I adore vegan and vegetarian restaurants (despite the fact that I am not either), but they are hard to come by in CT. The only one I have visited near me (It’s Only Natural) is delicious and I’ve been there several times, but I like to try new restaurants…you all know that! So I’m sure you aren’t shocked that I was beyond-words excited when Heather and I realized during the Fitness Magazine Meet & Tweet, while conversing with Danielle over lunch, that one of NYC’s premier raw cuisine restaurants, Pure Food & Wine, was not only right in that very city, but a few blocks from our parking garage!
Heather and I took this as SERIOUS destiny. We were starved for dinner after leaving the Tone It Up event in Times Square, so we hailed a cab (that took awhile) to lug our sweaty butts and swag to the restaurant, which had JUST re-opened for dinner (many raw food restaurants close between lunch and dinner because of the work involved in prepping the freshest of food for delivery to customers’ bellies). We started the meal with the patio all to ourselves, and a kind stranger outside offered to snap a photo of us posing in front of the restaurant with all our stuff, like nomads!
I love my unique cocktails, so I was all over that menu, which featured a line-up of drinks made with specialty sakes. I love me a good sake cocktail! I selected the Himalayan Paradise: ginger, lemon, and goji-berry infused sake.
The cocktail was everything I hoped it’d be – and more, since its presentation blew me away. The flower floating in the drink fit perfectly with the peaceful vibe that had already settled over the meal – before we’d even ordered.
I savored every last drop throughout the meal and tried to make the drink last, but it went down very fast 😉
Speaking of which, does anyone else get annoyed when the food at a restaurant comes out TOO quickly? I know it doesn’t happen often, and perhaps since everything at the restaurant was raw it cut down on the time to prepare our meals, but our dinner came out literally about ten minutes after we ordered. I like to take my time with my drink and sip it solo, apart from the food, for a bit before I start pairing it with my plate. I suppose I also value the restaurant experience so much that I want it to last as long as possible, and the sooner the food comes out, the closer the visit is to being over. The fact that dinner was served so quickly wasn’t really a big deal at all though in the scheme of things, and Heather and I settled in to feast.
But I’m getting ahead of myself! We had a tough time deciding – I so wish I had enough money and a big enough stomach to order EVERYTHING – but the combination of our helpful waitress and recommendations we’d received earlier in the day from Danielle helped us decide…eventually.
Heather chose the Hen of the Woods Tacos el Pastor: smoked guac, hearts of palm, chayote squash, guajillo crema fresca, and pickled onions. She looooves da guac, so this was a choice that was right up her alley. And just look at how beautiful it is! However, it tasted BETTER than it looked. So unique and flavorful. We both took our time with this food, because we didn’t and still don’t know when we’ll have a chance to eat a meal like this again!
I ordered the Sweet Corn & Cashew Tamales with Chili-Spiced Portabella, which came with salsa verde, cashew coconut sour cream, avocado, and raw cacao mole! Another gorgeous presentation (that incorporated a flower) from the staff of Pure Food & Wine.
I had the idea of asking Heather to capture my face at first-bite.
Yup – one of the best meals of my life. I was speechless! And it’s NOT because my mouth was stuffed…I was taking this slow. I didn’t want it to end!
But alas, it did! Heather the avocado-lover helped me with that portion, but I dominated the rest, and all that was left was that sad-looking empty tamale. Thanks to Danielle for mentioning this dish to me!
I wasn’t sure if I had any room for dessert after dominating my main plate, but Heather helped me realize that I definitely needed to live in the NYC-moment, because I don’t visit the city or restaurants like this every day! So, we ordered something VERY special.
It was the last day the seasonal pumpkin cheesecake would be on the menu, so that made our decision a bit easier. This dessert induced plenty of inappropriate-sounding moans and groans from both of us! There actually was NO pumpkin in it. Instead, the “body” of the cheesecake was composed of a squash and carrot puree. The crust was almond meal and the ice cream was of the cashew variety…I got my fill of cashew “dairy” at this meal and loved every bite! I wish I could remember specifically what the syrup, icing, and crispy cookie were made of, but let’s just say it was something akin to puppies and rainbows and all kinds of other wonderful things.
I gave Heather the last bite. In exchange, she let me lick the plate. That’s what foodie friends are for!
We were so, so very sad when the meal came to an end, but our bellies, bodies, and hearts were certainly pleased.
Since it was such a bloggy day, we left our business cards with the check!
Thank you to Pure Food & Wine for providing an unforgettable experience to Heather and I! The restaurant surpassed our expectations and I only hope we can dine there again some day.
Have you ever been to a raw food restaurant?
Have you ever encountered a meal that you can truly say is one of the best you’ve EVER had?
If you’ve ever been to NYC, what’s your favorite restaurant you’ve been to there?