New York City

Vandal

Man, oh man. This was the best meal of my life, hands down. On August 30, I turned 21 and life as the world knew it was no longer the same. I’m a pretty spoiled and particular person, so my birthday preparations began from two months before. I spent endless hours designing Snapchat filters for my birthday (as shown above), and had to make the dinner reservations 5 weeks in advance.

I’m a huge fan of Chris Santos’ restaurants. I like having a variety of food at restaurants, so I always lean towards Tapas- style restaurants. Beauty and Essex was my favorite restaurant when it first opened and I tried The Stanton Social a few times, as well. I was so excited to try Vandal and hear what all the fuss was about.

I can’t even begin to describe how incredible the entire experience was. From when you walk into the restaurant, you’re greeted with incredible artwork and graffiti.

Our waiter was incredibly friendly, and handsome to boot. We all had cocktails, which were probably the least impressive thing about the whole experience at $16 each and nothing really that fantastic about them.

What we ordered:

Wild mushroom pizza (not pictured):  with fontina, mozzarella, caramelizad onions. I hate mushrooms. So much. There’s nothing I hate more actually. But this mushroom pizza was unreal. The best thing I’ve ever eaten. A must try. $21

Village greek salad: very good, fresh produce. Nothing that special though $16

Crispy bao buns: with brisket, crunchy Asian slaw. Fantastic. I never had a bao bun prior to this, but was a huge fan. $19

Grilled Chilean sea bass tacos: with avocado, chipotle slaw, and salsa. My friends loved this. I don’t really like sea bass so I wasn’t crazy about it but it was very delicious $24

Crispy eggplant: I don’t know how they made eggplant taste that incredible. Chris Santos is my idol. I loved this so much. $14

2 pound lobster scampi: with garlic and spinach pilaf served in a lobster shell. It had a generous amount of lobster but wasn’t as big as anticipated. Very yummy, but we were so full from everything else so we forced ourselves to eat it. $68

Overall, an expensive meal but worth every penny. These places are good to go with a small group, makes the experience so worth it. I will return to Vandal, for sure.

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