I Love Sprig & Vine Pure Veg (Their Mousse Pie!!!!) AND New Hope, PA
I fell in love while in New Hope. Um. With New Hope that is.
Okay, maybe it wasn’t true love, but it was one of those, “oh hey, didn’t notice you over there, you cutie little town with lots’a charm and one of the best vegan restaurants I’ve been to. Can I get your number?”
Um. Heh. Anyway….
New Hope, PA was the last stop on my tour of the State and I didn’t really have any expectations. I’d never been to New Hope and only decided to go on some very strong recommendations from local Philly vegans. I arrived around noon and walked around a little before having dinner at Sprig & Vine. New Hope borders New Jersey, is relatively touristy (because of its beauty and charm, I think) and is very easy to walk around, window shop, and people watch. It’s just kind of a cute town/little getaway sorta place.
I also had a nice chat with my brother before dinner, which added a nice balance to the day. My brother, Josh is five years older than me and was the initial reason that my entire family later became vegan. You can read all about it here. He did a bit of traveling/living out of a [VW] van and such, back in the day. So he’s also been an inspiration for this trip too! Anyway, he’s really cool and we don’t get to chat much. So it was just nice to catch up. :)
Where was I?
Yes, New Hope, PA – home to an awesome, awesome vegan restaurant that you MUST visit. Also, a cool town to hang around in.
Sprig & Vine Pure Vegetarian – 100% vegan
450 Union Square Drive
New Hope, PA 18938
When I walked into Sprig & Vine I immediately got really excited. The decor! The lighting! All the people! Eeee! Sprig & Vine has an elegant, classy feel (but not in a snobbery way, at all), with a clean, soft, beautiful color scheme and furnishings. Cozy. Intimate. Perfect for a date night! (How many times have I mentioned certain places that would be great for a date nigth!? C’mon guys… can’t ya take a hint? Geesh! ;)
I started with the Green Onion Pancake Rolls – roasted maitake mushrooms and sesame tomato jam with soy syrup. I’m not exactly sure how to describe just how much I loved this appetizer. On paper it sounds simple. Right? But on a plate it’s so much more. Not only is this dish beautiful to look at, it also packed quite a flavor punch. It was sweet and a little tangy, rich, full, hearty. The wrap is kind of like a thick phyllo dough, a little crispy, slightly chewy. Incredible. Truly.
For the main dish I had the Curry Fried Cauliflower – winter squash stew, coconut mashed white sweet potatoes, avocado and pickled red onion. The potatoes were absolutely divine. They kind of reminded me of a classy (and healthy) version of fast-food style hash browns. But obviously a bazillion times better. The green curry sauce was lovely and the collards were just perfect (not bitter at all – which is what sometimes puts me off of collards at times). The yellow lentil curry with squash was great as well. All around, this dish is a star!
Okay, okay, by now you know I’m a sucker for chocolate anything. So when I saw chocolate mousse pie on the menu, there was no question. It was going to end up in my belly that night, no matter what. Per my notes, “The ice cream is amazing and the pie is so **bleeping** delicious. Like, it’s so good that it hurts.” You’re going to want to eat this one slowly and with purpose (to savor every bite). It just might change your life.
If I’m dining at a restaurant that I had not contacted ahead of time (which is the case most of the time) I’ll leave a business card and ‘WTFVF was here’ decal in the check holder with a little note telling them about my trip and that I’ll be writing about the restaurant soon. So, just like many times prior, I left a card and decal here as I was getting ready to leave. As I was leaving, my server, Angela (who is so incredibly awesome, by the way – just a great server, super friendly, and extremely kind) stopped me to say thank-you for checking out the restaurant and that she was super excited about my trip, and was going to check out the website. So cool. It’s even cooler when you can tell that someone is being genuine and honest. I was flattered and it was just a great end to a lovely day.
By the time I was settling in for bed, just a few hours after dinner, I checked my email one more time and to my surprise I had an email from the owner and head chef of Sprig & Vine, Ross Olchvary thanking me for stopping in, and inviting me back the next day for lunch, so that I could sample more food. Um. AMAZING!! I’m glad I was alone when I read the email because I blushed, giggled, and might have danced a little jig. Or two. :)
Naturally, I had to go back.
For lunch the next day I ordered a fresh lemonade and the Arame & Shredded Cabbage Salad – charred edamame, shaved radish, spicy carrot pickle, scallion and sesame, and sweet chili-lime vinaigrette. It’s like nothing I’ve ever had before… a few different kinds of cabbage, edamame, seaweed, radish, carrots. Very good! Very light and refreshing. The dressing is sweet and tangy.. yumm-o!! I also love that everything is chopped up into bits. I just do.
I might have also been convinced to get the Tempeh Reuben to-go. Straight up thousand island dressing, pickles, and sauerkraut. NOM!
And now for a very brief Q&A with Ross Olchvary, founder and chef of Sprig & Vine. Check it:
K: Can you tell us a little about Sprig & Vine’s roots, how it got started, the inspiration behind it?
R: I cooked at Horizons Restaurant (pre-cursor to Vedge) for 7 years and I found this location and thought it was the right time to open Sprig & Vine in March 2010. New Hope (and it’s NJ neighbor Lambertville) are great small towns that draw lots of people all year round to the towns’ independent shops, art galleries, and eateries. My goal was to focus on highlighting seasonal vegetables and use as much local produce as possible. This area of PA & nearby NJ has many great farms and we get a lot of beautiful stuff from them all year round. The restaurant allows me to be creative and the creative aspect of cooking is what attracted me to cooking in the first place, since I have a background in art and music. My wife Melinda helps run Sprig & Vine with me.
K: How long have you been vegan? What inspired you to go vegan in the first place?
R: I’ve been vegan for about 13 years and have always dreamed of opening a restaurant, since I started eating vegan. I’ve always been an animal lover and became vegan for animal rights reasons. Reading the lyrics to a punk band called Propagandhi, in high school was what originally inspired me to become vegetarian. Two years later I became vegan.
K: Any big future plans for Sprig & Vine?
R: We’re still a fairly new business, so anything is possible in the future, but for now, we’re just going to continue focusing on creating new great dishes.
Thank you to Ross, Angela, and Mike (another server at the restaurant) for the great company and WONDERFUL food!! xo