Written by Hulda Lawrence
One of the great things about dining in New York City is that new restaurants open frequently and attract a clientele devoted to a particular cuisine. Organika opened last July and is located at 89 Seventh Avenue South between Barrow and Grove Streets (212) 414-1900. It is across the street from the Actor's Playhouse and near the Minetta Lane, Cherry Lane and Lucille Lortel theatres. It is open daily for lunch and dinner until 1 a.m. It also provides an enticing brunch.
This small and cozy spot is in the experienced hands of owner Marcello Assante and executive chef Melissa Muller; both have considerable backgrounds in searching out special qualities in the ingredients used in the fascinating dishes. In fact, there is an explanatory list of the origins of the food products. For example, extra virgin olive oil is organic and produced from Umbrian olives. The poultry is all natural free-range and organizationally fed.
From the menu of Bruschetta we chose one Caponata of eggplant, celery, tomato sauce, raisins, pinenuts and capers, and a Boscaiola of Roasted peppers. From the many pasta dishes the executive chef prepared, we chose Lasagna Vegetarian of whole wheat lasagna with pesto, béchamel, zucchini, eggplant and cherry tomatoes.
Among the other dishes which have drawn devotees are Carpaccio di Bresaola of air cured beef, artichoke hearts, rocket, parmigiano reggiano shavings and truffle oil. There are some splendid pasta dishes that the executive chef has created. Entrees are rotated on a daily basis and desserts also rotate. A watermelon granite comes with hints of mint. Ice cream is from local Amish farmers who pasteurize their own milk. The tiramisu is done with lady fingers and mascarpone and is less sweet than the usual.
There are bottles of homemade honey on display as well as white and red wines made organically and served by the glass. Bottles of wine also are available.
For an organic brunch diners might order Zucchini and Parmigiano Reggiano Omelet for $11. Potato, Carmelized Onion and Scrambled Eggs, $9. Warm Sardinian Fiore Sardo Soft Sheep's milk cheese drizzled with Lavender honey at $8 and Warm Ciabatta with Churned Butter, Fruit Preserves and Hazel-Nut Chocolate Spread. Organic wines and beer can be enjoyed with lunch and dinner.
Prices are reasonable with a considerable variety. Bobby from Sofia, Bulgaria is very helpful in food selections.
Hours: Lunch and dinner until 1 a.m. Brunch is also available
The dollar sign indicates the approximate cost of dining for two persons, excluding beverages, tax and gratuity.