Valentine Redemption


I had a pre-Valentine’s Day post all lined up. I was going to tell you about how freaked out I get over it. How it wasn’t always this way, but how the days leading up to it now remind me of the feeling I get when considering a cartwheel since grotesquely breaking my arm mid-tumble as a child.

Romantic, right?

I’m glad I waited on this post. This year, Valentine’s Day was very, very good.

It was French toast good. Gluten-free French toast that I didn’t have to make good.

It’s not often that Chris takes up a whisk—probably in part (or, you know, mostly) because I tend to dominate the kitchen. It would have been easy for him to sit back and let me whip up some pancakes or something, but he cracked a few eggs and made breakfast for us. And look at how beautiful it turned out!



I think we need to get him in the kitchen more often.

Post-breakfast he surprised me with tickets for the Sunday matinee of Time Stands Still on Broadway. I won’t go into great detail, except to say that it was well-performed and I left thought-provoked with a lump in my throat. If you’re looking for a cry, this show is definitely a good option.

Our day culminated with an early dinner at a restaurant I’ve been wanting to visit for several months now—a raw, vegan, GF-friendly place called Pure Food and Wine. The restaurant was offering a four-course Valentine’s Day tasting menu, and while the options all looked great, it was the a la carte menu that really caught our attention.



Chris started with a wedge of organic iceberg lettuce topped with a Crystal Manna “bleu cheese” dressing. The salad was flanked by fans of thinly sliced avocado and apple, and garnished with smoked salt. I had a bite. It was excellent.



I, on the other hand, chose a salad composed of arugula, frisee, and endive. It was topped with slices of pear, crisped shallots, and a nutty, smoked cashew cheese. The whole thing was dressed in a clean Banyuls vinaigrette.



The two entrees available on the a la carte menu looked equally enticing, and Chris very cleverly chose the opposite of what I did so we could sample both. On his plate were “ravioli” made of paper-thin rounds of pickled beet stuffed with golden raisins and pistachio cheese. They were shockingly acidic, but few things have too sharp a tang for my palate. In the center of his plate were delicious bits of curry roasted cauliflower and a generous smear of mint pistou.



The other item on the menu was a zucchini and tomato lasagna. I’d been craving zucchini (I’ve been reading about container gardening lately and wanting nothing more than to stuff myself silly with veggies) so this entrée just had to be mine. Thin layers of tender zucchini and fat slices of yellow tomato were piled atop one another and slathered thickly between with macadamia pumpkin seed ricotta, fragrant basil pistachio pesto, and dollops of sun-dried tomato marinara. Excuse me while I moan in remembrance.



For dessert, we shared a cold, creamy coconut terrine. I wish I’d have remembered to take a picture of it. I know the low-light is less than ideal, but it was beautifully presented and unfortunately difficult to describe. More incentive to get a look at their desserts in person, I guess!

Not only was it all completely delicious, but the majority of the menu is naturally gluten-free. All of the ingredients are fresh, nothing processed, and raw means that traditional pasta (even gluten-free) isn’t really an option. Not that I’m complaining at all. Neither of our dishes felt like it was missing a thing. Even if you’re a lover of all things beefy, I’d recommend giving this restaurant a try. It is—bottom line—creatively considered, well-prepared food. That’s something everyone can enjoy.

And despite the glass of sparkling rosé that I finished with dinner, I walked out feeling bright and lifted. Everything looked clear. It could have been the salad greens, or the all those veggies in the lasagna, or maybe it was the high from a wonderful day out with the man I love.

My bet is on love.

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