Hot Philly import High Street on Hudson is days away from opening, and even though the windows are still papered up, the space looks just about ready to make its big reveal. The team has kept the core of High Street on Market — a love of grains, a neighborhood feel — in the New York location, but High Street on Hudson has some unique aspects, too. Eater took a peek inside the new project from restaurateur Ellen Yin and chef Eli Kulp this morning. Here are five things to know about High Street on Hudson, at 637 Hudson St.
1) Take-out pastries and bread will be an even bigger priority in New York than in Philadelphia. A cart in the front of the restaurant will be filled with pastry chef Sam Kincaid's goodies, while an assortment of baker Alex Bois's breads will line the shelves behind it. They'll all be in clear view to passersby through the glassy doors along Hudson Street, putting coffee and to-go pastries and breads in the spotlight. By comparison, the take-out counter in Philadelphia is in the back of the restaurant. "Our goal with all the people walking by is they'll see Alex's beautiful breads and want to stop in and grab breads to go," Yin says. To gear up for it, baking capacity in New York is bigger, even though the Philadelphia ovens also make bread for Fork Restaurant and a.kitchen.
2) Diners will be closer to the cooking process in New York. High Street on Hudson's bread ovens are prominent in the open kitchen, while in Philadelphia, the ovens are hidden away. "One of the things Eli and I felt strongly about is we wanted the bread baking process in New York to be front and center," Yin says. "So the oven is right there on the line in the back. You can see the bread being baked in the morning." In New York, there are also several seats at a counter right by the kitchen — a more intimate view of the action than in Philly.
3) The menu and the breads will adjusted for a New York focus. Grains will be from more local farmers, which could mean special breads just for High Street on Hudson. "I'm excited, and I know Sam is excited," Bois says. "The infrastructure for grain farming is much more developed here. We can get organic, unique grains." Frica grain, for example, is more accessible and inexpensive for New Yorkers, meaning more ingredients for Bois and Kincaid to work with. A $60 prix fixe dinner menu, called "Leave It to Us," will also be geared toward New York. "Expect that everything will reflect the location more and more as time goes on," Bois says.
4) Some totally new items will be added to the New York menu. High Street classics like the black bialy and the red eye danish — a breakfast pastry with ham and savory coffee "gravy" — will be offered, but so will new options specific to New York. Kincaid is debuting a crepe cake and other pastries, and High Street on Hudson will be introducing The Bodega, a breakfast sandwich with malted breakfast sausage and cheddar on a sage-black pepper biscuit.
5) The art on the wall is actually a map of Manhattan. Artist Conrad Booker created the main piece of art in the dining room, an expansive and textured piece made of burlap, Yin says. They wanted the restaurant to have a sense of place, just as the Philadelphia location does, Yin says. People who stand back from the wall will be able to spot it, while diners sitting right near it may just see it as a piece of abstract art.
Yin says they also looked at Williamsburg, Chelsea, and the Lower East Side when opening, with the goal of finding a place with a strong neighborhood feel and passing tourists. West Village hit all the marks. "High Street grew out of the need for a sandwich shop and breakfast spot," Yin says. "That's what we hope to bring to the table here, too." High Street on Hudson opens on Monday with breakfast, lunch, and the take-out counter. Dinner will start next year. Stay tuned for more details next week.