Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pure, raw lady-date

For my birthday this year, I was the very fortunate recipient of a gift card to New York's own temple of healthy eating: Pure Food and Wine, the raw, vegan culinary enterprise from the beautiful (shocker) Sarma MeIngailis.

A testament to how busy I've been is that my birthday was in May and I was finally able to enjoy my meal at Pure, with, of course, my dear friend who gave me the gift, last night.

Thankfully, it was well worth the wait. I had been dreaming of raw mushroom ravioli and decadent raw desserts for so long that the lines had begun to blur between what I had actually eaten and what I had just seen photos of online and drooled over. The trick I employed to distinguish between the two was to remind myself that I actually hadn't eating anything from the restaurant. Ohhhh, right.

Well I can't say that anymore, can I get a woo-hoo for that?

What distinguishes Pure from other healthy or even vegan restaurants is, yes, that the food served is entirely 'raw': not heated over 118 degrees, but more than that, that it is truly a gourmet dining experience. Sarma does not sacrifice one ounce of elegance or comfort both in the preparation of foods and in the ambiance of the restaurant itself.

This visit was a true indulgence.

We split a maki appetizer to start, which was made of: avocado, delicious, and deliciousness.

Moving right along to our entrees, Ellen enjoyed her favorite, the corn tamales, which succeeded in tasting, dare I say...meaty? I opted for the squash blossoms with cashew nut cheese and green beans which were mysteriously crunchy as though they had been...cooked?

romantic lighting does not lend itself to the best iPhone photography

For dessert we each ordered ice cream treats, perfectly complimenting the warm summer evening. Again, although they were vegan and not really frozen, they were completely, cream-y.

to the amusement of absolutely no one, I felt the need to instagram my dessert

How do they do it? Ellen had had the good fortune of enjoying a sampling of the menu with the restaurateur herself and explained how the process of dehydrating and soaking many of the elements of each dish begins a week prior to serving, and how the chefs aim to create combinations that compliment each other in such a way that they trick the mind into assuming it is enjoying a cooked dish. The level of science, attention to detail, and culinary expertise necessary to create each dish is simply mind boggling and left me in awe.

And full and happy.

We also spotted Sarma, hard at work on her laptop in the corner, looking stunning per the usual. I totally gawked. I was definitely the coolest customer Pure has ever had, and they are welcome for my patronage.

The one potential detrimental side effect of this overwhelmingly wonderful dining experience is that I fear I will hate every meal I have until my [inevitable] return. Oh well, sacrifices must be made.

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