Zagat editor James Mulcahy checks out the juice craze at two new spots doing interesting things with healthy juices and filed this report.
Recently opened on the Lower East Side, The Butcher's Daughter is run by team behind nearby bars Apotheke and Pulqueria. Owner Heather Tierney was inspired by the cocktails being poured at those venues, but in The Butcher's Daughter there is no booze.
"We approach juice in the same way that we approach cocktails at Apotheke and Pulqueria," says Tierney. "We use really exotic and rare produce, and we use a lot of fresh herbs and botanicals. In our heritage juices, which are our specialty juices here, we highlight one herb per juice. We both juice the herb, and use an herbal elixir. We want everything to be kind of a full experience of all the senses."
The vegetable-driven juices are made to order and can be enjoyed with sandwiches and other small bites. Tierney thinks the store's popularity represents a new focus on healthy ingredients.
"The story of the name 'The Butcher's Daughter' comes from the concept that we came up with of a vegetarian butcher shop," says Tierney. "The story is that if there was an old butcher today, his daughter would be a vegetarian because she's just over all this meat. She's bored of it, she's tired of it, and she's really excited about vegetables."
Creative Juice, another new chain located inside Equinox gyms, features cold-pressed prepared juices concocted by Danny Meyer's union square hospitality group. Chef Michael Romano came up with the mixes.
"I approached creating the juices as if I was creating a dish," Romano says. "Some of the more interesting ingredients are red cabbage, radicchio, juniper berries, shiso, kefir lime, lemongrass and these kinds of things."
Though perfect after a workout, customers do not have to be a member of Equinox to enjoy the juices, which pack the nutrients in without seeming like health food.
"I wanted them, of course, to have a good nutrition profile, but also to be delicious, to combine hedonism with good health," says Romano.
For more information on these juice bars and other new restaurants, visit blog.zagat.com.