Wilde For Juicing, Harpe(er)ing On Vegan

By Jordie Pinchinat & GJ

English: Olivia Wilde at a San Diego Comic-Con...
English: Olivia Wilde at a San Diego Comic-Con panel for Tron Legacy in July 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Veggie juices have been all the rage during the summer! From celebs like Olivia Wilde to my doctor’s receptionist, people from all walks of life are getting their juices flowing. I decided to join the craze this weekend in New York City and headed to the Upper East Side to Candle Cafe, a hotspot for the health conscious.  Greeting you upon entrance is the fragrant bouquet of the freshly pressed fruits and vegetables that is, in and of itself, refreshing and therapeutic. Taking my cue from the seasoned and loyal juicing veterans seated at the bar, I ordered THE GREEN LIFE, a concoction of: Kale, pineapple, banana, and orange juice (pictured below).

The Green Life

Not to diminish the obvious appeal of the somewhat gritty green elixir, the flavorful medley and its accompanying aromas served mostly to wet my appetite for the delectable dishes being served at the neighboring tables. Indeed, for foodies like me, even the most taste bud tantalizing liquids become quickly diluted by the salivation resulting from the thought of sinking my teeth in to the enticing entrees presented before me.  Yes, “bring on the real food” was the refrain being uttered by my growlingly voracious appetite.

As an avid reader of Harper’s Bazaar, I came across an article in the August issue written by Alex Kuczynski. In the article, Kuczynski dishes on vegan cuisine, essentially  concluding that it was gastronomically underwhelming. Nonetheless, my curiosity was piqued, and coupled with my field research on juicing at the Candle Cafe, a hearty serving of Candle’s signature SEITAN PICCATA  (pictured below) seemed in order.  The artistic presentation of the dish was exceeded only by its succulence as each bite of the the tender, savoury and tangy cutlets melted in my mouth.  It became apparent to me that Kuczynski had dined elsewhere or otherwise, was simply out to lunch!

Seitan Piccata
Seitan Piccata

The scrumptious meal culminated in the decadent CHOCOLATE MOUSSE PIE (pictured below). OMG! Richer, creamier and more satisfying than any dessert really has  any right to be, it was also abundantly clear that Harper’s had also bizarrely omitted this delicacy from their  review.

Chocolate Mouse Pie

Writer Alex Kuczynski owes it to her readers, and herself, to give the vegan world a second chance. One of the patrons even expressed to me his view that the variety and caliber of New York City’s vegan cuisine was reason enough that he could never think to reside anywhere else. I hope you’ll get a chance to experience and enjoy what could quite possibly be one of the best vegan meals the world has to offer sometimes soon.

Share your own vegan experience?