We couldn't have had a better day weather wise to try it. The temperature actually hit 80 that day and sidewalk seating was available, making it my first sidewalk cafe meal of the spring and summer season. Spring is finally officially here! The menu had so many items I could actually have! It was like heaven for me. To drink I settled on their Strawberry Blond juice spritzer. It had strawberry and blood orange juices paired with basil and topped off with soda. It was so refreshing and I'm probably going to try to concoct a copycat version at home. As my entrée, I had no choice but to try their Spicy Kale Caesar Salad. A friend of mine on Instagram posted a photo of it the day prior and it looked so delicious it was all I could think about until I arrived at the restaurant that day. The kale was dressed with a creamy vegan caesar dressing and topped with croutons, avocado, almond parmesan, and the most amazing crispy shallots ever. I'm kind of obsessed with crispy shallots now, I want to put them on everything! Not shown but equally yummy was a side of their gluten-free toast and cashew cheddar cheese. I'm counting the days until I can head back and try some additional items on the menu. Have you ever been to the Butcher's Daughter? If so what was your favorite dish? I need some ideas to try for next time I go!
The Butcher’s Daughter is a new juice bar, cafe and “vegetable slaughter house”.As a human race, it is becoming more and more obvious that our diet – and the way we eat – is changing: Meat is moving off center-stage and the spotlight is turning to fresh fruits and vegetables. At The Butcher’s Daughter, we treat fruits and vegetables as a butcher would meat: We chop, fillet and carve fresh produce into heathy vegetarian dishes and press them into pretty juices. ...We take pride in our daily-changing menu, which is 100% vegetarian and non-dairy. Most of our menu items are vegan and gluten-free, and we can always prepare substitutions for most dietary restrictions.
This weekend I met some friends at the Butcher's Daughter in the Lower East Side to catch up and have some brunch. The place had been on all of our "must try but my husband won't go" lists so we figured it was the perfect choice for a girl's outing. While The Butcher's Daughter is by their own definition a vegetarian establishment, it's fully dairy-free and has lots of vegan and gluten-free options. According to their website:
Back in October when Jim and I were headed upstate to the Finger Lakes, we decided halfway on the trip we wanted to stop and grab lunch. The halfway point of the trip was Scranton PA, so while Jim drove I took to my iPhone to start searching for options. Anytime I travel, I love to search Yelp to find new places to eat. If there's a vegan establishment, I always try to stop there to try it out. Lucky for us, Eden was located right in town a short 5 minutes from the highway, so we stopped in to grab a quick bite. All in all, the menu was pretty extensive! I had a hard time deciding. I eventually decided to go on a gluten bender and get a burger, complete with soy "bacon" and cheese, topped with vegan chilli and a side of mashed potatoes (yay carbs!!). Jim took the sensible route and built his own salad. And of course I HAD to have a soda. And a cookie. I was on vacation after all. The food was pretty damn delicious and well worth the stop. Here's hoping my travels take me past Scranton again sometime soon so I can stop back. Yum.
Following the Single Fare 3 opening Jim and I went out to grab a quick bite to eat while in TriBeCa. Now that I'm basically eating vegan paleo, it makes my already limited options even more limited. I had done some research in advance and had found Vietnamese restaurant V Cafe on Yelp, so we figured we'd check it out. All in all we were really impressed with the ambiance as well as the service and the food. I'm not currently eating any grains, so for my meal I had their vegetarian pho with tofu (no noodles) and a nice big plate of tofu curry and vegetables. It's making me hungry just writing out it. It was as yummy as it looks. If you are a vegan or vegetarian looking for someplace in TriBeCa to eat, I highly recommend it. They had a large vegetarian/vegan section on their menu with tons of options.
