Friday, 12 August 2011 10:30

Pure Food and Wine, Raw Restaurant in NYC (Video Review & Interview)

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It's so nice to be catching up on all my old videos! Like my last review on 118 Degrees, this piece on Pure Food and Wine has been on my mind since I tapped it last year. In fact, my sister has been bugging me about it because she thinks it's one of the best meals she's ever had with me, and I agree. Watching the footage again reminded me of how incredible the food is there (and how nice NYC is in the summer!). 

In June 2010 my sister Mary and I met up with Sarma Melngailis, the gorgeous owner & co-founder of Pure Food and Wine and she gave us an amazing sampling of her breathtaking raw, organic, gourmet food. We had a chance to ask her lots of questions about the restaurant, the One Lucky Duck brand, and even discuss some of the negative reviews about the business that received a lot of attention last year. I went into the restaurant skeptical but hopeful, and luckily all my concerns were completely unnecessary and I had a fantastic experience. The service was excellent (minus a tad bit of the typical New York attitude), the atmosphere was gorgeous and relaxing yet full of energy, and the food was phenomenal. I can see how the cost can add up fast and you can spend $100 easily, but the individual item prices aren't much higher than the average raw food and if you're careful with what you order it won't get out of hand.

We enjoyed:
  • Goji High Shake
  • Tortilla Wrap
  • Spicy Thai Lettuce Wraps
  • Hemp Seed Burger
  • Falafel & Tabouli
  • Zucchini & Tomato Lasagna
  • Mallomar
  • Mint Sundae
  • Tiramisu
Yep, we were stuffed after eating all that!

Taste: 10/10
Unique menu & flavors: very much so
Favorite EntréeFalafel & Tabouli
Favorite Dessert: Mint Sundae (still don't believe it was raw!)
Organic: yes
Local: yes (farmer's market across the street)
Healthy: very - can cater to many dietary requests & allergies
Eco-Friendly: yes - filtered water, compost, hemp fabric on chairs, etc.
Customer service: very good (in my experience)
Atmosphere: upscale but casual for lunch. great for meetings & special occasions
Location: Union Square
Parking: it's New York - take the subway!
Price: high, but typical for raw food
Portion Sizes: medium and very filling

Here's my video review and interview with Sarma. We talked for about 30 minutes and it was so hard to figure out how to make the final cut under 10 minutes with all of the great thing she said. Some things I cut out were her comments on bad reviews, mentioning: 
  • the service - overall she receives positive feedback, but is always working on improving when customer complain
  • the long wait for food - just because it's raw doesn't mean it's fast! It's gourmet, and they often have a lot of customers
  • the high prices - it's "expensive, but not overpriced." Highest quality ingredients are used, it's time consuming to prepare, and their location is spectacular in an upscale neighborhood
  • honey - they do use some honey in some of their dishes, as many raw restaurants do, but it is clearly marked on the menu and they're happy to take it out when requested
Warning - watching this video may give you the insatiable urge to go to NYC, but keep in mind that if you have to hop on a plane to do so you'll be making the planet cry! But promise me next time you go to the city you'll try this place - save up some money and make it happen - I know I will!

Pure Food and Wine
54 Irving Place, New York, NY
(212) 477-1010

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Read 8710 times Last modified on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 04:42