CAFÉ MEDI is an amazing example of what makes The Lower East Side so great and special. Serving fresh and seasonal contemporary Coastal Mediterranean cuisine, this colorful location spotlights not only food but decor, spaciousness and so much more that has made it one of our favorites we have reviewed in 2017 so far. I took a friend there last night to experience it all, and have this to report back on.
Location, location, location is pertinent in Manhattan, and CAFÉ MEDI is perfect in that it is literally a block away from the Essex/Delancey stop on the MTA. Once you walk inside, you are engulfed with its beautifully adorned walls that have interesting figures throughout. This place also runs deep in terms of its occupancy and I enjoy its simple table settings as it all reads very Mediterranean throughout.
Per their website, CAFÉ MEDI dishes are originally created and curated by Chef Vincent Chirico, known for Vai, a successful contemporary Mediterranean restaurant in Upper West Side of Manhattan, also has worked in some of the most esteemed kitchens such as Jean-Georges, Acquavit, Daniel and Union Pacific. Based on what we were treated to last night, I can definitely see Chef Vincent’s expertise in each and every dish as they were prepared incredibly professionally with a taste for each of them that were absolutely perfect for the season.
CAFÉ MEDI encourages sharable dishes as a big part of their menu, but they also have separate items included such as pasta, sea and land options to choose from. The sharable items are the standouts here, as their Cucumber Tartare, Hamachi Crudo and Burrata were our favorites of the night.
The Cucumber Tartare was fresh and fun to look at, and will be a huge hit once the warmer weather is here to stay. It comes with Avocado, Coriander and Thai Basil which gives it a much better execution of flavors, in particular the basil. The Hamachi is a fantastic sea dish for you to divulge, as the accompaniments of the grapefruit, scallion and mint white really add to the overall taste profiles that the dish provides. Finally, the Burrata was our overall favorite, as the Muscat Grape, Speck and Salted Almond really brought the dish together in a perfect way.
We also tried one of their pasta options, as the waitstaff highly recommended their Spaghettini with Florida Rock Shrimp, Thai Basil & Preserved Lemon. Absolutely delicious. It is on the heavier side, so if you are trying to eat light it might be good to avoid this, but I didn’t and I’m glad I ate every bite as it truly was appetizing.
Overall, CAFÉ MEDI excels in everything from dishes to decor and more. For more information, check out their official site.