Last Thursday evening, Jim and I participated in Dine Out Williamsburg for Sandy Relief. Gwynnett Street was a participating restaurant, and we've been dying to try it out for a while. What better way to try out a fancy new bistro than a night when 20% of their gross profits are going to provide relief to Sandy victims? This meal totally impressed me. Gwynnett Street is very vegan friendly. So much so, they always have a vegan appetizer, entrée and dessert on their menu at any given time. Jim started out with their Whiskey Bread, which wasn't vegan but vegetarian. It came with cultured butter and looked delicious. I wish it was vegan, it looked so yummy it was torture looking at it. For my appetizer I had the winter squash with bell pepper, szechuan pepper and peppercress. Holy moly this was delicious. Textures were great. The squash had a nice bite to it, the herbs were flash fried, and it also had what I believe were pepitas throughout it which gave it additional crunch against the soft vermicelli noodles. The sauce was delicately sweet and had a hint of citrus. It was also probably one of the most gorgeously plated vegan dishes I think I've ever had. For my entrée, I finally got to try their tofu. This restaurant like Roberta's was awarded a two star review by the New York Times, and the reviewer raved about their house made tofu. This night it was prepared crusted in pistachio with avocado, celery and celtuce. The texture was more reminiscent of a pate to me, and it had a great pistachio crust. Very light and tasty, perfectly paired with the raw avocado, celery and celtuce (which I think is a combination between celery and lettuce?). What absolutely made my night is when the waitress told me the chef was going to come up with a specialty vegan dessert for me. She later came back out with what I believe was a sorbet with poached pears, fall spices (lots of cinnamon), a nut cream sauce, and fresh berries. This was as delicious and seasonal as it sounds. Isn't the plating beautiful? I was extremely pleased with my meal at Gwynett Street and will for sure be back. It's now one of my favorite restaurants in the neighborhood. Have you tried the vegan options at Gwynett Street? What did you think?
Last Saturday, Jim and I dropped off a load of Sandy Relief donations at Roberta's Pizza in Bushwick. We had never eaten there, and figured we'd stay for lunch. That's not to say we haven't tried to eat there before. Last time we tried it was closed down due to these folks eating there. If you're unfamiliar with Roberta's, the restaurant somewhat pioneered the Brooklyn food scene and has given Brooklyn a rep for having restaurants just as good as Manhattan, if not better. In fact, the New York Times awarded them a two star review. I don't know they're entire history and story but do know that they actually grow a lot of the produce they use on site. There was of course a wait when we arrived. They have an additional bar outdoors in a heated tent, so we sat out there for a bit while we waited for our table. All the seating is pretty much shared. So we were sat with another couple on one side and a family of four on the other, all at the same table. I informed the waitress I was vegan and asked what she recommended, and she was very accommodating. I was recommended the Delicata Salad minus the cheese, which was roasted delicata squash with pea shoots and what I'm guessing was a pumpkin seed dressing. It was absolutely phenomenal. After the first bite I understood why Roberta's was awarded those two stars. They also made their hash brown potatoes minus the pork hash for Jim. It wasn't vegan due to butter, so I couldn't have it. He ate the entire thing so I know it must have been delicious. Can't go to Roberta's without trying the pizza. The Rosso pie is on their standard menu and is vegan. It's very simple with a flavorful garlic tomato sauce. This pizza was by far the best pizza I've ever had in New York. The crust was perfection, light and crunchy, not too heavy. I wouldn't even think of bastardizing this with a layer of daiya. And I LOVE daiya. It was that good without it. The food is just too good not to go again and again. I'm really looking forward to my next visit.
My BFF Nikki and I have been finding it's pretty tough to get together lately. We're both so busy with work, and she's living in Manhattan while I'm obviously in Brooklyn. That may not seem like it's that far, but it's far enough not to be super convenient to get together, especially being such over-career-achievers. So what we've been doing lately to make it a priority to see each other is doing dinner every few weeks, and alternating between new places to try in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Last week, the dinner spot we chose was my absolute favorite, Wild Ginger. If you're vegan and have yet to try them out, make sure you stop by there while visiting NYC. There's several locations ranging from Manhattan to Brooklyn. We decided to meet up at the Williamsburg one in my neighborhood. I'm not ashamed to admit I order take out from here waaaay too often. We gorged on some of my favorites, including their miso soup, fried spinach and "cheese" wontons (the sauce is to die for!), general tso's soy protein, and finished up the meal with a good ol' peanut butter bomb!
