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Pete Wells Gives Two Stars to Sexy Vegetarian Boîte Nix

The Times critic likes most of what he tries

Nick Solares

John Fraser’s Nix is sexier than most vegetarian and vegetable-forward restaurants, according to Pete Wells. The Times critic notes: "The crackle in the air at Nix and other recent meatless restaurants is what you get when you liberate vegetables from vegetarianism. Stripped of ideology, Nix is freed up for hedonic pursuits." Among Wells’ favorite dishes is the wheel of baked flatbread served with an array of dips and vegetables. It’s the best way to start a meal at Nix he notes. Still, some of the dishes can miss the mark.  Here's the critic on the misfires:

In another salad, jicama is shaved into what the menu calls ribbons. They’re more like seatbelts, and the dressing of blood oranges and Fresno peppers can’t quite get a grip on them.

Very occasionally, I wished the vegetables had been allowed to relax a little. Artichokes shouldn’t have to compete with broccoli rabe, tomato sauce and ricotta. Puréed sweet potato gets the right sauce, a pumpkinseed mole, but the line of reasoning that led the kitchen to pack the purée into rubbery balloons of tofu skin should be re-examined.

The room and its details are subtle, and the wine list from Andrea Morris is full of bottles that are under $100. Wells gives the University Place restaurant two stars.

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