A Different Kind Of Vegan Restaurant
Amanda Cohen, chef-owner, Dirt Candy former executive chef, Pure Food and Wine: You didnt walk in and think, Oh, this is a vegetarian restaurant. You’re like, Its just a restaurant and they happen to serve raw food or vegan food. Certainly, the vegetarian and vegan community was craving something like that that just didnt exist in the city really at the time. There was Candle 79, but, before that, honestly, it was just Zen Palate, when it had its upstairs on Union Square. We just didnt have fancy, more upscale vegetarian restaurants. You had all the health-conscious people who were like, I can go with my friends, and theres cocktails and people look normal and its pretty people, and so they didnt feel uncomfortable. The city was craving that restaurant.
Charlotte Druckman, writer, editor, Women on Food:It had that outdoor garden, so it was a place that people went even if they didnt care about eating raw food, even if they didnt have any particular dietary or political interest about food. It was more like, Oh, my God, dont forget that place is the place with a really good patio where you can go sit down and have a glass of wine. So theres this whole other thing happening there that Im not sure had anything to do with the culture of the menu.
The Heirloom Tomato Lasagna Was Indeed The Restaurant’s Crowning Jewel
It was the “must order” item on the menu and people definitely did. It may look just like a bunch of raw veggies to you, but the way in which it was created is damn near art. Plus, the inclusion of nuts allowed the meal to actually fill you up after eating it.
I’ve tried it and liked it, but I knew it was *actually* good when my carnivore father was absolutely wowed by it and talked about for years after.
Louisiana Red Beans And Rice
“Everyone with roots in southern Louisiana, where red beans and rice is a staple, thinks that their mom makes the best version,” says 2019 F& W Best New Chef Kwame Onwuachi. “But I’m the only one who’s right. Growing up, my mom used this recipe as a base, sometimes adding in smoked turkey necks or smoked, spiced, and cured tasso ham, in addition to the ham hocks and andouille sausage that impart their smoke, fat, and spice to the Holy Trinity and, of course, the sturdy red kidney beans.” To read more about how Onwuachi takes inspiration from Louisiana foodways, and for more great Southern recipes like this, see his story, “In Her Footsteps.”
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Once They Moved Into The Space Matthew Wrote About How They Set Up The Kitchen Too: Once We Removed The Hood We Set About Creating A Space That Was Designed For This Food Our New Food Compete With Dehydrators And Plenty Of Counter Space
Excalibur dehydrators were used to make any raw versions of crackers, breads, and other carb-like items. Food was plated onto marble countertops before bringing it out to guests to be eaten.
While the nontraditional kitchen worked for a raw food empire, it could also explain why the space hasn’t been filled since Pure Food and Wine closed.
Bad Vegans Shocking Story
It all started when Melngailis met and married conman Anthony Strangis . She alleged that he coerced her into stealing money from her own restaurant and later going on the run from authorities.
Over the course of two years, Melngailis wired neary $2 million to Strangis, who promised to pay off her debts and make her dog, Leon, immortal. Strangis eventually took control of the restaurant while he and Melngailis traveled around Europe. During this time, Pure Food and Wine stopped paying employees, who walked out in protest. Strangis was found to have spent the restaurants money on gambling, traveling, and shopping.
A pizza order placed at Dominos led federal authorities to a Tennessee hotel room where the duo was ultimately arrested with a litany of charges. It was also later found that Strangis took nearly $450,000 from Melngailiss mother, a crime he was never charged for. Strangis ultimately spent nearly a year in Rikers Island jail in New York while the legal proceedings took place, and was then placed on probation. For her involvement, Melngailis pled guilty to charges of grand larceny, criminal tax fraud, and a scheme to defraud in exchange for five years probation. She also served four months behind bars during the summer of 2017.
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To Start Pure Food & Wine Opened In 2004
It was a joint venture between Chef Matthew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis, who were in a relationship at the time.
At the time of Pure’s opening, Matthew was a well-known chef in the NYC dining scene, having opened his namesake restaurant Matthew’s in the Upper East Side in 1993. He had also worked with Jeffrey Chodorow on previous ventures which is how he got involved in the business from the beginning.
The pair got into raw veganism together in the late 2000s, meeting lots of people through Lower East Side juice bar, Organic Avenue, and the events and dinners they often held. As they became raw vegans themselves, they felt passionate about bringing their new diet to the masses through a new venture a restaurant.
Chicken Breasts With White Wine Pan Sauce With Crme Frache And Spring Herbs
This simple white wine pan sauce enriched with créme fraîche and a generous handful of tender fresh herbs like tarragon, dill, and chives makes smart use of the pan drippings from pan-roasted chicken breasts. Simply pan-roast airline chicken breasts, set them aside to rest, and then, while the chicken is resting, use the drippings to build the flavor-packed white wine pan sauce, which comes together in about 10 minutes and delivers an elegant, silky texture. The delicate flavors of the white wine pan sauce are also a good pair for thick fillets of trout, salmon, or halibut, which may be substituted for the chicken breasts. To make this pan sauce from other proteins, start from step 2, working with 1 tablespoon of reserved drippings, and proceed as written.
