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!
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