Gluten-Free Vegan Tapas Restaurant – only in NYC

In some ways NYC is like the Internet, if you look for even the most niche offering you can find it. Sacred Chow is a vegan tapas restaurant with a small seating area, one server and a kitchen downstairs from the dining room. The West Village location is just south of Washington Square Park. The server, straight from “vegan hipster” casting, asked my friend and I where we were from – apparently the restaurant is a tourist destination for vegans around the world. (I guess the excitement I was effusing over the large gluten free menu gave me the dreaded air of “tourist.”)My adventures in gluten free dining compadre, Molly and I visited Sacred Chow twice in the space of a month.

On each visit, we split two of the “Tapas Trios,” soup and dessert. The Tapas Trio came on graduated serving dishes that somehow made the experience even more fun.

Molly and I share a somewhat unusual passion for Brussels sprouts so we savored each bite of their cornmeal crusted sprouts special.

My favorite protein was the Korean Tofu Cutlets served with pickled vegetables, followed in a close second by the Roasted Indonesian Tempeh. We enjoyed the tempeh so much we asked the server about how it was prepared. Their tempeh is more flavorful and has a firmer texture than any tempeh I had ever had before. We were told the secret is sautéing the tempeh in the sauce before roasting it. The double cooking process locks in the seasonings and provides the unique consistency.

 

Two different trips, two different soup specials. I had the pleasure of introducing Molly to Borscht – a sweet and salty soup made from beets that I first discovered in my early days in NY at Veselka.

 

Our second trip offered us a pumpkin soup served with apples. It was perfect on a cold winter day.

The sautéed shitake mushrooms with toasted sunflower seeds were so good they inspired us both to pick up some shitake mushrooms at Trader Joe’s after dinner.

 

The greens sprinkled with sesame seeds were simple but tasty enough to make it onto our table during both visits.

 

The four seasons salad wasn’t a standout and I definitely wouldn’t order the raw Dijon marinated kale again. The kale is the kind of dish that gives ammunition to meat eaters that deride vegan/vegetarian food – dry, cold, bland.

 

On our first trip we were a little disappointed with our dessert choices. We selected the Toasted coconut rice syrup macaroon and the Nougatines. They would be fine as a snack/dessert if you were camping but not the kind of indulgence you look for when dining out.

 

On our next trip we decided to give the Sacred Sundae a try. Vanilla soy ice cream topped with blueberry sauce. I am so glad our first less than appealing experience didn’t scare us away from a second attempt. The blueberry sauce was light, fresh and full of flavor without overpowering the creamy vanilla ice cream.

 

I can’t wait to go back, now if only they delivered to my neighborhood….

 

Sacred Chow, 227 Sullivan St, New York 10014 Btwn Bleecker & W 3rd St Phone: 212-337-0864

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Lynn Barry said,

April 26, 2007 @ 11:50 pm

You are amazing! Looks like you are having a grand time of it, finding gluten free dining out options. HUGS

Shauna said,

April 29, 2007 @ 12:39 am

I would love to eat there with you when I come to New York!

Catherine said,

April 29, 2007 @ 9:16 pm

Shauna,

It’s a plan – just let me know next time you come and I will clear my calendar!

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