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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Restaurant Review: Pure Food & Wine

If you are at all interested in vegan foodie culture, you have probably heard of Pure Food & Wine.
And if not, I am here to tell you about it.

Pure Food & Wine is a raw, vegan, organic restaurant in Gramercy.
It was created by Sarma Melngailis, who also owns One Lucky Duck Juice & Takeaway.

I recently travelled to see my grandparents, who live about 20 minutes outside of Manhattan. 
Although my trip was short, I was lucky enough to squeeze in a lunch at Pure.

I was accompanied to the restaurant by my mom, brother, and grandma- none of whom are vegan.

They were humoring me because they know I love to try new plant-based cuisine. However, a menu free of meat (not to mention dairy, eggs, or gluten) would not have been their top pick.

I, on the other hand, could not have been more excited for lunch. Especially considering all the glowing reviews that I had read about the restaurant.

As soon as we received our menus, everyone was a little overwhelmed by all of the options.
We finally decided on drinks, plus a Ceasar salad for the table.

I am pleased to say that the salad was a hit! My mom kept on saying how good it was and asking me to create something similar for her when we got back home. 

My brother is a big fan of traditional Ceasar salad, but he loved the vegan version as well. 

Everyone is digging in for more.
What he didn't love was his Thai Green juice, which I drank instead. I thought it was really sweet, but I guess the greens were too overpowering for him.

We had finished off the whole salad by the time we decided on entrées. 

I ordered the Brazil Nut Sea Vegetable Croquettes, which were absolutely delicious.
I haven't eaten crab cakes in years, but that is the closest thing I can relate them to. They tasted as if they were fresh from the ocean.

I despise arugula but my mom loves it, so I gave her my salad and a bite of croquette.

In return I got to sample her Zucchini & Tomato Lasagna.
I've had similar dishes before and always find that raw lasagnas are a little too heavy for my liking, since they tend to be overloaded with oils and seed-based condiments.

The entrée was plenty flavorful though, and my mom said that it was very filling as well.

What I really wanted to try was my grandma's Falafel with Tabouli.

This was my second choice entrée so I had to see what I was missing. 

The tabouli was pretty good and the falafel was amazing! 
Just a bite was enough to satisfy my need for some Mediterranean flavor.

I was surprised by how large the portion was- definitely enough to share.

The only thing I didn't try was my brother's Portabella and Hemp Seed Burger.

He was afraid that he would be left hungry (seeing how small the burger was) but he said that it actually filled him up pretty well.

He didn't have much to say about the taste, though. It looked good to me, but I can't vouch for it one way or the other- seeing as I didn't taste any of it.

The one thing that my family and I were all on the same page about was dessert.

I didn't care what we ordered, as long as it was chocolate. To my delight, everyone else decided on the Mint Sundae.

In my opinion, this was the spotlight of our meal. I wanted chocolate and I was not disappointed.

This sundae had everything a sundae should, from chocolate drizzle to a dollop of vanilla cream (plus some sort of chocolate mousse on the bottom).

See those little cubes on top? They are mint chocolate cookie bits!
Like a thin mint, only better.

We also ordered the Lemon Bar... It was good but just does not compare to that sundae.

All in all, I would say my first experience at Pure was a success.

I was happy. My family got a chance to see how diverse plant-based food can be. No animals were hurt in the process. 

Sarma claims that her company is about "making things better-for people animals and the earth". 
It seems to me as if she is accomplishing all of these goals.

Pure Food & Wine is a little pricey, but it is a treat. I recommend checking it out if you get a chance.

Pure Food and Wine on Urbanspoon

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