I know. It’s Thursday and time for a throwback Thursday entry. I’m breaking the rule. I’m writing now about something brand new — so new it won’t open officially until tomorrow. And five or ten years from now, we’ll do a real TBT post about the wonders of Mint Kitchen.
Israeli chef Erez Komarovsky has teamed with two partners, Zeev Sharon and Assaf Harlap. Sharon now lives in New York city. The other two fly back and forth, clearly spending the time in the air to conceive of a most distinctive and distinguished cuisine.
Mint Kitchen is located at 83 University Place, just below Union Square. University Place is lovely street, famed for restaurants and antiques. Mint happily fits into that distinguished company. The interior is a vast open space, with the final prep area graced with green tile on the walls and purple tile on a very large oven. Erez is a prominent baker with decades of experience. We can expect exceptional treats to flow from that oven:
The ceilings are high, speakers are everywhere and there is an energy vibe you sense on your first step inside the door. There are tables and chairs, for those of us who depend on those seating modes. But there is also an array of raised wooden benches, complete with milk crates turned upside down for tables and iPads. Little kids love scaling the slopes here.
The food. Ah, what food you will find here. It is best described as contemporary Israeli, with dashes of spice, and fashioned to be both delicious and healthy. Dishes overflow the plates:
You’ll want to start with the Green Baked Falafel. Baked, not fried, and as green as St. Patrick’s Day. There is a Falafel-Crusted Salmon served with tahini, roasted fennel, green salad and yellow tomatoes. If you come to Mint, you must try the tahini: fresh, bright and engaging.
There a Matzo Ball Soup, of course, but it is made with pine nuts. Your mouth will be happily surprised
Salads include the Mattat: both roasted and fresh cabbage, roasted apples and almonds, pea tendrils and a dash of honey. Or the Golden Cauliflower: taboon cauliflower, Moroccan couscous, roasted almonds, jalapeno, and date honey.
Did I mention the tahini? It’s everywhere. It’s in the dessert: Vegan Chocolate-Tahini Truffles. So rich, so delightful that you’ll be returning to Mint soon.
The University Place location is the first of many to come. Mint will sprout around city, and you’ll soon be a tahini advocate.