I can't remember how my brother ended up dining at Graffiti a few years ago but he has aked me many times since if I have eaten there yet.  We were seeing theater right around the corner so Graffiti moved to the top of the list.  What a gem. 

We lived in the East Village for years and it has certainly changed from those down and dirty years but in many ways it really hasn't changed that much.  A tiny restaurant with maybe 20 seats.  Each seat and table is a high set at bar level.  The chef, Jehangir Mehta ventured on his own after training at Aix, Compass and Jean-Georges.  He is putting out some delicious food in a kitchen no bigger than a closet. 

Our table for four was tightly snuggled up to the front window.  Most of the other seats are communal eating.  When Fred said down he said that he might not be able to go to places like this anymore.  After a few minutes, he got over it but I know what he means.  Our friends came and we decided to share everything.  It was definitely the call since everything is really good and interesting.  First thing out was thinly sliced pickled ginger scallops with a candied red chili sauce down the side and crunchy peanuts over the top.  On the side was a vegetable Indian bread.  So good. Almost everything has a mixture of crunch, sour, spice and sweet. 

Next dish was tandoori chicken shredded over a thin flatbread and a small dollop of cucumber raita on the side.  Yum. 

This dish is small chili pork dumplings topped with little pieces of crispy crackers made of chickpea flour.  This is the one dish that I didn't think was as good as the others. 

A pizza made out of fillo dough with hummus on the bottom and thin sliced pieces of zucchini on top.  Four pieces.  Interesting combination of flavors with a nice crispy dough.

Shrimps that has been cooked with green chilis over a mixture of bean sprouts and cucumbers mixed with a mirin daikon salsa.  The cold vegetables had a nice bite and worked perfect with the shrimp.

A small piece of skate crusted with chickpea flour under a bed of mixed warm greens and a mint yogurt sauce.  This was the one dish that was really like a main course.  Many textures and flavors here. 

We went for two types of buns.  Cumin seasoned eggplant that was like a mush with slices of crisp fennel over the top with a mixture of a thyme fennel relish.  Really interesting.  I didn't love the bun part (too bready) but the eggplant was quite good.

Braised pork buns in the same bun as the eggplant.  Really delicious pork and on the side an apricot chutney that had been boiled down from fresh apricots.  The pits were still in the chutney. 

We didn't have time for dessert but I would have liked to have tried some.  Really good food.  Creative dishes.  Glad I finally got to Graffiti.  Check in the envelope.

Comments (Archived):

  1. femmebot

    I love Graffiti! I used to be mayor though that was back when I could just walk in without a reservation. And, like you, have never managed to leave room for dessert. Jehangir’s new place in Tribeca, Mehtaphor, is next on my list.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I didn’t realize that he had a new place. I will add it to my list too.

  2. Naina

    i love your graffiti art really nice ..graffiti