Back in the 1950’s a meal wasn’t a meal without meat. But this isn’t the 1950’s, and meat isn’t what it used to be. With the production of pork, beef and poultry that’s being raised and slaughtered en masse – meat and animal products have become less revered as a clean source of nutrition, and more feared for it’s hormone laced byproducts. So, while I am not against the consumption of (sustainably raised and responsibly produced) meat and dairy, I do opt for an 80/20 rule most of the time – going vegan whenever possible.
Obviously when you’re cooking for yourself, it’s easy to control what’s on your plate. But what can be trickier, is finding satisfying vegan options at restaurants. Vegan cafés are often heavily lacking in atmosphere, and occasionally the food itself is just as lackluster. Thankfully, there’s Blossom – a local, mini chain of 4 restaurants in NYC that gives vegans a place to indulge in delicious eats, without sacrificing food quality or experience. Blossom’s menu renounces all animal products in favor of organic, plant-based dishes that source their ingredients locally and from small farms and distribution companies. And guess what…? They’re actually DELICIOUS!
My personal favorite is Blossom on Carmine – not only because of its extreme proximity to my apartment (aka my Treehouse) in the West Village, but also because of its tapas style menu and open-air dining room. The casual yet decidedly un “crunchy” ambiance was a perfect setting for my latest Hippie in Heels Feast.
It was a hot summer weeknight, and my girlfriends and I were craving a healthy meal over which to gossip and catch up on each other’s lives. Blossom’s satiating, small plates menu is perfect for sharing – and share we did. Over savory mushroom tacos, Moroccan veggie tagine and a bottle of wine – we devoured a total of 7 dishes and countless stories and anecdotes from the week behind. My favorite dish had to be the seaweed “caviar” crostini, which was every bit as delectable as it’s namesake. Although it was a close tie with the quinoa salad - so richly flavorful, that it had us all digging in until we thought our bellies would burst. The meatless meal even converted Ashley (notorious for once requesting a drive by steak after eating a vegan lunch) to a believer in the potential of creative vegan cuisine. As for my favorite moment? Probably when we went around the table assigning each other clothing avatars. There was no debate when it came to nominating me as a caftan. “Like a vintage Pucci caftan with a deep V” specified one friend. Well, good thing the flowy, floral sundress I’d selected for the occasion wasn’t too far off!
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[taco trio – roasted mushroom adobo, corn tortilla, cabbage, huitlacoche,
carrot/onion escabeche, micro cilantro – $10 (gf, nf, sf)]
[“salmon” tofu – beet marinated tofu, creamy dill sauce, lobster mushroom scallops,
forbidden black rice, fennel, leeks, broccolini – 20 (gf, nf)]