2.03.2010

A wonderful meal at Crispo in NYC






So I’m going to be honest. Sometimes I just prefer to go to a “regular” restaurant, versus a vegan/vegetarian restaurant. I LOVE food, and I LOVE good quality food, and there are times when I feel that I can’t get that quality and that attention to detail from a vegan restaurant that is most likely a new restaurant that hasn’t been opened long, and whom the owner maybe has never been in the restaurant business before. There are definitely exceptions, and I have had some great vegan/vegetarian meals at vegan restaurants, but there is something comforting to me about true foodies/restauranters running the house, a nice wine list, etc. I will continue to support cruelty-free restaurants who have a mission to not serve animal products.

Last night I had the opportunity to go to a great restaurant in NY called Crispo. It is a North Italian restaurant with Mediterranean flavors that opened in 2002 in the West Village. I have been here before……the first time I was still eating meat, the second time I went I ate vegetarian, and last night I attempted a full vegan menu. I succeeded, yet I did try a bite of a couple non-vegan dishes.

We sat on the outside patio…..which has a retractable roof that was closed off and heat lamps were on. It is a very quaint restaurant, and although every single table was occupied, we almost felt like the only ones there. Our food came out with perfect timing, and our wine glasses were always filled. It was great.

Here are some details on the food and wine I enjoyed:

Appetizers (shared with the table):

Roasted Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Currants-I LOVE LOVE LOVE roasted cauliflower with the dark brown crispy edges. (First picture above)

Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Slivered Almonds and Maple-deliciously sweet and great crunch with the almonds. A FAR cry from the boiled Brussels sprouts that I grew up on. (Second picture above)

Wild Mushroom Salad over Mixed Greens with a Citrus Vinaigrette-I love me some mushrooms. (Third picture above)

Entrée:

Pappardelle with Wild Mushrooms-delectable. You would never guess this had no dairy in it. The wild mushrooms were sautéed so well and were so soft, that it almost gave the illusion of a cream sauce. (Fourth picture above)

Wine:

Caymus ‘07 California Cabernet Sauvignon Napa-an incredible big, bold California red. I don’t get to enjoy this every often (it is quite pricey)…but I really enjoyed it with this delicious meal.

Dessert: Berry Sorbetti-perfectly tart and sweet.

Like I mentioned, this is not a vegan restaurant. So you’re probably wondering how I was able to get so many vegan dishes. I happened to have a very good and attentive server. I told him that I didn’t eat dairy. I requested he replace butter with EVOO anywhere it was used. And I also requested no cheese on anything, as most dishes had shaved parmigiano on it. And it was as easy as that.

Mind you, even though I call myself “Foodie Vegan”, I do not eat this decadently on a regular basis. I am in NY for business and did not have to pay for the meal! Just the dishes above (including the wine) were about $150. Yikes! But sometimes it is nice to splurge every once in a while.

So maybe I inspired someone to make a nice, compassionate meal at home. And why not get some nice wine……treating yourself is always a treat! -Foodie Vegan

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