Welcome to the third post in the Guest Blogger series. This week we welcome Martha, auther of her own blog, and self described as ”a twenty-something, New York City dwelling, throwback type of girl. Currently seeking balance, positivity, growth, health and good old-fashioned bliss, while living in a studio apartment with her phenomenal boyfriend and her two dogs.”
I’m excited about this week’s post as it is way outside of my comfort zone and not a place I would have ever considered dining at prior to this post!
Pure Food and Wine is an entirely raw, vegan restaurant meaning that there is absolutely no meat, dairy or nothing is cooked above 118 degrees which is alleged to preserve vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Additionally, the restaurant is entirely gluten-free and you won’t find any faux meats here since they don’t do the whole tofu thing here either. Cheeses are made from nuts and noodles are made from vegetables – you certainly won’t find any faux meat in this kitchen!
Let me preface this review by saying that I am not a raw foodie, a vegan or even a vegetarian. I am an omnivore who enjoys a rare steak as much as I do a cold glass of fresh pressed green juice. I have a relatively adventurous palate and I am never afraid to try something new and I do enjoy eating on the healthy end of the spectrum. Having said that, I do think that Pure Food and Wine might be too much for a true meat-a-tarian such as my boyfriend to handle, which is why I brought along a friend instead.
The restaurant doesn’t open until noon, so when I arrived a little early I ducked into their sister juice bar, One Lucky Duck for a Hot Pink juice made with fresh-pressed beet, pineapple, pear and ginger.
Unfortunately, I was slightly disappointed and wished that I had stuck to the Thai Green (my favorite), which is less sweet and has more of a kick, but it was still a refreshing drink. I am sure that for someone craving something sweet, it would be a great choice.
I didn’t have too long to wait though before my friend showed up and it was time for us to grab some food. The restaurant itself has a outdoor seating area in the back but seeing as how it was cold and rainy, we opted to dine in the more intimate, lounge-feeling indoor space. This would certainly be a wonderful date spot but is also great for a cozy lunch with a friend. We both started off with a cup of the chai tea, though they do offer an unlimited mimosa special for a more classic NYC brunch experience!
The tea was wonderful and the server was great about refilling the hot water throughout the meal, but on to the important stuff. What exactly does one eat at a place that doesn’t cook anything that they serve?
While we had originally planned on trying out their new brunch menu, the lunch pix fixe jumped out at us and looked like it would really allow us to try out the most of what Pure had to offer. While the restaurant certainly is not cheap, this option would really give us the most bang for our buck and I certainly can’t complain about that. I also chose a dining companion who is good at sharing, which is always a good idea in these sorts of situations!
As her first course, she ordered the Spicy Sesame Salad, which was absolutely gorgeous to look at. The presentation at Pure is really quite spectacular.
While beautiful, the taste was a bit bland for something that was supposed to be a spicy salad but the texture was interesting. I was quite happy that I had chosen to chomp on the Mediterranean Salad to start.
Yes, in the end it was just a salad but it was an incredibly tasty salad and certainly not bland. The dressing enhanced the greens perfectly and the crackers not only added a great texture but also were delicious in their own right. Now the menu says that these are starter size salads but they were beyond filling. In fact, while eating them, we began to wonder if we would even have room for our second course.
Thankfully, we were able to brave through it, as I just had to try Pure’s zucchini and tomato lasagna. After all, how could one even think of making a cheese-less, noodle-less dish and call it lasagna?
Luckily, they did not disappoint. This dish was out of this world. Despite the lack of carbs (the “noodles” were sliced zucchini) and cheese (which was replaced by cashews), it was still a delicious alternative to one of my favorite comfort foods and I felt good about eating it. Even after my enormous salad, I all but inhaled the lasagna, leaving very little for my dining companion to enjoy. (Hey, I said that I liked to eat with people who share, not that I enjoyed sharing myself!)
My friend, on the other hand, is a great sharer and saved one of her Tortilla Wraps entirely for me.
These were good but didn’t seem to be too much more than miniature guacamole wraps, albeit very fresh and flavorful guacamole. I am an avocado fiend but they were extremely heavy and I understood why my friend couldn’t eat more than two.
In my opinion, the desserts are really where Pure stands out and I even think I might be able to convince my boyfriend to try something off of their dessert menu, since there were no visible vegetables involved.
The Mallomar is definitely in the running for my top five favorite desserts. This delicious nutty (no really, raw almonds are a main ingredient) concoction blew me away and I think I just may need to keep a constant supply of them at home, which I can do since they also carry them at One Lucky Duck for takeaway.
This delicious treat makes you rethink raw eating all together. Seriously, it was so rich and flavorful and the perfect combination of texture and taste. Their take on the tiramisu wasn’t half bad either.
Okay, it was way more than not half bad. It was great. They really know how to do dessert.
Overall, I was pretty impressed with the food, though I preferred my choices over those of my friend as they were more complex and flavorful. The restaurant is wonderful introduction to these sorts of foods, even for people who typically enjoy a burger and fries and while an entire raw vegan meal probably isn’t for everyone, I would certainly make it an after dinner stop to enjoy some of their phenomenal desserts.