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Jul 18, 2008 07:58 PM

Pure Food and Wine? What's new and recommended?


Searching old threads I see that most of the recommendations for Pure Food and Wine go back a couple of months.

Any recent diners with recommendations? Lasagne was the hands down winner over time. Is that still the case?

Wine or drink recommendations?

I'm not much of a dessert eater, but anything outstanding?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. I do not recommend this restaurant at all. I have been there twice hoping that the second time would be better... but no.
    I would recommend casa mono right down the block!

    2 Replies
    1. re: girllovesfood

      Sorry! We've got the reservation. What did you have? Dinner? And what didn't you like that I should avoid -- and why? Did you drink? Sit inside or out?


      1. re: summerUWS2008

        It seems that they have changed the menu since the last time I had been there... I dont remember what I had exactly and was hoping that by looking at the menu I could tell you. Sorry!
        I hope you enjoy it though!! let me know if you like it and what you got.

    2. I had the lettuce wraps and they were good- recommended. Nice texture. I then tried the tortilla wraps 2nd course. This was just ok. There's something about this place that just seems amateur to me when it shouldn't be. (ie: forgetting cutlery (?!), not asking about water, not knowing about the wine specials). I hope your experience is better than mine was 2 months ago. Not horrible, but just not special and in my opinion highly overrated and not worth the $. Let us know if they have gotten better!

      6 Replies
      1. re: malibu

        Okay! Thanks! Since I've had a number of horrible dining experiences in the past few weeks, I'll try to keep a perspective, and not thrill to the merely 'ok.' I mighte even be able to live without cutlery so long as the waitstaff doesn't keep calling me "guys."

        I'll report back in.

        1. re: summerUWS2008

          We had dinner once at Pure Food. While it dates back a couple of years and the current menu is not the same, the signature lasagna remains. If we were ever to go back, I would definitely stick with that because even though we are carnivores, my husband and I were blown away by how delicious it was. I had a green salad, which was more than passable, so I think a salad would be a good way to start. We each had a different dessert, and both were very disappointing. Considering how excessively expensive they are (higher than in top-notch restaurants), I would pass.

          The garden is truly lovely -- definitely Pure Food's bigges asset.

          1. re: RGR

            I am thinking of ordering the tasting menu, provided I like what's on offer that evening, and I'll try to talk at least one of my dining companions into getting lasagna if it's not part of the taster. (There will be three of us.) We requested a table on the terrace, and so far the weather report looks good.

            You are the first person I've not seen raving about the desserts, over and above the rest of the meal. I'm not much a dessert eater, so I figure the tasting menu will do me, but do you recall if what the two of you had is still on the menu, so I can steer my companions away from it?

            One of the things I 'm curious to try in this restaurant is its organic wines, since organic wines, in my experience, can be really, really good.

            1. re: summerUWS2008

              As best as I recall, most of the desserts didn't sound terribly appealing, so we both ordered different chocolate concoctions, figuring even if they were vegan, how bad could something with chocolate be? Well, they were definitely not to our taste, and we didn't finish either of them.

              My husband did have wine, and I think he was pleased with it. I ordered a non-alcoholic mixed drink that sounded interesting. A major problem was that it took forever for it to be brought to our table. It was not memorable since I have no recollection of what it was.

              I should mention that my daughter and her husband have been there twice. While the first time was decent enough for them to be willing to try it again, the second time, the food was far less satisfactory, and they said they would never go there again.

              I do hope the meal turns out well for you and your companions. Please report back.

              1. re: RGR

                Ok, we'll bravely march forward, eat raw and report back.

                1. re: summerUWS2008

                  Everything is not exactly raw, just not cooked passed 118 degrees F.

                  Looking forward to hearing about your experience. Bon Appetit!

      2. Update: Due to bad weather, I canceled my reservation at Pure Food & Wine, since I thought the steep prices and mixed reviews made being able to enjoy the outdoor terrace a necessity.

        I went to Bottino instead, where the one vegetarian in our party was perfectly happy with her pasta with fresh tomato and boccocini mozzerella. I had a poached salmon that was beautifully cooked even if the fish itself was not outstanding. The accompanying haricot verts (one of my favorite legumes on the planet) were very well handled, as were they small potatotes. My other dining partner had a zuppa di vongole which he seemed to enjoy, but when I asked him later how he enjoyed his meal, he couldn't remember what he'd eater. I didn't have dessert, but m partners did. The vegetarian went for fresh fruit and the clam eater had vin santo with biscotti. Even with two glasses of wine, one coffee and one tea, the bill still came in at around $40 per person, very reasonable for the quality of the cooking. The welcome staff was brusque ot the point of snooty, our waiter was callow and inexperienced with the menu. That said, the cheerfulness with which he took our puny order -- only one of us had a main course, the others had a pasta and an appetizer respectively, and only two glasses of wine, and tap water -- made me think highly of our water. The overworked staff has a hard time keeping water glasses refilled, etc. The reason to go here is the basic skill in the kitchen or because you want to get hung in Chelsea.

        The whole place reeks of successful art crowd vibe, a weird combination of wealthy neighborhood family restaurant and power broker business meal. Tables were too close together to relax and linger over dinner, but that may have been due to one party of two dozen being served that night and the garden being too muggy for seating. A glitch in the design of the layout keep people waiting to be seated or the restrooms right in the path of servers and busboys trying to whisk plates to and from tables, making for some scary near collisions of steaming dishes and cakes with customers.

        Bottino is on Tenth Av, bet 24th & 25th (approx)

        1 Reply
        1. re: summerUWS2008

          Hey, summer,

          Very smart move canceling Pure Food. The garden is truly its greatest asset. I would never even consider going back unless we sat there. When that location was Verbena, which served food far superior to Pure Food's (it was New American and not veg or vegan), we still loved sitting in the garden. It was always very nice, but the Pure Food owners improved it so that it is even lovelier now.

          Thanks for the detailed report about Bottino. I've wondered about it. Based on what you've written here, I'll pass.