Updated on April 24, 2011
Vegan Spring Wine Dinner
The main reason Chris and I went to Woodstock this weekend was to go New World Home Cooking for my birthday dinner. This happened to be a special wine dinner for Earth Day that I spotted over on Table Hopping a few weeks ago. It was a vegan wine dinner!! Ric Orlando is the head chef/owner of New World Home Cooking in Saugerties and also the New World Bistro Bar in Albany. New World Bistro is my favorite restaurant in Albany, so I knew I would love New World Home Cooking.
Doesn’t look like New World Bistro, does it? Its actually right next to a farm!
The vegan dinner started at 6:30, and was held in a special dining room in the back of the restaurant. The tables were set up wedding style. We even had name cards!
The meal consisted of five vegan courses, each paired with a New York wine. I knew this dinner was going to be awesome, since it falls in line with some of my green challenges. It was a special way to celebrate Earth Day! Eating a sustainable meal made with local ingredients couldn’t be any better!
The focus was on the vegetables and the dishes were certainly creative. I love that about Ric Orlando! He came out a spoke to us about each wine and the dish it was paired with for about 15 minutes before the food was served. Chris and I saw him do a cooking demonstration back in November at Harvest Fest and knew what he was capable of.
The first course was a Korean soup paired with a Dry Riesling from Brotherhood Winery.
The soup: “Chewy Rice Cakes with mustard green Kim Chee, pickled daikon, radish sprouts, boiled peanuts“. It was so spicy. I had to take a break from eating it a few times. I realized it was the broth and kim chee that was so hot, so I just ate the rice cakes and peanuts out of it, and it helped a little bit with the heat. My mouth was burning!
The Riesling was sweet, but not overly so. It helped a lot with the spice!
I also snacked on some bread and hummus to get rid of the burning mouth!
Next up: “Pan Roasted Parsnip ‘scallops’ with Sweet Pea-Wasabi Sauce, pea sprouts and wasabi ‘caviar’ “. The parsnips really looked like scallops! But surprisingly they didn’t take like them at all. 😉 The parsnips tasted just like a potato to me. The wasabi sauce wasn’t overpowering either (usually I don’t like wasabi) but I could only taste a hint of it in the sauce.
The wine with this dish was a Fox Run Chardonnay. It was pretty tasty.
Third course: “Fun Guy Marsala- Beautiful Mushrooms–Honshimeji, King Oyster, Blue Oyster and Spring Morels on poured Wild Hive polenta”.
This was my favorite so far. The polenta was sweet and the mushrooms were so weird! They each had their own flavor. It was my first time having any of these mushrooms, and the morels were the most interesting. They had such an earthy flavor. I commented that the looked like little brains. 😉
The wine with this one was a Lamoreaux Landing Pinot Noir. Not my favorite.
Finally–the dish I was most looking forward to! “Not Meat and Potatoes – Ramp Spanikopita, Roasted Fingerlings, Smoked Seitan, Red Wine-Green Peppercorn Gravy”. I had never had seitan before and I heard that New World’s seitan was incredible.
It looks like meat, no? It was a bit hard to cut with my knife (like meat) and had fibers (like meat) and tasted almost like meat. It was incredible!!! It had a thick consistency that was very meat like, but a pretty distinct flavor…I think it was the peppercorn gravy it was in. I could definely taste the peppercorns and I think they made the dish. The spanikopita was great too. I also really enjoyed the potatoes. Obviously, there wasn’t a thing I didn’t love about this course!
The wine was a Millbrook Cabernet Franc…might have been my favorite of the evening. It was full bodied and strong. So good! Unfortunately, I forgot to snap a picture of it.
Throughout the night we kept track of each meal. At our tables there was a sheet to fill our our thoughts! Of course I loved mostly everything. During dinner we were also seated next to a lovely (also vegetarian) couple we chatted with throughout dinner. They were so friendly and nice! (Hi Monica and Billy!)
Now, we can’t forget dessert: White Chocolate Coconut Silk Pie.
Along with a dessert wine: Hunt Country Late Harvest Vingnoles.
It was so sweet, almost sickenly so! But it went great with the sweetness of the pie! The pie was creamy and delicious. I was a big fan, especially the crust! I was wondering why it was served in a glass though, maybe because it didn’t hold up enough?
I loved this dinner because I wasn’t left feeling overly stuffed. I felt just right. The dishes weren’t huge portions so it left you wanting more and each dish was a surprise for your tastebuds. I was so impressed. I want to go back just for the seitan!
New World also had a live band playing by the time we finished with dinner, so we headed out to the bar area to check it out. The atmosphere of the restaurant itself was a lot different than the one in Albany, but I could see a little bit of similarity. Just a tiny bit. The major difference was that Chris and I were some of the youngest people there!
I would go back again. Now, if only New World in Albany had vegan wine dinners!