HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >

Discussion

Graffit/Upper Westside

  • t

Anyone reports of dining at Graffit? This is Spanish chef Nunez's restaurant on Amsterdam and 80th?

-----
Gastroarte
141 W 69th St, New York, NY 10023

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I was extraordinarily disappointed in the dish he presented at the New York Magazine "TASTE" fest - whipped cod a a cracker with a few different toppings. Perhaps there was some intellectual element that escaped me, but there was certainly no visceral reaction to it. It was really no more than an hors d'oeuvres you might see passed around at a wedding. Was surprised that this "enfant terrible" used something so blah as his calling card to try and garner interest.

    That said, he's got quite the reputation, so I'll withhold judgement until I see some reviews, then decide if I'm gonna go or not - but that plate he prepared for the fest didn't make me want to be one of the early test cases, that's for sure.

    1. Went last week end for tapas. Stunning space, great vibe.tapas was good, not mind blowing.drinks good. Service was good considering it was a new place, a few issues, drinks were forgotten, bread stale, they did make good on it though. Will come back for dinner. Great addition to the neighborhood.

      1. The new place on Amsterdam is Tolani ... haven't been there yet, but it's on my list.

        Graffit is across the street from my building [W69th b/w Col & Bwy], so I've been watching the construction in anticipation. I've been twice this week, had one tapas plate each time, and have tried a bunch of their red wines. I went in last night, the bartender Chris remembered my name, remembered what I drank the other night. I had the octopus dish ... kinda like a slice of octopus pound cake ... and some sort of seafood empanada thing. Both were pretty good. The wines have been very good ... typical price for the neighborhood, in the $10/glass range +/-

        Very happy to have this addition to my neighborhood. The place is beautiful, gleaming white bartop, graffiti on the walls. Not too noisy, good place for conversation.

        -----
        Tolani
        410 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

        Gastroarte
        141 W 69th St, New York, NY 10023

        2 Replies
        1. re: Marine Engineer

          Tolani is very good by the way. Food is very good and the wines are much better than what they are pouring at a few of the competitors in the hood. Looking at the combo of food and wine Bin71/Wine and Roses can't touch them. Tangled vine is closer but still a bit behind

          -----
          Tolani
          410 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

          1. re: msny98

            I totally agree. I've been to Tolani a number of times, the lunch is great. 2 courses for $15, I was there last Wednesday and had a huge bowl of butternut squash soup and the burger, it was a lot of food. Went for supper with some friends, we did a cheese platter, the goat curry and the giant meatball. Pretty good. Also, from 5-7 they do a happy hour thing, with each glass of wine you get one tapas plate, couple of selections. The space is great, and the friends I've brought there have all liked it a lot.

            -----
            Tolani
            410 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10024

        2. Ate there on new year's eve with about 7 other people, so we got to taste quite a few of the items on both the main menu and tapas menu.
          I'll talk about the general experience first. There was a $120 tasting menu set for the evening, which we opted out of, because we wanted to try as many things as possible and weren't interested in the entrées. This was a good decision, because we made it out of there for about $70 per person with a few drinks each. There was a complementary glass of sparking wine at midnight, along with a skewer with 12 grapes (a Spanish tradition for new year's?)
          The service was typical for a newly opened restaurant - eager but clueless. We had an 11:00 reservation, and were informed at about 11:50 that the kitchen was closing. When we tried to order a dessert at 12:15, we were turned away. Other issues: the waitress recommended the fried squid spheres, so we ordered it, only to be told they were out of it. After ordering another item to replace them, the squid spheres arrived, along with the additional item. We were charged for both.
          On to the food. Many hits with a few misses. The savory carrot "cake" was a resounding success- more like a carrot pudding, whipped with an amazing texture. Another favorite was the tortillas de patatas. A re-thought tortilla served in a martini glass, it had whipped potatoes on the bottom with onions in the middle and a egg and olive oil foam on top. It had all the flavor elements of a classic tortilla, yet it was truly unique. Pulpo a Gallega was beautiful to look at and a nice consistency, but the flavor was nothing too memorable. The bocadillo de calamares was the worst dish of the night. Thickly breaded large rings of fried calamari on a simple round bun with aioli were neither texturally exciting or flavorful. The recommended squid spheres were also unremarkable, crisp but cold with a too fishy aftertaste. Oxtail ravioli were a big hit with tender oxtail inside simply dressed but delicious ravioli.
          Confit of artichokes with serrano ham and clams was an unlikely but delicious dish, the headlining artichokes the least interesting of the trio.
          Also a big hit was the "not your average egg", which consisted of an egg yolk, still runny, encased in a "egg white" made from cauliflower puree. Nestled in a bowl of perfectly prepared vegetables with a delicious but light broth, it was a delicious addition to our meal.
          I unfortunately can't report on any of their sweet tapas / desserts because the kitchen closed before we could order them. The wine list was ample with bottles of various prices, however our waitress was not knowledgeable enough to recommend suggestions. We picked a few glasses off of the wine pairings from the tasting menu and were happy with our selections.
          All in all, I think it has promise, but needs a bit of polish and menu tweaking. Worth a visit. If you try an entree, let me know what you think.

          1. Ate there on Saturday night. To mirror many previous comments about this restaurant: the place has HUGE potential but needs to work out a lot of kinks. Place looks great, very downtown vibe. Service was very friendly, but top to bottom was clueless. Food was generally excellent, but a number of the dishes were served cold/room temp. Of the 8 items we ordered (4 people each had an app and a main course, all "hot" items) - at least 3 were served room temp - had to be sent back. Again the food was really good, but they have to figure how to run a restaurant - front and back of house...

            1 Reply
            1. re: BKAL

              Agreed. The food was cold to luke warm and there were not that many tables occupied in the joint. The place is beautiful and some of the drinks were exceptional but the food left a lot to be desired at this point. There are four to five separate menus which is just annoying. The kitchen seems to be far more interested in dotting sauces into micro points of pretty formations (that serve no purpose due to their lack of substance) than to the quality of the dishes. If you venture there, stay away from the ham and cheese balls, the non-diablo shrimp and the grand mother"s meat balls( I think that is what he calls them).