ABCV (NYC) – Vegan Nirvana

ABCV is a Jean George vegan restaurant attached to ABC Kitchen. With a few communal tables in the front, a long bar on one side and a smattering of tables in the rear, securing a reservation is tough and having people leave at a socially responsible time is even more difficult. We waited over 45 minutes past our reservation time as the campers at our assigned table refused to leave.

Once seated we ordered most of the menu and enjoyed all of the dishes. I would never have guessed that I would write a review of the food at a vegan restaurant with such superlatives, but it was one of the best meals of my life, the flavors and textures exploded on the palate and the creativity of the kitchen was overwhelming.

Dishes are designed for sharing, so you can experience the vast varieties of culinary creativity. Some of the dishes I would recommend are:

Lasagnette

The lasagnette with ramp pesto, asparagus, oyster mushrooms, ricotta was our favorite. The earthiness of the mushrooms and ramps and the sweetness of the asparagus were softened with the richness of the ricotta. Fantastic

The group also loved the fire roasted white yam, coconut yogurt, tamarind, tandoori masala. I never would have guessed this combination would be so sweet, and the balance from the tamarind and tandoori masala was great.

Morel wontons, lemon broth, green peppercorn, fava beans, spring garlic. This simple presentation was mild and delightful.

For some rich, deep flavors, order the dosa with smoky eggplant, tomato chutney, coconut yogurt, cilantro.

Salad

A refreshing option was the strawberries, sugar snap peas, avocado, ice wine vinaigrette, basil. It was an example that the chef was fully capable of creating a pleasant, versus bold combination.

Cauliflower

The Roasted cauliflower with turmeric-tahini and pistachios was another surprise. The cauliflower offered a moistness I have not experienced from roasting this vegetable and it was elevated with the coating of the turmeric-tahini.

Lettuce Cups

The most fun dish was the avocado lettuce cups, with toasted cumin, serrano and lime, and peppitas. The challenge was to use your hands or use a fork and knife. I opted for the former and it was a challenge with bites number two and three. We all loved the variety of freshness and spice.

While the evening started very rough with our wait for the table, management finally understood their missteps and brought a few dishes and ensured our server was overly pleasant during the first three-fourths of meal. Our original server’s shift ended at that point and her replacement was not in the same league. So, the beginning and the end were very rough, but the meal itself was spectacular.

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