Box Kite Cafe in the East Village
I recently had dinner at Box Kite Cafe, a daytime coffee shop in the East Village that converts into a dinner restaurant at night. I was pretty impressed by the fine-dining caliber food I was served there, especially considering it was impressively executed in the tiniest of prep areas.
Box Kite currently offers two seatings at 7 and 10 pm for a 10-course tasting menu, Thursdays to Saturdays. We dropped by on a Tuesday night for a la carte dining and managed to get seated without a reservation--the place is still under the radar for now.
The menu changes often, depending on the whims of the well-trained chefs (formerly of Roberta’s, Acme and Empellon Cocina). The shared small-plates tradition is alive and well here. We decided to start with an order of the olives--I’m not big on olives, but the ones served at Box Kite were warm, plump and deliciously salty.
The scallop was undisputably excellent. There’s a clean flavor to these scallops, in which the light, foamy qualities of their saltwater surroundings are remarkably preserved. The sweetness and depth of the green tomato marmalade was a nice complement to the briney, airy flavor profiles of the dish.
The flavors of the octopus dish lived up to the dramatic presentation--thick and meaty, with the jet black squid ink mayo providing a satisfying salt-water unctuousness. Another standout from the restaurant.
The flat iron steak was prepared in a more familiar way–the meat was cooked medium rare, rendering it juicy and tender. It was definitely a solid dish.
We ended the meal with the thai iced tea panna cotta, which tasted like an orange sorbet. The flavors were pretty mellow, and overall the dessert didn’t make quite as big of an impression as the three savory dishes.
I guess with enough talent you can make it work under any conditions, tiny kitchen or otherwise. Looking forward to making a repeat trip to see what other tricks Box Kite has up its dinner sleeve.
If you want to see pictures of the food, and for more context how things were prepared, see below: