Purely New York.

After starting out our Saturday with a run through Central Park and miles of miles of walking all over the city, we were more than ready for our evening of delicious fine dining.  Since the moment we booked our trip over a month ago, I knew we would be dining at Pure Food & Wine – it has been on my list for too long!

We got to Pure and were greeted by dim lighting, swanky atmosphere, and great music.  Upon receiving my menu, my head started to swirl.  Being vegetarian, I am used to only having two or three things to choose from on most traditional restaurant menus.  So whenever I eat in a purely vegetarian spot, I get totally overwhelmed by the sheer number of options in front of me.  The thing is, I just LOVE to eat, and I usually end up ordering way too much food, simply because I can’t stand to choose just one thing.

We noticed that there was a 5-course tasting menu available, but only if the entire table wanted the tasting experience.  The type-A control freak in me thought this was a very risky move – not being able to order exactly what I wanted, as the tasting menu was 100% chef’s choice.  But I set my control aside for the evening, figuring this was probably one of the only places in the world where I would be actually be able to eat every course of a tasting menu.

It was one of the most expensive and most creative meals I have ever eaten, and the tasting menu was such a fun and special experience.  We started out with an amuse bouche of radish in a mushroom miso broth, that sadly was too blurry to share with you.  The lighting in Pure was kind of tragic, so I did my best with the single candle on our table.  I will spare you pictures of all four plates for all (actually 7) courses, but here are the highlights…

Appetizer course:  Casey’s rosemary crisps with tree nut cheese, caraway sauerkraut and a local apple cider reduction.

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And my Niwa Maki of avocado, enoki mushrooms, pickled heirloom baby carrots, asparagus, mango, scallions, and spicy wasabi aioli.  It was gorgeous and SPICY! 

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With the exception of the soup course, we each received something different for every course.  It was a nice way for us to see a huge assortment of Pure’s amazing menu, and for the most part we all ended up liking what we individually received.  Our second course was soup, and they were all the same – spinach soup with clove oil and pink peppercorns.  Off.the.hook.

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The next course was the first of two entrée courses (yes TWO!) – Casey received the pizzette with almond and rosemary crust, raw nut cheese, thin tomato, shaved topping and a fresh basil leaf.  Did I mention that everything in this restaurant is not only vegan, but also RAW?  It was incredible.

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My first entrée was a raw vegan sushi with avocado, enoki mushrooms, pickled ginger, asparagus shoots, and more.  I am a HUGE sushi fan, and this was perfect for me.

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Jordan’s entrée – some sort of avocado mouse with cashew sour cream and tomato salad, served on a crispy raw cracker.

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And Laura’s – pad thai with kelp noodle and baby bok choy, topped with snow peas, oyster mushrooms, tamarind sauce, and cilantro oil.

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Entrée course #2 (actually course #5) – can you believe we were still eating?  Casey got porcini ravioli with truffle cream sauce and baby white asparagus.

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And I received the sweet corn and cashew cream tomales with chili spiced portabella.  This came with a raw cacao mole that was to DIE for…

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In between our second entrées and the dessert course, we were given a meyer lemon soda as a palate cleanser.  Tasted like a sweet tart!

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When I first asked about the tasting menu and what it involved, the selling point was that you got samplings of every course – finished with a FULL sized dessert course.  Sounded just right to me.  I was crossing my fingers that I would get something chocolaty, and boy did they deliver.  I received the trio of dark chocolate coated Indian spiced ice cream treats – chocolate cardamom coconut ice cream cone, pistachio gelato ice cream sandwich, and chai tea creamsicle.

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Jordan got a passion fruit and chocolate panna cotta – truly amazing to be able to make that both raw and vegan.  I have no idea how they do it!

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And Laura got the salted chocolate caramel tart with dark chocolate ganache, maldon sea salt, and vanilla cream.  Best dessert of the night.

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It was definitely a dining experience I will remember for a long time, and it felt like such a treat to be able to enjoy such a decadent meal that was all vegetarian, and more importantly – totally delicious.  Even though we were stuffed full, our night was far from over.  We jumped in a cab and made our way up to Radio City Music Hall for our evening entertainment.

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Being inside Radio City felt like such a special experience.  The venue was absolutely breathtaking!

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Casey is a big Iron & Wine fan, and I’m so glad we were able to make this trip happen and fall in line with the concert – such a fun addition to an already fabulous vacation.

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While I didn’t know the music as well as the rest of my group, I really enjoyed the show.  Just being in such a famous venue with gorgeous architecture and beautiful music was enough to entertain me.

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It felt like the perfect New York day, and I found myself beaming with smiles as we strolled through Times Square back to our hotel.  It started with a snowy run through Central Park, followed by a trip to a gluten-free bakery, a 5-course tasting menu at Pure, and a concert at Radio City to finish out our day.

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I love New York.