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With luxury hotels, art galleries and high-rise real estate, change is in the air on the once gritty Bowery. One of the best developments is Saxon + Parole, the swanky new eatery that replaced the recently shuttered Double Crown.

Named for a pair of champion racehorses, Saxon + Parole has an equine-inspired ambience with dark leather booths, salvaged stable spindles and a basement wine room adorned with horseshoes.

We began with a seafood tower stacked with Wellfleet oysters, poached prawns and a spicy sriracha dipping sauce ($20), a bowl of Prince Edward Island mussels in a hearty tomato-and-caper broth ($12) and an endive salad topped with maple-roasted grapes ($10).

For entrees, we recommend the fantastic (and cholesterol-spiking) burger topped with Havarti cheese, maple bacon and a fried egg ($17) or the whole roasted branzino stuffed with Parmesan and paprika-seasoned bread crumbs ($33).

Be sure to order the seasonal "pots" ($10 each), which for fall are a portobello-mushroom mousse infused with whiskey and a decadent chicken-liver pâté with pepper jelly served with grilled sourdough bread.

For dessert, sample the boozy whiskey, brandy and black-rum ice creams and a fabulous chocolate soufflé served with warmed peaches ($12).

Saxon + Parole, 316 Bowery (at Bleecker St.); 212-254-0350 or

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