NYC: Meatless dinner at Little Park

by Sanne
Little Park, NYC

Little Park is a lovely farm-to-table restaurant in Tribeca. Chef and owner Andrew Carmellini source his produce from local farmers, and the menu changes with season. There’s an emphasis on high quality ingredients such as organic vegetables and line-caught fish, and this shows in the taste.

I went to Little Park with my vegetarian friend Waz. Even though Little Park isn’t a vegetarian restaurant, there are plenty of plant-centered options on the menu. I came straight from the Apple Store wearing my comfortable, but not very stylish, shopping outfit, which was probably a bit too casual. Little Park seemed to be a place for high heels and fancy purses. Next time I go, I’ll leave the shopping bags and comfy-shoes at home.

We ordered a selection of items from the menu’s Vegetable section and I can honestly say that I didn’t even think of meat that evening. Apparently, I didn’t think at all, because after our dinner, I rushed out to catch the airport train to Newark only to discover almost at the airport that my flight was from JFK. That little mistake cost me $300 in airport hotel and taxi bills. Just the thought of it makes me want to hit myself hard.

Here’s what we ate at Little Park:

Salad with kohlrabi, pear, hazelnut and roasted garlic: Straight from the kitchen, it tasted like a toothless version of a som tam salad, but after having absorbed more of the dressing, the flavors developed and the dish became a much more sophisticated experience.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Apple Cider: Brussels sprouts will never be among my favorites, but these were nice and not as bitter as the ones from my childhood memories.

Carrot risotto, orange, coriander and feta: This was a wonderful, creamy dish, but I would have liked a sharper-tasting feta kick.

Mushroom spaghetti with poached egg and crispy shallots: This is probably the best vegetarian dish I’ve had…ever! We were wondering what kind of mushrooms the spaghetti was made from and Waz suggested that it was King Trumpet mushrooms, which our waiter later confirmed it was. There’s just something incredibly satisfying about poking a poached egg and watch the yolk run out..
• Portions are small, so you’ll need 2-3 dishes per person, probably 3 if you go there for dinner.

• Little Park looks like a hip, upscale gastropub, and when I was there (on a weekday), people were quite up-dressed.

• The cocktails ($15-19) at Little Park are supposed to be really good, so next time I go, I’ll dress up, arrive early and have a drink in the bar.

Read about when Waz and I had vegetarian lunch at the Korean restaurant Hangawi

Little Park, 85 West Broadway (Corner of Chambers Street), Tribeca, New York, NY 10007, Tel: +1(212)220-4110

> Visit Little Park’s website   Best for: Hip and healthy dinner

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