Fred Eric's cooking has taken some slams on this board in the past, so it was with mild trepidation that a friend and I went to Vida last night. Lo and behold, we had a very fine meal. We were dining vegetarian and chose a sauteed pear, walnut, and gorgonzola cheese salad, an artichoke heart stuffed with herbed goat cheese, the vegetable pot pie, and the Thai-inspired item called Crispy Vegan. The salads were both quite good though the portion on the pear salad was rather small. We had no complaint at all on the main courses, though. The pot pie was very rich and had a gravy that I found hard to believe was vegetarian, since it had the look and feel of chicken gravy. I asked the waitress and it's a vegetable stock with olive oil whipped in. I've had other people's attempts to do the same thing, but they never worked this well. The Crispy Vegan was a purse of spicy chopped vegetables that was fried and served over vegetables in a differently spicy broth. The juxtaposition of flavors and textures was memorable, not truly Thai but not any other cuisine we could name. We paid about $50.00 apiece with two glasses of wine each - not cheap, especially for vegetarian food, but we both felt that it was worth it and both plan to go back.
Don't want to rain on your parade, but.....
I am not a chef, but is it POSSIBLE to emulsify olive oil and vegetable stock? Not sure. Please post if anyone else knows. But unless a restaurant is STRICTLY vegetarian, all kinds of funny things get slipped in as a short cut--like chicken broth. And I have heard some HORROR stories out of that kitchen!!!
I have gone there for dinner and had an o.k. experience--luckily on someone elses' wallet. Would go back for a martini-- they seem to have good bartenders. But count yourself lucky, maybe a juice fast to cleanse the broth, and for goodness sake, don't go to Fred 62!!!!!