As I mentioned in an earlier post Dan was texting me during dinner and sending photos so I could experience dinner with him. I asked many questions as he was eating (I am such a pest) and he was nice enough to follow up with the waiter. Dan reported that dinner exceeded his expectations for raw vegan food. On his way out of the restaurant he picked me up the chef’s book on raw entertaining. You will be seeing my variations of those ideas soon.
Here is what he had last night for dinner. His first course was kim chi vegetable dumplings with sesame foam. He described the wrapper as being some sort of spinach leather which I imagine had ground flaxseeds. The filling was pureed and had the texture of okara but the flavor of kim chi. We are both guessing they made kim chi and then pureed it and strained it. The foam he said was bland. I imagine they made it with powdered soy lecithin like they do at the MiniBar at Cafe Atlantico in DC. The black seeds on the foam were sesame.
The next course was a cacao pear lassi sweetened with date. Lassi is traditionally a sweetened yogurt drink that you find in Indian restaurants. Mango is the most common Indian version I see here. I didn’t ask what the dairy substitute was but I would assume it was raw cashew based. Dan said it had a nice pear background and it wasn’t too sweet.
Next he decided to try the aged tree nut cheese plate. It contained cashew cheese, macadamia cheese and pumpkin seed cheese served with pomegranate arils, walnuts and dark agave bread. According to Dan the pumpkin seed cheese had the creamiest texture. The macadamia nut cheese was very similar to the one I made a few days ago, only my texture was firmer which he preferred. He liked the cashew cheese but thinks that was due to the agave that was drizzled on top. He is probably right about the agave making the difference for him; he has a vicious sweet tooth. When I asked about the raw bread he said that plain it wasn’t his favorite but when it had cheese and pomegranate on top it was good. He felt certain the bread was ground flax seed based. Looks like I will be trying some pumpkin seed cheese next since he liked the texture of that one the most.
With his cheese plate he ordered a pot of green tea to wash it down. See, we really do drink green tea all day. I was happy to see him order it. You can’t have too much green tea in my opinion.
For his entree he ordered the cannelloni with pignoli ricotta, sun-dried tomato marinara, with pistachio pesto. The exterior is thinly sliced zucchini, no problem since I have a mandoline. Dan really loved the sun-dried tomato marinara so I need to make that soon too. According to him the pignoli ricotta was overwhelmed by the marinara but added a nice mouth feel to the dish. He said the pesto was very herbaceous. He didn’t taste pistachios but they did add a little textural variation.
When he sent the picture I couldn’t see the pesto so I sent him a text asking if they forgot the pesto. Here is the picture he sent me. Cute isn’t he?
After dinner we went over the gift shop. I know he bought me a cookbook. Can’t wait to see what else I am getting. I will let you all know.
We had a chance to talk after dinner and told me he was stuffed. He intentionally ordered a number of dishes with nut cheese to up the calories since he hadn’t had much to eat during the day. He said his favorite was the cheese platter. It is amazing to me how much his taste buds have changed. It wasn’t that long ago that his favorite food was a dairy cheese platter.