A glimpse into my world of food

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New York City Review: Pure Food & Wine

Pure Food & Wine
54 Irving Place (by 27th Street- next to Casa Mono)
New York, NY

I first went to Pure Food & Wine last September for my friend's birthday since he had become raw vegan.  I'm a meat eater so going to a vegan (and especially raw vegan) restaurant was not high on my priority list.  But I'm always up for culinary adventures so I went for the dinner with slight skepticism.  The restaurant impressed me and left me feeling full and satisfied without a bite of meat! It truly was a new experience and I was greeted with a lot of new flavors and textures.  I have immense respect for those who cook here because it takes an extra dose of creativity to be able to make raw vegan food look and taste this good.  I walked into the restaurant thinking that I would be unhappily chewing on raw leaves and bland food but on the contrary the food here was extremely well seasoned and so flavorful.  This all makes sense because they dehydrate a lot of the ingredients.  The desserts are a little rich and sweet for me (lots of coconut butter, coconut cream and agave nectar)but they are still impressive (you wouldn't be able to tell that they don't contain dairy) and sharing a dessert is perfect.

This cheese plate was something we were all looking forward to.  The three cheeses were made with nut milk and had the texture of real cheese.
Sushi rolls with no rice? Jicama is used instead of rice and that combined with all the other vegetables offers a crunchy yet soft texture.  I quite liked the untoasted seaweed as well.

Corn and avocado soup
Tacos al pastor- so many different textures and such a pretty dish!
The tamales was AMAZING- you wouldn't think it was raw or vegan
Cauliflower cous cous
Dark chocolate Semi-freddo with passion fruit sorbet
My friend actually ended up working for Pure Food & Wine and I have been back to eat three times since with a few trips to One Lucky Duck (the take out section of Pure Food & Wine with a great selection of juices and smoothies).

I went back last Saturday (May 2012) and ate out in the terrace for the first time.  The weather was beautiful and the space was gorgeous- I never knew how spacious it was out there. 

 Morels, peas, asparagus and truffles carpaccio.  So sexy!
 Oyster mushroom scallops
 Philly Roll
 Hen of the woods tacos el pastor- love the acid in the sauce/vinaigrette
 A signature dish: lasagna

New spring dessert- Strawberry tart with basil "ice cream"

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Aya's Kitchen: Ramps & Shiitake Spaghetti

When I saw these ramps at Whole Foods I just had to buy them.  Didn't know what I was going to cook with them but they looked fresh and surprisingly it seemed like they were unwanted! I love pasta (I can eat some type of noodles every single day and never get sick of them).  I definitely prefer these kinds of pasta (just olive oil, chili and fresh ingredients) to saucy ones.


1 serving

80g spaghetti (or pasta of choice)

Extra virgin olive oil 
A few Shiitake, sliced
Handful of ramps, cleaned well and cut in half or thirds
Chili flakes

Salt & black pepper to taste

1. Boil the pasta in adequately salted water.
2. Meanwhile, heat some extra virgin olive oil in a saute pan and sear the shiitake.  
3. Add the ramps and cook until wilted.  Season to taste.
4.  Just before the pasta is al dente add some of the boiling water to the shiitake and ramps. Drain the pasta and toss in the pan with some chili flakes.  
5. Garnish with panko.


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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Aya's Kitchen: Hiyayakko with Salmon Ceviche & Red Yuzu Kosho Dressing


4 servings

8 oz Tofu, cut in quarters                     
4 oz Salmon, sliced thin                            
Salt and black pepper                         
1/2 ea Avocado, diced small                                         
1/2 ea Tomato, diced small                           
1/2 ea Red onion, sliced thin                         
3 tbsp Lime juice (add more if you like)                                          

2 tsp Red yuzu kosho                                  
4 tsp Extra virgin olive oil                          
1 tsp Lime juice                                         

Minced chives                                     

1.      Combine the salmon, tomato, avocado, red onion and lime juice and season to taste.  Leave to marinate.
2.      Place over the tofu and drizzle with the dressing.
3.      Garnish with minced chives.

So simple but good! A great summer dish with the acid from the lime and heat from the kuzu kosho.  Try garnishing with crispy fried shallots or garlic if you're missing the crunchy factor.

*Red Yuzu Kosho is available at Japanese supermarkets in New York City such as Sunrise Mart and Dainobu (distributed by New York Mutual Trading)

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