Very recently, instead of taking a vacation, I decided to take a staycation. There are so many things I never get to go and do in New York City considering the hours I work, and a staycation would give me the opportunity to do so. That, and I’d still save money over a standard vacation and I’d still get to shop and eat out to my heart’s content.
I’ve had two things on my must do list for some time that I knocked out at the same time. One was to eat a leisurely lunch, alone, while in the city. The second was to finally try out Pure Food and Wine.
Though I’m a vegan, I’ve always been somewhat terrified of raw foods. I’m a stickler for food texture, and for some reason cold food always seems off to me. I have a really hard time getting down gazpacho and salads, they’re not really my thing. Regardless, I’ve read some great reviews on Pure Food and Wine and really wanted to try them out.
One thing that stands out about the restaurant is its gorgeous, huge patio. Plenty of seating, nice comfy cushions, and peaceful quiet from the hustle and bustle of the city only yards away.
The patio was perfect for enjoying my leisurely daytime lunch and glass of wine. Now let’s talk about the food.
I decided to go with the prefix lunch, which included an appetizer, lunch entrée and a dessert.
For the appetizer I went with their Caesar Salad. The salad was okay, but didn’t really impress me too much. I was expecting the dressing to be a bit creamier, and the macadamia nut “parm” to be a bit more grated. The seaweed also kinda threw me for a loop flavor wise, though I can understand why they used it in the salad (to make up for the fact there was no anchovies in the dressing, seaweed can still give dishes that salty, ocean flavor). I ate the whole thing, though if I returned to the restaurant I don’t see myself ordering this salad again.
Ah, the Zucchini and Heirloom Tomato Lasagna. This dish convinced me there’s really something to raw dining. It was absolutely delicious! The zucchini was a great and convincing stand in for lasagna noodles, and their nut cheeses and pesto intertwined in the layers made it much creamier and richer than it appears to be. The tomato sauce was also made with sun-dried tomatoes, which imparted a sweet flavor throughout the dish. It was bursting with flavor and well worth the money spent on it. I highly recommend it.
For dessert, I ordered the number one thing I’ve long missed since going vegan, and that’s a Mallomar! If you’re not familiar with this delicious cookie (it seems to be a NYC thing), it’s a seasonal cookie made by Nabisco and will usually be seen on shelves starting early fall. It’s basically a graham cracker, topped with marshmallow and coated in a layer of chocolate. Think of it as a s’mores cookie. When I was a child, my grandmother would allow me to eat an entire box in one sitting which would drive my mother nuts.
The Pure Food and Wine version was pretty close to the original. My only critique of it is I was expecting the center to be denser, like a marshmallow. The texture instead was more like ice cream. It was still absolutely delicious and the perfect ending to my lazy day lunch.
Have you ever tried raw food? This meal was my first experience with it and I’ve been playing around with raw cooking more and more every week. It’s always fun to try new things.