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Restaurant Review – Graffiti NYC

2 Jun

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.

Sadly, this is the only photo I took at the restaurant!

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.

Source

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.

 

Dangerously Delicious

22 Mar

If you should know one thing about me, it should probably be that I have a sweet tooth. An uncontrollable one. I mean, to the point that I scream like a little girl when I see cake (this happened today). So when our friend M suggested that we stop to pick up a piece of pie to go after dinner on Saturday night, I could not resist.

Where were we headed? To Dangerously Delicious Pies. Since we were newbs there, we let our friends choose for us and they were spot on with their choice – The Baltimore Bomb. Apparently, according to their website, the Baltimore Bomb has been featured on Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Guilty Pleasures”. And oh my god was it.

We got home and decided not to heat up the pie because we just wanted to try it so badly. It was absolute perfection. It actually made me understand why people have pie bars at their wedding instead of cake. I mean, I’ve always loved pie, but this took it to a whole new level. I want go back to H Street just to get another slice of heaven. If you are in DC for any reason, I highly recommend picking up a slice – you will not be let down!

 

The picture doesn’t do it justice!

Restaurant Review: Biergarten Haus

21 Mar

Saturday night we went out with another couple to Biergarten Haus on H Street in DC. We initially went to H Street to go to another restaurant that ended up having a wait of an hour and a half. Even though Biergarten Haus had a wait of an hour, we decided it was worth it. Before we were called (they actually take down your number and call twice before giving up your spot in line) we decided to grab a pre-dinner drink and play some skee-ball at H Street Country Club just a few blocks down. 3 games of skee-ball and 45 minutes later we decided we were ready to eat and even though we hadn’t been called yet, we checked on our place in line at the Biergarten. Lucky for us, a seat was about to open and we only had to wait another 5 minutes before being let in. At first they sat us at a barrel with 4 stools. It was close quarters and we weren’t going to have anywhere to put our food. We ordered our drinks and then spotted a table across the way that appeared to be empty. The waitress said we could move tables but warned us that some randoms could come sit down at any time since they seat as many as they can. We didn’t mind. Sure enough, 5 minutes after we sat down, two older men sat down next to us. At first we all thought it was going to be awkward, but it wasn’t bad. It was so loud in the place that you could really only hear the person directly in front of you. We kept to ourselves and they kept to theirs and all was well. For dinner we ordered a few things. Noah and the other couple split a giant pretzel with ham and cheese (Laugenbrezel share and share alike) and I had pretzel bites (Laugenbrezel) and potato pancakes (Kartoffelpuffer). The verdict on the giant pretzel was that it was a little too salty and there was not enough meat and cheese in proportion to the pretzel. The french fries that were served with it were garlic fries and were delicious and cooked to perfection. My pretzel bites were good at first (with cheese and horseradish mustard) but then after the second one the salt really started to kick in – and it was overwhelming! Luckily, the beer I had – the Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen – had a sweet, peach flavor that helped to minimize the saltiness. The potato pancakes were a little too thick but were still tasty. I only ate two of them. Overall – the experience was fun, the drinks were really good and the food was okay. Worth the price? Probably not. But it seemed to be as much about the atmosphere as it was about the fare. And we did have a really good time so I’d probably do it again if we had the chance. But maybe I would just go for the beer next time instead of the food!

 

Biergarten

 

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Laugrenbrezel