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Preview: Graffit

There’s still a lot of hubbub surrounding Spanish food (or have we moved on to Scandinavia?). Yet, for such a de moda cuisine, there are many swaths of the city lacking a single Spanish restaurant, modern or traditional. I can’t believe it took until last week for South Brooklyn to get a tapas bar (no, La Mancha doesn’t count).

Maybe I’m geographically biased, but the dining diversity on the Upper West Side has always felt a bit bleak. That’s why it’s surprising that Spanish chef, Jesús Nuñez, has decided to open his first New York restaurant on W. 69th Street. Known for deconstructions, playful presentations…and a penchant for graffiti art (hence, the name, not to be confused with Jehangir Mehta’s Graffiti) hopefully his vision will translate in this staid neighborhood.

This is a preview of what Graffit will be serving when they open in November. As this dinner was hosted at Compass, chef Milton Enriquez contributed dishes, as well. Free food clouds one’s judgment so this is by no means a review. Just the facts. I will say that I would likely return on my own. Mercat, Txikito, Casa Mono and countless other tapas bars are justifiably popular, but I would say that we haven’t had a creative full-on Spanish restaurant since Ureña.

Graffit sangria six textures
Sangria in Six Textures

Graffit fuji apple endive salad

Fuji Apple, Endive Salad
Greek yogurt, manchego, tangerines, pistachio vinaigrette

Graffit carabinero, langoustine & prawn carpaccio

Carabinero, Langoustine and Prawn Carpaccio
Saffron Cream, Sauce Américaine, Olive Oil Gel and Sea Dust

I wasn't going to editorialize, but this was my favorite–so much color and flavor crammed into such small surface areas.

Graffit tortilla de patata

Potato + Onion + Egg = Tortilla de Patata

Graffit hudson valley foie gras

Hudson Valley Foie Gras
Meyer lemon curd, brussels sprouts, porcini mushrooms, toasted pinenuts, 50 -year old balsamic

Graffit dover sole

Pan Roasted Dover Sole
Sunchokes two ways, poached hen egg, white truffles, parsley beurre blanc, osetra caviar

Graffit bacalao in salsa verde.CR2

Bacalao in salsa verde, kokotxas, traces of bell pepper

I also like the use of mauve and bisquey earth tones, which aren't intuitively appetizing.

Graffit braised veal cheeks

Braised Veal Cheeks
Celeriac, chanterelles, cipollini onions, mustard asian pear salad

Graffit venison

Chestnuts, Wheat Risotto, Lentils and Pumpkin

More of those flesh tones–and lavender micro cauliflower. Yes, I'm a sucker for unnaturally colored food.

Graffit orange julius

"Orange Julius" jasmine granite

Graffit pina colada

Piña Colada
Curry scented pineapple sorbet, coconut bubbles

Graffit molten chocolate buñuelos .CR2

Molten chocolate buñuelos on a canvas of colors, flavors and textures

Graffit lollipops

Graffit sweets

More lilac hues. A fitting send-off.

Graffit * W. 69th St., New York, NY

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Wow wow wow. This all looks so good. And that’s quite possibly the biggest piece of foie gras I’ve ever seen. And veal AND venison in one meal? I’m dying.

    October 27, 2010
  2. donuts4dinner: Yes, it was over the top in the best ways possible. I’m looking forward to seeing the full menu, though I probably wouldn’t order veal, venison and foie gras at the same time.

    iheartspanishwine: Thanks for the clarification–I wasn’t sure which chef cooked which dishes.

    October 28, 2010
  3. anthony serrot #

    Wow, the Molten chocolate buñuelos look great, who is your Pastry chef, man, he deserves to be among the TOP 10

    October 30, 2010
  4. Jor #

    Oh my !!looks like heaven On earth!!fine spanish
    viandes forgetting tapas and tortilia
    jorge from Spain

    November 1, 2010

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