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Murray Hill / Gramercy >
Pure Food and Wine
Posted by Jason and Rita on 03/11/2007
Having hesitated for months to try a raw dining experience, we finally made our way to PF&W, with hesitant optimism. What we found was a restaurant with pleasant atmosphere, warm staff, attentive service, and tasteful food delicately prepared. The cocktails were fun--a blackberry mojito-style, and a glass of vegan Pinot Grigio--and generously large. An appetizer of the Spicy Thai Lettuce Wraps was refreshing and stimulating. And entrees of the Tamales and Ravioli were bursting with flavor and beautifully served. Light but filling, both main dishes boast fillings and sauces that balance sweetness, spice and saltiness; the herb seasoning of the ravioli was particularly impressive. Dessert--a chocolate molten lava cake--was overwhelming: warm chocolate sauce and a surprising pepper ice cream served as a dramatic finish. The service was attentive--our glasses of water were always filled before they were half empty--and subtle--plates were cleared without the smallest disturbance. Our waitress was engaging and helpful, and, noticing our inability to decide on a dessert, brought us our order of the chocolate cake, and then gave us the Pecan Layer Cake on the house (the pear ice cream was perfectly accented by caramel, and for once a pecan dessert honored its main ingredient). We could not have asked for a more gracious and generous host. Of course, a cheaper meal can be found many places, but one approaches a raw food establishment in a much different way than a typical restaurant. One pays to experience a radically alternative style of dining and to reward the chefs and the establishment for remarkable culinary creative and responsible ethical practice. For those who want bigger portions, servers divested of any fashion personality, and a free salad should find their way back to the freezer foods of Applebees and Olive Garden, and leave the tables at Pure Food open for those who know good dining when they find it.
Posted by Dissapointed on 03/05/2007
I went here with my girlfriend on our six month anniversary and it was probably the poorest dining experience I have ever had. I don't mind paying a lot for a meal, but our main dishes had as little food as possible without someone demanding their money back. My main course was a ravioli-type dish that was had five *small* pieces of ravioli. And it did not even have to much flavour or taste. My girlfriends meal was similar, as was the appetizer. For dessert, we were served apple crumble and ice cream (which we took to go), and the apple crumble and ice cream were given to us in those little plastic containers that are used to put mayonnaise in when you get a sandwhich from a deli (approx 3 cm high and a diameter of about 5cm -- It was about half that of jello pudding container). All said and done, two appetizers, two main dishes, two non-alcoholic drinks and two desserts for $140 (tip included). Now for some positives about the restaurant: Although I see that someone has complained about jeans/sneakers below, I did not notice this myself and our waitress was *very* professional. The atmosphere was also very nice and modern. For food that did not taste very good (or that there was very much of), I would never pay $140 for an experience like this again. If you are very much into pretentious places and dropping names, than I would say go here...But if you are just interested in a good meal, you can get an excellent meal for about half the price
Posted by Diane A on 01/25/2007
We're vegan and about 25-50% raw. Pure Food and Wine is to raw foodists what 5-star restaurants are to omnivores. If you've ever prepared raw food, then you know the exquisite care and preparation that goes into this food. You cannot get this kind of quality at home. It's phenomenal. It's expensive because it's high quality, organic and delicious. It is not an everyday restaurant (don't ever compare it to the Olive Garden, duh!) so expect to pay a fair price for gourmet food. If you have an appetizer, entree and dessert - you'll be al full as can be considered healthy. What more do you want? As far as the waitstaff - so what if they wear sneakers? If they aren't made of dead animal skin I say go for it! I have gone there dressed up and dressed down - it all works. I live on the west coast now and always make time for a trip to Pure Food and Wine when I'm in Manhattan. I pray for the day they franchise to Portland, Oregon. Please?
Posted by Cathy on 08/15/2006
So I'm vegan but not raw, in fact I don't usually really enjoy a lot of the raw foods I've had, but Pure Food and Wine was a great experience. I went for the first time last night. Yes it's expensive, but considering the artistry and perfection in which the food is prepared the price is comparable. We had the butter lettuce salad, caesar salad, and sushi as appetizers we thought they were a nice size. Both dressings were good and very strong flavors. You can't have such large portions with such intense flavor in addition to it's not necessary and technically the portion sizes are those that are considered healthy. Our main dishes were the corn tamales (very rich and filling), turnip pasta (light and flavorful), and the chanterelle/olive ravioli (highly recommended as it was totally amazing). The highlight of the evening though was dessert. Our server helped us with good recommendations including the "ice cream" which was phenomenal! We had the classic sundae and the tiramisu. As I said I'm vegan and I haven't had anything that remotely tastes like tiramisu in over 5 years (including many veg efforts) but this dish was incredible you couldn't tell it wasn't standard Italian tiramisu let alone vegan and raw! Both desserts were rich and decadent. Yes our bill was expensive but sitting in the peaceful garden under the stars with the light breeze with flower buds in the air, a helpful and good wait staff (dressed appropriately for this venue and this cuisine style btw), and delectable dishes that you can tell took a lot of time and effort to prepare and that used fresh seasonal ingredients....it's well worth it.
Posted by Anthony A on 08/12/2006
I've been to Pure Food and Wine twice now, and each time I was consistently impressed with the atmosphere and the flavors of the food. However, that aside...I must say that the portions are ridiculously small (could they at least include a small salad with a $25 entree?) and some of the servers were wearing jeans and New Balance sneakers while working. What is up with that? Why would management not make them take their positions more seriously? They are consistently taking care of $100+ tables, and they just look sloppy. Even the Olive Garden at least makes their servers dress appropriately! My girlfriend and I did it cheap too...one app and an entree each (just water for the bevs) and we still paid $72. And we were still hungry! Come on! So if you've got deep pockets, enjoy yourself. Otherwise I would save Pure for a very special occasion and eat a salad before you go.
Posted by shona on 08/12/2006
Great food for raw fooders vegans, or mixed eaters who are raw curious. Food quality and presentation are impeccable. Flavors pop and will leave you craving more. My all time fav is the Lasagna. WOW! If you come with an appetite "Eat dessert"! All the deserts are delicious and filling. I once brought my friends from Texas to PF&W and we ate from the tasting menu. Our requests were not considered however what was brought was good. Thank goodness for dessert, because my friends were still hungry after the last course was served. Lastly, cocktails are refreshing and great. I go for the cucumber martini.
Posted by Anonymous on 05/28/2006
Get the corn tamale - so creamy and you can taste the corn. wonderful!