Last week, Jim and I felt like going out to eat so we stopped by Caracas Arepas Bar. I had eaten there before and loved it, and Jim had never been. It was a beautiful evening out so we opted for their outdoor seating area. If you're a vegetarian or a vegan, they have lots of veg friendly options and are open to modifying. The arepas are crazy filling, inexpensive and delicious. This summer we plan on trying as many new restaurants as we can. I love dining al fresco.
Two Fridays ago, Jim and I went on a double date with our friends Tracy and Barak. We drove into Manhattan to check out John's on 12th Street, an Italian restaurant known for having an additional, entirely vegan menu! Even cannolis! I was in heaven. If you're ever in the city with a large group of people with varied dietary restrictions, I highly recommend checking them out.
Last Sunday my friend Tracy and I went to yoga class, and afterwards decided to go have brunch. She had earlier in the week suggested we eventually try Rockin' Raw, Williamsburg's local raw vegan restaurant. Since I was super impressed with the raw food at Pure Food and Wine, and the both of us love healthy fare (we're both fitness nuts) we decided it was the perfect choice to check out for brunch. It was an absolutely gorgeous, Indian Summer day, so we took advantage of their outdoor seating. You can't call it brunch without a bloody mary! Rockin' Raw's bloody's were great. They had a slight fruity taste, which was a pleasant surprise. As an appetizer, Tracy and I shared the nachos. They were made of flax crips topped with vegan cheese, tomatoes, and all the nacho topping standards. They were surprising delicious. Tasted just like the normal thing, just at room temperature. We both coincidentally ordered the same thing as our meal. The lasagna. It was really flavorful. You could taste the concentration of flavors in the sauce. I could easily pinpoint sun-dried tomatoes and basil. The layers included zucchini and mushrooms, which I love. The kale topping with the nutritional yeast was a great addition. This dish was very, very filling. We both only managed to finish half of it. I took the leftovers home and they lasted very well the following day in the fridge. For dessert, we both shared the Chocolate Pecan Tarte, yum! I never in a million years would have guessed it was raw. It was delicious. Though it was an expensive brunch, it's definitely a place I'd hit up again. The food was well worth the money. Check it out if you're ever in the neighborhood and are looking for a good, healthy bite.
Nikki for dinner at Purume, a now fully vegan eatery in Union Square. This restaurant is the restaurant above Karaoke Cave (formerly Lemongrass) for those of you karaoke freaks who might be familiar with it. The restaurant was very spacious, and the decor very "zen", which didn't really surprise me being I've heard of the place for their macrobiotic cuisine. Nikki and I both ordered the same thing. We started with the miso soup, which was absolutely delicious and highly recommended. After we had their tofu entrée, which again was really, really good. The tofu was marinated and very flavorful, and the presentation was better than I'm used to at most vegan eateries. The only disappointment in the dish was that the portion size was on the smaller side, and I was hungry that night so it wasn't really sufficient for me. For dessert, I opted for their apple tart a la mode. The tart though it looked amazing was a bit of a let down. I had expected them to have vegan vanilla ice cream to accompany it, but they didn't so the next best choice besides green tea was chocolate, which was a bit odd. The filling of the tart itself was very good, but the crust was hard as a rock and basically inedible. All in all, while I enjoyed my meal there I'm not sure it was worth the price tag. The prices for the portions served was on the high side. Then again I'm spoiled with all the vegan options available to me in Williamsburg and it's not that often I go out to eat in Manhattan, so it could just be I'm a bit out of touch. If you're looking for a good, quick, vegan macrobiotic bite and are in the Union Square area, I'd recommend checking Purume out.