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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pure Food And Wine

Hi Liana, eating out and socializing is a major part of my life and work. I want to fulfil living a healthy lifestyle at the same time. Are you able to recommend any restaurants and places to eat out, that use majority of their ingredients naturally provided by the earth? I am primarily based in Manhattan, New York. - Harry

Hi Harry!

In Manhattan I would recommend the raw food restaurant called 'Pure Food and Wine'.

Their menu is entirely plant based and does not use any processed ingredients! (woohooo!) It is so refreshing to find a restaurant that focuses on ingredients naturally provided by the earth.

I was there last Thursday with Andrew and we had the most amazing and fulfilling experience. The food is divine, and the people who work there and eat there are equally as great. It always seems to be a certain kind of people who gather at places like Pure Food And Wine, that all share the same intention of quality food, health and connectedness.

The head chef is Nikki Bennett who started out as the intern and now specializes in 'organic ingredients and handcrafted flavors that rejuvenate the body, mind and planet'! Very cool :) Nikki shared with me how she loves creating new menus from season to season and that they are always coming up with fun ingredients to create fresh new recipes - it's nice to know your food is made with love! ;) "And save room for dessert" she told me, "People don't except to be full with raw foods, so they order a lot and it is actually extremely filling. We use quality fats; coconuts, nuts and avocados". Yum avocado - my favourite!

My favourite drink on their menu is the 'Avocolada' created with pineapple, avocado, coconut juice, agave and lime. It is thick, sweet and creamy :) They have lots of other fruit smoothies and shakes, and the menu will work for you even if you’re on a detox! If you want something a little more indulgent you could try one of their wines. Andrew had an Australian red wine 'The Hedonist'. They also have organic beer for the beer drinkers ;)

We shared an appetizer the 'Taco Salad' so we could keep room for dessert ;) I especially recommend it if you like the taste of regular sour cream - I am sure you will get a kick out of how similar raw sour cream made with nuts tastes like the 'real' thing! Its other ingredients are romaine lettuce, spicy taco crumble (delicious!), pico de gallo (tomato, onion, chilli), guacamole, cashew sour cream and cilantro-lime dressing. A delicious and light meal with a spicy bite :) You can also purchase this as a takeaway!

I chose the raw Sushi Rolls for my main. Jicama was the 'rice'. I have been exploring jicama recently. It is part of the turnip family and is a great food for raw recipes like pasta pesto and raw French fries although I had never tried it as rice and it was surprisingly alike! They are also made from marinated shitake, avocado, asparagus, red pepper, wasabi and nama shoyu. Andrew had the Portabella and Hempseed Burger. He could not believe how small it looked when Lizzie served it and yet he could not finish his last bites, although I was happy to eat it for him hehe! I love anything with hempseeds - they have a delicious light and nutty flavour while also being extremely high in protein. Hemp seed contains albumin and 65% globulin edistin, the highest level of any nutritional seed. Hemp seed was used successfully in Czechoslovakia to treat the nutritional deficits consequent to tuberculosis, a disease which blocks nutrition. Read more about hemp at this link

Raw food can be quite misleading, they may look small and compact, and it may sound unfulfilling, but because it is raw it is extremely nutrient dense. Usually a raw foodist will eat more, absorb more nutrients and consume less calories. On a raw food diet the body intakes so many more nutrients with less amount of food, and the body will experience fulfilment much sooner than if we were to eat processed or cooked foods. But if you don't eat it all, no worries, they pack it in an adorable little 'One Lucky Duck' carry bag.

One Lucky Duck is known for a definitive source for raw and organic, eco-happy daily living. It was created by Sarma Melngailis who is also the founder of Pure Food And Wine.

If you’re new to raw food and not sure what to order, there is a 3 course prix fixe menu that includes Tortilla Wraps and Tiramisu! Another safe choice would be the Lasagana! It is one of their most popular dishes and uses zucchini instead of pasta, nut cheese instead of regular cheese, and fresh herbs, spices and tomatoes. It is an extremely rich dish.

If you are a meat eater, you could still enjoy dining here. Nikki says that alot of meat eaters go there and are surprised that they like it. Remember it's more filling than you think ;) To learn more about raw foods click this link

For dessert Andrew had the Moon Pie which is a chocolate brownie vanilla cream sandwhich. Desserts are my favourite part of eating raw! They are created with whole ingredients like the cacao bean and are extremely rich. I am usually not the one to leave any dessert, but I could not finish my Chocolate Ganache Tart! It is refreshing to be able to eat a dessert that is dairy free, soy free, gluten free, sugar free, chemical free, preservative free and artificial anything free! Pure Food And Wine even have an entire kitchen section for desserts that is run by Becky Flammino :) mmm.
"It's fun to come to the restaurant and see what we do with food" - Nikki. Not only can eating out be enjoyable socially, it can also be authentically healthy. Nikki showed me through the kitchen, which was shiny, clean, and filled with vibrant workers - perhaps because it smelled of such fresh foods and herbs and not one cooking apparatus in sight! What a great place to work everyday. I want to acknowledge Pure Food And Wine for having healthy options available to people in New York :) Thank you.

Getting To Pure Food And Wine in Manhattan:

Subway Directions: Take the L,4,5,6,N,R,Q, or W trains to Union Square and walk one block east toward Irving Place.

Driving Directions: From the Lincoln Tunnel: East on 34th street, 4 blocks to Broadway (Herald Square). Right on Broadway, 11 blocks South to 23rd Street. Left on 23rd Street, 3 blocks East to 3rd Ave.Right on third Ave, 6 blocks to 17th street, Right on 17th, one block to Irving Place.

From the FDR: Exit on the 23rd street Exit. West on 23rd Street. Left onto 3rd Ave. 6 blocks south to 17th street, Right on 17th. One block to Irving Place (54 Irving at the corner)

Parking: The closest parking lot is on 17th between 3rd and Irving and there is street parking in the neighborhood around the restaurant.

Link to:
Pure Food And Wine website
Pure Food And Wine twitter
Pure Food And Wine and The Earth Diet

With love, Liana :)

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