Rene spent a large part of the last two weeks being sick. If you’re not familiar with pancreatitis, it’s exactly as not fun as it sounds. This past weekend he actually had to fast, preceding an equally un-sexy liquid diet of green smoothies and water-based vegetable soups. By Monday he was eating some solid foods again, but mostly just vegetables.
Monday also happened to be our three-year anniversary. I’ve been very excited about the prospect of this date and was hoping we could go somewhere old New York to celebrate with fat steaks and a bottle of red. I had all but forgotten about my glamorous fantasy by the time the date actually arrived, and was just happy Rene was feeling better. We still thought it’d be nice to go somewhere and I recalled a great, vegetable-heavy restaurant in the West Village – Ellary’s Greens.
Ellary’s Greens is a warm, cozy place. They pride themselves on their commitment to organic, ethically grown ingredients, from small farms whenever possible. Their menu will suit truly any palate but seems geared towards the flexitarian mindset. The menu is organized into Proteins, Vegetables and Roots & Grains, and well as a large variety of salads and vegetable-focused sandwiches. The menu is full of vibrant and satisfying vegetable dishes but a variety of high-quality animal proteins are there if you want them. Those who’d rather drink their veggies can also enjoy made-to-order smoothies and juices.
Rene had the beet salad (with hearts of palm, avocado, frisee, walnuts and a raspberry vinaigrette), while I went for the BLT – the words “house-cured and smoked bacon” were too hard to resist. We also split sides of mashed yukon gold potatoes and roasted cauliflower (with thyme, chili flakes and lemon confit). Aside from the afore-mentioned bacon, the mashed potatoes were my favorite part of the meal. The creamy potatoes were mashed with olive oil, and studded with fresh thyme and sliced olives. I love that they substituted the indulgence of usual mashed potato culprits – butter, cream – for a pop of freshness from fresh herbs and bright olives.
I absolutely have to tell you about the beer I had – Samuel Smith Organic Chocolate Stout. It literally tasted like a carbonated chocolate milkshake for grown-ups. At the hefty pricetag of $12 per bottle, it was well worth the splurge. I highly recommend it to fellow dark beer lovers.
Although much of the menu is vegan, eating at Ellary’s Greens doesn’t feel like eating health food. Their food is truly delicious and satisfying, and happens to be plant-based and full of good nutrients. It’s restaurant food you can feel good about eating, which is rare. Hopefully Rene and I will get to live out my steak-and-red-wine fantasy sometime soon, but in the meantime, I’m glad a place like Ellary’s Greens exists.