Sunday night in New York City is a tug of war between recuperating from the weekend’s antics, and dread for the impending Monday morning that will inevitably rear its ugly head in the morning. Not my favorite of nights, I’ll admit, but it can be nice for a quiet dinner on the Upper East Side with an old friend (B) visiting from out of town. I’ve spoken of my vegan tendencies (here, and here) — I guess it’s always just a matter of time before one of my truly vegan friends insists on having more options than just the house salad or the lentil soup and in New York, there is no shortage of vegan restaurants.
Usually the wide array of options would be fantastic. But B is (bless her heart) probably one of the most indecisive people on the planet. Honestly, I’m not much better. After much back-and-forth and I don’t care where we go from both of us, we settled on V Note, a relatively new vegan place on 1st Avenue just below 80th Street. I’d read about it on Mojitos & Florentine a few months ago, and had wanted to try it out — B’s visit to town was the perfect opportunity.
Candlelight is amazing. V-note keeps its lights dimmed (at least in the evening) and I hate being that guy who’s constantly blinding everyone with his gawkerish photos. Unfortunately this combination makes capturing the moments of deliciousness to share with you a bit challenging. Enter the candles — such a lifesaver.
Being a Sunday night, the restaurant was fairly empty. A birthday party (or something to that effect) was being held at the other end of the row of tables, a couple parties of two were seated at the bar (no doubt enjoying some of the organic wines V Note has to offer). Other than that, it was just me, B, and our waiter with his thin, curled-at-the-ends mustache (is there a name for that?).
As I said, B and I are mad indecisive, and the amazing descriptions on V Note’s menu don’t make it easy to pick one thing — so we ordered 5. Five appetizers, and two desserts to share, and we were both stuffed to the brim by the end. We may or may not have waddled just a little bit on the way to the subway home.
First, we had the Mushroom Phyllo Cigars, which reminded me of high school, when I used to smoke cigars. These Mushroom Phyllo Cigars taste much better — and are probably better for you.
Then we had the Seitan Schnitzel. I’ll eat pretty much anything fried, and this was no exception — but it wasn’t exceptionally exciting.
Gnocchi is usually a favorite of mine and again, this was no exception, but not exceptional. Impressive portion for an app, though — and definitely a huge culprit in the waddling that took place later.
Cape Cod Cakes and Shepherd’s Pie — the CCC was definitely interesting and worth trying. I was pleasantly surprised with how delicious the Shepherd’s Pie was, though. It’s not usually one of my favorites, but I’d order this one again.
Dessert. So so so rich and so decadent. Chocolate Ganache with peanut butter center made me re-think my ambivalence toward the chocolate/peanut butter combo, and the Seasonal Fruit Tartelette (pineapple on this particular day) was scrumptious.
It’s easy to have vegan tendencies when these delicacies are just a short train ride away.
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