Turn Ons: Creative, flavorful, healthy food in a cozy restaurant that's also great for people watching.
Turn Offs: The food is yummy and filling but a little pricey and left me gassy.
Rate My Date:
- Not My Type
- 1 Night Stand
- Happily Ever After
Quintessence is a hidden gem in the eclectic East Village of 5-story walk-ups and passers-by that seem to carry complex life stories and eccentricities. I sat at a table by the window which became an entertaining picture book of characters; some of whom seemed stuck in an 80s time warp, swathed in vintage clothing and signs of bygone-era excess lingering on their wandering souls. It was an interesting mix of those "types", plus rent-stabilized hanger-on-ers surprised to see their hood become hip, and the young hipsters that help make it so. If it weren't for NY, these characters would never co-exist.
The food speaks of a new era of healthful decadence with cross-continental flavors as diverse as the local residents. The organic, raw and vegan menu selection ranged from Mexican tacos to Indian malai kofta, Italian lasagna and an All American burger. My meal was artfully served under the amber glow of Himalayan salt candles and accompanied by slow, soulful jazz that was quiet enough for the uninterrupted thoughts of this solo-dining Indie Girl. I thoroughly enjoyed my savory tostada which was a crunchy tortilla shell topped with guacamole, lettuce, tomato, pickled jalapeno, sour cream, and nut meat (refried beans) and served with hot sauce. I followed that with a rich, creamy and delicious Tiramisu; a rectangular sculpture of mocha mousse on a bed of chocolate nut crumble topped with a velvety praline custard. Plus, a ginger chai latte. YUM!
According to the restaurant's website, eating a diet of raw foods (fruits, vegetables and grains that are never cooked or heated above 118ºƒ) promotes better physical and mental energy, detoxifies and boosts our immune systems and even serves as a natural anti-aging solution. But here's the deal: like most things that make us look and feel good, Quintessence is a little on the pricey side.
263 East 10th Street (between 1st Avenue & Avenue A)
Getting There By Subway:
- L to 1st Avenue - 14th Street