Sorry for the almost one month delay on this one, but I TOTALLY forgot to write up a recap of our New York trip. I won’t bore you with the whole thing since we didn’t do that many touristy things to report on, but I did want to review the restaurant we had dinner at for my friend Kevyn’s 25th birthday. She said it was her favorite restaurant in all of New York City so I was really excited to try it. Even more so excited when she told us that the head chef, Chef Jehangir Mehta, was a contestant on The Next Iron Chef.
The restaurant is Graffiti Food and Wine Bar on East 10th Street. If you don’t know where you’re going you will miss it because the only sign of the restaurant is the bright orange door with the name “graffiti-ed” across the front.
When you walk up to the door, you almost feel like you are in the wrong place. To your right is a set of stairs that leads down to some creepy, unknown place. To your left, more doors. Luckily, Kevyn had been here several times before so she knew we were in the right place. We opened the door and even though I had been warned about the size, I was shocked to see how tiny this place was. The place already had about 12 people inside but it felt like it was full. I honestly didn’t know where they were going to fit our party of 6, with a 7th on the way. You might think I’m exaggerating, but here is a shot of the restaurant taken from their website.
This photo was probably taken standing just inside that orange door. The two tables in the front already had two parties seated at them so we were escorted to the third table you see in the picture. But it was turned sideways so we were sitting parallel to the wall. This meant squeezing in behind the table and sitting on tiny stools. Did I mention there was another party of four sitting at our table? That’s the cool thing about this place, it feels like everyone there is friends even though you are sitting next to complete strangers. Behind our table, to the left, you can see the kitchen and the door to the bathroom. Smallest kitchen I’ve ever seen!!
Once we were seated, our waiter came out to introduce us to the Chef. The Chef said hello and explained how it worked and then let us get to ordering. First we ordered Lychee Martinis. I don’t particularly like martinis, but these were divine. Full of flavor, and alcohol. For our first course we ordered Zucchini Hummus Pizza. This was one of my favorite dishes of the night. The next thing to come out was the braised pork buns with apricot chutney. Since I don’t eat meat, Chef Mehta made me veggie buns with apricot chutney. They were mouth watering and all the meat eaters said the pork buns were too. After the buns came the green chili shrimp with mirin daikon moong salsa. Don’t ask me what it means, because I don’t know, but I can tell you these were delicious as well. We licked the plate clean on that one! Next up, the graffiti burgers. Once again, Chef Mehta took care of me and made me my own special veggie burger. By this time I was so full I could hardly finish it, but it too was delicious. No meal anywhere is complete without dessert and this was no exception. We ordered a hazelnut chocolate caviar cupcake with chocolate chip ice cream and warm truffle almond strawberries with pepper ice cream. I didn’t try the hazelnut chocolate caviar cupcake but Noah was raving about it. The strawberries were delicious and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed pepper ice cream.
At the end of the meal, we were stuffed and even though the plates were small, they packed a big punch of flavor. If you are in New York anytime soon and are looking for a one of a kind, delicious and exciting meal, I would highly suggest Graffiti. It’s not just the food that makes it, it’s the atmosphere and the attention to detail that stands out too. I was astonished that the Chef actually came to our table to explain every dish he was bringing out and made necessary accommodations for my needs that were still delicious. Just keep in mind, this is not the place for a romantic date night, but more so a place to go out with friends for a fun and memorable evening.