Nick's Picks: Native



Photo by Nicholas Abreu

Native Eatery and Bar stretches for miles, at least that’s what it looks like from some spots within this new restaurant at 180 South Clinton Avenue. An eighty-seat dining room with a very open floor plan and minimalist design is separated from a patio by floor-to-ceiling retractable windows. On a sunny day, when these massive windows are open, diners have an unobstructed view of the surrounding neighborhood, which includes Geva Theater and Washington Square Park. With the restaurant perched about fifteen feet above street level, the added height makes it seem like Native’s plane stretches far beyond its reality.

Owned and managed by the Muller restaurant group, which also owns Label 7 in Pittsford, Native celebrates Rochester in its name, decoration, and menu. A mural of the city’s skyline spreads across the dining room which utilizes wooden furniture, sleek hardwood floors, and a wooden, double-sided bar, all built with materials sourced from within the Finger Lakes Region. The use of wood and neutral, warm colors provides an intimate, casual feel even within this seemingly massive space.  

Specializing in new age American cuisine, handcrafted cocktails, and a vast selection of beer and wine, Native prioritizes local ingredients whenever it’s possible. Executive chef Jason Carlson plans to locally source up to eighty percent of his ingredients in peak seasons. An ever-changing menu promises salads and vegan plates; house made charcuterie; local grains, breads, and pizzas; dry-aged steaks, cured hams, and sausages made with products from area farms; and the most sustainable seafood the east coast has to offer. Native also plans to feature a market with grab-and-go salads, breakfast sandwiches, pastries, and other options for the thousands of people that walk through this busy neighborhood each day.

Native will open its market and bar, which will serve craft cocktails, beer, wine, and small plates, on July 5. Full restaurant dining begins July 25.

Follow Nick’s Picks on Twitter @NicksPicks585.

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