Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot: Blossom Restaurant
October 17, 2010

blossom front

Hey all!

Happy Sunday. Hope my fellow NYCers are enjoying this exquisite fall weather. I’m about to load up on farmer’s market apples for juice!

On Friday night, M and I hit up Blossom restaurant in Chelsea. It’s sister restaurant of Cafe Blossom, which I’ve reviewed before. Nestled cozily on 9th Avenue, Blossom downtown is a little fancier–and I daresay a lot cozier–than Blossom uptown, which is sleek and modern. For this reason, I prefer the downtown location, with its crackling fireplaces and exposed brick stairways, at least aesthetically.

I’ve been to Blossom a few times before, and I’ve always been impressed. The food is elegant, tasty, and the portion sizes are spot on. It’s totally suitable for omnis, and it offers a nice balance of faux meat (for vegan newcomers) and totally meatless fare. Friday’s meal, alas, was not the best of my Blossom dining experiences, for reasons I’ll get to in a second, but it hasn’t ruined my appreciation of the restaurant on the whole.

I started my dinner with an arugula salad with grilled pears, candied walnuts, and tofu “croutons,” (these were really just smoked tofu, sparsely tossed into the salad). The dressing must have been made with sherry and agave, and it was incredible. M and I dug in with abandon:

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(Sidenote: how’s that for restaurant lighting? Apparently the light on an iPhone is very useful for illuminating photos. That innovative idea was courtesy of M, whose initial may as well stand for “MacGyver.”)

M got the seitan empanadas, which were also really good, though possibly not the best Blossom appetizer of all time (that award goes to their black eyed pea cakes, which are to die for):

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Impressive pastry dough, though. Nice and crumbly, which is not a simple feat without regular butter.

For my main course, I got the vegetable mezze plate, which was a perfect mix of spiced quinoa, grilled fennel, sauteed kale, roast brussels sprouts, and mashed sweet potatoes. In other words, a vegetable symphony. I loved it, and polished off every last bite:

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M got the lentil roulade, which was a lentil and root veggie mix wrapped in phyllo dough. This sounded like a dream entree to me—lentils and root veggies, what’s not to like? The problem was, when M bit into the phyllo cigar, his face immediately went red, and his hand flew to his mouth. As it turns out, the exterior of the roll was normal temperature, but the inside was burning hot (literally). We took a moment to consider how this could have been, and the best theory we construed was that the rolls had been microwaved before service. As it turns out, that can’t have been true, because Blossom hasn’t got a microwave on premises. It must have simply been that heat got trapped in the cigar filling.

Here’s the pretty, but dangerous, dish:

lentil roulade

(Photo courtesy of the lovely Nicole. Mine was blurry!)

It’s too bad that such a theoretically tasty meal nearly burned off the roof of my boyfriend’s mouth. After the initial shock, however, we agreed that the flavors were solid. I’m even thinking about re-creating the dish somehow at home.

So on the whole, this meal was about a 6. My half of food was stellar, and we were both really impressed with the menu, but the scorched earth lentil roulade experience was slightly traumatizing.

Tonight, we’ve got dinner plans at Josie’s—another NYC favorite that I’ve yet to review here on the blog—and I hope that meal will feature even temperatures. In the meantime, we look forward to giving Blossom another shot.

Did your weekends feature any good dining out—or dining in? Would love to hear about it. I’ll be back tomorrow with some serious vegan comfort food!

xo

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    27 Comments
  1. Ah shucks, I was in NY all last week (I’m from the Netherlands) and I had Josie’s on my list but we didn’t get around to it. I did go to Organic Grill though which was excellent, have you been there?

  2. That meal looks delicious! Can’t wait to hear about Josie’s. I had a similar experience to your boyfriend’s last night at the Moosewood in Ithaca, NY… a sweet potato roti that seemed cool enough was steaming hot on the inside! But the burn was almost worth it…delicious restaurant. Lol.

  3. Yum, your veggie plate looks so good! And I’ve had that lentil dish before, minus the burn! Geez, poor M! Can’t wait to hear about Josies, I’ve never been!

  4. Gena,
    you should try Purume! its on 13th between 5th and university and its fantastic! i really like it and have went there twice this weekend with my sister and my boyfriend. i get the avocado salad with side of squash or purume sushi (all vegan), and my boyfriend got the stuffed pumpkin which was amazing. they can make the stuffed pumpkin soy free too. my sister got the chick pea croquettes which she said were kind of dense, but still good… you need to try it! its sort of like souen! looking forward to your review =)

  5. this is the only vegan eatery i’ve eaten at in nyc! i went to all points festival to see radiohead a couple years ago and we stayed in the meat packing district. our wandering led our hungry bellies here and my husband and i are total carnivores. however, we loved everything we had here! so flavorful!

