New York, NY Restaurant Review: Pure Food and Wine

Posted by on Jul 7, 2014 in Everything Else | 0 comments

When I feel compelled to write restaurant reviews it’s usually because I’ve had such an amazing meal that I can’t wait to share it with you all.  This is definitely the case today. In fact, tonight’s meal at Pure Food and Wine confirmed for me that this restaurant offers one of the most innovative, creative and purely pleasurable dining experiences in New York City. What Pure Food and Wine does with raw vegetables and fruit is mind blowing. This was my second visit to Pure Food and Wine and it certainly will not be my last. 

This evening, I ordered for a main course the Hen of the Woods Tacos al Pastor, served with smoked guacamole, corn, hearts of palm, guajillo crema fresca and pickled onions.  The marinated hen of the woods mushrooms were almost meaty in texture, wrapped expertly in what I think may have been a jicama slice and topped with crema fresca over a bed of corn and hearts of palm.  When I first tasted the smoked guacamole I thought it a little too salty. But this guacamole should not be eaten alone.  When paired with a forkful of sweet corn, the flavors balance each other out perfectly and it is truly a delightful experience. Delicious.

Hen of the Woods Tacos al Pastor

Hen of the Woods Tacos al Pastor

For dessert I tried the seasonal orange blossom sponge cake with strawberry-elderflower semifreddo, candied pistachios, green strawberries and cabernet reduction.  First, the presentation. Isn’t this a thing of beauty? Second, the taste. Three words: best dessert ever.  The cake, though raw, tasted like cake. It was sweet and surprisingly light, layered with a lovely, sweet, creamy frosting.  The cake was topped with candied pistachios and on top of that, the delicious semifreddo.  I savored every single bite of this dessert and seriously, I didn’t want to end.  Except for the green strawberries that is.

Orange Blossom Sponge Cake with Strawberry-Elderflower Semifreddo

Orange Blossom Sponge Cake with Strawberry-Elderflower Semifreddo

To drink, I ordered what I did the first time I visited Pure Food and Wine: the wild blueberry kombucha.  Refreshing, light, not too sweet. Perfect on a hot summer evening.

Wild blueberry kombucha by candlelight

Wild blueberry kombucha by candlelight

This, dear friends, was a meal worth writing home about.

But let me not stop there, because my first visit to Pure Food and Wine was also a meal worthy of writing home about. And I took really good notes!

That time, back in April, I had wanted to treat myself to the tasting menu.  Two half-sized appetizers, two half-size mains, and a full-size dessert.  I couldn’t that evening due to some of my food allergies getting in the way, but I promise myself I’m going to try again some time soon.

Instead, I asked the waiter what he would recommend and settled on the raw philly roll as an appetizer, and Pure Food and Wine’s famed raw lasagna for a main course.

Philly Roll

Philly Roll

The philly roll was delicious. With spicy kimchi balanced against creamy avo and a cashew cream cheese and spinach.  It was almost like bibimbap in a nori roll. And I have to say that whoever thought up that combination is genius. It felt light, healthy and so incredibly tasty, I didn’t even miss the rice. 

Zucchini and Heirloom Tomato Lasagna

Zucchini and Heirloom Tomato Lasagna

And the lasagna can be described in one word: FLAVOR. Oh my! It was scrumptious. The nutty pistachio basil pesto and intense sundried tomato sauce were out of this world.  They were paired with with a mild macadamia and pumpkin seed ricotta, which was generously layered between fresh zucchini and flavorful heirloom tomatoes. Combined, it created a dish that was phenomenally good.  This lasagna has a reputation for a reason.

Mint Sundae with Chocolate Mint Cookies

Mint Sundae with Chocolate Mint Cookies

Of course, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for dessert and opted for the mint sundae with chocolate chip mint cookies. It came with mint, mint chip, and chocolate ice cream, smothered in chocolate sauce with a dash of vanilla cream. Again, pure perfection in one beautifully prepared bowl.

If anyone ever tells you that vegan food is boring, Pure Food and Wine is your answer. Both the presentation and the flavors are amazing.  After a meal like this, you’ll never want to go back to eating cooked food again! 

My photos may leave a little to be desired, but the food surely won’t. 

It might be pricey, but believe me it is worth every penny. Especially when the garden is open and you can enjoy your meal under the stars!

Location: 54 Irving Place, between 17th and 18th Streets, New York, NY
Hours: Lunch: 12 – 4pm; Dinner: 5:30 – 11pm. Seven days a week.

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