Review: Quintessence

by Laurel on January 30, 2012

On one of the coldest days in NYC this year, my friend Lauren and I traveled to the lower east side for brunch at a raw vegan restaurant called Quintessence. We snuggled in to a corner table by the door. Thank goodness we were seated next to a heater because we were freezing! I guess a chilly day in January is not the best idea for a raw food brunch, but we didn’t really mind, and decided to order some hot drinks to keep us warm. The restaurant was cozy and clean, and our server was nice and attentive.

I ordered a chai latte with steamed cashew milk. It was sooo creamy and comforting and came with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. The cashew milk tasted very fresh, like it was made that morning. In fact, the chai latte was my favorite part of the brunch. Lauren had a plain hot peppermint tea.


Herbal tea


Chai latte

For our brunch entrees, I ordered the “Fofu Benedict” which is 2 slices of sprouted kamut bread, walnut herb sausage, avocado, and fofu (raw tofu). It was drizzled with a raw vegan version of Hollandiaise sauce and caramelized onions. On the side was a mesclun greens salad and a lemon house dressing. In  my first few bites, I loved the big slices of avocado and the sprouted kamut bread, but thought the walnut sausage and the fofu were kind of strange (just a weird combination of flavors). However, I kept eating and liked the dish more as I went along, especially the fofu. It was like a creamier version of regular tofu and tasted very fresh. The simple side of greens was divine and I loved that lemon house dressing. Overall, it was a satisfying meal.


Fofu Benedict


Mesclun greens salad w/ lemon house dressing

Lauren’s ordered the ravioli combination with basil and spinach pesto raviolis with grape tomatoes, yellow squash noodles, and a “tomatoey” sauce. She absolutely loved her meal and happily cleaned her plate. It was Lauren’s first time eating raw food, so she thought it was very different to have the food be room temperature, but she said it was really really yummy. Plus, check out the big portion!


Basil and spinach pesto ravioli combo w/ grape tomatoes, yellow squash noodles, and "tomatoey" sauce

We both noticed how full we felt after we ate. Something people don’t realize is how full you can get after eating raw food. All the dense nutrients really fill you up, but it’s a good full feeling (not the kind that makes you want a nap).

I’d like to go back to Quintessence to try some desserts and fresh juices. Especially once it’s Springtime! The prices and portions were very reasonable for a raw/vegan/organic restaurant. If you try it out, let me know what you think.

Quintessence on Urbanspoon

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