by Joanna Weinstein, 10/12/2011
12 E. 32nd St., 212-213-0077
Slide off your shoes and sit down on a comfortable pillow at this fine-dining establishment, serving Korean-inspired vegetarian cuisine. The philosophy here is all about balance among the body, mind and diet. Expect a running theme of yin and yang (or "um and yang," as the concept is called in Korea), folk and Zen music and natural artifacts. The menu offers exquisite meals showcasing the flavors of mushrooms and tofu and includes both à la carte selections and prix-fixe options. Dishes like the Mongolian hot pot and the grilled todok strips in ginger soy sauce complement the restaurant's serene atmosphere. Don't forget to check out the four-course Emperor's Tasting Menu; October's highlights include pumpkin and date porridge, stuffed mushrooms in an almond-cinnamon sauce and kabocha (Japanese winter squash) pumpkin stone-bowl rice. Note: Hangawi's last seating is at 10:30pm every night except Sunday, when it's at 9:30pm.