Photos by Clay Williams
The gist: With Nix, an inventive American restaurant in the Village that opened on Monday, John Fraser shows that he's not afraid of playing with his vegetables — again. A pioneer in the recent wave of veggie-centric menus, the chef has helped bring vegetables, traditionally side dishes, to the center of the plate with his celebrated Carrots Wellington at Narcissa and his Meatless Mondays menu at Dovetail. Yet Nix is Fraser's first fully meat-free project.
The food: Nix offers a vegetarian and a vegan menu with produce source largely from the Union Square Greenmarket. Both start with a mezze-style selection of dips served with tandoor bread (labneh, hummus, etc). Lighter plates include a playful russet potato carpaccio with habanero cream and chopped egg, as well as wok-roasted cucumbers with jerk spices. Large plates include Yukon potato fry bread; tofu skin pockets with butternut squash and tomatillo-pepita salsa; and shitake "cacio e pepe" with salsify and heirloom polenta. Check out the full menu here.
The drinks: Cocktails include the Baja (fresh mango, paprika, lime and tequila) and the Honey Bee (Thai basil, clover honey, gin and sake), plus an array of mocktails, beer and international wines.
The space: Architect Elizabeth Roberts designed the space along with James Truman, formerly the editorial director at Condé Nast. Brown leather banquettes and white-washed brick walls lines the perimeter, and a wood-framed skylight and ample plants infuse the space with nature.
The details: 72 University Place; 212-498-9393