For a 100% organic, vegan and raw menu with gluten-free and soy-free options, this might be one of the more comfortable places in Manhattan.
This small, unpretentious East Village storefront restaurant has a simple, elegant decor (great photos!), soft music that enhances the peaceful atmosphere, attentive and informed waitstaff and an absolutely huge menu.
Quintessence is not inexpensive, but rather, moderately-priced and worth every penny!
Recently, I was at Quintessence with my niece Taibi, whose vegan gluten-free food (and lovely art) has appeared on this blog here, here, here and here.
Taibi was able to eat this salad, which I could not, because of the soy sauce in the dressing, and a kamut-crusted mini-pizza, (which was not gluten-free but which she thoroughly enjoyed).
The warm butternut squash soup was pleasantly more complex than some I've had, the cup was a generous serving. I chose to pair it with some raw vegetable crackers and non-dairy cream cheese with scallions (outstanding crackers and cheese--had to double the order of crackers so as to not waste the cheese and to enjoy more crackers, too!)
I followed this with the Vegetable au Gratin, and here's where I have a problem with some raw food recipe names. This really was more, to my mind, two tomatoes stuffed with diced vegetables in creamy salad dressing. The "cheese" tasted more like mayo to me. I liked it very much, but the name had me expecting, if not a full-out dairy-based gratin, then something less summery.
Then we shared this really wonderful dessert!
This is pecan pie a la mode, raw vegan style. The non-dairy ice cream is FIG, and intensely so! Good thing there were two of us to finish off the pie--it is dense, although not overly sweet, and with the creamy sauce served to its side, a large and filling dessert. As we said on our customer evaluation card, we will be back! Here's Quintessence's full site.