Now that fall has arrived here in the Northeast the temperatures are dipping, the sunny days are shorter, and it also becomes a good time to re-evaluate eating habits. It’s very easy to fall into that trap of eating more of a comfort food diet during the colder weather while consuming many more calories. We all become creatures of habit and hibernate a bit during the fall and winter season as the warmer sunny days dwindle away. That being said, it’s also a good time to try out different varieties of food, and there are many vegan options out there to discover, especially when one gets tired of the “meat and potatoes” meals many of us eat in the winter season. One such place I discovered recently was Cafe Blossom located in the West Village, NYC. I openly admit to being a ravenous carnivore and prefer meat based meals, but many times over the past few years I have found a few vegan restaurants to be highly acceptable to my palate while serving up delicious plates of meatless fare. Eating vegan is good for a chance of pace, while also being on the healthier side, and can taste flavorful too. Here is a recent discovery of mine that I was awarded Review Of The Day on Yelp for.
I know that I should eat a bit more of a “cleaner” diet and sometimes I get the urge to try out going vegan/vegetarian, but the meat eater in me is in a constant battle with that thinking. It’s like I have a devil sitting on one shoulder and an angel on the other constantly at odds. Well, at least for one night the angel won.
Cafe Blossom made me totally think that I could actually enjoy the organic vegan lifestyle. Too bad I could never really cook the delicious plates that I tasted last night!
Seriously, everything that we ordered last night was tremendous and tasted wonderful. At times I look at vegan food to be a bit bland, but the menu here is quite eclectic and full of intense aromas and flavor. Even the setting with it’s subdued red walls, quiet music, and candle lit atmosphere offers an ambiance catering to an enjoyable relaxing meal exploring the vegan landscape.
Looking over the menu we wanted to try everything! Alas, we had to settle for a only a few things. Our waitress, Penelope, was super sweet and friendly and offered some perfect suggestions for our first meal here. She suggested some drinks and we started off with the Strawberry Berry Sangria which was refreshingly intense and filled with blueberries too.
As an appetizer we chose the Chickpea Fritters with sauteed ratatouille. This was totally not what I thought it would be and had a creamy consistency with a light crispy outside. As there were three pieces we had to fight over who got more.
The main plates? Both terrific and totally different. Seitan Marsala with sage potato cake, sautéed garlic spinach, poached pear, shallot and thyme marsala reduction. Sautéed Mushroom Risotto with scallion, miso mustard cashew cream, fried leek, carrot, and cilantro. Holy taste bud assault! The seitan had an intense smokey flavor to it and everything on the plate complimented it perfectly. It makes you forget about eating meat or poultry, as this is in a category all it’s own. Plus, such a large amount is served on the plate that there is no skimping here. The risotto was creamy and rich. Full of mushrooms and bold flavor. Even though this is quite a filling bowl I could not stop eating it and actually had to finally give up. As sides we had the sauteed asparagus with lemon, and grilled corn with a chipotle style sauce. Both were just a perfect accompaniment to the overall meal which was fabulous.
Seriously, we were stuffed after this and could not even make room for dessert! Will have to go back, as we saw some people near us raving about it.
I must also note that the plating presentation is a joy to the eyes. Plates that are made of slate, bowls that have a futuristic look, and wine bottles on the table holding water. The location itself is a chic bistro with a very warm feel, but totally representative for this part of town in the West Village. Candles everywhere. They also have a full bar with some organic beer and wines to choose from. There is even a whole downstairs room that would be perfect for private parties and group dining affairs. Even the bathrooms are clean and elegant with a coed sink area in between them.
What more can I say? This was a flawless meal. The food choices are totally vegan with a unique flair and prepared perfectly. You pay a little extra for expertly made vegan fare, and this is totally worth it. From the attentive service, to the stylish yet simple surroundings, to the fantastic food selections, Cafe Blossom is a joy to the palate and a must visit for those who enjoy the vegan lifestyle, or just looking to take a walk on the meatless side for a while.