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NYC

Review

Noah Devereaux

Nix

Written by
Noah Devereaux

When you want to sell your house, you trim the hedges, repaint the walls, and buy a stock photo of a happy family to put above your fireplace. And when you’re performing a long con as fake foreign royalty, it’s important to wear expensive-looking clothing that’s just a tiny bit ostentatious. Because appearance matters - and it might help you seem more impressive than you are. Nix is a very good example of this.

This place has been open since 2016, and for a while, we’d tell people to use it when they were looking for great vegetarian food at a place that felt like a nice night out. Nowadays, it still gets busy, and the dining room is as attractive as ever - but it’s no longer a spot we’ll tell you to go out of your way for. Because once you get past the fancy plates and theater-grade lighting, you’ll find that the food just isn’t that good.

Everything here is vegetarian, and that’s the main thing that sets this place apart. The menu is ambitious and fusion-y in a buffet-at-a-business-conference kind of way, and it includes things like cacio e pepe mushrooms, tempura cauliflower with a side of steamed buns, and burrata with truffle pesto. Unfortunately, the $26 cacio e pepe tastes like something you’d pick up in the frozen foods aisle and microwave at 1am, the tempura cauliflower comes coated in a sauce that could plausibly be a mix of ketchup and Prego, and and the burrata is, well, actually pretty good. But we aren’t handing out awards for decent burrata.

Despite all of this, we still enjoy being here, even if we aren’t huge fans of the food itself. With its plain white walls and assortment of potted plants, the space looks like the apartment of an irritating friend you continue to associate with because you hope to steal something from his or her house. The service is friendly and professional, the lights are dim enough for a date night, and the dining room fills up quickly and gives you the feeling that you’ve chosen the right place.

Of course, if you’re here, you haven’t chosen the right place. Because there’s much better vegetarian food out there, and a lot of it costs less. We appreciate the fact that Nix feels like the set of a film in which we play idealized versions of ourselves - but it’s hard to justify a pricey dinner here. So if you haven’t been yet, you can skip it.

Food Rundown

Bread, Veggies, Papadums, And Dips

There’s a section at the top of the menu that consists of tandoor bread, raw vegetables, little papadums, and dips. You can order all of them individually, and while the raw veggies and papadums taste exactly like decent raw veggies and papadums, the tandoor bread is legitimately delicious. Get some hummus to dip it in.

Cauliflower Tempura With Steamed Buns And House Pickles

When Nix first opened, this dish seemed fun and exciting. Now, it mostly just tastes like deep-fried cauliflower covered in an overly sweet sauce you’d use to get a four-year-old to eat something other than cereal.

Pan-Seared Gnocchi

This simple plate of gnocchi with beans and capers is boring and pretty expensive, so we wouldn’t order it again - but it will by no means ruin your night.

Shiitake “Cacio e Pepe”

There’s very little chance you hate this dish, but it’s also $26 and tastes like something you’d make at home with ample amounts of cheese and mushrooms after a night spent drinking at multiple bars. It just isn’t worth it.

Sweet Potato And Ginger Dumplings

There are thousands of dumplings in this city, and most of them are better than the ones at Nix. Sure, these lukewarm pockets of sweet potato look nice arranged in their fancy little bowl, and they’re pretty inoffensive overall, but you don’t need them.

Burrata With Truffle Pesto

We’d order this again. But that’s mostly just because it’s burrata. You’d have to be very bad at what you do to mess up burrata.

Egg Salad

This is called “egg salad,” but it is, in fact, several hard-boiled eggs dressed up with some crispy sh*t on top. Once again, an ideal situation would involve your not spending money on this.

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