Best of April 2016
May 18, 2016
Vegetable focus/forwards/focus/centric (whatever you want to call it) restaurants are everywhere in NYC now and I am loving it. I am not a vegetarian but my favorite foods happen to be vegetables. You don't have to be vegetarian to enjoy vegetables. And vegetarian food does not have to be boring and tasteless spa food. I have tried many vegetable focus restaurants around the city and my first love is Semilla in Brooklyn. I have been there several times now. At Semilla, you forget that you are only eating vegetables. Because they serve such wonderful food. Another one that I like is Wassail, in my neighborhood, Lower East Side. I was there several times already and their food is better each time. A few months ago I heard a rumor about a new vegetable centric restaurant by John Fraser who is behind one my of favorite restaurants in NYC, Narcissa that recently opened. His new place, NIX, has already become one of the hardest reservations to get since it's opening in late February.
I went to NIX in April and I fell in love with this place and naturally, it is my best of April.
From top to bottom
(left) Hour hummus, zaatar ; (right) Avocado a la plancha, tomato water, mozzarella
(left) Baby carrots en papillote, cracked bulgur, almonds, spices; (right) Pea green dumplings, maitake mushroom, white asparagus
(left) Yukon potato fry bread, highly decorated; (right) Maple custard
I found food at NIX much heartier than I expected. I enjoyed the baby carrots en papillote (reminds me of the carrots wellington I had at Narcissa) and the pea green dumplings a lot. Everybody's favorite, Yukon potato fry bread, was also great. It was potato stuffed fried bread and tasted like savory donuts to me. Some people may think it is too oily but it is fried food so it's what you expect. And the maple custard was incredibly good. Even after the big meal, I really enjoyed it and I could not stop saying "oh my god it's so good."
Some of the yelpers complained how expensive the food is. They all complained about the price at NIX, saying the "price is too high for vegetarian restaurant". To me, that is the wrong perception. Vegetables are expensive, especially organically grown local vegetables. To grow good vegetables take so much effort. And you are eating in NYC - far from the farms. It has to be expensive to be profitable. That's why many of our favorite places all over city are closing. They can't make money. I wish I can afford to go to a place like NIX every week. To me eating at a place like this is such a special treat to myself and I am happy about that.