Sunday, September 28, 2008

graffiti and convivio

graffiti is a gem. it is a teeny place, jehangir mehta is your chef. and your server. and your sommelier. and your waiter. and your busboy. and the guy who washes dishes.

we went there are a group of 10 which, looking back, seems ridiculous. the place is itsy. like, 100 square feet. but somehow, we managed to squeeze in. along with another party of 6, and a couple two-tops. i won't say it wasn't cramped but if we were sardines, we sure were cozy.

jehangir suggested we just let him start sending things over and we were all game. we had the green mango paneer (for every dish, they'll announce what is the savory part, the sweet part and the part that gives the dish some kick), chili pork dumplings, little sliders, duck rolls, chili shrimp and pork buns. and because he knew we were coming for a birthday, he offered to make a birthday cake. it was likely the nicest, most accomodating thing that's ever been done for me at a restaurant.

so 3 hours and 14 bottles of cava later (yes, 14.) we stumbled out of a dinner quite contented.

last week N (a blogger/person so afraid of identification that when people write posts and use his anon blogger name he proceeds to flip the fuck out) and i went out to dinner to belatedly celebrate my birthday. we went to michael white's new place in tudor city called convivio. this place has had a few changes of hands. michael white used to be at fiamma. scott conant was at l'impero. he left to open scarpetta (which i also recently went to and would recommend though i thought it was over-priced but it's in the goddamn meatpacking district so you get what you get) so convivio is in the old l'impero space. got that? let me just say that i fucking hate the east side above 14th st. so if i was going to schlep myself all the way over there, it had better be good. and lo, it was.

$59 for four healthy-sized courses. we would have split all our courses to maximize the tasting effort but N had gotten strep throat. because he made out with a guy. and is, apparently, back in 8th grade because what kind of adults are still getting strep throat from kissing people?! so anywho we had a good bottle of zin which wasn't overly fruity and had a non-existant finish (oh, and was marked up more than i'd have liked), i started with the quail (seved on a skewer, boneless, with tomatoes and porcini mushrooms); got the fusilli next (neapolitan pork shoulder ragu and a cheese sauce made with caciocavallo), the lamb chops (with escarole and white beans) and for dessert, an affogatto (espresso over vanilla gelato). but at that price, dinner was a steal and i can't remember wanting to go straight back to a restaurant the way i was dying to go to this place for a second night in a row...

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