Tuesday, July 5, 2011


According to the website of Graffit restaurant, the definition of “graffit” is 1. (noun) A fusion of unconventional art and food/a mixture of textures, flavors, colors, and volumes, and 2. (verb)  To eat, enjoy, taste, and discover/socialize around a table of food.

According to Merriam Webster, however, “graffit” is not a word.  It’s really just graffiti without the “i” because there was already a restaurant called Graffiti in New York.  But the real problem with graffit is not this definition—in fact, the restaurant manages to live up to all four of these descriptions.  The problem is that Graffit has managed to be all of these things without being  5. (adj) delicious.

Which means that graffit may have been the most beautiful, technically impressive, memorable, not so great meal of my life.

Do you see this?

This is a savory carrot cake, and it’s a concept that has so much potential:  a savory cake, inspired by a sweet cake, inspired by a vegetable.  Unfortunately, this “cake” was actually just pureed carrots with cheese on top.  It might qualify as baby food. 

This dish, entitled “Not Your Average Egg,” was better, but not as good as it should have been given how hard it was to make.  The waitress described some insanely laborious process by which the chef removed certain parts of the egg, replaced them with parts of something that wasn’t an egg,  and then put it back together in an egg shape.  But do you know what it tasted like?  An egg.  Sort of like how the savory carrot cake just tasted like carrots.

Things improved with the entrees.  My pork belly was nice; the best parts of the dish were another runny egg, perfect for dipping the meat in, and a “chorizo powder” (the orange concoction on top on the right).  The plate even included some regular chorizo so that I could see how similar the powder tasted.  However, there was definitely some gratuitous gastronomy involved.  I'm not sure what that green block was made of, but it didn't taste like anything.

Surprisingly, the desserts at Graffit were the most successful dishes of the night.  The first, “corn and whiskey,” included a whiskey cake, a creamy and surprisingly decadent corn puree, and fried goat cheese—who knew this would work so well?

As for my dessert, I ordered something called “Caramel.”  It included a dulce de leche flan, a chocolate olive oil mousse, caramelized bread (which tasted like a caramel wafer), and a spiced chocolate sauce-mousse.  Every component was delicious and unusual, and unlike with the entrees, it brought something to the table.

At Graffit, each time a plate goes by your table you will turn your head to gawk at it. Each dish is a miniature work worthy of a museum.  Honestly, the restaurant might as well have been one.  When I left, my belly was full, but only my eyes had truly feasted.

141 West 69th Street
New York, NY 10023

(646) 692-8762

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