January 6, 2013 by Living Girl Living Foods
Quintessence is a small restaurant located at 263 E 10th Street (btw. Ave A & 1st Ave) in NYC. I went with two friends and it was a bit later in the night, I want to say around 8-9pm. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday 10am to 11pm, and Saturday & Sunday 11am to 11pm. Since this restaurant is rather small with only one large family size table I recommend calling ahead of time if you plan on going with a group of people, (646) 654-1823.
There is extremely limited on street parking but several parking garages around the area. So please plan accordingly!
My experience at Quintessence was lovely, there was French music quietly playing in the background, the lights were dim and our server was helpful, gave great recommendations but wasn’t too pushy or overly chatty.
My friends and I sat at the family table where we sat near a gentleman who said he goes to the restaurant frequently. He recommended some dishes, dressings but overall it was clear that everything on the menu was delicious. It was wonderful to see that an all living vegan restaurant had at least one person who was a regular there.
The restaurant was not too packed, we went on a Thursday night. Our food came in a timely fashion and was plated more or less okay…nothing really spectacular.
I ordered The Happy “Fish” Burger ($20) as explained on their entree menu this burger is, “A succulent, delicately seasoned “fish” burger patty complimented with chef’s brand new creation of tartar sauce. Served with creamy coleslaw and dill pickles.Your choice of grain-free veggie bread, summer squash coconut bread or kamut bread.”
The entree also came with a spring mix salad and your choice of dressing. I choice the Caesar Dressing after hearing the regular who was sitting at our table recommend it. The dressing had a kefir/fermented taste to it that was slightly tart and bitter. It tasted great with the tartar sauce in the burger, to me at least the taste was identical. This same sauce was in the coleslaw I believe.
As recommended by the server, I ordered this on the summer squash coconut bread. Oddly enough, the sweetness of the coconut bread worked well with the salty, creamy burger and all of its spices. The bread had a greatly crumble texture. But the burger was difficult to eat, it’s not like a “traditional” cooked burger where you can pick it up and just take a bite without it falling apart.
I enjoyed the texture of the bread and burger, but overall I wasn’t “wowed” by this entree. I guess the thing is with raw dishes that replicate cooked foods it’s hard to ever be completely amazed. It’s more interesting to see something new created instead of trying to mimic a dead dish. The coconut added a nice softness here in there. I liked how moist the burger was, the tartar sauce complimented everything well also.
Since I went here with a few other people and we were all willing to split dessert 😉 we tried the Dessert Plater. This plater is $20, you can choose four different desserts from their menu. The options are: Tiramisu, Chocolate Pudding Cake, Fruit Cobbler, Coconut Banana Creme Pie (out of that night), Chia Pudding or Ice-Creme.
From left to right, we ordered; Tiramisu (I am obsessed with trying Tiramisu, it’s my favorite dessert and the best I have ever tried, thus far, is from from Living Light), Ice-Creme (Cranberry Ginger that day), Pecan Pie, and Chia Seed Pudding.
I think we all agreed the best dessert hands down was the Pecan Pie with Coconut Cream on top. It probably has the least attractive plating (I’d put the chia pudding to the right as runner-up) but my goodness it was delicious. This dessert is super-duper sweet with loads of dried fruits.
The Tiramisu sadly was not Tiramisu-like at all. The texture and flavors were all wrong. Traditionally, there should be more layers and neither of the layers in this cake had that sponge cake feel or flavor. I think what really killed this cake was the crust, the flavor was so overpowering and tasted identical to the pecan pie crust. It worked great for the pecan pie because the flavors complimented it instead of taking over. But for a Tiramisu the crust flavor should be a bit more delicate. All I could taste was dried fruit.
The Ice-Creme of the day, Cranberry Ginger tasted straight up like ginger…holy crapola. It looks like cranberry but only tastes of ginger. The ice cream is made of coconuts and cashews, so the texture, mouthful and all were wonderful. This ice cream melts rather quickly like most living vegan ice creams so consider eating this dessert first 😀
Last but not least the Chia Seed Pudding, this is a popular dessert and breakfast food at vegan restaurants. I’m not sure if it’s because chia seeds are becoming popular or because this dessert is like a tapioca…may be both. This dessert is made of chia seeds that are soaked and served in vanilla cashew milk, topped with walnuts, vanilla cream and goji berries. There was a lot of milk in this dessert, so there was more of a liquid feel then a pudding thicker texture. I found this dessert to be rather simply flavored also, there is loads of fun twists to chia seed puddings. I’ve had orange cranberry before, cinnamon apple and chocolate just to name a few. This one is a bit more traditional I suppose 🙂
The items on this menu are rather costly, it’s easy to spend $25 or more per person here. I’d even recommend skipping dessert since I personally wasn’t pleased with the creations or the presentation.
On a 1 to 5 scale rating 5 as excellent and one as Poor, I’d give Quintessence 2 stars. The service and atmosphere were wonderful but the food wasn’t so close to being wonderful. For a shorter review check out what I posted on Yelp! 😀
I hope this was helpful for anyone interested in checking out Quintessence or for those who do not live near New York but have heard a lot about this restaurant. I know I frequently hear this place mentioned on other blogs so I was excited to check it out myself.
Everyone has a different preference in menus when going out for living vegan food. I personally am more into innovative ideas and creating a new idea of how food can be prepared. Techniques, preperation, and keeping it simple which isn’t all that simple. But once in a while I will try these transitional/mock cooked foods! It’s always good to keep an open mind 😀 Everything on the menu is rather nut/fat heavy, needing a grounding meal with this style of food should be easy.
Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read my site. I hope you all are having an enjoyable and relaxing Sunday. Much love ❤ and raw power 😉 BIG HUG!