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


Blogger Shyaporn said...

A tip for chocolate lovers - Angelica Kitchen only serves chocolate desserts on nights of the full moon. So if you look up in the sky and see all 360 degrees of lunar loveliness smiling down on you, run on over to AK to get your chocolate on!

2:19 PM, March 09, 2007

Blogger veganfriendly said...

Good to know, Shy! You were the person who first recommended AK to us. -Ev

3:16 PM, March 09, 2007

Blogger Sonya said...

Lovely blog!!! My hubby and I used to frequent NYC at least once/year, and absolutely love AK, and other vegan restaurants. In fact, we'd make a trip to Manhattan just to eat, if we could!;-)

Gorgeous cake.

I'm just going through your archives now - have you reviewed "Hangawi" yet?

6:20 AM, March 10, 2007

Blogger veganfriendly said...

Thanks, Sonya! We haven't reviewed Hangawi yet but it's on our list of places we want to review very soon. -Jim

10:29 AM, March 10, 2007

Blogger Eric said...

Well, this is reassuring. My first experience left a rather bland taste in my mouth. Now I'll have to give the place another try.

11:57 AM, March 10, 2007

Blogger Vanessa said...

You know, you might be right about AK having a good "balance." The first few times I ate there I thought the food wasn't flavorful or yummy, even though it is interesting. But everything I've tried is pretty solid and it would be a good place to eat if you had to eat at one place for the rest of your life -- you feel good afterwords.
Go to Hangawi! They've got some serious pickles.
Love the site design, btw, keep up the good work.

9:39 AM, March 13, 2007

Anonymous Raina said...

Mmmmm, Angelica! The first couple of times I ate there I wasn't impressed, but last time I went I had a lunch special, a potato-and-chickpea tart that was out of this world. I've been a fan ever since.

Another place I'm hoping you'll add to your list: Home on 8th, which has a half-vegetarian menu, and keeps two separate kitchens. Currently my favorite Chinese restaurant on the east coast!

4:28 PM, March 26, 2007

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6:23 PM, March 29, 2007

Blogger Noa said...

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12:51 PM, April 25, 2007

Blogger Colleen said...

I've only been to this place a few times since it's so "eat your vegetables"-y, but that is the direction my palate is now going in after years of gorging on fake meats and other fake soy stuff. And it really feels good after eating their well-prepared veggie dishes. They have a good cookbook, too--I usually prepare my tempeh their way but add a bit extra tamari...

5:31 PM, April 27, 2007

Blogger Samuel Zamora said...

Angelica is actually an herb with a licorice flavor that is sometimes used for cooking and medicinal purposes. The first iteration of Angelica Kitchen was an expansion of the Angelica Herb and Spice basketball The owners built an open kitchen so the diners could watch them cook. This concept has carried over to the current restaurant.
Leslie McEachern has been the owner of Angelica for the past 22 years. In 1984, she set a goal of making the restaurant 100% organic. Today, they guarantee that 95% of their ingredients are organic. The restaurant strives to be sustainable and supports community farms.
What To Expect
"At Angelica Kitchen, fresh, delicious food is served in an atmosphere where sustainable agriculture and responsible business practices are the main ingredients." Vegan food contains no eggs, meat, dairy, fish, or honey.sportsbook Additionally, the restaurant does not use refined sugars or preservatives. They do not serve coffee either. "All Angelica's food is prepared right here, fresh each day. Practicing intuitive cooking, the menu changes daily according to season, weather, availability of ingredients, and the personal creativity of our chefs." Atmosphere
When you enter, you'll see a podium with the Anglica Kitchen cookbook and some signs that speak to the restaurant's philosophy. This includes the no cell phone policy.
The space is a cozy with a sort of SoCal feel.
The open kitchen in the back corner is a nice touch. The restaurant smells warm and homey because of the proximity to the cooking space.
The few window seats are certainly in high demand. They also have a community table where up to 8 single diners can sit together and enjoy a meal. Review
A friend and I took a day trip to NYC. Towards the end of our night, we started trying to choose a restaurant for dinner. I'm vegan and she is not, so it took a little while to find a place with a menu we both would be happy with. We decided on Angelica Kitchen.
Honestly, I was pretty excited to dine there as I have the cookbook and have heard so many great things about the food. march madness
As visitors to NYC, we weren't incredibly familiar with the city. I made a quick phone call to the restaurant and asked which subway stop is closest. The gentleman that answered actually took the time to check where we were and tell us which train to take.
We arrived at the restaurant shortly after 10pm. Angelica closes at 10:30pm and I was concerned that we would be rushed out. Though I was glad to see that many of the tables were still full.
The staff greeted us warmly and seated us at an open window table. We ordered and I asked about adding our dessert to the check, in case they wanted to close the kitchen. The waiter assured us that we had plenty of time and that there was no need to rush.
During our entire time there our water glasses were refilled without needing to ask. The waiter was incredibly friendly.
I made a meal out of a couple of appetizers to get a taste of the menu.
My order: Agrarian Salgado - Baked rounds of mashed Yukon-Gold potatoes and herbed seitan, embracing a parsley-almond pesto center; topped with dill-tofu sour cream, and garnished with piquant marinated kale. Thai Mee Up - All Raw - delicate strands of daikon radish, butternut squash & carrot dressed with Thai tahini sauce, garnished with garlic-lemon marinated kale.
The seitan was a wonderfully complex tapestry of flavors. The raw salad was refreshing and completely enjoyable.

5:09 PM, April 13, 2010


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