Is it Latin? No. Is it Mediterranean? No. It's Gardenia.

Yuca Cheese Croquets, Sea Salt, Charmoula, Truffle Salsa at GardeniaHi Everyone! Today, we're eating at a Latin/Mediterranean restaurant called Gardënia. It's located in the West Village and is one of the coolest after-work spots. The restaurant is aesthetically beautiful with its simple decor and a light green/brown/white color palate. During the day, you and several hanging plants can enjoy the natural sunlight from the large windows and the skylight. I'm obsessed with the bar area (pictures below). And, with a great bar comes great happy hours. They have a DAILY 4pm-7pm happy hour with delectable snacks to share with friends including the Guacamole, Lamb Barbacoa Arepitas, and the Sautéed Garlic Shrimp. Not to forget, they also have a Mediterranean Sangria, made with Rosé, Elderflower, Cachaça, and Fruits.

Steph at Gardenia

I have to admit... I am a Rosé type of guy. Pure red wine is great, sophisticated and all but sometimes I just want a solid, refreshing glass/bottle of Rosé. The difference between red wine and rosé is that the latter receives less contact with the skin of the grapes. Grape skins contain a lot of tannin, which provide the wine with an astringent (dry, rough mouthfeel) sensation. The tannins also help the wine in the aging process. With less contact with the tannins, rosé will maintain its light and youthful energy. All in all, the Mediterranean Sangria was delightful. I will have 6 (pitchers) of this please! Anyway, enough about the sangria... let's talk about the food. 

Gardenia Guacamole: Sumac, Pomegranate, Tomato, Onion, Cilantro at Gardenia

To start, we got a few of the happy hour appetizers. The Gardënia Guacamole was totally nefarious... in that it's a crime I hadn't found it sooner. They make it with your typical Guacamole ingredients like avocado, tomato, onion, and cilantro. But, they add pomegranate and sumac, which is a dried flower that is ground into a powder with a tart, berry-like flavor. The Guacamole came with plantain chips. It was refreshing to eat Guacamole with something other than regular corn/tortilla chips for once. 

We also got the Yuca Cheese Croquets (see first picture above). This was my favorite! The name is misleading because you might think that yuca is a type of cheese but yuca is just another name for cassava, which is a starchy root that tastes kind of like sweet potato but mushier. These croquets were amazing though. It came with a small cup of Chermoula Truffle Salsa, which was divine. I wanted to drench everything (including myself) with this sauce. Chermoula is a Moroccan herb sauce made with some combination of cilantro, parsley, coriander, cumin, paprika, garlic, and chili. It is often used as a marinade but can also be used as a sauce. It's herbaceous with a nice spicy kick.

Short Rib Risotto, Green Peas, Mushroom Ragout, Pumpkin Cappuccino at Gardenia

For some of our larger dishes, we got the Short Rib Risotto and the Wild Mushrooms (see above). The Short Rib Risotto was tasty, rich, and creamy. I thought it was good but it was almost too rich for the average person. I enjoyed the mushrooms a lot though. I'm not skilled enough to identify all the mushrooms on this plate but, alas, I am no mushroom fanatic... for now, at least. 

I think this one might still be under the radar so go to Gardënia soon! Thanks for reading! Also, the title is super cheesy. Sorry. I'm not gouda making titles. 

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64 Downing St.
New York, NY 10014
(212) 604-0500

Gardenia Guacamole, Sumac, Pomegranate, Tomato, Onion, Cilantro
Grilled Octopus, Anticuchera Romesco, Calamari Ink Potatoes, Botija Aioli
Wild Mushrooms, Epazote, Roasted Pear, Chimichurri, Grilled Halloumi
Grilled Branzino, Grilled Root Vegetables Salad, Chimichurri, Sumac
Short Rib Risotto, Green Peas, Mushroom Ragout, Pumpkin Cappuccino
Yuca Cheese Croquets, Chermoula Truffle Salsa
Mediterranean Sangria: Rosé, Elderflower, Cachaça, Fruits

Miscellaneous Pictures of Attractive People:
Gambas: Sauteed shrimps, garlic, chile de arbol, and olive oil at Gardenia
Grilled Branzino, Grilled Root Vegetable Salad, Chimichurri, Sumac at Gardenia
Me at GardeniaWild Mushrooms, Epazote, Roasted Pear, Chimichurri, Grilled Halloumi at GardeniaGrilled Octopus, Anticuchera Romesco, Calamari Ink Potatoes, Botija Aioli at Gardenia


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