|Photo: Daniel Krieger at nycgo.com|
After my uber-talented brother showed an amazing collection during New York Fashion Week, we went to what I refer to as THE BIG DINNER. It was a dinner hosted by my brother with a small group of family and celebrity friends to celebrate his 10th season showing.
It was my first big meal out since I started eating vegan and I was not sure what was going to happen. I was a nervous that I would have to explain myself to strangers wondering why I was not eating. I thought it was possible that I would have to skip some courses entirely, and I was anxious that I would be starving at the end of the meal. Absolutely, none of those things happened.
The Chef at CO-OP Food & Drink (New York) had prepared a tasting menu for our group. I live for a Chef’s tasting menu! And even though I did not get to try everything that hit the table, what I did eat was amazing and I felt amazing that I had enough self control to stick to my plan and keep it clean.
The dinner started with a cocktail called “Christian’s Russian Rose” which was essentially a watermelon martini with fresh basil and a blood orange juice ice cube. Totally vegan.
Then the plates started to hit the table. Course one included Spicy Tuna on Crispy Rice, a Fried Chicken Biscuit, and a Chopped Salad. This was an obvious choice for me, chopped salad of Napa cabbage, smoked almonds, avocado and a sweet ginger dressing. I could have eaten 10 plates of this salad. I almost smacked the hand of the waiter that tried to clear the bowl for the second course because there was one morsel left. Fortunately for him, he had quick reflexes.
Course two was the sushi course, Red Snapper, Salmon, and the purple potato roll. I have eaten purple potatoes before, but never like this. This was a tempura sweet potato roll with avocado and jalepeno. I could not click my chopsticks fast enough.
Course number three was tricky. On the menu was Ginger Fried Chicken, Fresh Pappardelle with Short Rib Ragu, Truffle Mac & Cheese, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Talk about tempting. But I stuck to my guns and spooned some sprouts on my plate. The server confirmed they were cooked in oil, not butter, and all while playing detective.
To be honest, I was already stuffed, but when he came with a specially prepared vegetable bowl with rice that I had not even asked for, I just could not help myself. I did not want to be a special case that made the meal difficult, but I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to eat those incredibly prepared veggies. My bowl had more of the delicious Brussels sprouts, sautéed garlic spinach, caramelized mushrooms, fresh avocado sliced in a beautiful fan and perfectly cooked brown rice. If only I knew how to cook veggies like that at home.
The meal, the company, and my outfit were all amazing. Not to mention I stared in the face of Fried Chicken and Mac & Cheese and left the table the victor of that battle.
|Photo: Brad Walsh|