The small plates restaurant Anima by EDO has its roots in Spanish, Italian and Asian flavors. You should plan on coming hungry and bringing along at least one other person to share in this delightful combination that is providing a trip around the world for your taste buds.
The décor features Edison light cluster chandeliers, tile flooring, a high ceiling and large windows allowing ample natural light.
The menu is divided into sections of charcuterie, cold appetizers, hot appetizers, pasta & rice, entrees and dessert.
A must-have in the charcuterie section is the Catalan olive oil bread ($6), a simple but delectable combination of fresh tomato, olive oil and sea salt that you can upgrade with homemade goat buttermilk ricotta, cultured butter or Spanish anchovies.
From the cold appetizer section, the Andalusian beets & carrots ($16) taste nothing like the beets my mother used to make us eat out of the can and this avowed carrot hater learned to love the root vegetable, as this version is marinated in cumin and served with Meyer lemon yogurt.
The cured tuna sashimi ($18) looks just like a rose flower and is a veritable work of art; it looked so good I didn’t want to disturb it, but doing so resulted in an explosion of flavor with Aji Amarillo escabeche, Kalamata vinaigrette and seagrape.
Excellent representatives from the hot appetizer selection are the Atlantic octopus ($25) accompanied with olives, capers, potato, Camari tomato and gallega sauce; and eggplant Parmigiana ($18) with basil crisp, which my wife Lally, an eggplant parm connoisseur, proclaimed as her new favorite.
As someone who is not a fan of bone marrow, I have to say the truffle cavatelli ($28) with Salchichón (Spanish summer sausage), bone marrow and English peas from the pasta & rice menu made me rethink my dislike, as its addition definitely added a huge amount of richness to the dish.
If you’re still hungry enough for an entrée, there are eight options including braised short ribs ($34) served with Semolina gnocchi, maitake mushroom and black pepper sauce; and turbot ($34) with black butter-ginger hollandaise, capers and wild mushrooms.
Vegans and vegetarians will have a lot to choose from here, with the aforementioned Andalusian beet & carrots joined with nearly a dozen other choices, including the mushroom risotto entrée ($25) with truffle ‘cheese’ and fennel pollen and both vegan and vegetarian tasting menus offering 7-course feasts.
Dessert lovers will like the granita ($10)—strawberry shaved ice with popcorn mousse; and cremoso de chocolate ($12)—dark chocolate fudge, olive oil, sea salt atop a crostini.
Anima by EDO is located at 9205 W. Russell Rd. #185 in The Gramercy at the 215 and Russell, and is open Sun, Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri and Sat 5-9 p.m.