There is nothing lovelier than spending a beautiful summer evening with good friends and good food! This past Saturday night was one of those charming nights dining with my husband, Jeff, and our good friends Kathy and Chuck at the new “Cafe Blossom on Carmine” located in the heart of New York City’s West Village. As you may know, I am a huge fan of V-Note on the Upper East Side which is part of the growing Blossom empire. I am happy to report that “Cafe Blossom on Carmine” lived up to the standard of excellence that put the Blossom restaurants on the culinary map of NYC to begin with.
The modern charm of the restaurant was evident from the moment we approached its front doors which were open and welcoming when we arrived. There was an intimate zen-like vibe inside the restaurant with exposed brick walls and a fireplace in the dining grotto. We were seated at a table towards the front of the restaurant near the open front doors which allowed the cool summer breezes in. We were also able to view the open kitchen next to the dining room from where we were sitting. The ambiance was perfect and our adorable and attentive waitress made our dining experience even better.
We started our dinner with drinks. There was a wide array of beer and wines to choose from, as well as an interesting selection of cocktails. Jeff and Chuck ordered some imported light beers. Kathy ordered a “Tropicalia” cocktail which was made with IXA Silver Tequila, muddled mango, agave nectar and grapefruit juice. I sampled Kathy’s drink and it was divine. I ordered a splendid “June Bug” cocktail which was made with house-infused rhubarb vodka. Very nice!
While sipping our drinks, we decided to share a few appetizers. We ordered the specials of the night which were biscuits with gravy and BBQ corn on the cob with chili pepper aioli. We also shared a chilled beet ravioli with herbed cashew cheese (this was a raw dish), the trumpet mushroom scallops with cauliflower puree and sweet onion jam, the chickpea fritters with sauteed ratatouille and the black-eyed pea and potato cakes with a chili pepper aioli. All of the appetizers were delicious, but my favorites were the trumpet mushroom scallops and the black-eyed pea and potato cakes.
For entrees, three of us (how original!) ordered the seitan marsala with sage potato cake, sauteed spinach, poached pear and shallot and thyme marsala reduction. Kathy ordered the seitan piccata with truffle mashed potato, sauteed mustard greens brussel sprouts and cherry tomato confit. We all loved our entrees which were exquisitely prepared and very filling.
We topped off our meal with three scrumptious desserts: a peach and strawberry crumble with vanilla ice cream, a chocolate kahlua tart and a mango and coconut chia seed pudding! They were all yummy, but we all agreed that the peach and strawberry crumble was the standout. In the photos below, look at the creative ways that the desserts were presented. Mini cast-iron pans were used for the crumble and the tart, and the pudding was placed in a mini apothecary jar. Some of the dishes were served on mini logs. Very cute!
After dinner, we decided to stroll The Highline which extends from Chelsea to the Meat-Packing District. I strongly suggest a walk on The Highline if you haven’t done it yet, as well as a wonderful dining experience at Cafe Blossom On Carmine!