Twenty years ago a local friendly diner type place opened up in the Woodbury Commons. A place where I would meet up with friends for lunch or perhaps a light dinner. Nothing fancy, nothing over the top, but reliable and consistent food.
Twenty years later is a rebirth with aesthetic renovations, menu changes and staff changes. A pastry chef comes on board and rocks the house. It is now a beautiful and serene, modern look with a full separate bar area for the Happy Hour folks. It has dim lighting, comfortable seating and in the back is a large open window to the kitchen that displays fresh baskets of breads on the sill. I can’t remember for the life of me how it used to be, and it’s not necessary at all.
The name is the same, but the new Graffiti rocks with Basil infused martinis. Yea baby!
I dined here several weeks ago with friends and shared a meal of the Roast Beet Salad with toasted walnuts and goat cheese as well as the Thyme Scented Yellow Fin Tuna with a delicious creamy white truffle mushroom risotto. The meal was good and quite unexpected. Some places go all out to change the décor but not the food. This appeared to be a complete overhaul.
While tuna and truffle risotto tend to be up there in the favorite category of entrees, the Petite Chicken Meatloaf stuck in my mind as if I was tempted to take it to go and perhaps have it for lunch the next day. After a beautiful cup of herbal tea and shared birthday dessert, I kissed my friends goodbye and said I will be back for more.
The full moon this past Friday, on one of the warmest days we have had in NY for sometime, set the tone for a good evening out. My husband and I left the house without jackets on, giddy with excitement that we didn’t have to wear snow boots or hats or gloves. It was 7pm and it was in the 60s. This winter has been brutal; it’s time to celebrate with a little Spring Fever.
We were seated immediately, but we were lucky. 5-10 minutes later, we would have been waiting. Our waitress Erika greeted us with announcing some specials. I was tempted, but I had a plan for weeks now, I had to stick with the Chicken Meatloaf.
I was all set to order a crisp glass of Savignon Blanc to go with my meal when we both noticed an intriguing drink on the bar menu, a Basil Infused Martini. Hmmm, we both looked at each other and decided to give it a shot. I loved it after my second sip, but it’s not a drink for everyone. Erika came over and asked how we liked our drinks, and my husband Michael was honest as he didn’t care for it too much. Erika graciously allowed us to order something else with no problem. Major points to Graffiti for not forcing us to pay for something when we were adventurously ordering.
Michael ordered the Espresso Chili Rubbed Skirt Steak served with frites and I the Petite Chicken Meatloaf served with maple sweat potatoes and a cranberry compote. I couldn’t resist after taking one bite grabbing the iphone and foodspotting this delicious explosion of Thanksgiving in my mouth. My husband loved his meal and his new martini as the steak was cooked and seasoned perfectly. He thought it was a better steak than what he got at some well known steakhouses in the area. The entrees were terrific, we both resisted not licking the plates and were shocked when none of us saved a bit of a treat for our two Jack Russells at home. Oh well, they will be getting snausages for their evening snack.
About this time, after our meal, the waiter usually comes over and asks us if we would like coffee and dessert and then we smile, nod and say no thank you as we are usually too full. Well, Michael looks at me and says we should order dessert. OK, no argument from me, and thank goodness. Erika’s assistant comes over to let us know of the dessert specials. The first one he says made us stop him right there. Two Cinnamon French Doughnuts served with Chocolate Sauce. Yes, two forks please!
This pastry was out of this world! They were two fluffy cakes packed with flavor and then the dipped chocolate simply completed the decadence. Erika comes over giddy as can be as she was so happy we ordered the special dessert. She let us know that they just hired a new pastry chef with her first day on Valentine’s Day. She is a keeper folks at Graffiti, don’t let her go!
My last words are simply go check out the new Graffiti and make sure you order dessert. Bon Appetit and thank you to Erika for great service.