Thursday, November 17, 2011

Restaurant Review: V-Note

Bonjour, friends! It's been awhile since I've posted here, but after a petite internal debate, I decided that I've missed the vegan tomato and think this would be a great place to talk my journey back to veganism. And to talk about FOOD! So let's get started, shall we?

I'm lucky to now live in one of the most, if not the most, vegan-friendly city in the world.  The sheer number of stellar vegan restaurants, bakeries, ice cream parlors, etc. in this city astonish and delight me, particularly when you consider how relatively vegan-friendly most general eateries are (aside from crazy upscale restaurants that pretty much worship the slaughtering of animals for meat - believe me, I've been there as well).  Tonight I went to V-note on the Upper East Side with a darling new friend I met at Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's lecture/book-signing.  Neither the conversation nor the food disappointed.  Aren't those the best nights?

Laura had been to V-note a number of times, so I went with her recommendations.  To start, we began with the mushroom phyllo cigars - ahmazing phyllo "cigars" stuffed with porcino mushrooms and tempeh swimming in an insane sauce of cashew cream, slivered almonds and pomegranate seeds.  I could've eaten about 20 of the cigars and drunk a liter of that sauce.

We also got the cape cod cakes, which could've been excellent or terrible.  A blend of hiziki seaweed and tofu?  Hmm...  But lemme tell you something, these were SO freaking good.  While they certainly didn't taste like crab, they were tasty in their own right with a crispy outside, savory inside and a CRAZY good tartar sauce that had the perfect kick.  I want the recipe!!

For my entree, I went with a comforting fan favorite that came highly recommended by Laura - seitan scaloppini - seitan cutlets in white wine lemon-caper sauce, mashed potatoes and sauteed kale.  While this was definitely delicious, I wasn't as in love with it as I was with the appetizers.  It was just a little too sauce-y and salty for my taste, but I think that's just how scaloppini is (I've never really ordered it to be honest).  That being said, the combination of the chewy seitan (which was done quite well), potatoes and kale (which was sauteed to perfection) was incredibly well done.

Finally - time for dessert!  I had a mediocre dessert experience at Peacefood Cafe (which I need to do a review of because their food was SO FREAKING GOOD - best dumplings EVER) a couple months ago, so I was ready for some excellentay vegan dessert.  As soon as I saw the first item on the menu, I knew it was meant to be - chocolate ganache cake with a peanut butter center.  It came with a scoop of some kind of vegan ice cream (SO GOOD) in a pool of crushed nuts (I think they were macadamia, but I couldn't tell - either way, they were delicious and crunchy and perfect).  The combination was blow-your-mind-good.  Decadent, a perfect combination of sweet and salty, with a cool and creamy ice cream complement.  Drool...

Laura got the blossom cheesecake, which was very surprisingly delicious.  The consistency was spot on, and it kind of really tasted like cheesecake if you can believe it!  I didn't snap a pic, but I sure did take a few bites.  :)

All in all, an excellent experience at V-note.  I give it an A-minus for food and a B for ambiance (I don't know what it is about vegan restaurants, but the interior design always needs some serious work)!  I will most definitely be going back (am eager to try their brunch).  V-note is under the same restaurant umbrella as Blossom, Blossom du Jour and Cocoa V (all of which are mere minutes away from my apartment!).

Stay tuned for more restaurant reviews - this weekend I'm going to Candle 79 and in a couple of weeks I'm going to Pure Food & Wine.  Have I mentioned how much I love this city?