  6. I look forward to trying Blossom sans burnt mouth when I visit NYC next. Maybe we can even have a date there :).

    Hugs
    Casey

  7. Gah, I wanted to go here when I was in NYC! But my dad’s vegetable quota topped out at Pure Food & Wine, so no dice (just an AMAZING ice cream sundae!)

    Hehe, the best meal I ate this weekend was an anti-Gena meal. My new roommate and I wanted to celebrate being new roomies, so we went to a seafood place that had one of the best raw bars in LA…but not quite your raw, haha! So we split an epic platter of king crab, lobster, prawns, and oysters…but we also had an amazing beet salad!

  8. I read your blog regularly and am learning something about the whole raw food thing. I am vegetarian and though being totally raw seems far away, I defintely want to include more raw meals in my weekly diet. For now, I am mostly absorbing what you write and refraining from asking novice type questions.

    Wishing you luck and good times !!

  9. haha, love mama peas response…

    I actually haven’t been to blossom but will try to go over thanksgiving when I can finally go home! I also am curious about v note since I lived a few blocks below for a while and of course it just opens now that I am gone!

    hope you had a great time at josies. love that place.

  10. what an inventive idea, using the iphone for light! i love that your boyfriend helps you find inventive ways to light up food in dark restaurants – my boy helps by holding a plate against a candle, which looks kind of ridiculous but works well enough! might have to try the iphone method.

    i went to blossom once a few years back but wasn’t as impressed as i would have liked, as the prices are pretty high, but i guess that’s a testament to chelsea and every other establishment in the ‘hood.

    my weekend was spent dining indulgently both in and out – cafeteria, dumont, random murray hill bar with cheap sangria – a fine array of tastes and sips, if you will. writing up about dumont later tonight, as that was a meal to remember!

  11. I dunno, that screams of microwave to me. That’s the only appliance I know of that gives hot spots like that. That’s why they say to NEVER ever micro food you’re going to give a baby for the very reason of what happened to M.

    Enjoy your SUnday p.m. 🙂

  12. As a vegan, mostly raw food eater “settled” in the heart of Ohio, I drool over these post as most venture out to eat result in my manipulating the menu just to have a decent salad! Oh well, just whipped up some purple, sweet, and fingerling potatoes with turnips simply “herbed up.” So I am satisfied for now!

  13. I just passed by the UWS Blossom today! The vegetable medley looked devine. Wish there was hummus as well. 🙂

    Have you tried Sacred Chow? It’s a cute little vegan restaurant that can cater to both omini and vegetarians as well!

  14. Aside from that super spicy dish, Blossom looks delicious. I can’t believe I live in NYC and haven’t tried it!

    Can’t wait for the review on Josie’s!

  15. ouch I hate mouth burn! it’s a hazard especially if you are not used to eating hot food.

    I’ve used to iphone trick for photo lighting too. it’s a good one to have up your food blogging sleeve. 😉

  16. I hav e to get that trick with the i-phone ight! sonce my digital is broken…Loove your vegetable symphonie sounds like my dinners inspiration xxx

  17. i can hear the joy in your voice, and im loving it…two thumbs up to m for that 🙂

    can you believe i never made it to the downtown blossom…the cafe was too conveniently located that i never bothered to stray to its sister restaurant. theres always vacationing in nyc though…

  18. Great review! Sorry about the scorched lentils, but at least the experience earned a 6 🙂 Hope you enjoy Josie’s!

    No dining out this weekend. Just dancing 😉

  19. I’m a fan of Blossom and am excited to check out their new vegan tapas bar – V-Note, soon. I ordered a side of mashed sweet potatoes before and they arrived cold, which was a bit unsettling. When they came back, I could tell they had ben nuked in the microwave. Still, my experience was pretty great otherwise.

    Although I love vegan dining in NYC, my all time favorite haunt is Horizons in Philly. So refined, unconventional, and the chef-owner always has a smile on his face. We had a fantastic meal there last night – vegan pho in mushroom broth, a mushroom shepherds pie with celery root, a squash crepe with braised white beans, and a carrot cake jar for dessert. Have you been?

    • I went to raw food prep class today and had nori rolls, mushroom soup, toona and bananna split – Yum! Gena if you get down to the Philly area you need to go see Arnold at Arnold’s Way in Lansdale,PA, Raw Can Roll Cafe in Douglasville, PA and Oasis Living Cuisine in Frazer, PA. Arnolds’s is the only one that is open on Sunday. You should do a You Tube video with Arnold – he does one every day. Oasis has raw chocolate and raw chocolate truffles that are to die for. Raw Can Roll is new and on my list to check out.
      Isn’t Philadelphia half way between NYC and DC?

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