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Yes You Could Often Find Sarma At The Restaurant When You Were There At Least Until Shane/anthony Came Into The Picture
Sarma’s bubbly personality would often greet you at the door. I saw her seated at the bar with her laptop doing work just like in this still from Netflix, too.
I know I wasn’t there every day, obviously, but she was a notable presence at the place something that clearly stopped once she began her new relationship.
Pure Food And Wine Presents Fresh Flavors & Pasta
Just because I have great outdoor space for dining in CT. doesnt mean that I dont hanker for peaceful courtyards tucked away in the middle of NYC.
I found just that when I arrived for a late lunch at Pure Food and Wine, just off Union Square, last week.
What fun to have D. dining with me, too. As an effusive food enthusiast and savvy cool hunter of great eats in NYC, she was a newbie to raw and vegan. So I was psyched to be a part of her first voyage as this whole new world unfolded for her. She agreed to shoot pics for me, too, giving her insight into this food bloggers world.
Eating with me can require patience as I move things around the table to catch better light, command all participants to WAIT! before messing with their forks, and generally act like Ms. Bossy Pants. Ok. Now she knows. And considering her keen eye and good humor, I hope she will forgive me and join me again, soon.
Just off the hub of busy Union Square, and down a few steps from Irving Street, we entered another world. The vibe is casual and lively. It gets even better in the garden. The deck is simply appointed with wooden tables and cushioned chairs. Nothing fancy about the appointments. At night, the candlelit space adds to the magical, secret garden feel.
The plated wonders provide the interest here.
Two entrees werent enough for us as we played detective, marveling at the way these ingredients were imitating flavors we knew but couldnt recognize here.
All photos: Danielle Goldstein
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Peach Salad With Peanuts And Chile
Spicy chiles and sweet peaches come together in this simple, summery salad perfect for backyard parties. Lemon vinegar and manuka honey lend each bite a sweet-tart zing and silky texture, amplifying the juiciness of fresh peaches. The sweet honey mellows the sharp and punchy lemon vinegar, adding brightness without overpowering the delicate fruit. Avoid using Meyer lemon vinegar, which will be too sweet once combined with the honey. Long, thin and vibrantly colored, Holland finger chiles, or Dutch chiles, add a moderate jalapeño-like heat to the fragrant dish. Lean on this stunning salad when peaches are at their prime to showcase the best of summer produce. Freestone peaches, such as July Prince, release cleanly from the pit making slicing a breeze, while clingstone peaches, like Flavorich, are typically smaller, juicier and slightly sweeter but can be more challenging to cut. Top a generous serving with grilled chicken or shrimp for a hearty main course. Infused with peaches and chiles, leftover dressing on the platter makes a great addition to spicy margaritas or combined with smashed blackberries for a quick shrub.
According To Matthew Kenney’s Book Cooked Raw He Left Pure Food And Wine In 2005 After He And Sarma Broke Up
Matthew wrote about his break-up with Sarma as such: “While we may have been glowing in our business life, we weren’t as a couple. At that point I was quite familiar and happy with sleeping on the couch. Neither of us would admit that although we produced great work together, that was where the connection ultimately began and ended. Our book came out in June and was launched with a huge garden party: paparazzi, celebrities, journalists. By the time our book was released with our picture on the cover drinking champagne and sharing the glow together we were not together at all. Things were clearly not going to work out. Sarma and I were on completely different planets.”
But don’t worry too much about him! If you don’t already know, Matthew is one of the leading names in all of plant-based eating these days. He’s published over twelve cookbooks, runs the cooking school Future Food Institute, and runs over fifty vegan restaurants all over the world.
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Pepperoni Rolls With Garlic
The pepperoni roll is a West Virginian lunch or snack in which spicy, garlicky pepperoni is stuffed inside a soft yeasted bread roll. When it bakes, the oil from the pepperoni seeps into the bread for delicious results. Adding cheese is optional we’ve gone for provolone here, whose salty, mildly sweet flavor balances the pepperoni beautifully . The roll itself also has some sweetness from honey. We’re serving the pepperoni rolls appetizer-style with marinara sauce on the side that’s been bolstered with caramelized baked garlic and salty anchovies. Add them to the menu for your next party or tailgate.
Pure Food And Wine Had Loyal Employees And A Celeb Clientele
The raw vegan restaurant Pure Food And Wine was founded in 2004 as a collaboration between Melngailis and her boyfriend at the time, chef Matthew Kenney, with funding from restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow. In 2005, Melngailis bought out Kenney’s stake and ran it herself, with the Gramercy eatery building a loyal clientele, including celebs like Anne Hathaway, Owen Wilson, and recurring Bad Vegan namedrop Alec Baldwin, who met his wife Hilaria at the restaurant in 2011.
Per Grub Street , the restaurant became known as “vegan-glamorous,” at a time before Impossible Burgers and plant-based everything. Some of their popular offerings included spicy Thai lettuce wraps, zebra tomato-and-zucchini lasagna with pistachio-basil pesto, and a Master Cleanse Tini . There was also intense loyalty among employees when Melngailis was at the helm, with some workers recalling in the docuseries that they used to call her Sar-mama.
