Tag Archives: Mediterranean

XYST: Breaking All The Myths About Vegan Food

Dining XYST Vegan Restaurant Beet Hummus

This Vegan restaurant in New York City is breaking all the myths about Vegan food. XYST is truly an experience worth exploring that will change all your misconceptions of this cuisine!

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If you’ve NEVER been to XYST, it’s about time you go!XYST is one of the amazing creations by the renowned Chef Matthew Kenney and it one of my favorite spots in New York! We’re even done a short and sweet IGTV about it!

Their menu is Mediterranean inspired, their décor is beautifully rustic and home-cozy, the cocktails are great to pair with the food and the dishes? Well, they are to-die-for (and Vegan!).

Yes! This is a restaurant that I take all my non-Vegan friends and they a-l-w-a-y-s want to go back for more. I mean, I truly love showing people what Vegan cuisine is all about and break all the myth there is about it!

In addition, people that don’t understand the cuisine think that vegans only eat vegetables and salad. Hahaha! Well, that’s totally wrong and the cuisine is super rich in flavors and creations!

Now, pause for “awe”! Chef Matthew has restaurants in almost 20 cities across the globe, some of them being: São Paulo (my home town)! Buenos Aires! Sydney! Los Angeles! Dubai! Costa Rica! Bahrain! And other corners of the globe!

Now, let’s get to some details on the dishes!

Here is what we had this last time, but I’ve tried almost everything from their menu:

  • White, Rose and Red Wine, just to start off in grand style
  • Mese Plate: Beetroot Hummus. Smoked Hummer. Muhammara. Market Vegetables. Warm Pita
  • Wild Mushrooms + Muhammara. Red Pepper. Caramelized Onions. Herbed Focaccia
  • Avocado Toast. Za’atar Avocado. Cherry Tomato. Sourdough Bread

Unfortunately, this time we didn’t have dessert, because we were super satisfied with what we ate, but I’ve tried them all:

  • Blood Orange Cheesecake with Citrus Curd and Basil Syrup
  • Sunflower Seed Baklava with Rose Water
  • Chocolate Cake with Orange Blossom Gelato and Candied Salnuts

As Chef Matthew says, he’s “crafting the future of food” and we have to agree!

So, enjoy (and I’m sure you’ll be back for more!)

Hours:
Lunch & Brunch: Monday – Friday: 11am – 3:30p
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday: 11am – 3:30pm
Dinner: Sunday – Wednesday: 5pm – 10pm | Thursday – Saturday: 5pm – 11pm

Location: 44 West 17th Street

www.matthewkenneycuisine.com/xyst


Photo Credits: @BehindTheScenesNYC
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

This Is How New Yorkers Like To Eat Out!

Dining Olive Tree Cafe Carpaccio

Do you know how New Yorkers like to eat out? We will show you how Olive Tree Cafe & La Lanterna di Vittorio together, make the perfect night out! This incredible duo will make you travel to Middle Eastern to Italy in a blink of an eye.

Dining La Lanterna di Vittorio Façade

That NY is a really diverse city, we all know. But do you know how some native New Yorkers like to eat? I mean, how would be a perfect dinner for them? I’m sure the opinions are divided. But, according to a group of friends I’ve got, all of them “native New Yorkers”, have an interesting and uncommon way of having a night out.

Ok, so the cool thing here is: having dinner at one restaurant and dessert at another. This is a tradition many New Yorkers keep since their college years. It seems curious, doesn’t it? And let me tell you, after being introduced to this New Yorker style meal, I can say it’s definitely fun and quite adventurous.

I’ll describe below my first experience trying out the combo:

It was a winter evening when my group of friends decided we’d have dinner at Olive Tree Cafe and dessert at La Lanterna Di Vittorio, both on MacDougal Street, located in the West Village. I didn’t know any of these restaurants at that time, so I was super excited about what that night would look like.


First stop: Olive Tree Cafe – Middle Eastern

Dining Olive Tree Cafe Photo Credit Jimmy Kuang

When we got into the restaurant I was immediately impressed by the tables.

They were like chalkboards. Yeah, we could draw, write or doodle on the table, while we were eating. I loved it!

As soon as we were seated I grabbed a chalk and started writing some silly, fun things to get entertained.

The place was cute, decorated with some lamps across the saloon, brick walls and some frames.

