Rewriting the Indian Cookbook at Graffiti

Graffiti had financialdistrictresident from hello. For her, that “hello” was a starter of green mango paneer, a slightly spicy, subtly mango-ey, delectable appetizer.

As it happens, that dish sums up nicely what Jehangir Mehta, a former pastry chef at Jean Georges, is up to here: using Indian flavors as the starting point, but bringing them together in surprising ways. “There is nothing here you would recognize as Indian food,” cautions bombaybeauty, “so don’t come looking for that. But all of the dishes have an Indian spice or flavor deployed in some subtle, unexpected, delicious way.”

She loves a salad of watermelon crowned with mint chutney sorbet. “The combination of chill and spice is startling and wonderful,” she says. And for dessert, strawberries with a rich/savory touch of truffle oil, accompanied by pepper ice cream that “chases the flavors off the palate with a bit of bite.” Other good bets are foie gras–raspberry crostini, and chickpea-crusted skate with mint-yogurt sauce.

Graffiti’s been open almost two years, but Chowhounds haven’t had much to say about it—possibly because they couldn’t wedge their way in. The notoriously teeny Terroir and Dirt Candy are enormous compared with Graffiti, financialdistrictresident says: “You could hardly walk in the door and I don’t know how the servers do it.”

Graffiti [East Village]
224 E. 10th Street (between First and Second avenues), Manhattan
212-677-0695

Board Link: Praise for Graffiti

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