Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

NIX, 72 University Place (between East 11th and East 12th Street), Greenwich Village

Around the holidays, I try to gear my Dish of the Week to be appropriate for the season. Somehow on Thanksgiving, I always manage to find some interesting turkey dish and Christmas flavors are usually a home run come December 25.

For those that didn’t notice all the cheesy decorations around town, we are now fast approaching Halloween. And here I am without any recent great candy or pumpkin dishes to speak of. But I realized that the dish I recently tasted at the great vegetarian restaurant Nix is absolutely appropriate for Halloween. This is a mushroom dish that is somehow disguised as pasta.

It also has to be the most amazing dish we tasted at Nix, the vegetarian-focused restaurant from John Fraser. We quite liked what the chef did with carrots wellington at Narcissa and so were anticipating great things without any meat at all.

At Nix, many of the dishes are in costume: brussels sprouts are blackened and seasoned with jerk seasoning, a curried avocado dip looks just like guacamole, and a tandoor-roasted pineapple is cut to resemble a bone-in rib eye steak. But I left with the sweet flavor of the shiitake mushroom “cacio e pepe” on my tongue. And I never wanted to brush my teeth again.

Shiitake "Cacio e Pepe" at NIXCacio e pepe is a classic Roman pasta dish that is as simple as it gets: cheese and black pepper. It has also somehow become quite trendy in NYC lately.

Fraser’s version loses the pasta and replaces it with rich polenta and tender peppery shiitake mushrooms that are sliced to provide an al dente texture. The rich woodsy notes of those shrooms are countered with sweet bites of corn kernels and a few bright green beans. Of course, as is appropriate, the dish is showered with plenty of sharp pecorino cheese.

It’s honestly a dish I have been thinking about since I tasted it and it’s in the ranking for the best dish I’ve had all year. It’s rich, complex, earthy, and amazingly both gluten-free and completely vegetarian. Now that is spooky!! Price: $24

NIX
72 University Place (between East 10th and East 11th Street),
Greenwich Village
(212) 498-9393
nixny.com
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

Comments are closed.

Connect with me

Link to our Youtube Page
Link to our Facebook Page
Link to our Rss Page
Link to our Twitter Page

WATCH

LOCALS KNOW: BITES & SIGHTS FOOD TOUR in BUDAPEST AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE CITY: IRAN AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE CITY: PERU AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE CITY: GREECE
EMPIRE PLATES OF MINE A DAY IN THE LIFE
EAT THIS BOSTON: IN THE SOUP SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BREWED


DREAM A LITTLE CREAM CHEESE


BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINATOWN


ICE CREAM


KOSHER MEAT MARKET


PIZZA DAY


Instagram Feed