The menu offered Middle Eastern salads and main dishes, in addition to hamburgers and sides. As I’m really into Middle Eastern food I tried to order the best I could.

To start, we split a falafel dish. I’m a huge fan of falafel and thought it was great!

Dining Olive Tree Cafe Carpaccio

For the main course I had chicken kebob that was served with rice or mashed potato – I picked rice – and a salad made with cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and a few spices. It was really rich!

My friends ordered different dishes, all of them pretty tasty. But, one of them got my attention. It was a combination of falafels, baba ganoush, kefta kebob and a salad.

So, I couldn’t hold myself back from asking my friend to try a little bit of his dish, and what can I say, fantastic!

After eating and playing a lot with the chalk, we were ready to head for dessert.

Note: Olive Tree Cafe is part of the Comedy Cellar, a notorious comedy club located right below it.

Hours:
Friday – Saturday: 11am – 4am
Sunday – Thursday: 11am – 2:30am

Location: 117 MacDougal Street

www.opentable.com/OliveTreeCafe


Second stop: La Lanterna di Vittorio – Italian

Dining La Lanterna di Vittorio Garden

First of all, the ambience of the place was extremely cozy. The dimmed lights made me feel as my simple dessert hunt with friends, was a real special occasion.

I highly recommend for a date, although it was not my case. I was just having fun with my friends.

It was winter so the fireplace was lit. My friend asked for a table in the back, which made me question: in the back??

Oh! What I didn’t know was they have a charming winter garden tucked away in their back area!

The space is decorated with some colorful and fun details like the lamps in a Greekish-Italian style.

Surely, a lovely place to spend the rest of a great night with friends.

Dining La Lanterna di Vittorio Inside

Time to order, and they had a great variety of desserts or dolci, like you’ll see written on their menu.

From American to Italian and other European cakes and sweets, I felt like Alice in “Dessertland”.

They also displayed the desserts close to the entrance so I decided to get up and chose mine, with my eyes. I chose a delicious chocolate mud cake and it was actually my first time having one. So delicious!

My friends had cannolis, fruit pie and the gelati.

The result: Every single one of us left extremely happy and satisfied! It was truly the perfect duo, specially considering they are located on the same street, just steps from each other.

Note: La Lanterna has a room downstair with live music, so do ask about it!

Hours:
Friday & Saturday: 10am – 3am
Sunday – Thursday: 10am – 2am

Location: 129 MacDougal Street

https://lalanternacaffe.com


That night was just the first experience I had in this “New Yorker” style.

I loved it so much that I’ve repeated it countless times, but in different restaurants. It’s a great way to also optimize your stay in New York and explore more places at once.

I do want to emphasize that both Olive Tree Cafe and La Lanterna di Vittorio serve really tasty food. I do eat full meals at both places too. Plus, I’ve always had a great time.

But, if you enjoyed this duo-restaurant adventurous night out, get ready! Have fun, meet different people after all, that’s what NYC is all about!

In addition, if you visit these restaurants, do tag us on your Instagram and let us know what you thought about your dish!

Lastly, to explore other restaurants in the West Village, you might want to check out: Shuraku, for a high-end Japanese option; and Hudson Clearwater, for a mysterious and secluded dining experience.


Text by our Contributor: Rafaela Azevedo
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Jimmy Kuang for Olive Tree Café, and courtesy of venues
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

Zizi Limona: A Mediterranean Restaurant In Williamsburg

Dining Zizi Limona Restaurant Hummus and Cauliflower

We all know that Williamsburg is one of the trendiest NY neighborhoods, but there are still quite a few streets that tourists don’t quite yet reach – which is just perfect for us! Zizi Limona is a Mediterranean restaurant in Williamsburg that we really enjoy!

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Even though tourists are discovering this street in Williamsburg, it’s still a bit secluded from the craziness of the neighborhood. Havemeyer Street is the home to some pretty amazing dining spots, coffee shops, so we do incentivize you to roam around a bit.

Just note: the street is crosses through Metropolitan Avenue and has a weird shape to it, if you see it on a map.

We recently had lunch at Zizi Limona, that opened in October of 2012.

