Tag Archives: New York Vegetarian

Pulinos NY

Pulino’s Restaurant – New York, NY


(1) 212 226 1966
282 Bowery (at the corner of Houston)
New York, NY. 10012


Unfortunately closed on 2014

Perhaps it is because of Pulino’s Italian theme, in contrast to the French of it’s NYC sisters – Balthazar, Pastis, Schiller’s – that we were pleasantly surprised by the cordial welcome, relaxed atmosphere and the general level of politeness received.  Such a nice exchange from the snobby service we had experienced over the years from its siblings.

After passing by for longer then we should have, avoiding Pulino’s as one does a member of an obnoxious family, one random day we finally entered; lured inside by the amber glow, tinkling of cutlery and boisterous laughter spilling out into the street.  As we made our our way to the bar through the bustling scene, under the infused light projected through various liquor bottles lining the walls and a warm fluorescent ceiling sequence of hanging lamps that extends all the way into the restrooms, clips of restaruants in movies played through the mind.  Here one could imagine that they were in the film version of New York.

Our first experience had us enjyoing a strong, cold artisanal beer and a confidence inspiring glass of Montepulciano.  The Italian bartender was so nice we decided to come back the following evening for dinner.  Again we sat at the bar, as the table wait was a bit long, and to our fortune – there was May.  The incredibly charming bartender who happily advised us in the different food options,  sampled wines and joined in our enjoyment of life. This seduction brought us back again, and again.  We became such pure ‘fans’ that for a week last year I made an office for myself at the end of the bar – coming daily for 10am breakfast and coffee and staying through lunch. 🙂

Pulinos-(photo above ©  Meng He)

Besides the attentive. friendly service and excellent location; the food is just superb. The Eggplant Caviar is perfectly smoked and marinaded with a smooth olive oil and warm spices; accompanied by a paper thin Italian flat bread.  It is so delectable, I still think about it throughout the day.  The pizzas are light and not over seasoned, allowing each ingredient to be individually counted as part of the whole.  The Melon Salad with Bulgar and the Pumpkin salad with Morels were stand-outs; the morels being especially meaty and fresh.  Though these were followed with one of the lightest Eggplant Parmesan and the agonizingly delicious Burrata with oven roasted tomatoes and balsamic reduction that was described by May’s as “14 year old crack!”.  Yes it IS that good.

Pulino’s, in a quick one-two, punched its way directly towards the top of the list of favorite New York restaurants.  We are looking forward to our return this autumn  and are excited to see what is new on the menu.  Head to Pulino’s for excellent value – lunch special allows for a half-salad and personal-size pizza – cinematic atmosphere and top-notch fare on the northern edge of SoHo.

 (photo above ©  Lunch Studio)


Balaboosta Restaurant – New York, NY

Balaboosta Restaurant  - New York, NYMint Lemonade

Balaboosta Restaurant

(1) 212 966-7366
214 Mulberry St
(Btw Spring – Prince Streets)
New York, NY 10012


12:00m – 3:00pm    Tuesday   –   Friday
5:30pm – 11:00pm    Monday – Thursday
5:30pm – 11:30pm    Friday – Saturday5:30pm – 10:00pm   Sunday
11:00am – 3:00pm    Saturday – Sunday

Continuing our culinary journey of the week, we made our way down the street to Balaboosta., with a top recommendation from the lovely May at Paulino’s.  Here we were lucky to have one of THE most impressive meals we’ve had since, well, last night.  Because truly, Paulino’s was excellent.

However, Balaboosta is a step beyond in refinement, taste, construction and delicacy.  Our third ‘small-plate’ was a truly world class gazpacho.  It featured a cantaloupe base and was embedded with Almond Brittle and Jicama-Mint relish. The mix of the sweetness of the cantaloupe combined with the fresh tomato and  hint of spice from the relish make this as flavorful as fresh garden with the lightness of a granita.  As we are wont to do, we ordered a second Gazpacho for dessert!

There is a varied selection of vegetarian appetizers and pizzas.  Standouts being the  Fried Olives with Organic Labne & Harissa Oil and the Smoked Eggplant Bruschetta accompanied by an Herb & Citrus Salad.  A treat is the the Humus, which is served mashed by hand in a Mortar with the pestle included so you can mash to your hearts content!

