Vinya – Providence, RI Review

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September 18, 2016 by Living Girl Living Foods

Providence, Rhode Island now has its own Raw Plant Based restaurant Vinya serving small plate seasonal food with an intimate experience. Here is the menu with the offerings from the night I dined at Vinya.IMG_6784.jpg

I attended the restaurant with my mother, she isn’t vegan or anything by any means but she is always up for a food adventure. We ordered several items to share including: Tree Nut Cheese Tasting, Early Autumn Apple Pavé, Spinach Pie, Life By Chocolate for dessert and a Chaga Burdock Latte to top us off.

The menu and descriptions have a whimsical side to me, I have a feeling each item on the menu has been carefully chosen and has its own story.

We began with the Tree Nut Cheese Tasting. The tree nut cheese platter was a hit for us except I always crave a flax cracker in the mix of crudités call me old fashion but it’s a classic. The 3 tree nut cheese we had were; curry, jalapeno with olive and the pink one had radish.

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My favorite was the jalapeno with olive especially because it had me completely stumped, my mother’s was the curry cheese, and my favorite crudité was the endive leaves. The leaves made it much easier to get a better sense of the flavor of the cheese. Possbily random, but delicious, the tree nut cheese have chives flowers as the garnish. This appetizer was great for the two of us, if we were a trio it wouldn’t have worked out so smoothly. The blackberries with the tree nut cheese tasted better than I was imagining, it truly worked.

On to the Early Autumn Apple Pavé…IMG_6798.jpg

If you are like me and you were caught up with the word Pavé, no worries. The definition of Pavé is, “a setting of precious stones placed so closely together that no metal shows.” I saw this as a beautiful and playful way of explaining the plating of this dish as well as going along with the autumn theme. The crumble of Thanksgiving like flavors of walnuts, cranberries and herbs creates the path. The rosemary cream was something I was wishing there was a little more of on the plate.

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Otherwise, absolutely delicious everything had just the right consistency. There was a comforting feeling to the combination of flavors that does remind me of the holidays. A balance of sweet, savory, nutty and colorful…just like the company we keep haha. Most of the crumble was in endive leave boats. You can kind of see it in this photo on the top in the leaf of red cabbage, there is a blossom like bundle of what tasted like Asian Pear but it was soaked in something very sweet and a little sour. It had a candy taste to it. A little slice of this on top of one of the endive cranberry walnut crumble boats was amazing! The only comparison I can think of right now is how some people like pickled ginger on top of their sushi and some do not haha.

Pie Time…

The Spinach Pie was a bit dry, and to my surprise my favorite part of this dish was the pea tendril salad. I loved the dressing that was delicately matched with the pea shoots and tendrils.

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There was a salty, vinegar and smooth feeling while eating t. I felt bad eating the salad with a fork, it felt that delicate as if I should be eating with my fingers or chopsticks. For me the spinach pie needed something to give more moisture for the inside and the dried shiitake mushrooms on top needed an extra something as well. The pecan crust stayed together extremely, and the same with the spinach pie part it wasn’t dry to the point where everything fell apart.

There is ALWAYS room for dessert! Life By Chocolate was our choice…IMG_6794.jpg

The right balance of raw cacao chocolate, it wasn’t too rich, sweet or bitter but I could still taste these crucial elements of chocolate (which I adore). The brownie held strong with a smooth Maca gelato on the top, the gelato had a nutty caramel like taste which was covered in a wonderfully gooey chocolate fudge and a light shaving of coconut.

IMG_6797.jpg The gelato and fudge was more of the highlight for us compared to the hazelnut based brownie. Nothing against the brownie! It was decadent and fantastic, but the gelato stole the show. My mother kept stressing that the plating was off to her, but I greatly appreciated the bowl like shape to help us get every last bit of dessert. To others this might be considered a dessert for just one person but as you can see we had a whole lot of food and everything we chose was satiating.

A little tonic to top us off…

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It might not look like much but this drink was the bomb diggity, my mother kept worrying that she wasn’t doing a good job sharing with this one haha. This is the Chaga Burdock Latte with Fo Ti, Fo Ti is not something I am familiar with until I looked it up online and realized it is He Shou Wu which I know oodles about and have covered the benefits of on this site before. Always cool to learn something new! This was sweet, milky and honestly just tasted like a latte. It had a not so bitter coffee like taste yet at the same time reminded me of it. This is a great tonic to order if you are new to chinese herb concoctions and brews. There was never a bite, this drink is smooth.

Each option on the menu has a fair price range, example main dishes varied from $11-$14. For being raw vegan gourmet food I found this to be affordable.

My mother and I ordered all of these items and shared them as we pleased. The food was vibrant, filling, and mind fully prepared and placed. The restaurant has a classical American restaurant vibe; clean, professional, slightly dim lights with modern décor.

This is a smaller restaurant and the impression I am getting is for now the hours of operation are limited to 6-10pm Tuesday through Saturday – dinner only (yes it is BYOB). On street parking is available. Vinya’s address is 225 A Westminster Street, a clean, upbeat and trendy part of Providence. I couldn’t see a clear sign of the restaurant but recognized Vinya from photos I have seen. Once I crossed the street and was actually physically in front of the restaurant that was when I could see a side-walk board for the restaurant.

There is no outside seating for those of you still squeezing the last bits of summer. But most of the seating is set up for prime window watching. Here is a sweet little corner spot my mother and I took that wasn’t facing the windows but gave us the “date night” privacy type setting we wanted to catch up, and also so I wouldn’t be as embarrassed of my distinctive hearty laugh.IMG_6787.jpg

Under the tables are hooks for your purse or other belongings. You can see the chef working away on your meal as you sit. There is light music in the background playing, credit cards are accepted and since this is a hip area it is bike friendly as well. I plan on eating at Vinya again, and to continually share meals here with family, friends and friends who have become family. I live in Newport, Rhode Island where we have a growing number of raw vegan businesses being planting and more people like myself who do more pop-up like work. It is heart warming to see how much Rhode Island is changing, becoming more conscious and hungry for knowledge. I hope you join me in supporting Vinya and the message this food ends up carrying to our taste buds, minds, and hearts.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by my site. Much love ❤ and raw power 😉

xo Jess

 

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