At Zizi, we felt like we ate a feast! It was delicious and this is what we had:

  • Black Cumin Cauliflower on tahini topped with tomato salsa and black cumin seeds
  • Charred Beet & Lentil with finely chopped root veggies, raw tahini, silan
  • Masabacha with grilled tomato, warm ground chickpeas, tahini, lemon, cumin, parsley
  • Hummus with freshly made hot pita bread
  • Shishito Peppers with white beans and harissa aioli
  • Salad with greens, purple onions, cabbage, cherry tomatoes with a delicious sauce

And, of course we would never skip dessert! We tried a pretty peculiar dish. It was a vegan berries delight with raspberries sorbet, walnut soil, rhubarb jellies and fresh berries. Beautiful presentation and tasty too!

We just love this Mediterranean restaurant in Williamsburg!

After having lunch there, just walk around to explore a bit that part of Willyb.

Go grab a tea at Little Choc Apothecary, where they create all their blends in-house, plus, they have a fantastic selection of “medicinal blends that improves all aspects of your physical, mental, and spiritual health.” Oh! And they are the first and only vegan crêperie in New York! So good!

If you want to just kick on into the night, you can pass by for a drink at Lighthouse BK (one of our favorites), or enjoy the rooftop space at Night of Joy.

And, if you decide you want help to figure out your trip to NYC, let us know what you want and we’ll show how our Travel Planning Services works!

Enjoy!

Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 4pm – 11pm
Friday: 12pm – 12am
Saturday: 11am – 12am
Sunday: 11am – 11pm

Location: 129 Havemeyer Street

www.zizilimona1.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Brussels Vegan

In the mood For Middle Eastern Cuisine? Try Hummus Kitchen!

Dining Hummus Kitchen Restaurant Full Table

New York City surely has it all when we talk about dining experiences. If you enjoy Middle Eastern cuisine, Hummus Kitchen is definitely one of the restaurants to visit.

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Don’t you wake up sometimes totally in the mood for hummus? Well, we do! So, we decided to go to Hummus Kitchen to kill our craving!

With 3 different locations in Manhattan – Hell’s Kitchen, Upper East Side and Murray Hill – we decided to visit the one in Hell’s Kitchen this time and we simply loved it.

It’s a small place, with around 20 tables, a small façade, a very welcoming environment with gorgeous brick walls (yes, we’re into brick walls, lol), and an extremely outgoing and polite staff.

We got there around 12:30pm and in no time the place was full, plus the delicious smell from the kitchen started subtly invading the entire place – don’t worry, it doesn’t stick to your clothes and hair….!

We tried several different Vegan dishes (see picture), like:

  • Super-Healthy Salad – Quinoa, apricot, cranberry, walnuts and charred beets with fresh lemon juice and mint dressing
  • Charred Beets – Tahini, silan, organic mixed greens & walnuts
  • The Falafel – Falafel balls made from greens and chickpea, served with tahini, cured cabbage and grilled onion
  • Cauliflower – With tahini, grilled red onion and thyme
  • The Hummus Kitchen – Platter divided by four types of hummus: chickpea, chicken (we substituted for the vegetarian hummus), tahini and plain

Desserts were amazing:

  • Malabi – Mediterranean flan topped with coconut, pistachio & grenadine
  • The Kitchen Kadif – Halva parfait on shredded filo dough topped with halva & silan

We were super satisfied with out lunch and had no space for dessert.

But, we’re definitely going back to try the Loco Morocco, a chocolate mousse cake with coconut and whipped cream over dark chocolate sauce! We simply love Middle Eastern cuisine.

Oh! Are you vegan? They have some fantastic options (some we tried, as we listed above)!

Want to explore the neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen?

After lunch, you can pass by Fountain House Gallery, that hosts amazing exhibitions and installations. If you’re more the night-owl type, you will certainly have a great time at The Press Lounge rooftop bar.

Plus, you’re only a few blocks away from Central Park and the Hudson River. If you have kids, walk towards the river to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

And still, if you’re looking for a place to stay in the neighborhood, you can try the Yotel Hotel.

Last, but not least, let us help you our planning your trip and hooking you up with the most fantastic activities through our Concierge Services. Wait! Are you a business? We can make everything seamless for you, your clients and employees. Talk to our experts to see our Corporate Services.

Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11am – 11:30pm

Location: 768 9th Avenue (b/w 51st and 52nd)

http://hummuskitchen.com


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Brussels Vegan
*Last Update on Feb/2020.*

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