Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Vegan MoFo: Angelica's Kitchen

One of our best dining experiences this week in NYC took place at Angelica Kitchen. We have nothing but positive things to report. Located in the East Village, the restaurant space is pleasantly designed, clean, and peaceful. Our server was sweet, helpful, and complimentary toward my family (which is always a plus; we're either annoying or endearing, depending on how you want to look at us). The owner (or manager?) also came to our table to check on us, asking where we were from, had we ever eaten here before, etc.

Ryan and I had eaten here many years ago (when Tornado was a wee little guy), and although we did like it, we didn't stop back in on our following trips, for some reason. On this trip, I have been craving healthier meals (rather than my novelty burgers/fries/milkshakes I sometimes aim toward on vacation). And that is what we received here.

For an appetizer, we shared the Agrarian Selgado, which is "baked rounds of mashed Yukon Gold potatoes and seitan, with a parsley-almond pesto center; topped with dill-tofu sour cream and garnished with piquant marinated kale." Yum! It was sooo good. I loved the mixture of the sauce with the greens, and the baked shell over the soft, delicious mashed potatoes.

This is listed as the "Special Appetizer," with proceeds of the sale going toward Friends of the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement. Angelica Kitchen seems very committed toward charity, fair-trade, local farming, sustainability, and composting.

Ryan and Tornado both ordered the Hot Open Face Tempeh Sandwich: slices of sourdough baguette topped with slightly marinated & baked tempeh...with savory mushroom gravy. Served on a bed of raw spinach, garnished with ruby kraut. They also added the optional scoop of mashed potatoes. (Tornado would order the optional scoop of mashed potatoes NO MATTER WHAT he was eating...the kid loves mashed potatoes.)

Ryan now officially declares this to be his favorite meal in NYC.

I had been trying to avoid ordering a sandwich at every single restaurant (I love sandwiches!), but this one seemed quite a bit different than my regular fare, so I chose it.
Sam or I Sandwich
Herbed baked tofu layered with marinated hiziki & arame,
crisp grated daikon, ruby kraut, a smear of mellow sesame spread & lettuce

It wasn't overly flavorful, which is less of a criticism toward them and more of a problem of MINE. I'm too addicted to salt, and I'm not the most flavorful cook. Therefore, my food usually tastes salty. I'd like to get used to enjoying a variety of flavors in food, you know? My meal felt very light and healthy. And I don't know if I've eaten daikon much before. The ruby kraut felt new to me, as well. I also love sea vegetables, but I don't know if I've ever thought to put them on my sandwiches.

I ordered the 3-item Pantry Plate for my daughter, and she chose hummus (which came with crispy pita and veggie sticks, baked tofu, and the daily vegetable, which happened to be this quinoa salad with carrots, beets, etc. I thought her little plate looked so cute.

My 5 year old has a a bit pickier palate. He just ordered tofu and rice, which didn't make for an interesting photograph.

Angelica Kitchen does not use refined sugars or preservatives (OR any animal products). They have a very unique dessert menu, which admittedly looks a little healthier than I usually choose for my desserts. (Daily desserts may include choices like strawberry jam dot cookies, date ginger muffins, raspberry crumb tart, etc.) Therefore, I told Ryan to choose, since his taste buds lean toward healthier creations. The five of us shared this warm bread pudding with fruit (pears?) and maple tofu whip. It was sooo good.

We also took a bag of Organic Brittle with us to eat on the subway ride home. We had never eaten anything exactly like this before, and it happily vanished from the bag in no time.

We have encountered our fair share of rude people and bad service while in NYC this week. It was such a relief to enjoy a nice meal served by nice people. We will always come back to Angelica Kitchen whenever we are in town.


  1. Wow, that appetizer looks so incredible I had to read the description about three times. I definitely want to visit Angelica's Kitchen if I'm ever in NYC!

  2. Last year I was in NYC (we stayed at the SOHO Grande which allows pets), my best meal was at Wild Ginger. If you have time (which I doubt now, tomorrow is the big day), I highly recommend it.

  3. I am so glad you had such a good experience there. I like how you said you're either endearing or annoying - that is so true for us too! I am so glad when someone things my kids are charming; it makes me relax as my kids do their usual ill-mannered eating, no matter how hard I try to reign them in.

  4. All of the dishes look super delicious to me. Especially, the crusted mashed potatoes and the open faced tempeh sandwiches. I've never seen potatoes done that way before, sounds so good.

    Happy Thanksgiving! Are you going to the parade?

  5. I like seeing what each person in your family chose. It all looks good! I would have been tempted to try the tofu sandwich, too.

  6. my family (which is always a plus; we're either annoying or endearing, depending on how you want to look at us)

    i love that line, it sounds like us:)

    your sandwich looks like it would have a very strong taste to it, sorry to read it was sorta bland. your kids sure arent afraid to try all sorts of things, i mean, some of those entrees were very unique! no wonder the manager came out!

    maple tofu whip...omgosh...

    and that last part, about some rudeness...i dont exactly know how to write this but it was nice to read tha you could still be happy when you had GOOD service. sometimes i can get stuck on stuff like that..like WHY were they rude, did i do something...etc. so what im TRYING to say is that...thats cool...and i can def learn from that!!

  7. I've heard good things about this place, and now I've heard more. I'd on the list for my next visit for sure.

  8. If I'm ever in NYC (except I know I never will be...) I'm going to go and eat there! It sounds like SUCH a nice place and the food looks wonderful!
    I liked the bit about Tornado loving mashed potato with everything. I've a husband like that ! :)
    I'm trying to work out how to make that brittle. Want some NOW! (pouting bottom lip)

  9. We went there when we were in NYC a few weeks ago and we loved it!! Great photos!