Thursday, May 14, 2009

Blossom gets the best of me

Ever since I started at the bakery, the "gourmet organic vegan" restaurant Blossom has haunted me. It's right across from the bakery, and it's supposed to be the best vegetarian food in the city. But I never really wanted to go, even though, as a vegetarian, I'm SUPPOSED to want to go. Well, the guilt finally got the better of me, and earlier this week, I met BL there for a catch-up dinner.

The dining room is very interesting. You enter through an unmarked black door, turn right, and all of a sudden you're in what looks like someone's living room. It's quiet and soothing and quite nice, but a little weird, since it does feel like you're in someone's house. Regardless, there's a lot of space between the tables, and it's a pleasant place to be.

We perused the menu (which states the Blossom is "first and foremost animal caring") and placed our orders. BL started with the soup du jour, a coconut and sweet corn soup, which came with two slices of bread. It was a copious bowl of sunny yellow soup, and a taste revealed the powerful taste of coconut. BL noted it was a bit sweet but still relatively good.

Sweet & coconutty

For an entree, BL had chosen the baby spinach risotto, upon my recommendation (I'd heard that it was really good). I took a few bites, and it was... well, interesting. Incredibly rich and hearty, with huge chunks of mushrooms and bits of tofu, and perhaps too much lemon (BL wasn't all that into the citrus kick the dish provided). It was a huge portion and so rich that the few bites I had left me feeling slightly sick.

So incredibly rich

My own entree was a small grilled tofu salad. This was a simple mixed green salad topped with a bit of shredded seaweed, a few halved cherry tomatoes, and two triangles of grilled tofu. The tofu was soft and warm, but the greens were, well, greens, and the seaweed was seaweedy. The carrot-miso dressing, which I got on the side, was unappealingly oily with little flavor. While nothing was necessarily bad about the salad, it wasn't that great, either, and it left me still quite hungry.

Pretty but bland

Since I had (distinctly non-vegan, non-organic) treats from the bakery, we skipped dessert, paid the bill, and left. Blossom is a relatively expensive destination, and though I went with a salad rather than one of the more creative vegetarian entrees, I can't really recommend the restaurant. I've found that vegetarian restaurants often compensate for the lack of meat in their dishes by making their food incredibly rich and heavy in other ways, and I always leave feeling a little weighed down. While I definitely respect what Blossom is doing, for what I'm looking for, there are many cheaper, better places in the city to go. As a result, Blossom gets two Offset Spatulas and a tip of my hat.

187 Ninth Avenue, between 21st and 22nd Streets

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