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But What About Pure Food And Wine The Iconic Restaurant That Launched Her Into Infamy
As someone who frequented the hotspot while it was still open, I’ve always been interested in the restaurant’s story even before the documentary came about.
So I’m writing this post as BuzzFeed.com’s resident longtime vegan, and for all of my friends who have been texting me about Bad Vegan since it debuted on Netflix. Here’s everything I remember…
Living Raw Food: Get The Glow With 100 More Recipes From Pure Food And Wine
copies bought in the last week
No juicer? No dehydrator? No problem! Sarma shows that raw food preparation doesn’t have to be daunting, and she helps you work your way from the fastest, simplest, freshest recipes to immensely satisfying main dishes that you’ll have a hard time believing are raw. A definitive list of ingredients, tools, techniques, and sources make raw food a snap, while information-packed sidebars introduce the world’s most powerful superfoods, from kombucha tea to chia seeds. And Sarma is refreshingly honest and real as she describes her personal breakthroughs – and struggles – living on raw foods.
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Burnt Ends With Bourbon Sauce
The crispy, caramelized “burnt” pieces of a smoked brisket are often the best part because the flavor is concentrated and the texture is pleasingly chewy. This recipe creates an entire baking tray of crispy pieces, so there are plenty to go around. Chef Matt Horn likes to serve these with slices of white bread he shared his step-by-step process for making Burnt Ends with us, from seasoning the brisket to caramelizing the sauce on the cubed meat. If you spend a lot of time barbecuing, you will try out literally hundreds of rubs, not to mention cooking sauces, table sauces, mops, binders, and pastes. Eventually, you will settle on an all-purpose rub that adds loads of flavor to just about anything you put in the smoker. Horn Rub is chef Matt Horn’s go-to rub he keeps it close at hand at all time, and uses it to generously season these savory burnt ends. Instead of vinegar, Horn’s thick, sticky Bourbon Sauce gets its kick from its namesake: bourbon. For a classic sauce with Kentucky roots, use dark molasses in place of the honey. This recipe works well with any type of barbecue, and Horn loves it in baked beans, too.
Raw Clean Recipes That Are Perfect For Summer
As much as you might love cooking, there’s something about doing it in the summer that getswell, it gets awfully hot. Plus, eating foods made with lighter ingredients just feels better during the hot months, you know? That’s why whipping up raw, clean recipes is so appealing.
Pure Food and Wine is a raw, organic, vegan restaurant that I would probably go to all the time if I still lived in New York City. Le sigh. But the good news for us is that the restaurant’s creator, Sarma Melngailis, has recently opened up an online purveyor of healthy items called One Lucky Duck that carries things like chocolate chip cookies that seriously you would never guess are completely vegan and raw .
Anyway! Sarma was nice enough to share these two recipesthey’re both raw and filled with vitamins and minerals, and she says they will help load you up with energy, make your skin glow, and even lose weight. They’re yummy too! Take a look.
Goji Tropic Shake
“This is a beautiful, bright, and vibrant orange shake, with all the benefits and flavor of gojis, as well as papaya and pineappleboth particularly enzyme-rich fruits,” Sarma says. “If you have some strawberries around, throw those in too. Here a good high-speed blender really helps to properly puree dried gojis.”
1 small papaya, peeled and seeded
1 orange, peel cut away
1 lime, outer peel cut away
1 cup coconut water or filtered water
1/2 cup dried goji berries
In a high-speed blender, puree all the ingredients until smooth.
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Frozen Salted Espresso Martinis
If you’re an espresso martini fan, you’ll love this frosty twist. First, brewed espresso is frozen in an ice cube tray once the cubes are solid, they’re processed with coffee liqueur, vodka, and simple syrup in a blender until smooth. The resulting martinis are well-balanced, with notes of caramel and vanilla. The liqueur and syrup give them subtle sweetness, the vodka adds a smooth element, and the espresso brings earthy bitterness. An elegant sprinkle of flaky sea salt finishes the drinks off, and balances the espresso’s bitterness. Make sure to chill the glasses before serving and enjoy right away.
The Benefits Of Eating More Raw Foods
- Raw foods contain live enzymes that aid in digestion heating foods above 118 degrees F kills those beneficial enzymes, requiring our bodies to use their own.
- Some research indicates that eating more raw foods slows the aging process.
- Heating foods destroys certain minerals, vitamins, and amino acids.
- Some plants broccoli, for example contain cancer-fighting properties that are destroyed by heat.
- Raw foods are easier to digest, so you are less likely to feel tired and sluggish after you eat them.
- Cooking foods produces free radicals and carcinogens, especially when baked, grilled, or fried.
BUT carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus, cabbage and peppers supply more antioxidants if theyre boiled or steamed.
So I say aim for at least half of your daily intake to be raw fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds. Smoothies and large salads can help you accomplish this goal easily.
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