7/18/2012

sprig and vine, take three

Yum

I know, I know: WHAT, Sprig and Vine AGAIN?

First things first, this awesome, tiny, local menu changes almost every day, from specials, to soups, to always seasonable vegetables (and fruits!), and: it's our celebratory restaurant of choice! Just fancy enough to make it feel like a party, and not too pricey where we feel a little broke afterwards, Sprig and Vine has become our go-to place for happy occasions.


What to celebrate this time, you ask? Well! New jobs, new apartments, newness and change all around! All things to be excited about and toasted to via local, vegan cuisine!

Cute Colin, my cute dining partner.

I do have to say, this trip to Sprig and Vine was among one of my favorites. Despite two other previous posts, we have been by S&V many times in the past, including Sunday brunch. It is always, always more than good, but this time was truly exceptional.

Their portions seem to have grown a bit in size since they began, so we went with only one appetizer and one salad to share this time, rather than two each. Besides, you know what that means: more room for dessert later!



We began our meal with pickled local vegetables: wild ramp, kohlrabi (a German turnip variety), fennel (THE BEST), radish, cabbage, and carrot. A-MA-ZING. While you talk me into pickled anything, this homemade version was perfection: just enough sweet, just enough tang, all while retaining that perfect raw-veggie crunch.

Next came our salad: grilled (local!) corn and (local!) blueberries, with friseé, bibb lettuce, and avocado. This super unexpected combination was so fantastic: a little hint of sweet, the creaminess of the avocado, and the delicate lettuce combination all made for a more than perfect salad.



Ah, main course time. Usually by now, if we'd both gotten our own salad and own appetizer, I'd be feeling pretty damn full. For the lightness of the ingredients, S&V never leaves us feeling hungry. This time, however, we were more than ready for our entrées to arrive. Cute Colin opted for Red Curry Polenta: two coconut milk-lime leaf polenta cakes, English peas, asparagus, Thai basil, grilled lime, peanuts, and scallions. This dish says cute Colin all over it! Crazy flavors, Asian accents, little bit of heat, all things this boy of mine enjoys. I went with the Hand-cut Carrot Pappardelle: OH MY HEAVENS. These wide, flat noodles had that glorious taste of homemade pasta, all with a subtle sweetness (and orangey color!) from the local carrots. This, paired with asparagus, roasted carrots (from purple, to yellow, to orange again!), carrot-almond pesto, and roasted black olives giving the dish a subtle hint of salt. So good! And I have to say, due to sometimes delicate ingredients or methods, Sprig and Vine dishes aren't always better the next day. This pasta dish, however, was the perfect leftovers dinner the following evening.


And, as almost always, we went with one of our favorite sides: Kennebec Potato Wedges. You just can't beat that grain mustard aíoli.

Feeling almost full at this point, we stuck with the plan to order dessert. (Seriously, even if you think you aren't going to, once they bring the dessert menu by, you're done for. There's no way you aren't having something, even if you're just taking the chocolate mousse pie to go.)


So dessert begins with coffee, of course, courtesy of Small World Coffee in Princeton. Something about the combination of Small World's roast (seriously, none better that I've ever tried) and soy creamer: deliciousness!


Dessert, dessert, dessert. I'm not even sure how to describe dessert. Amazing doesn't seem good enough, nor does sublime, divine, perfection, etc. Cute Colin opted for PB & J French Toast, an awesome standby that is also available on their brunch menu. Perfectly pan-toasted baguette, peanut butter powder (weird and good?!), local berries, and red wine caramel sauce.


I went with Sweet Cherry Upside Down Cake. A seasonal, local spin on the traditional pineapple, this cake was sincerely one of the best I've ever had, vegan or otherwise. The thing about vegan desserts is you can usually tell (though not necessarily in a bad way!) that it's vegan. This cake, however, had me 100% fooled, the vanilla bean ice cream and black-pepper-orange agave being the perfect flavor accents to the tart sweetness of the cherries.


Well, there you have it! Another celebratory dinner done right! And, a lovely couple inquiring as to why I brought a camera to dinner? Though I already (and happily!) told them about Green Girl Eats, now here's the proof of our truly fantastic meal!