Rawlicious (NYC): What’s in a Name?
Kristin | On 20, Jun 2013
It’ll take your breath away when you first walk in. With an expansive dining room, Rawlicious is unexpectedly spacious in comparison to other NYC eateries. The decor is stunning, featuring pristine wooden floors, a high reaching ceiling, white-, brick red- and exposed-brick walls, beautifully accented by golden brown tables and beige chairs.
I adore the large canvas paintings that seemed to set the tone and pick up each color in the room, offset by a wonderfully oversized mirror, on the opposing wall. This is totally my style and as I sat there alone I wondered if I’d get to come back sometime, accompanied by a romanticAL date. ::sigh::
While I’ve never been put off by going out to eat by myself there does come a point where, after nearly two years of primarily dining alone, I start imaging what it would be like to share that meal with someone else. Be it a ‘date’ date or a friend date. It doesn’t much matter. But when I catch myself fantasizing about having company I wonder if it’s for the best – that the road trip is coming to an end.
Oh goodness me, I’m going to start crying… better move on! :)
Let’s talk about the food shall we?
I started with the Ginger Love juice (beet, apple, carrot, and ginger), as well as a sample of the Cacao Power smoothie (nutmilk, banana, cacao powder and nibs, almond butter, agave, and vanilla). The juice totally hit the spot! There was just the right amount of each ingredient, perfectly balanced, I could taste the individual flavors in this light and refreshing delight of a drink. The smoothie was absolutely awesome, with playful bits of cacao nib that kept me from setting the yum-ness down until it was completely gone. With each sip I fell deeper and deeper in love with this smoothie. <– Add this to your must-try list.
Each of the appetizer samples were simply splendid as well. Here we have the Onion Flatbread Cakes (nut and seed flatbreads with dill cashew nut cheese, topped with cherry tomatoes, and caramelized onions), a Caesar Wrap (seasoned nut loaf–OMG the nut loaf is so good!!–romaine lettuce, bell peppers, onion bread croutons and caesar dressing wrapped in a collard leaf), and the Taco Salad – not pictured – (romaine lettuce, avocado, salsa, refried beans, sour cream, hot peppers, and nacho chips).
And their Pizza (served on a sprouted buckwheat and flax seed crust with cashew nut cheese and tomato marinara sauce)? One of the best I’ve ever had. Chef Ally has mastered that smokey tomatoey flavor that I so often miss in raw pizza. And the pizza dough isn’t super dry and crumbly like I’ve often experienced. Just look at those hunky chunks of tomato, onion, and nut cheese. Nailed it!
As the samples (thank you so much, Rawlicious friends!) kept coming out the dishes kept getting more and more impressive both in terms of flavor and presentation. The Pad Thai (zucchini and kelp noodles, shredded romaine lettuce, carrots and bell peppers mixed in a tangy Thai sauce topped with green onions and crumbled cashews) was no exception and I now consider it one of the best Pad Thai dishes known to man. Foodie tip: enjoy this meal slowly and savor the tiny subtle pop of heat that follows each bite. It’s lovely.
Add the Pasta Bolognese (zucchini noodles with a mix of tomato marina, basil pesto and crumbled seasoned nut loaf topped with pine nut parmesan) to your must-try list as well. You will not be disappointed in this masterpiece of the raw take on a traditional Italian dish. The texture and flavor is like nothing I’ve experienced before – the “meatballs” had more flavor and fullness than some of the popular, [processed] faux meats on the market. This dish also won me over with its light basil flavor that seemed to gently carry over into each forkful. Yumsicles!
I’ve decided that Rawlicious has mastered raw pasta dishes because they seem to have found the perfect balance of sauce with the pasta, whole veggies, chopped veggies, nuts, “meaty” contents, and seasoning. They’ve really got it down. Seriously. Ugh. This is making me hungry! Remind me to not write about food around any hour of the day when I’d normally be eating. Like right now.
Finally, I was pleased to close out the meal with Rawlicious’ Mocha Pie, and their creamy coconut/cashew mixed Ice Cream. I believe this flavor was blackberry. All of which was wonderful – particularly the ice cream!!
So, what’s in a name? Well, if we are to ever judge restaurants by their names I’d say that taking this one literally, works. Rawlicious is obviously raw and most definitely delicious, but I think they should change the name to RawMAZING! ;)
Thank you so much to Dena and Ally for the wonderful experience and the abundant samples.