Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!
A few years ago, the idea to go to a vegan restaurant would have made me cringe. Today, I am kind of excited at the idea to try some new flavors. So yes, I was excited when I got invited to try Café Blossom on Carmine, especially after reading the statement from one of its founders, Ronen Seri:
My vision for Blossom was to create a place with outstanding food, not just for vegans, but
for everyone to enjoy.
Yes, I am not a vegetarian and much less a vegan, so going to this kind of restaurant can be a real test.
I like the place: simply decorated, I love the contrast of the dark wood with the white brick wall, like the ying and yang.
They push the concept to having a communal table situated right in front of the open kitchen.
The menu offers small and large dishes, some of them looking familiar such as the Caesar salad or the pipette Margherita, but with a vegan twist if I may say: the cheese is for instance replaced by tapioca cheese, bacon by tempeh bacon.
We started off with some drinks. Jodi ordered their belvoir sparkling elderflower lemonade:
And I ordered the house brewed fresh ginger ale:
Then, we shared two appetizers:
The first one was the buffalo risotto croquettes served with pickled carrot ribbons and blue cheese sauce.
There were three croquettes that were divine: think about rice balls made with buffalo sauce that are deep fried and then topped with blue cheese.
This was a very successful dish, very flavorful and I loved the fact that these little rice balls were not dry.
The second appetizer was the taco trio:
It was made of roasted mushroom adobo, corn tortilla, cabbage, huitlacoche, carrot/onion escabeche and micro cilantro. I had no idea what huitlacoche was and later discovered that it was corn mushroom, corn smut or even called Mexican truffle (that's pushing a bit!).
This was a delicious dish: very flavorful, I did not mind at all that it was vegetarian. I love the crunch of the cabbage, as well as the bold flavor of the roasted mushroom adobo. Another great dish!
For the entrées, Jodi ordered the soy bacon cheeseburger:
She decided to have French fries as a side rather than field green: after all, it is a burger.
It was composed of seitan patty, tapioca cheddar, caramelized onions, grilled shiitake mushrooms, soy bacon, lettuce, tomato, chipotle aioli on a sesame bun. I admit that it was a bit messy to eat because of the soy bacon that was too hard and make it difficult to cut through. I also did not like the texture and taste.
On my side, I decided to order the huevos rancheros, curious to see how one of my favorite brunch dishes would end up.
The dish was made of tofu scramble, adobo sauce, tapioca cheddar, black beans, soy sour cream, served on a crispy corn tortillas.
This was a nice interpretation of that dish. Being eggless, it did not have the same smoothness that the egg yolk usually gives, but I found it quite interesting, the tofu being moist and flavorful, perfect mixed with the beans and sour cream. I wonder if the yellow color is coming from turmeric...
Last was dessert. We went for the peach and strawberry crumble, served with vanilla ice cream:
And the New York cheesecake, served with a peach reduction, strawberries and chocolate chips:
The desserts were quite good, especially knowing that they do not use butter. The crumble was the best one, although I would have liked more fruit in it. But the cheesecake was fabulous too, with its crust that was very coconut-ey.
My meal could not be complete without a coffee and, instead of going for an espresso, I went for a cappuccino, curious to see how they would pull it off without milk (they use almond milk in fact). And it worked!
This was a nice meal, surprising in a lot of ways. If you go to Café Blossom, I definitely recommend the buffalo risotto croquettes, the tacos and the desserts. You will not regret it!
Enjoy (I did)!
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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!