Friday, March 09, 2007

Angelica Kitchen

We went to Angelica Kitchen located at 300 E 12th St in Manhattan. They are 100% vegan and they guarantee that at least of 95% of all their ingredients are grown ecologically.

Agrarian Salgado
These tantalizing treats were little balls of seasoned mashed Yukon potatoes that were breaded, baked, and topped with a garlic/pesto/nut cream sauce. The menu said something about seitan but I didn’t really notice any. I thought this dish was a great appetizer because it was comforting and really got me excited about eating more food. They were served with some garlicky kale that was fresh, crunchy, and delicious. -Ev

Angelica Pickle Plate
Anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis may have figured out by now that I order pickles whenever the opportunity presents itself. I friggin’ love pickles. Who doesn’t, really? According to the menu, these were “garlic kelp pickles”. I didn’t really taste any kelp, but they were delicious nonetheless. The pickled celery, cabbage, olives and carrots sat on a bed of marinated beets. They flavors weren’t super strong, which kind of fits into Angelica’s modus operandi – their food is subtle and light, but still really, really tasty. -Jim

Soup & Half Sandwich w/ Kukicha tea
The soup and half sandwich is a great option because you can get a variety of goodies in your mouth for a decent price. Also, this meal comes with a complementary Kukicha tea which was so delicious that everyone at the table ordered one. Apparently a twig tea, it has such a smooth full bodied flavor, not what you’d think a twig tastes like. I’m no tea snob but that was some great tea! I opted for the soup of the day which was Green Vegetable Lentil Soup with Coconut Jasmine Rice. This soup was amazing. It wasn’t revolutionary or powerful, but just a good hot substantial soup with great flavor and texture. It was a really cold night so this was great for taking away the winter chills. I was worried it was going to be too creamy/heavy but the coconut jasmine rice was subtle and just added a note of richness to the soup (not heavy at all). The Tempeh Reuben was delicious as well. It consisted of baked marinated tempeh, seasoned with caraway & cumin, tofu Russian dressing, sauerkraut and lettuce. It was thick, chewy, and had lots of sauerkraut. The one drawback was I forgot to specify which kind of bread I wanted. You have a choice of mixed grain or spelt sourdough and I would've preferred the sourdough. No biggie though; it was still delicious! -Ev

Hot Open Face Tempeh Sandwich w/ Mashed Potatoes
This dish’s description called to me from the menu: “ slices of sourdough baguette topped with lightly marinated and baked tempeh, napped with savory mushroom gravy. Served on a bed of raw spinach, garnished with ruby kraut”. Sounds good, right? Well, it was! In fact, it was better than it sounds. All the ingredients alone were great. The spinach was fresh, the gravy was savory and delicious, the mashed potatoes were just the right texture, the kraut was tart and yummy, etc. But when you put it all together, it just worked great. I found myself struggling to get a little bit of everything on every forkful. The cool thing about this dish is that it satisfied comfort food cravings without being heavy or greasy. I felt like I was eating something really healthy, but it was tasty and rich at the same time. I would definitely order this again (if there weren’t so many other dishes at AK that I have yet to try). -Jim

Peach Crumb Cake with Cashew Cream
This was sooooo good. It was huge! And by huge I mean a big slice of a thick cake. Even though it was very crumby and crumbly it was not too dry. It might be hard to see in the picture, but there were peach slices baked into the cinnamony sweet goodness. I didn't really take note of the cream on top because the cake was so good. I would definitely order this again. -Ev
Word. This cake was moist and delicious and I want a slice of it right now! -Jim

The Bottom Line
Angelica does a wonderful job of balancing their food, making it rich and flavorful but also light and healthy. There are a lot of great restaurants in NYC offering rich, heavy vegan food, but few with the gentle touch of Angelica. It’s a little pricey but it’s obvious that they put a lot of care into their food so I don’t mind paying a few extra bucks. -Jim
The more I go to Angelica Kitchen the more I appreciate it. My first time there I got something typical like chili, which was good but didn’t showcase this restaurant’s ability to prepare nourishing food that looks great, tastes great, and makes your body feel good. Both of our meals tonight achieved that wonderful balance of delicious and nutritious, and best of all there was room for dessert! -Ev