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Reviews from nymag.com
Posted by Raw food lover on 08/11/2012
I like Quintessence but I have to agree with the last reviewer. The All American Burger here costs more than the burger at the 21 Club. And Bring back the Big Mock!...it was better than the one that replaced it...or better yet how about a few Burger options if you're gonna charge prices like that!
Posted by Sam on 04/01/2012
$20 for a raw burger? Yeah the food is ok but the prices are insulting. If they made the prices reasonable I bet they'd make more money due to the fact that raw foodists as well as others would go there much more often.
Posted by NotUsuallyIntoRawFood on 02/13/2012
wow, i am not usually into raw food - have had not-so-great experiences at another not-to-be-named upscale raw food restaurant in nyc. but each and every time i go to Quintessence i am thrilled with my meal. the food is artfully presented and the portion sizes are decent. despite the 'pizza' not actually resembling pizza, or the 'nachos' not really what one would expect when they hear that word, everything tastes great and has a wonderful combination of textures and flavors. and their shakes are wonderful- try the raw chocolate one!! the place is tiny and cozy, and the blender seems to be going full force in the back kitchen, so tables near the big window in front are prime. the staff there is very accommodating, should you have any issues. all in all, this place is a must-try for anyone, regardless of your diet preferences.
Posted by Matthew on 11/29/2011
Full disclosure: I'm not a vegan or a raw foodist. I am a vegetarin, however, and was thrilled to try Quintessence after hearing good things. I went with a friend, with great intentions. We sat down and she ordered a glass of wine. "We don't serve alcohol." So she asked for a Diet Coke. "Um, no, sorry." AS IF she'd asked for blood of a virgin on the rocks. We ordered "nachos." You can not make a corn chip without frying it. Don't bother. We had a "stew." You can't "stew" food without cooking it. We had a "caesar" salad. The "carmelized onions" were dehydrated and saturated with agave nectar. All of this to say that the "raw" food at Quintessence is, well, unappetizing. If I want raw food I will make a gigantic, delicious salad. Their attempts to create food resembling cooked food fell totally flat. AND the waitress was rude. The most disappointing meal I've ever had in NY. Hands down.
Posted by Natalia on 06/19/2011
This is absolutely the best place for people who appreciate real food. I am used to high quality meals from organic ingredients but the food in this place ranks on the top. It tastes like nothing else and yet all the ingredient are real (well, this is the best part). Also, it is worth every penny and the owners are clearly not trying to make money on us - I think they actually believe in what they do. Also, good ingredients, as we all know, are not cheap. Every time you eat in a (suspiciously) cheap place, remember that the owners still need to make money, so what is the actual quality of the food you bought? Your body is so worth of being treated well. These guys seem to be somewhat religious about raw food and this makes this place (and the food) very special. The desserts are so delicious and guilt-free and I do not understand why there is no one-mile like outside. I think, unfortunately, many people still believe that "usual" food (overpriced "Italian" pasta, anyone?) is somehow better than raw and pure. I crave this food all the time, too bad I live in Boston, a little too far to stop by from time to time.
Posted by brian on 03/19/2011
I am not a vegan or a vegetarian and I rarely eat a meal that doesn't include some meat or cheese. The food at Quintessence surprised me with its complex full flavors. It was not the bland macrobiotic flavor I expect from a vegetarian restaurant. Rather, the food is inventive and satisfying. Traditional dishes are reconstructed vegan-style, but in a way that puts the eating experience ahead of novelty. I liked it better than for example the WD-50 approach to the same problem. That restaurant is in love with novelty often at the expense of pleasing texture. It's a tiny storefront which limits the decor but they do well within the limits of the space and the service was accurate, fast, friendly.
Posted by jupiter on 01/17/2011
I am not a vegan but my friend is and she picked this restaurant. The food was way better than I anticipated. Although it was not my first time at a vegan/raw place, I was still pleasantly surprised at what this place had to offer. The food was flavorful and fast. Beware, this space is cramped but charming.