I’m slightly behind on blogging, partly due to procrastination and partly due to my schedule these days, but I’ve been looking forward to writing about this dinner with Sanne of Mitzie Mee Blog for some time. So crazy that it has been almost two years since we first met in person at Delicatessen! It’s always so much fun eating and catching up with Sanne, and we definitely picked well for this blogger date.
Located inside the Smyth Hotel in Tribeca, Little Park focuses on seasonal ingredients with a vegetable-forward menu of small plates. It’s not a vegetarian restaurant, but Chef Andrew Carmellini does such beautiful things to vegetables. Sleek and modern, the space almost feels like an upscale farm house with natural elements throughout. We were delighted to be seated at a comfy mini booth for two!
Our waiter recommended that we order 5-6 small plates for two people, but in retrospect, ordering 4 dishes would have been plenty, and we would still have room for dessert. The price tag is pretty steep for small plates, but 1) this is Tribeca, 2) the food is quite filling, and 3) everything is well executed.
I wasn’t feeling cocktails that evening and got the Ommegang Witte ($8) wheat ale, which was nice for sipping and pairing with our meal. The spent grain bread with cultured butter is only served upon request, and I recommend that you ask for it. And that’s coming from someone who normally isn’t too crazy about bread.
Spiralized kohlrabi ($16) with red cabbage, pear, hazelnut, and roasted garlic. It’s temping to dig right into this pretty salad, but if you’re patient and allow the veggies to sit in the dressing a little, the flavors start to develop more. Light, refreshing kohlrabi noodles with great texture from the toppings.
When we ordered the grilled avocado ($17), I was expecting to see avocado halves with sexy grill marks on them. Can’t complain too much about the big scoops of chunky guacamole on beds of dry aged aioli though. The potato chips were warm and too salty to eat on their own, but tasty once you loaded them up with guacamole. If we were to cut back on a dish, this is the one we could have done without.
When we ordered the crispy brussels sprouts, there was a little voice in the back of my head groaning about this being $16 dish, but I’m glad I (mostly) ignored it. A nicely crisped mountain of brussels sprouts with smoked parsnip and apple cider. Such enjoyable tangy flavors from the apple cider! This may be the best brussels sprouts dish I’ve had in NYC. I brought the leftovers home, and John gobbled it up within minutes.
I love both spaghetti and mushrooms, so it’s no surprise that the mushroom spaghetti ($18) was the standout dish of the night. This dish basically was a dream come true for me. Tender, chewy ribbons of mushroom, a perfectly poached egg, and crispy shallots. The shallots sure look like bacon bits, huh?
Can’t remember the last time I’ve had a poached egg, and it was so satisfying to poke the yolk and let it flow all over the noodles. I have to admit that I was rather pleased with myself when I guessed that the spaghetti was made of king trumpet mushrooms and our waiter confirmed my guess was correct. This girl knows her ‘shrooms!
Last, but not least, was the carrot risotto ($17) with orange slices, coriander, and feta. Clearly, a very gorgeous dish. I always love a risotto that’s properly cooked. This was creamy with good texture and didn’t have too much of a carroty flavor. The feta was quite light and added a different type of richness to the mix.