Since I recently revisited Rockin’ Raw, it seemed fitting to revisit Quintessence too before I leave NYC. The former is in Greenwich Village, while the latter is in East Village. They’re both cute, cozy restaurants serving raw vegan food, but their flavors and atmosphere are pretty different. Quintessence is more of a spa-food, zen-like oasis escape.
I met up with plant-based blogger Food Marshall for lunch at Quintessence on the first real summer day of the year. I foolishly wore jeans that day, which made the walk from the subway not so enjoyable. However, a raw vegan lunch complete with fresh green juice was the perfect way to cool down and refuel. Here’s what we had:
The chipotle cheese roll ($7) is one of their specialties. There’s a smoky southern spiciness to it, but you’ve got the cucumber, peppers, avocado and lettuce to cool things down. Nice creaminess from the cashew cream cheese. Nicely presented, but it doesn’t hold together that well. It got pretty messy and had to be eaten with a fork.
My favorite of the three dishes we ordered was the seaweed salad special. A giant mountain of seaweed topped with tomatoes, cucumbers, sesame seeds, and a creamy (tahini?) dressing. In the past, I’ve felt that some of Quintessence’s dishes are too heavy on the sauce. Not the case with this salad though. It looks like a lot of dressing, but it’s perfect with the seaweed and veggies. Refreshing and satisfying.
The tostada ($7) comes with a chili sauce, but it wasn’t necessary as the pickled jalapeños were plenty spicy for me. The walnut and coconut based “meat” offered nice texture and was the best part of this dish. The crunchy golden flax tortilla shell was good with the toppings, but wasn’t as appealing as other raw crackers I’ve had.