Palisade Ave just got a little more Hip
By Sally Deering
On Palisade Avenue in the Jersey City Heights, a colorful neighborhood pub â€œFox & Crowâ€ serves all-American burgers, cocktails shaken & stirred and a root beer float that could land Junior in the principalâ€™s office. On weekends, the backroom â€œParlourâ€ with its own bar, and family-style tables becomes a small club with a dazzling array of singer-songwriters, bands, and spoken-wordsmiths.
More hippie than dippy, Fox & Crow (named for the owners, Arthur and Sarah Johnsonâ€™s daughter Rebecca who loved the nursery rhyme) Fox & Crow opened in February 2015, and has since become a cool neighborhood go-to place for tasty American dishes, knee-bending cocktails like the Sly Fox and the Shy Fox and lively entertainment. On a recent Saturday night, Vicky Cristina Barcelona â€“ a three piece all-girl group that performs Tom Waitsâ€™ songs knocked the socks off the audience.
â€œOur family loves to eat and drink, and have a good time,â€ Rebecca says. â€œWe wanted to create an atmosphere that was warm and welcoming, serving wholesome food at decent portions without pretensions. We also wanted to replicate the pub atmosphere you find in Europe, where the entire family is welcome, from babies to dogs. We wish we could also welcome dogs, waiting for New Jersey to change its ways!â€
Fox & Crowâ€™s pub menu is tasty and minimal with several appetizers and a dozen or so sandwiches (and a salad) to choose from. Starter/Munchies include Hand Cut Pub Fries, and Wings served Chili, BBQ, Buffalo, and Jabanero & Honey-style, and Artâ€™s Nachos with a choice of cheese, jalapeno peppers, pico de gallo, sour cream or black beans. ($6-$8)
Burgers take center stage and come in lots of variations including Old Blue (blue cheese), California Club, and Black Bean. For seafood lovers thereâ€™s the Krabby Patty with Asian slaw; the Spicy Crow, fried chicken with chipotle mayo and avocado; and the Cheese Me Please Me grilled cheese with Gouda, Gruyere-Cheddar on sourdough bread. The Mariner, sesame-crusted pan-seared tuna with ginger soy sauce is also a popular dish. ($11-$15). Thereâ€™s a beet salad, too. ($12)
For those looking for something sweet with a little kick, the (alcoholic) Root Beer Float is made with â€œNot Your Fatherâ€™s Root Beerâ€, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream ($10).
â€œThe menu has grown with us,â€ Rebecca says. â€œWe have had input from talented chefs, friends, and family. Brunch is the collaborative product of my mother, and local resident and New York chef Ben Kurst and expertly prepared by our in-house chef Marcos Mendoza. Brunch is special as Sunday breakfast has always held a special place in my family’s week. When home for holidays, we all gather at the kitchen table and dad will make his signature eggs, bacon and home-fries. The dish â€˜Artie’s Breakfastâ€™ on the brunch menu is a nod to him.â€
Weekend Brunch also features Locals Only pork roll, egg, cheese, and home-fries; Fox & Crow Burger with fried egg, bacon, cheddar; Smoked Salmon Hash; Savory or Sweet Ricotta Toast, Avocado Toast; and, French Toast ($8-$14). Modcup Coffee is the house coffee ($2); and Mimosa, Bellini or Bloody Mary cocktails keep things fizzy. ($4-$6)
The kitchen stays open late; Sunday through Wednesday till 11:30 pm; and Thursday through Saturday till Midnight. The bar has a huge choice of beers and cocktails. The Parlour presents live entertainment, and a monthly Spoken Word series hosted by James Ruggia and RNA. Curator Margo Parks of Jersey City scouts the talent and books the performers.
Itâ€™s been two years since Fox & Crow first opened and in those two years, itâ€™s grown a lot, Rebecca says. When her family decided to become restaurateurs, the whole thing came together without much maneuvering.
â€œWe did not spend months scouting a space, the F&C albeit a tremendous amount of work, was quite a serendipitous venture,â€ Rebecca says. â€œMy father acquired the property and had the option to lease the bar or take the business on himself. I have experience in branding and interiors, my partner Rowen works in hospitality, and my mother and father possess an innately hospitable spirit having come from large families and raising their own. The majority of people we knew from the neighborhood we had met in Modcup coffee, the market, or venues downtown. We felt at home surrounded by bohemian and ingenious spirits. We decided to take a chance, combine our efforts and create the Fox & Crow.â€
If you go
FOX & CROW Pub & Parlor
594 Palisade Ave, JC
Mon- Wed, 5pm-12am; Thurs-Fri 5pm-3am
Sat 11am-3am; Sun 11am-1am
Sat & Sun Brunch starts at noon