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Vegan Food, Family & Travel

So let’s take a little trip around the tasting menu at Pure Food & Wine in New York City…

The Amuse Bouche
The Amuse Bouche

I woke up yesterday actually feeling pretty good. As you all know this year the cliche biological clock showed up, but luckily kept lurking around in the shadows. It was just this little hint of worry that just lingered around like an unwelcome guest at a party. But yesterday I was so busy I left the worry at home and instead went off on a mission – a quest if you will – to locate some really frakking expensive baby medications in the pharmacies of the Upper West Side. But I returned victorious!

I also was given a mildly daunting present from Dan: Dinner anywhere I wanted in NYC. Mildly daunting because no matter where I choose it would be a winner. NYC is a particularly heavenly place to be vegan. But with so many to choose from – it can be hard to choose which one was going to be The Birthday Dinner Spot! The place where when I look back at my 30s I can say “Oh and then there was that wonderful night at XXX!”

So like all great decisions ever made – I left up to the internet!* I asked everyone on Facebook and Twitter what they thought and had some pretty fabulous suggestions. Vanessa over at V.K.Photography recommended Beyond Sushi – an all vegan sushi place I’ve always ment to go to. And that would have been the end of the story but I had promised to leave it up to the internet – so I did. For a long time it seemed like a close race between Candle 79 and Blossom but ultimately in end it was the dark horse Pure Food & Wine that took it.

We met up at Dan’s new office in Chelsea and walked over for a lovely night on a beautiful patio. I had never been to Pure Food & Wine before. I can tell you that if you ever go make sure you get a seat in the garden patio in the back. The atmosphere alone is really quite wonderful and reminded us why we wanted to move to this city to begin with. We ordered a bottle of wine and the tasting menu and then sat back and enjoyed the food while discussing campaign strategies for promoting vegan eating and Star Trek.

photo (11)We ordered a red wine blend from The Donkey & Goat Vineyards in California.

Now I had never heard of this wine before but we were actually drawn in by the story behind the making of this organic and vegan wine. This small family owned vineyard only makes around 2500 bottles a year in the most natural, sustainable and still traditional way possible. This actually incredible wine – really just wonderful – also had a goat on the label and well you know how much we love those. I have to say and I swear I’m not being dramatic – We both loved this wine. It was what you always hope wine will be and are often disappointed with. It had flavor without being “strong” and it was nice to sip on warm night without being boring. Just a total package this wine.

But I’m sure you want to hear more about the food. I’ve made slideshow so you could see all the food but of course I have to ask that you excuse the poor lighting in some… that’s the price you pay for a romanic candlelight dinner. We all have to make sacrifices.

The tasting menu at Pure Food & Wine is not cheap. It’s actually $69 a person but it was a special occasion and we literally never go out so I don’t feel too bad about the splurge. The food was fresh and different. I was actually a “raw vegan” for several years and I have to say I never really cared for raw dishes with cauliflower back then but there were a few last night that really surprised me and hands down the chili spiced portabella tamale and lemon cheesecake were the definition of delicious. They had great flavor and texture – while being unique and clean. I mean while we were sharing the tamale and we could tell you what spices were added – in a good way. Nothing was muddled, watered down**, buried in curry*** or oily – which sadly I usually find many raw dishes to be. We loved it.

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I’ve never really been the kind of woman who worried about my age so this year I wasn’t sure what to think about my dreading of 38. I mean I even caught myself telling people I was turning 40 a few weeks ago. But it’s not actually all that bad. In fact I woke up today in a better mood than yesterday and that was after drinking half a bottle of wine. So maybe it was 37 that was the problem all along…

*The sarcasm in the sentence is scorching and the irony is not lost on me.

**OK maybe the soup was a little watery – but it was chilled cucumber soup. That’s going to be watery. People don’t loss points in my book for not being magicians.

***For the record though – there are worse thing in life than to be buried in curry. I actually love curry and have it probably once a week… but still sometimes something new is just nice.

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