Sergeant Pepper blazers.
“What do I know of man’s destiny? I could tell you more about radishes.” – Samuel Beckett
Part of the “No Farm, No Food” – locavore movement, the Fat Radish describes itself as, “… a simple, elegant and airy room that still retains the industrial feel of London’s original Covent Garden marketplace. The cuisine does not fall into one particular category but rather returns to a way of eating before food was constantly classified. The menu is bound by one philosophy , simple, healthy, delicious dishes created with well-sourced, seasonal ingredients.”
Silkstone, a creative agency in New York City, designed the restaurants slightly dilapidated but clever decor. When the owners began creating the restaurant in 2010 they were faced with a challenge – how do you a turn an old Lower East Side building (that was formally a sausage factory) into a light and airy dining space? Sourcing the right materials was of utmost importance. With 1970s Covent Garden as an inspiration, the team used old barn wood, unique light fixtures, and renovated the original brick floors, achieving the goal of making the space feel open and light. Along with the challenge of the dining space, there was also the challenge of the kitchen; with no kitchen space existing, a full build out of one was necessary.
Celery root pot pie, black garlic, gruyere cheese.
Kale Caesar Salad, Anchovy, Croutons, Bacon and Egg by candlelight.
The dessert menu…
Petite pot du creme.
My favorite aspect of the restaurant, as is with my entire life, a toss up between the food or the decor. Woody, rustic and comfortable with some Chinese graffiti (to pay tribute to its location) has me feeling as if I’m about to eat at an in-law’s quaint yet modern country home. The ambiance is really lovely, and something I would like to replicate.
Sam Sifton from the New York Times puts it best, “The Fat Radish is a pleasant and pleasing restaurant for all this, however: a handsome young golden Labrador, camera-ready, hard not to like. To sit in its dining room as light plays off the huge mirror in back, candles flickering everywhere, eating rillettes and drinking wine, is to experience a small part of the New York that leads people here inexorably and always will.”
1. Industrial Pendants – A run of larger 1940/50’s British industrial pendant lights by Maxlume, salvaged from a factory in the north of England. Cast aluminium with thick domed glass diffusers. We’ve left these lights in the original green paintwork, simply beeswaxing them to bring out the patina. Large runs of British industrial lighting like this a an increasing rarity.
2. Ayers Skull & Bones Decanter by Ralph Lauren Home. Feeling sinister? How about I mix you up some arsenic and old lace…
3. Candela Cube by Sonia Lartigue, 2010 from the Museum of Modern Art Design Store. This table lamp is made using traditional Mexican craft techniques. When lit, the mirrors create beautiful, geometric optical effects. Handmade. Requires one incandescent 25W bulb (bulb not included).
4. Sturdy and tough industrial table by Woodland Imports.
5. Pewter Stoneware Large Covered Casserole Dish by Juliska.
6. Greengage Wall Clock – Quirky as the British industrial example that inspired it, this weathered wall clock will add good-natured gravitas to your kitchen or family room. Gracious green laminated face with metal hands. Quartz movement.
7. Bring home the elegance of French-inspired cutlery with this LeBrun Laguiole Ivory style set.
8. The silver, metallic stool is built of beautiful elm wood reclaimed from buildings and furniture pieces that graced the eclectic Qing dynasty. The piece is meticulously hand built and finished by time-honored craftsman utilizing over 120 different processes, by Madera Home Furniture.
What restaurant would you choose to live in?