Snap, crackle and pop are words usually associated with a cereal and its cartoon mascots. But they are also the adjectives that immediately come to mind when enjoying chef Jehangir Mehta’s version of beef carpaccio ($12) at Mehtaphor.
Delicately soft, thin, high-quality beef makes a raw bed for the mellow “snap” of mung beans, the “crackle” of puffed rice and a big “pop” of chile. The dish is characteristic of Mehta’s style, singing with spice, textural playfulness and a creativity that made the chef a formidable finalist on The Next Iron Chef.
Located within the lobby of the Duane Street Hotel, Mehtaphor opened in 2010 as a brighter, more spacious counterpart to Mehta’s dimly-lit, tiny Graffiti in the East Village, which debuted in 2007. Previously, he impressed critics as Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s pastry chef at Jean-Georges and Mercer Kitchen, before making the switch to savory. Mehta cites a Mumbai upbringing, Ayurvedic practices, and exotic spices and ingredients as his muses. He does not, however, count the three brand ambassadors of Rice Krispies among his inspirations, despite the sensations his food may wield on the palate.
130 Duane St.