Blossom Cafe: A Review

February 25, 2008 at 9:32 am (Restaurant review)

I was reading the NYC Chowhound reviews and saw Blossom recommended a number of times. It was described as a vegan restaurant similar to Candle Cafe, but perhaps slightly better overall.

I went with a large group last fall and we tried a number of dishes. We didn’t love everything, but overall the quality was excellent. There were few particularly creative or odd combinations, but almost all the dishes were solid and the flavors were well balanced. The prices are high compared to many other vegetarian restaurants (the entrees range from $17-$21), but the portions were quite large.

  • Green salad: this salad came with grilled pear that was tasty, and candied walnuts, but the real standout was the tofu cubes, which were slightly dehydrated (so quite toothsome) and infused with a wonderful miso flavor. The dressing was indistinguishable but quite nice, although the salad was a bit overdressed in my opinion–veering a little too close to greasy.
  • Mango and avocado salad: this salad was more like a chopped salad. There wasn’t a huge amount of mango or avocado, and neither were bursting with flavor, but the salad was quite tasty. The dressing was light and tasty, and the fennel slices added a pleasant crunch and a bit more bite to the salad.
  • Black eyed pea and potato cake. This was a ginormous deep fried patty, but it was so large that only the very surface was crispy, and the rest was more of a creamy, soft texture. I loved the flavors–I’m not sure what was in it, but it tasted almost Indian, with a complex mix of different seasonings that I couldn’t quite place, but worked wonderfully together. The cake was drizzled with a vegan chipotle aioli, that tasted to me exactly like mayo-based aioli (how do they do it?), and went quite well with the other flavors.
  • Spinach mushroom and pine nut ravioli with cashew cream. I found the “cream” sauce to be disappointing. It was nicely infused with sage, but the texture was a bit floury I thought, and the flavor odd. Plus I couldn’t taste the ravioli fillings. However, one of our party said that the ravioli was his favorite dish of the evening.
  • Oyster mushroom tempura and seitan water chestnut potstickers. The tempura was definitely deep fried, and I’m not sure I tasted the mushrooms (although others said they did), but in any case it was delicious. Everyone really liked it. I thought the potstickers were pleasant, but nothing special, but others liked them more than I did.
  • Seitan scallopini. The seitan came in large slices, pan seared, and topped with a caper white wine sauce. I thought the texture of the seitan was perfectly tender and toothsome at the same time, and the sauce was delicious. Everyone loved the seitan. The dish also came with chard (which was nice), and very strongly flavored basil mashed potatoes, that were a hit with everyone but me (but I’m not a mashed potato fan).
  • Stuffed portobellos. This dish was two huge mushroom caps stacked and stuffed to the gills with a tofu walnut mixture, and topped with a tahini cashew sauce. Derek adored this dish, and others enjoyed it as well, but I found it too strongly flavored. I’m not sure exactly what the strong flavor was that disturbed me–maybe a excess of red wine or balsamic vinegar?
  • Feijoada with smoky tempeh. This dish was the loser of the night. The tempeh was pretty tasteless, the sweet potatoes were tasty but sometimes undercooked, and the black beans were very plain. Overall we found this dish underseasoned and boring.
  • Savory seitan. This dish was similar to the scallopini, except the seitan was in a different sauce. I have no idea what was in the sauce but it was light and refreshing and extremely tasty without being terribly greasy. The seitan also came with potatoes, green beans, and roasted tomatoes, all of which were fine but a bit boring.
  • Vegan cheesecake. Derek loved the dessert, saying it was the best vegan dessert ever, or at the very least the best vegan cheesecake he’d ever had. It certainly came closer to cheesecake than others I’ve tried, evading the typical soy aftertaste. I asked how they made it and they said tofu and soy cream cheese, so I’m guessing the recipe is similar to the one I have on my blog for vegan key lime pie that uses tofutti cream cheese. I think they also used a very high quality vanilla, which also helps mask the soy flavor.

The service was attentive but not irritating. The ambience was perfectly pleasant, although nothing to rave about. Overall we enjoyed the experience, had lots of tasty food, and will definitely be back.

1 Comment

  1. Kelley said,

    I absolutely love this place. I am vegan and take my non-veg boyfriend all the time who also can’t get enough. The stuffed portobello dish is my favorite and I agree about the cheesecake being the best.

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