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  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out Indian East Village Cheap Eats Great

Not too long ago, I lived in an itsy bitsy studio apartment with a kitchen about the size of a treadmill. My stove had four miniature burners that were too small for normal sized pots (this caused anything I was cooking on the stovetop to wobble), and an oven that could not fit a standard roasting pan with the door shut. I had a sink, a small fridge, and not one inch of counter space. Cooking was a challenge, but it was done on occasion with pots and pans inevitably finding their way into the living room (aka the rest of the apartment). I spent the last 10 years of my life pretty confident that I lived in one of the smallest spaces in New York City. Then I paid a visit to Graffiti, Jehangir Mehta’s iPhone-sized restaurant on East 10th Street and I thought, “I’ve been living in a palace.”

Graffiti, a restaurant that shows off this former haute pastry chef’s talent for savory cooking, is alarmingly small. The fact that he manages to fit four tables in the space (all of which are communal and outfitted with mix and match stools and vintage chairs) is honestly nothing short of a square footage miracle. Jehangir’s vision for his restaurant was to create a space that would feel like someone’s living room, where friends would gather for drinks and dinner and then to have tea and chat until the small hours of the morning. And he’s done a great job bringing his vision to life. His tiny storefront is lit with the soft glow of antique crystal chandeliers and flickering candlelight and decorated like an Indian flea market with walls hung with ornate wood carvings, tapestries, mirrors, and knick knacks. It’s a warm and inviting space that’s so small it’s impossible to leave without making a new friend and getting closer to existing ones.

Indeed, unless you are a party of four or six, you’ll be seated communally with other diners (read: strangers!), so if it’s an intimate private dinner for two you are looking for, this is not the place to do it. But if you’re open to sharing conversation and meeting new friends, come on down. Jehangir has even developed a tradition that celebrates the blossoming of new tableside friendships. When couples or groups of friends seated communally start to chat and merge conversations, he sends the table a round of champagne on the house. It’s a small touch that makes you feel welcome and if nothing else it’s quite a nice incenti ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in East Village :
+ Yujin-- Closed   + Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar   + Mermaid Inn   + Five Points   + Lavagna   + Five Points   + Bond Street   + Jewel Bako   + Alphabet Kitchen   + In Vino   + Bao 111   + Chikalicious   + Il Buco   + Hearth   + Lima's Taste   + Mercadito   + Hedeh   + Momofuku   + Una Pizza Napoletana   + Winebar   + Uovo-- CLOSED   + Mo Pitkin's House of Satisfaction   + Gotham Bar & Grill   + Colors   + Chinatown Brasserie   + Knife and Fork   + European Union-- NEW CHEF; SEE APRIL 2007 Review   + Aroma Kitchen and Winebar   + Stand   + European Union   + Mercat   + Gemma   + Back Forty   + The Smith   + Seymour Burton   + Belcourt   + Graffiti   + The Redhead   + Double Crown    + Apiary   + Joe Doe   + Apiary by guest reviewer Kiri Tannenbaum   + DBGB   + Northern Spy   + Goat Town   + Saxon + Parole   + Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria   + Acme   + Calliope   + Nicoletta   + JEPPNEY by Claire Jaffe   + Feast   


Although I can't eat the food you describe it all sounds really delicious and makes me wish that I could.

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