Graffit in the UWS (not to be confused with GRAFFITI in the East Village) is a newly opened restaurant featuring modern Spanish cuisine and tapas. The food here was different, extremely inventive, and creative - all things I appreciate. Find the menu here.
We started off with two light tastings for the amuse bouche. The first was a rum and cantaloupe mixture with Valdeon cheese and celery. The second was an edible sangria with orange granita at the bottom, apples,pears, cubes of red wine gelatine, and red wine foam. I've always thought of sangria as edible so this was perfect.
The Not-Your-Average Egg with seasonal stew. I always appreciate a good egg on the dish - this one was exceptional!! The egg yolk was cooked in a FRAUDULENT casing of CAULIFLOWER PUREE formed into the shape and similar consistency of an egg white. FASCINATING. This was sitting atop a mound of mashed purple potatoes and other cooked vegetables.
The Savory "Carrot Cake" with mahon cheese and asparagus. The carrot was pureed, formed into a block, and most likely baked with the cheese on top - which added a nice overall sweetness to the dish. I liked the different textures and the combination of cheese and carrot flavors (which is somewhat unusual).
The Fried Squid Spheres with roasted peppers, lemon, and saffron mayonnaise were unlike any squid balls I have seen before!! The squid is wrapped in a moist ball of dough which is lightly fried although the consistency registers as soft and mushy. The pepper flavors resonated very well in this dish - it added the perfect amount of flavor and the texture of the soft cooked pepper paired back to the softness of the squid sphere.
The Lobster in Pimento Sauce with zucchini, olive oil texture, squid ink, and bell pepper caviar was my least favorite of the appetizers we tried but But very much enjoyed it. I thought the lobster wasn't cooked well (difficult to chew) and I really couldn't make out any distinct flavors.
We also chose a dish from the entree menu - Bug wanted to try the Dorade with tomato and squid compote, confit baby onions, and squid reduction. The dish had an overwhelming fish aroma, which turned me off but is perfect for those that enjoy a fishy fish (like Bug).
For dessert Bug ordered the Warm Liquid - a circle of chocolate fritters and orange textures (which turned out to be slices of kumquat and sauces of blood orange, orange, and lemon). This, like the concept of soup dumplings, will always amaze me - how DO they got fried balls of pure LIQUID chocolate!???! Mind boggling. Although I died for the execution, I found the chocolate to be quite bitter and the acidic flavors of the citrus fruits did not help.
I opted for the Cheesecake V. O.1 - which is labeled in this way because the restaurant plans on doing several versions of cheesecake as time goes on. This cheesecake had a cranberry filling, a wall of graham cracker dust, and a drizzle of berry sauce. On the side was a cheese and strawberry ball. I thought this cheesecake was excellent!!!! The consistency and texture were spot-on and the addition of cranberry was quite lovely.
Our petit fours: chocolate pancakes with strawberry and cream cheese sauce and blackberry; puff pastries with coffee; and olive oil and vanilla cubes. All tastings were different and intriguing.
The food at Graffit is unlike the food I have been served at countless other tapas restaurants in the city. The ingenuity in the ingredient pairing is noteworthy and even if I found myself not loving a certain dish, it would still speak to me in other ways.