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Avant Garden, East Village

Avant Garden, East Village

I have a habit of taking a long time to write reviews about my favorite meals. Takes a while to find the right words to do the experience justice, so I procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate. This dinner at Avant Garden is one of those meals, and even though we’re barely into 2016, I can guarantee that this place will be showing up on my Best of 2016 list at the end of the year.

Located in the heart of East Village, Avant Garden is charming restaurant that serves refined vegan dishes in an intimate setting. The chairs sure look comfy, but a seat at the counter with a full view of the kitchen is the way to go. Not only will you have a front row seat to the action in the kitchen, you’ll also get a chance to speak to the chefs as they’re preparing your food. Here’s our maitake mushroom dish in progress…

Avant Garden, East Village

The menu is divided up into three sections: toast, cold, and hot. Dishes are served one at a time and are perfect for sharing. Order at least one dish per section for the true Avant Garden experience. Truth: I fell in love with this place almost immediately. Even if you’re not vegan or vegetarian, I’m pretty sure you won’t be able to resist their magic too.

First up, the toast with sunchokes, olives, pistachio and quince ($12). There’s no butter on this toast, but it makes a very satisfying starter with a blend of different flavors and textures. The olives were an especially good salty kick.

Sunchoke Toast, Avant Garden

The cold baked sweet potato ($16) is a nice alternative to a leafy green salad. Topped with jalapeno, jicama, meyer lemon, and cilantro. The perfectly baked sweet potatoes have a naturally creamy texture that’s balanced by the brightness of the other ingredients. Bonus: there’s a fabulous green sauce at the bottom that will make you want to lick the plate clean.

Salt Baked Sweet Potato, Avant Garden

Next up, the maitake mushrooms with parsnips, broccoli rabe, cipollini, onions, and apples ($20). Clearly a dish for hardcore shroom fans like myself, and the tender, juicy maitake mushrooms did not disappoint. The puree is tasty, and the other ingredients were nice accompaniments, but the maitakes were clearly the star of the show.

Maitake Mushrooms, Avant Garden

Last, but not least, the gnocchi with butternut squash, brussels sprouts, pears, and black garlic ($22). This dish may look small, but the melt in your mouth gnocchi is quite satisfying. The combination of ingredients was interesting and surprisingly hearty. The shavings of what I assume must be a nut cheese were a nice touch too.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi, Avant Garden

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    annie lee
    March 6, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    I’m only about to start the day and you got me mouthwatering with this post! Gnocchi with butternut squash is one of my favorites. Looks amazing!!

    • Reply
      wazwu
      March 8, 2016 at 10:38 am

      Haha, gotta have a snack when you read food blogs! This gnocchi was absolutely amazing. I wanna go back for more!

  • Reply
    Mother of Pearl, East Village – Let's Nom Nom!
    September 9, 2016 at 11:27 am

    […] Don’t get me wrong, the food is good, but when you’re the sister restaurant of Avant Garden, and there’s so much hype around the recent veganization of this place, the bar is set pretty […]

  • Reply
    Best Vegan & Vegan Restaurants, NYC – Let's Nom Nom!
    November 21, 2016 at 9:04 am

    […] Avant Garden Avant Garden is by far one of the most refined vegan restaurants in NYC. Beautiful plates of vegetables in a cozy setting with a view of the kitchen. It’s no surprise that I and many others have fallen in love with this place. East Village, avantgardennyc.com […]

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