All Reader Reviews of...
54 Irving Pl., New York, NY, 10003
nr. 17th St.
Nice garden area - but Yuck!
By baseballgirl on 9/1/2004
Surely raw spaghetti squash shouldn't cost this much! Eating raw vegetables was okay for about a minute, after that, I felt like I was being taken (and felt a little ill). If you love raw food, you'll like this place. For me, I can't wait until another restaurant moves into this great location.
Bad use of a great space
By GoodEats on 9/12/2004
For all the hype, this restaurant is mediocre at best and way too pricey for what it is.
Limited menu, way over priced
By hotbeverage on 12/19/2006
I was expecting more interesting salads on the menu. I also went there not imagining how much they were going to charge for raw veggies and fruit. $5 for a very small pot of tea, and you can expect to pay $14 for any dessert, which was the best part of the meal. Still, it's hard to justify their prices when you know what you're eating. Price tags of $24+ for entrees are usually reserved for dishes containg fish, seafood, and more expensive meats, not zucchini and cucumbers.
Inventive dishes...but chew well
By HealingChef on 9/3/2004
Jumping on the raw food bandwagon? Well, chef Matthew Kenney knows what he’s doing. (And I say that coming from LA’s raw foods scene.) THE best service I've had in eons, beautiful presentation (flatware & dishes, too), impressively robust wine selection, airy yet intimate-feeling outdoor patio make this a must-return. If, however, you are allergic to nuts or citrus, you simply cannot eat here. Inventive dishes...but chew well and eat slowly to savor the layered flavors. The spicy Thai lettuce wraps with tamarind chili sauce, red beet ravioli with yellow pepper puree and chocolate genache cake tart are not to be missed.
By daisy on 10/13/2004
Having been recommended Pure Food by a friend and given that it is in my neighborhood, I was keen to try it out. But having read the reviews, I was very skeptical about the whole idea of Pure Food being a little too wacky for my tastes and my initial skepticism was one of nightmares of wheat grass and hard to digest, random, raw vegetables. Not so! The back yard truly is perfect and the comfy banquettes and chairs make it easy to relax. Our server was very nice and understanding of our potentially naive questions regarding how exactly you could make ricotta without dairy products. The food doesn't have that "raw" edge to it. The sushi does indeed work and the Lasagne made of zucchini and heirloom tomatoes is actually really delicious and my friend really liked the soft corn tortillas too. Plus, we had really great wine. The only thing missing: no coffee to sip with our interesting chocolate ganache tart... coffee beans need to be roasted, so alas are banned from the Pure Food & Wine. A fun, exploratory dinner!
Interesting and inventive
By streamwise on 3/21/2005
I'm definitely not a vegan, but I still really like this place. The staff is friendly and quite enthusiastic, and despite what you may imagine, the food is very inventive, beautifully presented, and quite good. Of course you're not going to get vegetables that taste like filet mignon or sauces that are as rich as hollandaise, but its still worth a trip. The portions could be a tad bigger, but they seemed to fill me up nonetheless.
tasty but pricey
By mkairey on 1/5/2008
It was fun to experience, but too expensive to return.
Gold standard for the health-conscious
By FatBastard on 3/2/2009
I have been to Pure a number of times, and the menu has evolved nicely as there's always sure to be an "ooh" or "ahh" evoking dish. Most recently, the stuffed mushrooms and tamale were superb. Flavors and textures that are at once both rich and delicate. Previous favorites include lasagna and tacos (my descriptions don't do them justice). Painstaking thought and preparation go into raw food that wouuld take hours to prepare at home, so one should be willing to pay up a bit for this delightful experience. Even an avowed carnivore will be impressed. Aside from the food, staff is down-to-earth, friendly, and generally attentive. And the space is casual and romantic if a bit crowded.
Raw and Expensive
By PerryParis on 4/26/2009
I wish I could eat here every single day. The food is really outstanding, and there are so many options for the different tastes of vegetarians and vegans. I always praise a restaurant for providing Veg options, but even more so when a Veg restaurant does the same. The service was a tad slow - along with the food. However, the exquisite wine held my date and I over. Unfortunately, I won't be able to return for a while because of the high prices of the menu, but I will recommend to friends.
By Niniti on 3/17/2011
went there for the first time last fall (it was also my first time tasting raw gourmet food) and was pleasantly surprised by the variety and taste of the dishes. We shared the sushi, lasagna and ravioli .... loved the raviolli! then 2 desserts which were a great discovery knowing they had no eggs, butter, flour! Prices are indeed expensive but everything is fresh and raw ingredients are not the usual staples (mainly for desserts). The garden is the way to go if weather allows it. Lunch menu doesn't have the full list and I wouldn't recomment it for first timers. Since then, I go to their cafe one lucky duck whenever I can, love their juices and mango pudding!
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