|photo credit: Thomas Schauer|
The restaurant is so named as to welcome wallflowers, shrinking violets, pansies, and any other floral alike. All welcome, so to speak. Thus, on the night I visited, the tables were attended by an audaciously Harajuku-styled couple, an awkward, fidgety pair on a first date and a table of jovial neighborhooders well into their golden years. I can't imagine a prototype that would clash in these environs.
The cocktail menu introduces the restaurant's concept well. The drinks are complex and novel, with quirky names, and not one of which I didn't want to meet. The food is similarly appealing and seasonal: the menu is relatively succinct and somewhat bereft of vegetation: there are no side dishes on hand, nor was a request for additional veg accommodated. But that was really the only snag, and easily overlooked as the evening progressed.
|Corn, truffle, cherry tomatoes|
Wallflowers apparently have an affinity for crudo and charcuterie, categories that are so popular these days. You could easily make a meal from those options alone, but my preferences lie elsewhere. Thus, I began with the Market Salad, which had way too much dressing for its not-enough greens, which were riddled with charred pole beans, tart red currant and thin planks of pecorino. Had they added twice greenery, the problem would've resolved itself, as well as bulked up the skimpy salad. It was tasty enough despite its meagerness, but the dressing overpowered. Chilled corn soup, on the other hand, had nary a flaw, a mellifluous golden pabulum infused with summer truffle, halved cherry tomatoes and fresh kernels lurking within.
|Scallops, maitake, corn, purslane|
Continuing on a corn-and-mushroom rampage ('tis the season, after all), four bronzed sea scallops huddled in a bed of corn featured big brushes of ruffly maitake mushroom- a dish I would easily return for (I even considered doing so the very next night). The maitakes had a meaty woodsiness, the corn sweet and crisp, a combination as intoxicating as the summer sun filtering through fragrant forest pines. A pork
|Pork, turnips, mustard, cherries|
|Brioche, peaches, vanilla gelato|
235 West 12th Street