Everyone’s already on guard when it comes to pranks on April 1st (a la, April Fool’s Day), so why not approach the annual jokefest in an unexpected way? The following restaurants provide ample permission to play with your food, including Olmsted, The Doughnut Project, Macaron Parlour and more.
Impossible Burger: As opposed to clever food styling, the Impossible Burger (i.e., the “bleeding veggie burger,” available at Momofuku Nishi, Bareburger and Public) is a result of ingenious science. The ultra-sustainable patties (whose creation entails the use of 95% less land, 74% less water, and emits 87% less greenhouse gases than beef) are made not only of wheat, coconut oil and potatoes, but a basic building block of life called heme; which contributes to the characteristic taste, color, smell, sizzle and yes, hemoglobin outflow of meat.
Olmsted: The magic of Olmsted is the ability to commune with nature in the verdant, edible garden, and minutes later, find that vibrant bounty gloriously reinterpreted on one’s plate. Take the Crawfish Boil Crackers (made from crustaceans darting in a washtub outside), the Carrot Crepe (a napkin-thin vegetable “pancake,” draped atop littleneck clams), and tagliatelle that owes nothing to egg and flour but everything to rutabaga, shaved into toothsome strands and tossed with brown butter and burgundy black truffle.
659 Vanderbilt Ave., (718) 552-2610
The Doughnut Project: It may look like a bagel, with its signature shape and smattering of poppy seed, sesame seed, salt and garlic “everything” seasoning. But you won’t find this sweet-savory doughnut — finished with a slick of cream cheese glaze — in your average deli or appetizing shop.
10 Morton St., (212) 691-5000
Orchard Grocer: This Lower East Side grocery actually does serve bagels (albeit gluten free). The sleight of hand here, however, concerns the entirely vegan fillings — order “The Edith,” and you’ll receive a schmear of housemade cashew cream cheese, and curls of crunchy, vinegary carrot “lox.”
78 Orchard St., (646) 757-9910
Macaron Parlour: Needless to say, carrots are a popular foil for food trickery. But don’t credit them for the cookie’s orange hue at Macaron Parlour. Originally created for Halloween, the Cheetos-infused treats are now a popular offering year-round, piped with white chocolate ganache and powdered with cheese dust.
560 Columbus Ave., (212) 799-9169
Dirt Candy: Usually, the “popcorn” method is used on proteins like chicken or shrimp, resulting in salty, deep-fried nuggets of bad-for-you goodness. But Amanda Cohen and her coterie of veggie wizards swap in salt-roasted beets instead at Dirt Candy, and in lieu of junky Ranch, provide a sprightly Thai green curry sauce for dipping.
86 Allen St., (212) 228-7732