In early September, hordes of the well-dressed fashion elite descend on New York City for the bi-annual shitshow known as Fashion Week (or really, Fashion Month). They click-clack around the city in heels wearing street-style-photographer-bait outfits, take in some shows, and see-and-be-seen drinking rosé at the city's best hotspots. Yes, it's all very insufferable yet still tantalizing and aspirational enough to want to be apart of. So this year, if you are jetting off to NYC, stand out from the fash-pack and try out a fun dinner spot that's cool and trendy, but not obnoxiously sceney: The Wild Son. Situated next to tourist hotspot The Standard in the Meatpacking District, the Wild Son is a modern-rustic hole-in-the-wall serving all-day bites that tend to skew to the healthy side of the delicious spectrum. Whether you're taking a low-key lunch break between shows or meeting up with friends for happy hour cocktails and oysters before setting off for the fab parties, it's the perfect spot for tasty light bites in a lovely setting.
The light and airy space is a mix of New York's modern design and LA's more bohemian sensibilities, positioning it as an ideal bicoastal blend. Though it's next to the roudy Standard Hotel, the street is fairly quiet, and boasts proximity to The High Line and The Whitney.
I started out with a crisp glass of rosé, a nice way to ease into my happy hour and subsequent dinner. They also have a great bar menu filled with fresh, Summery cocktails and libations.
One thing that New York restaurants definitely do better than those in LA is oysters; though plenty of local spots dabble in fresh oysters, they're clearly way more popular on the other coast. The Wild Son in particularly excels at them, offering them in various fresh and fried forms. One of my favorite bites were the fried oysters in lettuce cups. The oysters were nice and crispy on the outside, perfectly tender (and not chewy) on the inside. They were incredibly flavorful, and the lettuce cups added a nice cold, fresh contrast to the warm fried seafood. A light but satisfying start to the meal.
I'm honestly not sure which oyster preparation I preferred, but at the end of the day, do we need to pick favorites? The oyster tacos in a corn tortilla off the happy hour menu were just as delicious, and I really appreciated the substantive tortillas as a base for the fried oysters. Jicama slaw and cilantro yoghurt both provided fresh herbaceous elements. Yummmm.
Also off the happy hour menu, the "Milk & Honey" was a really nice combination of fresh burrata (can't go wrong there), Grilled Seven Grain Bread (to keep it light and a bit healthy), with some sweet honey and a hint of spicy smoked chili salt. The flavors all balanced really well, and the dish toed the line between sweet and savory really well.
Since Fashion Week is bound to get stressful and hectic, don't feel guilty about indulging in their Double Cheeseburger (sometimes, you just need to de-stress with ground meet and cheese on a bun). The house short rib blend with aged cheddar was served on a lightly grilled sesame bun: classic but with a modern feel. It was definitely a delicious burger, and you seriously can't go wrong ordering it. The crispy fingerling potatoes were also addicting.
Finally, we finished off with a steaming bowl of Mussels. Presented in a flavorful smoked broth with serrano peppers (for a nice kick) and some toasty house baked bread, it's a light but tasty offering. Perfect for eschewing a heavier meal while still feeling satisfied.
Overall, our experience at The Wild Son was great. The low-key atmosphere, friendly service, and tasty food will undoubtedly be a welcome respite from the crazy pace of New York during Fashion Week.