5/06/2013 11:23:00 AM

Best Thing We Ate Last Night: Study of the Tomato at Melibea

Since he opened now-defunct Gastroarte (née Graffit) a few years ago, Jesus Nuñez has been known as a chef who likes to play around. The menu at his new one, Melibea in the West Village, gives the Spanish toque's whimsy free rein. This is perhaps most evident in his Study of the Tomato, a dish we almost didn't order given the season. However, we're glad we did. In this gorgeously plated still life of a salad, the love apple is served every which way: dried, powdered, pureed, skin-only and even made into marshmallows. It's sweet and savory and texturally surprising all at once.

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