NYC Day 3 – Sanctuary Guest Suites + A Night Out On The Town (pt 2)
After our romp around Sustainable NYC we went back to Sanctuary Guest Suites to chill out for a few hours before heading to a raw vegan joint just a few blocks away…
Quintessence – 100% Vegan
263 E 10th Street
New York, NY 10009
I’m going to be honest. Our pictures from this dinner are total crap. They’re all too dark or blurry and just generally hard to see what the food really looks like. Which is unfortunate because this was one of our favorite dining experiences while in NYC. So I’ll do my best to describe the dishes. I did find a couple photos of what we had on other sites and from Quintessence’s website and Facebook page. So I’m hoping to put all of the pieces together to give you an idea of our meal.
In short, this place rocks. I’ve only been to about four all raw restaurants and I really have been impressed with every one. Of the four I think Quintessence is in my top two. The food was filling and delicious and the service was great. It’s in a super cozy, one room space with romantic lighting and pleasant decor.
We started with the spinach basil cheese Ravioli topped with a rich tomato Napolitana sauce, garnished with gamiso, fresh tomato, chopped basil, and black pepper. This dish was phenomenal. Somehow rich and light at the same time. MmmMMM!
DO NOT MISS THIS DISH, ALERT: For my main dish I had the Indian Platter. This stunning meal includes two small platters that are sinfully delicious and capture THE best elements of Indian-inspired food with a raw twist. One platter contains chic pea vegetable balls drenched in creamy almond curry sauce, topped with mango chutney and tamarind sauce. The other is a Mali Kofta serviced with kamut bread. I found these gorgeous pics from ‘Yelper,’ Meng H.
Ethan had The All American Burger. A garden burger patty flavored with smoky BBQ seasonings. It comes with two burger patties sandwiched between shredded lettuce, tomato, onion, home-made pickles, ketchup, and mustard, served with kamut and corn chips.
Ethan: My head flavor essplode. Quintessence knows how we like Raw. Dense and hearty. Just like a burger should be and packed with healthy veggies! The chips and bread which accompanied the burger patties held together well and I was able to eat with my hands without fear of it crumbling.
I have had raw burgers at three raw restaurants at this point and I defy any chef on the ‘Food’ Network to tell me the complexity of flavors and depth of what this restaurant does is inferior in any way to a carnivorous establishment. Oooh. Looks like I am getting fresh and raw with my comments. I should let Kristin back in before I get going!
This delightful pic on the Quintessence’s Facebook page.
We were pleased to close the meal with one of Quintessence’s “guiltless desserts.” We opted for the Strawberry Upside Down Chocolate Banana Layer Cake. Oh yeah, you read that right. So many good things happening in one place. This dessert is a layer of banana creme with fresh banana slices snuggled between two layers of divine fluffy chocolate coconut cake, set atop a layer of strawberry jelly infused with fresh strawberries, then flipped upside down. Garnished with strawberry sauce. Oh yes my friends, it IS as good as it sounds. :)
This pic comes from vegan blogger, Karen of Life as a Vegan!
Time for another short break at Sanctuary before heading back out to meet up with another new friend, Dan of MoreThanSalad.com. Dan suggested Pine Box Rock Shop. This super chill dive bar is not only loaded with vegan beverages AND vegan bar food, courtesy of V-Spot, but it’s also owned and operated by two vegans. Their website states:
Pine Box Rock Shop is a vegan-friendly bar. If you’re not vegan and have no vegan friends, this is of no significance to you. Simply click the back button and enjoy the rest of our site. If you care to know more, by all means, read on!
Owned and operated by two vegans (and one vegan-friendly), Pine Box Rock Shop proudly carries only products containing no animal ingredients. To some, this may conjure images of an indignant barkeep shaking his or her finger and refusing the delivery of a case of pork-infused vodka. In reality (and sadly), many companies that produce spirits, beers, wines and sodas unnecessarily incorporate the use of gelatin, isinglass (fish bladders), carmine (ground beetles) and other “ingredients” for filtration or presentation-related reasons. You will find none of those products at our bar. In addition to our own pavement-pounding due diligence, we also use (and recommend you do as well) the online vegan wine and beer guide Barnivore to help us determine what is safe to carry and what is not. We cannot recommend this site enough.
In addition to company provided items, Pine Box Rock Shop also provides in-house alternatives to traditionally non-vegan bar favorites such as Bloody Mary’s (some of the best in the city, vegan or not, so we’ve been told!) and our own homemade Irish Creme. Ever had a cruelty-free Car Bomb? We have!
Alcohol aside, Pine Box Rock Shop is also a great place to enjoy animal-free snacks. Park Slope-based vegan eatery V-Spot supplies us with three delicious empanada options (available open-close daily). We’d like to brag that we also carry the best potato chips you’ll find in NYC – Tim’s Cascade, shipped from the Great Northwest.
The best part about all of this (aside from the obvious) is there’s no need for us to shun more popular and superior products in favor of more bland or just plain weird vegan alternatives. As it turns out, all the best beer companies (Lagunitas, Abita, Sixpoint, Sly Fox, etc) and snack companies (Tim’s, Beer Nuts, etc) are already vegan or vegan-friendly.
We’ve taken all those concerns off your mind so that you can spend your energy making other important decisions, such as whether to have an original or eXXXtra spicy Grim Pickle!
Pine Box Rock Shop – 100% Vegan
12 Grattan Street
Brooklyn, NY 11206
The lighting was even more challenging, as you I’m sure you can imagine. But again, I found a few decent pics around the InterWebs. The follow pics are from the Pine Box Rock Shop Facebook page.
Dan ordered an empanada. I didn’t try it but it looked pretty delish!
Food Swings – 100% Vegan
295 Grand Street
New York, NY 11211
We got to talking about bar food and after a few cocktails we decided that it would be a good idea to scope out some more. Where to next to get late night vegan junk food? Food Swings, of course! Ethan and I had gotten a few things from Food Swings before and we weren’t looking for a full meal so we settled on “fish and chips” and the drumstick combo plate which included one of each of Food Swings’ drumsticks: buffalo style, BBQ, southern fried, and sweet southern fried.
To our happy surprise we ran into our friend Rachel Kay who introduced to Ben, AKA Honey LaBronx! Stay tuned for our interview with Ben and behind the scenes footage of Honey’s vegan cooking show!!! *Squeak*
Cake Shop – 50% Vegan
152 Ludlow St
New York, NY 10002
We weren’t quite ready to call it a night so we headed back to The East Village for something sweet. Sweet, sweet cake to be exact. Dan was a lovely tour guide, by the way. ;) We ended up at Cake Shop, another dive-ish bar, that showcases live music and – as the name suggests – carries cake instead of your run of the mill bar food. Their cake and other sweets are provided Vegan Treats, based in PA. Can’t wait to tour their store! *wink wink*
This pic is from Urban75Blog.
At this point we were completely exhausted and I personally was having trouble keeping my eyes open. Oh the things we do for cake. So all I really remember about the cake we got is that it was chocolaty. I didn’t take any pics (it was terribly dark in there) and I didn’t write anything down. Sorry! I took a few scoopfuls of cake, Dan walked us back to and dropped us off at Sanctuary, and then we passed out. ZzzZZzz.