Thursday, August 19, 2010

dirt candy, CocoaV

Every once in awhile I like to take a trip to the city to explore vegan eateries and get inspired.  About a year or so ago I had heard about a new vegetarian restaurant called "dirt candy" - I liked the name, and the concept that veggies are like nature's candy, and so I wanted to check it out.  I finally got my chance this week.

The bright white obelisk illuminating the entry

The owner of dirt candy, Amanda Cohen, is a graduate of the Natural Gourmet (where I've also taken classes!) and former chef at Pure Food and Wine, one of the country's finest raw food restaurants.  If you want to see Chef Cohen in action, she will be competing against Iron Chef Morimoto on Iron Chef America Sunday, August 29, at 10:00 p.m. - exciting!!

The summer menu

The food here is more about chemistry and presentation than having a good hardy dinner, but it was still an enjoyable experience.  I do have to note, however, the space is TINY, even by NY standards.  Nine two-tops and a narrow alley down the center meant that if you wanted to get out of your seat you had to push aside the table next to you, inhale deeply, and hope that none of your clothes or body parts bumped up against fellow diners.  Seriously.  While in the bathroom I half expected to hear an announcement that we were free to unfasten our seatbelts and walk around the cabin.

I ordered the Mushroom Mousse appetizer, which according to the website is the restaurant's signature dish.

"The dish itself consists of a cube of the mousse, some thinly sliced grilled portobellos, a scoop of pear and fennel compote and little bits of truffle toast. After watching some folks struggle with their knives and forks (heartbreaking) we now recommend that people spread the mousse on the toast, top it with the grilled portobellos, add a bit of the compote for some sweetness, then stuff the whole thing in their mouth."  

So I had to try it.  The compote was made with apricot preserves, and it was a pleasingly sweet contrast to the savory mushroom.  For any vegans who miss the taste and texture of liverwurst, this will surely be pure heaven.  For me?  I've never really been a fan of the stuff.

For the entree I chose the Crispy Tofu with Broccolini and Orange Beurre Blanc.  The flavors were rich, coconutty, and Thai curry spiced. . . I just wish there was some jasmine rice or something to soak it all up.  I normally have to pass on the complimentary bread because of my gluten sensitivity, but in this case I wanted to sop up every last drop of that sauce, and I was still starving (come on:  one little slice of tofu??).

I was happy to be on my way across town for dessert at CocoaV.  Chocolates, bon bons, truffles, cupcakes, milk shakes, organic wine... yeah, the perfect way to end an evening.  For your viewing pleasure:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your entrees are 100% better-looking than those from "dirt candy" and also more substantial looking. New York and all its hype.... The chocolates from Cocoa V are a different story. I love any kind of chocolates and those look spectacular.