Pure Food & Wine is, without a doubt, one of my favorite restaurants. Definitely in the top three, quite possibly at the very top of my list. I recently had lunch here with Sonali, who has been incorporating more vegetarian meals into her diet. I suggested Pure Food & Wine as the garden is a beautiful setting for catching up over a healthy, delicious meal. The weather was perfect for garden dining. All the dining tables were full, so we sat at one of the lounge tables instead. I actually preferred that as we basically had a private corner all to ourselves. The flowers were a lovely touch. The sangria was a delicious mixture of rose wine, organic fruit, fresh lemonade, and bubbly prosecco.About halfway through our meal, I spotted Sarma Melngailis at another one of the lounge tables in the garden. She’s the owner of Pure Food & Wine and all things One Lucky Duck, and it was the duck tattoo that tipped me off!
Pure Food & Wine offers raw, vegan cuisine with a fine dining touch. I’ve been here for dinner a few times, but this was my first visit for the three-course prix fixe lunch ($32). Even though the salads are the starter size, they’re quite large! Sonali had the tuscan kale and radicchio salad with red grapes, golden raisins, pine nuts, pumpkin seed macadamia parmesan, and lemon caper vinaigrette. I decided to try their vegan interpretation of a caesar salad. Traditionally, caesar salads include anchovies, but in this case, they use nori for a refreshing, oceany flavor. Romaine lettuce, nori, pumpkin seed macadamia parmesan, lemon, caesar dressing. At first, I thought the yellow flakes were gigantic flakes of nutritional yeast! This was Sonali’s first visit here, and it was fitting that she ordered the signature lasagna dish. Thinly sliced zucchini and tomatoes with sun-dried tomato sauce, pistachio basil pesto, with pumpkin seed macadamia ricotta. This dish was absolutely fabulous and very satisfying when I had it earlier this year. I ordered the Brazil nut sea vegetable croquettes. It comes with a tartare sauce, local honey sweet chili sauce, wild arugula, and pink pepper on the side. Think of this as a vegan take on a crab cake. The spiciness of the arugula was tasty, especially with the hearty croquettes and rich tartare sauce. I’m always amazed and inspired by the fact that these aren’t just vegan, but raw desserts. Some of the best I’ve had in NYC. I ordered the tiramisu triangle. Rich vanilla cream layered with coffee-sake almond cake. My tiramisu craving has been officially satisfied. Sonali’s mallomar was perfection on a plate. Chocolate coated pecan cookie with vanilla ice cream. Remind me to order this next time I’m here!