The dessert we chose, listed simply as Wild-Berry Crumble with Whipped Cream, was truly surprising in the most wonderful of ways. What was left out of this overly simplistic description in the menu was the custard créme at the bottom of the ramekin.  It added a beautiful sweetness that just made the entire body sing.  The mix of blueberries, strawberries with red & black raspberries put just enough tart into the dish to really excite you about the vanilla-bean laden sweet créme.  We plan on going returning to Balaboosta just for this dessert!

The brunch service is also quite creative – thank you for no Eggs Florentine or Normandy!  There is a delicious coconut french toast and Shakshouka – the Moroccan dish of Baked Eggs in Spicy Tomato bell pepper sauce with Spinach. The green scrambled eggs with feta is another lovely palette for both the palate .  Let’s also not forget the grilled breakfast pizza with caramelized onions, spinach, zucchini and organic eggs. Yum!

Balaboosta Restaurant  - New York, NY Green Scrambled Eggs, Served with Quinoa Hash Brown, with Feta, Tomato, Feta and Arugula Salad
Balaboosta Restaurant  - New York, NY
Grilled Breakfast Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Spinach, Zucchini, Two Sunny Side Eggs, Feta and Za’atar
Balaboosta Restaurant  - New York, NY
fried olives(above photo ©Jeffrey Tastes)
Fried Olives & Organic Labne, Harissa Oil
Balaboosta Restaurant  - New York, NYMalabi custard, with nuts, and orange sauce

HanGawi – New York, NY

HanGawi Restaurant, New York


Korean Vegetarian Restaurant
(1) 212 213-0077
12 E 32nd St
(Btw Madison – 5th Av)
New York, NY 10016


12:00m – 2:45pm    Monday – Friday
1:00pm – 3:00pm    Saturday
5:00pm – 10:30pm    Monday – Friday
3:00pm – 10:30pm    Saturday
5:00pm –   9:30pm    Sunday

Just on the southern edge of Korea town, hidden behind a large wooden gate one encounters HanGawi, an elegant oasis for balanced, healthy, delicious, MSG free Korean food.  HanGawi has been awarded with two stars by none other then Ruth Rachl  at the New York Times.

From the moment you walk into the restaurant, exchanging your shoes for slippers, you start to relax as the city street energy gets left behind and you enter another dimension of amber light and awaking aromas.  The low tables and raw silk cushions combine with the display of tea pots and tea canisters complete your transference to a different mental place.

All the dishes served at HanGawi are exquisite and beautifully plated.  The sesame-leaf tofu patties arrive perfectly crispy on the outside and easily lend themselves to ordering a second serving!  The different dumpling options, leek pancakes and the kimchi-mushroom pancakes all come with the traditional sweet chili pepper dipping sauce.  Each Korean restaurant worth its salt has its own proprietary blend for the dipping sauce, and HanGawi is no exception with their own delicious blend that has you reaching for your spoon and continually asking for more.

The winner appettizerss for us were the stuffed shiitake mushrooms and the silky tofu clay pot.   Like every Korean restaurant, only better, HanGawi offers a large selection of bibimbaps (translates: mixed meal), a rice base served in a sizzling hot stone bowl which is then topped off with different ingredients.  The bibimbap is served with kimchi and Gochujang (fermented chilli pepper paste ) sides, and the idea is to mix all the ingredients together at the table.  As HanGawi is a vegan restaurant the difference from the traditional bimbimbap is the option of meats and the inclusion of a raw egg topper which is cooked in by the hot stone.

The most outrageous dish is the Mongolian hot pot.  A stew of tofu, vegetables and herbs.  While the bibimbap is served in a hot stone bowl, the hot pot is served in a bowl that is so hot it arrives at a rolling boil that will last through the end of your meal!  I wound up finding mine edible as others were contemplating dessert.  Worth ordering just for the sheer spectacle!

HanGawi is a must on any vegetarians list in NYC and certainly diverse and tasty enough for all but the most meat-dependent.  The lunch specials are complete and well priced and there is an organic-only menu option as well. The korean health herbal wines are very special, and a wide tea selection rounds off another NYC dining gem.


HanGawi Restaurant, New YorkMongolian Hot Pot
HanGawi Restaurant, New YorkSesame leaf Tofu Patties


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