Time Out says
Chaste, conscious and carne-free—such are the holistic hallmarks of vegetarian dining. And while you can depend on a meatless meal at Nix—the first fully veg-only restaurant from John Fraser, who dipped his toe in the genre with Meatless Mondays at Michelin-starred Dovetail and his blogger-luring rotisserie beets at Narcissa—there are no #cleaneating diatribes to be found at the Cali-chic Union Square restaurant. (The closest thing to didacticism comes at the meal’s end, with a postcard explaining that Nix is named for the plaintiff in the 1983 Supreme Court decision that designated tomatoes as vegetables, not fruit.)
Instead, Fraser, working again with Dovetail lieutenant Nicolas Farias in the kitchen, operates in a similar vein as Dirt Candy’s Amanda Cohen: The veg dishes here are defined more by decadence than discipline, having no qualms about drenching any bulb, leaf or stalk in sight in dairy or fryer oil. It’s a good-natured gluttony to bear in mind while ordering—the kitchen might not exhibit much self-restraint, but you should, for your arteries’ sake.
Off-duty media girls with Haim hair and faux-leather clogs tear at puffy tandoori-fired flatbread ($5), dipping them in jewel-toned spreads ($4 each) like a surprisingly fiery red-pepper–walnut hummus and a rich laban, cool with marinated cucumber. T-shirted men with fresh undercuts and overgrown beards load tempura-fried florets of cauliflower, pickle chips and whipped tofu into Chinese-style steamed buns ($16), the sticky, sweet glaze clinging to all that facial hair. The buns have a good, saucy snackiness but smack too closely of Dirt Candy’s famed gochujang-slathered Korean fried broccoli to truly stand out.
Wok-seared baby carrots en papillote ($14), spiced with Moroccan butter and scattered with cracked bulgur and slivered almonds, are too timid to be worth that effort; avocado à la plancha ($16), submerged in tomato water with mung beans and saltless cubes of mozzarella, is similarly skippable, a bland waste of all that creamy, charred avocado.
More likely to stick with you—literally, judging by the dubious strength of our waistbands after the meal—is an intensely creamy dish of boiled eggs shellacked in habanero mayo and tangles of potato crisps ($10), the deviled egg of Paula Deen’s dreams. And then there’s the heart-slowing potato fry bread ($15), equal parts freak-show funnel cake and cracked-out knish. It’s billed as “highly decorated,” and they aren’t kidding: sour cream, cheddar cheese, broccoli, radishes, scallions. Your mouth wants another bite—except it’s too busy calling your cardiologist to book an appointment.
72 University Pl
|Cross street:||between E 10th and E 11th Sts|
|Price:||Average main course: $18|
|Do you own this business?|