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Jun 19, 2006 08:28 AM

Horizons Vegan Restaurant

  • b

We had a great dinner at Horizons restaurant (6th & South) last weekend. This is actual gourmet vegan cooking. The food is as good as non-veg restaurants (better than Bliss, not quite as good as Matyson). They do a great job of interesting sides with lots of flavors and unusual ingredients. The chilled cucumber avocado soup was very herby, almost like a raita. The tamarind-glazed seitan was all about the fabulous glaze, and came over a mashed root vegetable I'd never heard of, with a Brazilian stew. Our non-veg friend loved the sopa de tortilla. The Mexican chocolate torte with peanut butter ice cream was excellent - very thick and rich. Oh, they also had some interesting Belgian beers in bottles and Celis White on tap.

All in all, I highly recommend this place. I was happy to see they are doing well (they were full all evening). Thank you.

Thank you.

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  1. >We had a great dinner at Horizons restaurant (6th & South) last weekend.<

    MINOR correction. It's on 7th St. Just South of South.

    I've heard good things but haven't been there yet.

    Steve R

    1. I'm assuming the ice cream wasn't vegan, was it?

      1 Reply
      1. re: cajungirl

        Yes, everything at the restaurant is vegan. They use no animal products whatsoever. We checked because one of our party is very allergic to all dairy, including casein. Thank you.

      2. Yes, Horizon's is excellent. Second only to the wonderful Greens in San Francisco for veg-gourmet dining, imho. (I'm a long time vegetarian and wannabe vegan.) Creative but solid -- nothing we ordered was less than excellent, and many of the dishes / drinks were memorable. I'd had it on my 'must visit' list since first reading about its opening quite some time ago, and finally dropped by at the end of May after spending the afternoon at the Wyeth exhibit. The very favorable LaBan review had just come out, unbeknownst to us, and they were jam-packed with reservations. We cooled our heels at the bar and got excellent and friendly service, despite the fact that everyone in the joint seemed to be working on all cylinders and very harried. (The LaBan review was spot-on, btw.)

        We started off with cocktails; I had the margatini, which was made with jalapeno juice -- I liked. I'd recommend it for the adventurous drinker -- my partner had a plain ol' whiskey sour and even that was exceptional. Had the portabello carpaccio w/ a black olive griddle cake as an appetizer -- very delicate and a great way to start off. We each had a different seitan dish for the entree; both dishes were perfectly put together and came with an assortment of yummy garnishes. I had a very thin, rich dollop of some kind of mashed potato with truffle oil on the edge of my plate -- delicious. We shared two desserts. Mine was an odd but inspired mixture of a frozen daquiri and tres leches cake served in a glass. The cake, though vegan, was super-moist thanks to their liberal use of coconut milk, and the tartness of the frozen mojito confection was a perfect complement. Again, probably more appropriate for the more adventurous diner. Dessert #2 was a twist on the standard chocolate tart, a (less flashy) stand-out in its own rite -- heavy ancho undertones and a dollop of peanut butter ice cream that offset the subtle spicyness of the pepper.

        Normally when it comes to creative veg dining, the concept is good but the execution is a wee bit off the mark -- especially the spots that try to 'recreate' a meat-centered dining experience. That's why Greens in SF has always been my favorite -- veg dining is usually at its best when the chef doesn't fall back on faux meats. Horizons is far and away the best exception to this tendency, to my experience. These folks know what they're doing, and I think they'll ascend quickly to the top of the Philly dining scene. And I'm comfortable in predicting that they'll be among the top three raved about vegan gourmet spots in the country for us veg'n restaurant hounds...

        1 Reply
        1. re: spyturtle008

          Wow! I have to say, having eaten at both Greens and Horizons many times (having moved to Philly from San Francisco about a year ago), I am shocked to hear anyone favorably compare Greens to Horizons. I'm not trying to be rude or confrontational, and I know taste is subjective, but to my palette (and that of my San Fran friends who've been out to visit) there is no competition. I have been a veg for 20 years and I just started eating fake meat about 2 years ago. I could still take it or leave it for the most part. I would never consider what Horizons does "fake meat", it is it's own, beautiful, amazingly tasty treat. While it's true that Greens never tries to recreate the fine-dining experience of meat-y restos, it falls short on the taste, indulgence, and most importantly, value fronts. You don't get the Alice Waters quality preparation or invention at Greens. To me, it was just a normal veg restaurant with fancier decor and prices. I went back repeatedly to try and discern why so much fuss had been made about the place. To no avail.
          That's why I was a tad skeptical going in to Horizons. Can it be worth the price, my sig other and I wondered? YES, it can! Is my enthusiastic response. I even take non-veg folk there regularly (although I won't lie, I usually suggest they get the seitan steak because I'm told it's very meaty).
          But as pretty much anyone will tell you, Horizons is AMAZING. It is located at 7th and Kater (1 block s. of South). Also, they have disturbingly good cocktails, a great wine list and the desserts, oh , the desserts.

          I amicably suggest sitting at the bar (upstairs). You usually can get seats there without reservations. Then, order an appetizer, an entree and a cocktail or two to split. That way you still have room for dessert and the budget to come back in a week (or a couple days if you can't wait) or so after they change the menu.
          Plenty of non-mushroom options for those of us who are fungi-free.
          Yum. Go there always! I want them to stay busy so they are there forever.

        2. We ate at Horizons last night and loved it! We shared the Cuumber/avocado soup and the Cauliflower salad and had ane extra helping of the edamame hummous -- all were terrific. For the main course he had the Pacific rim tofu and I had the portobella with tofu burritos. Both were excellent. I had the Imojito (the frozen mojito/tres leches concoction) which was absolutely wonderful and my husband had the chocolate pie with peanut butter ice cream. That was very good but we both thought the Imojito was sensational!

          They were no longer doing the 8 Days of eats menu - said their clients weren't ordering it -- but the meal was still relatively cheap.

          We ate there once in Willow Grove and were not impressed -- but the cooking now is fabulous and we would recommend it to anyone, vegan or not (we're not).

          1. What is the dress code at Horizons? I'm taking my younger, vegan brother out for his birthday and the kid doesn't own anything other than jeans and t-shirts.
            I've heard it's delicious & would like to treat him to a nice meal. He's a broke college student and would never be able to go on his own.
            I think the downstairs might be an option if dresscode is going to be a problem. I'll call the restaurant tomorrow to ask, but I just don't want him to feel out of place.