Graffit

I just read Adam Platt’s one-star review of Graffit in New York magazine.  By this review, I would say Mr. Platt is one of those people who thinks art has to be pretty, as his biggest complaint of the food was its ugliness. 

In contrast, I enjoyed my experience at Graffit immensely, from the attentive service, to the warm and bright dining room, to the delicious and creative food. 

The amuse bouche was delicious, and from there, I was expecting an exceptional meal.  I loved the sangria pictured on the right.

amuse bouche

 

My favorite dish was the roots:  celery, parsnip, turnip, parsley, sunchoke, kohlrabi, daikon, jicama.  I absolutely love the dish and think it is my favorite in New York that I have had this year.  Not only is it beautiful in all its shades of beigeness, it is incredibly flavorful. 

The roots

 

Lamb

 

My entree was lamb with smoked eggplant and manchego cheese.  This was served with a peach sauce, a pepper marmalade and a pistachio cream.  The smoked eggplant was the highlight of this dish and each bite of lamb and eggplant was so wonderfully different with the three accompaniments.  Yes, it has earthy tones that are not gorgeous though they do complement each other.  However, the taste was wonderful.  I’m guessing this is the same dish Mr. Platt had that had a “muddy” sauce and was so “transcendently ugly.”  I have to ask, did Mr. Platt actually eat the food or just look at it?

bread

Even the bread was good as well as cute.  Now I am a big dessert person, and I thought I’d try the Apple pi squared to see what they would do with apple pie.

 

Apple

 At first glance, I thought this was an apple, peeled and sculpted into a square shape.  However, it was not.  It consisted of elements of an apple pie, partially deconstructed with pie crumbs, raisins, and dried apple peel.

After dinner treats

 

Even the after dinner treats were creative and flavorful.  I really don’t understand Mr. Platt’s review.  While people do eat haute cuisine for its artistic display, it is also about the taste of the food.  From his own website, Chef Nunez says his goal is to focus on “simple yet robust flavors,” of which I think Graffit accomplishes well, especially with dishes like the roots and the lamb.  In addition, Chef Nunez was an artist and that creative side is evident in his dishes.  In the end, the focus of a chef is not just on the appearance of the food, but on its taste and how the flavors of each element of a dish combine to form the ultimate creation.  Mr. Platt, in my opinion, did Graffit a grave disservice by just focusing on the “ugliness” of the food, missing the point, which is, the food at Graffit uses simple elements to create flavorful dishes.

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