I am still pretty new on my quest to eat as vegan as possible, been only six months yet, so I am always on the lookout for good restaurants and good substitutes to meat and dairy. I have gotten used to the new lifestyle and the way I prepare food, but I am also still trying my way around this whole new vast landscape of foods, always in search for inspiration. So when we left for New York last week, one of my greatest missions were understandably to locate and try as many good vegan restaurants as we could find time for. Couldn't have picked a better city for it as NYC is packed with great options, and many of them have been around since long before the trend got mainstream. Besides getting tips from friends and readers, I jumped on the Google machine and after some research, I decided on two of the restaurants that came up most frequently in articles and reviews. Blossom's been located in Chelsea for seven years and is a small, cozy, intimate and elegant restaurant. The type you go to for a leisure dinner with your girlfriends, or a romantic date, sipping great organic wines in low lit candle light.
Still being so new to this whole vegan thing, and even though I won't ever go back to looking at meat and dairy the way I naively have done in the past, I am still a little skeptical as far as flavors and ingredients goes. Some meat and dairy substitutes does indeed lack good, familiar flavors, hence my need to try out and learn as much new as I possibly can get my hands on. My verdict after a night at Blossom: Not one disappointment, rather did I feel inspired to rush back home to the kitchen with all new ideas that were born. A crispy Phyllo Roulade with spiced lentils, swiss chard, caramelized onions and carrot cashew cream was perfectly balanced in flavors and crustiness. The Lasagna with tapioca cheese, ground seitan, tofu marinara, roasted eggplant and sautéed pea shoots could as well have been made with real meat and cheese, so good it was. And the daily special of bbq grilled seitan fillet with balsamic glazed kale served with tomato tossed potatoes was absolutely outstanding if I may say the least. A dinner is obviously never complete without a sweet happy ending and the frozen banana and chocolate sundae got voted brilliant in all its simplicity.
Besides their Chelsea flagship restaurant, Blossom is also located on the Upper West side, and another sister restaurant in West Village. Definitely going to try those two out on future trips, as they apparently have completely different menus on each of their locations. So much good food and places to try out, so little time it seems!