Friday, February 23, 2007

2 NYC restaurant reviews

I got to eat really well while I was in New York City last week, and wanted to share two of the stand-out experiences with you.

First up was Sacred Chow. I had been wanting to go here ever since reading about it on the fabulous blog Lifestyles of the Chic and Vegan. So the night after I got in, my friend Tony agreed to go with me. I was so tired of dealing with the hectic conference and the ferocious weather that I totally forgot that it was Valentine's Day! Tony and I noticed that everyone else there was a couple and that we should have probably gotten reservations, but oh well!

I did not take any photos (so as not to further disturb the intimate Valentine's vibe!) but please hop over here to the above-mentioned blog to see what the food looks like. I got the tempeh reuben sandwich, and Tony got the orange BBQ seitan. I also had a glass of sangria. Let me tell you this sandwich was out of this world! Gooey melty vegan cheddar, tangy sauerkraut, perfectly marinated tempeh and of course a Russian dressing. I can still taste this sandwich! Next time I go back, if I can convince myself to order something different, I might peruse the tapas or the extensive dessert menu.

Everything on the menu is clearly marked if it is gluten free, wheat free, and/or sugar free. You have got to check this cozy little bistro out!

On Saturday, my friend Dorota was celebrating her birthday, so a big group of us went to Counter, a vegetarian and organic restaurant in the East Village.

Let me just tell you, this place is amazing. It is definitely expensive, especially from my starving grad. student point of view, but the food and the presentation make up for it in creativity, taste, and sophistication. Oh, and most items on the dinner menu were vegan, and dishes with dairy were clearly marked.

You could go for the wine, beer, and cocktails alone. Don't let the whimsical cocktail names like "angry lesbian" fool you, the selection of alcohol in this restaurant is serious and well thought-out. All the wines and liquors are either organic, bio-dynamic, sustainable, and/or kosher and marked as such clearly on the menu. The wine list was so long, and we enjoyed studying it just to learn about all these fabulous new wines and wineries we had not heard of.

This was the bread that came to us as we pondered which appetizers to order. It was served with a dipping sauce that had olive oil, fresh basil, and chunks of tofu. It tasted much better than I can describe it!

Here was a wild mushroom ravioli.

A Parisian-style salad with goat cheese.

(my dinner) An Italian farmhouse panini with a lentil-walnut pâté that was to die for, served with your choice of mesclun greens or frites.

Vegetable B'Steeya, a Moroccan-inspired dish with phyllo dough encasing a filling of rice and pinenuts scented with saffron and orange-butter.

The vegetable tasting mosaic, which had little portions of artfully prepared vegetables such as braised fennel, maple sweet potatoes, eggplant, escarole, and much more. The orange sauce was a cumin emulsion, designed to go with the spiced quinoa.

Here is Dorota blowing out her birthday candle, it was on a slice of swoon-worthy chocolate tart.

Even if you are not going to be in New York City anytime soon, I encourage you to check out these restaurants' websites and menus. My partial descriptions can't do them full justice, they both exceeded expectations. And if you're going to be in NYC soon, take me with you!

Restaurant info:

Sacred Chow
227 Sullivant St. (b/t W. 3rd and Bleecker)
New York, NY 10012
(212) 337- 0863

105 First Ave. (b/t 6th and 7th)
New York, NY 10003
(212) 982-5870



Emmy said...

Oh my, that bread with the dipping sauce looks superb! Love the square dish they served it in as well. Your dinner looks amazing too. I hope your friend had a wonderful birthday :)

And I enjoyed reading about Scared Chow too. Your sandwich sounds incredible that you had there.

Hope you have a lovely weekend :)

Melody said...

oh wow, it looks and sounds fabulous! I love that there are so many more conscious restaurants out there now..

scottishvegan said...

Both those restaurants look amazing! I have been to New York just once and I am dying to go back! I would love to go to that Sacred Chow place...the tapas sound so good! And the bread and dipping sauce from the other place looks so yummy!

aTxVegn said...

Lucky, lucky you! I'm glad a big group went to Counter so we could see lots of food. It all looks incredible. I would be in heaven with a Vegetable Mosaic in front of me.

KleoPatra said...

All that food!!! WOW! Looks and sounds great. I also checked out the chic/vegan site. Love that almost as much as yours, Bazu!!

Now i see that i really need to get to New York. I was there once at age 16 (never mind how long ago THAT was! HA!) for one of my sister's weddings. So much great vegan food... and all the sites and history of it, of course :)

Thanks for sharing. Yum yum!

Lolo (VeganYumYum) said...

Stewart and I were just talking about going to NYC, so thanks for the reviews! Everything looks awesome!

laura jesser said...

Wow! NYC is on my list of places to see someday... Why can't every city have places like this??

b36Kitchen said...

I for some reason have never eaten at those two restaurants. I alway's end up going to the same place whenever i'm hungry just because it's time I get out of work early and am hungry i'm going to one of those. I especially have alway's wanted to try sacred chow.


vko said...

Hi Bazu

I am so honored that you consider my blog fabulous, since I am so new to this blogging world.

Blogging as a vegan has given me such a sense of comfort knowing that there are so many vegans out there all linked to each other with such a sense of community. I love it.

I definitely have to go try Counter- have been meaning to especially since they have a vegan brunch option.

Please let me know when you are down in the city soon and we can try out a fun vegan place!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips! We're planning a trip to NYC this spring and it'll definitely be a vegan food quest. These places sound like a good place to start.

Urban Vegan said...

I've been meaning to try the Sacred Chow--and the Counter's b'stilla.... be still my beating heart--it looks so good. I'm glad youate so well in NYC.

vko said...

Yes, lots of rest for me- getting a little stir crazy...

Well sounds like we have a deal here, when you come down to NYC again- we will meet up and have a little food tour. And if ever get upstate, would love to go to Farm Sanctuary.

Families are a funny thing, when they make those comments and disapprove about my food choice-I try to tell myself that they are just concerned about my health, whereas they should be more concerned about their health and eating all that meat.

Might be venturing out tonight for dinner to Candle Cafe if I'm feeling better and certainly do a post, though I think that may be wishful thinking...

Have a great weekend!

Susan said...

Ooh, wild mushroom ravioli! That sounds delectable. Thanks for sharing.

Catherine said...

Holy awesome looking food.

I wish we had more veggie restaurant options in the twin cities!

Ruthie said...

Bazu --

You are so spoiled. :)


Theresa said...

Everything looks so wonderful. It almost makes me wish I lived closer to NYC!

Jackie said...

What fabulous restaurants. Probably good we don't have them here or I would either pick up a lot of weight or go bankrupt for eating there all the time :)

Crystal & Ryan - Café Cyan said...

Cocktails look great! Tofu in bread??! Interesting.

The Lentil Walnut Pate looks awesome. I'm getting hungry now...


Dori said...

"Vegetable B'Steeya, a Moroccan-inspired dish with phyllo dough encasing a filling of rice and pinenuts scented with saffron and orange-butter."

I've dreamt of things wrapped in phyllo dough, I think it is so beautiful! Your dish is no exception.

meesh said...

Wow, looks like you had quite the trip to NYC! That last series of pics made the food look almost too pretty to eat...almost. :) Thanks for sharing those restaurants with us.

Kati said...

I love hearing about great veg restaurants. You ate VERY well in nyc! Reuben sandwiches are one of my favorites - the Chicago Diner makes a great one.

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