It's a neat trick that plenty of NYC dining establishments are employing these days: seating diners amidst the very ingredients they'll soon be devouring. I sat next to the basil section of the garden at Prospect Heights newcomer Faun, where several varietals shared a large bed with herbs and lettuces. My dining companion was a tendril of some delicate flowering plant, which would make its presence known from time to time by gently caressing my shoulder.
That basil showed up in splendid form sandwiched between sheets of thin quadrucci pasta, a form typically served in broth of some kind; here, in a bowl-licking brown butter sauce. Tomatoes, late summer's most delicious bounty, provide some zip and depth, balancing out luscious stracciatella cheese, burrata's creamy innards.
Enjoying chef Brian Leth's haute homey cuisine—which he rendered razor sharp with four years as executive chef of the equally charming Vinegar Hill House—with the hum of cicada song nearby is nearly as perfect an evening as we're likely to find as the season winds down. Doing so with a cold cocktail (try the Known Unknown with gin, mezcal, pomegranate and lime) in hand, even more so.
606 Vanderbilt Avenue, Prospect Heights, (718) 576-6120; faun.nyc