Magazine article The New Yorker

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Magazine article The New Yorker

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Article excerpt

105 First Ave. (212-982-5870)--This is a meat-and-potatoes kind of joint, if by meat you mean "meat loaf"--portobello mushrooms ground up with almonds, macadamia nuts, and cashews in a porcini-mushroom-and-cabernet gravy--and by potatoes you mean cauliflower and pine nuts whipped into a fluffy cumulus and seasoned with parsley and a few shards of uncooked garlic. On Raw Tuesdays at this mostly organic vegetarian restaurant, the raw-foods chef Michele Thorne serves up these dishes with wines chosen by Donna Binder, one of the owners: biodynamic Muscadet, organic Zinfandel, and sustainable Riesling. (A quick gloss: biodynamic wines are not only organic, meaning no chemicals or pesticides, but are grown using what one employee called a "more holistic approach"--they might, for example, be harvested according to the cycles of the moon. Sustainable wines are produced organically but haven't been certified as such by the F.D.A.)

The regular menu, designed by Thorne and the executive chef, Eric Hunter, combines the raw and the cooked--Cape Cod cakes (crusty fried tofu and seaweed in tartar sauce), wasabi crepes drowned in a tangerine sauce, a grilled vegetable salad covered in a nut crumble--and attracts a loyal crowd of long-haired sirens so eerily happy-looking and outgoing they might be mistaken for members of a West Coast religion. …

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