The Synonymy of Fresh
crisp, raw, natural, unprocessed, new, modern, original, novel, innovative, unusual,
unconventional, offbeat, unorthodox, radical, revolutionary...
Having wrapped up our juice cleanse, Patti and I were looking to ease back in to solid food with something healthy. While there is a lot of innovation going on in vegetarian cuisine these days, it is still a relatively small field. So where can discriminating bar eaters go to find food that is fresh and exciting? At the top of the natural food pyramid here in New York is Pure Food & Wine. Originally the (2004) creation of notorious chef Matthew Kenny and then girlfriend, chef Sarma Melngailis (sordid details); it still purveys some of the most inspired food to be found on any menu, in the city. Alone, Samara seems to have accomplished what Matthew never could, to keep a good thing going.
We began with spinach and nasturtiums stuffed with polenta and garnished with droplets of wasabi, (a special not on the menu). Wow, what a re-entry! Not to forget the, olives cured in fennel and orange. We followed up with the zucchini and heirloom tomato lasagna and the sweet corn and cashew tamales. The lasagna, a signature dish was delicious, but the tamales were our favorites.
So that's how the fast was broken. But what did we drink? We were sorely tempted to toast our successful cleanse with a Master Cleanse Tini, but went with the, Saint Clair sauvignon blanc from New Zealand, (organic of course), because first night back, it was all about light and crisp.
A word about Victor, our bartender for the evening. A genuine guy and pleasure to meet, he knows what he is doing and he keeps it real. So often its the added dimension of a good bartender, natural, unaffected, in tune to their surroundings that ties the whole experience together. We look forward to running into Victor again.
The knock on this place is that the portions are small and the prices high. It is undeniably, on the expensive side but we never balk when quality is exceptional. In our view, it is the mediocre that's a waste of money, at any price point. As for the portions they seemed ample to us. We even had left overs.
Chef / Owner Sarma Melngailis blogs about everything at One Lucky Duck.