Wow! I can't believe it's been over a month since I blogged last. It was a great break and I have a stack of restaurants, vegan food goodies, cookbooks, etc. that are waiting in the wings to be posted.
So what finally brought me out of hiding? An unexpected little piece of vegan goodness from Tillman's Bar and Lounge (165 W 26th Street, New York, NY). Tillman's is an omni establishment and when my friends and I arrived there, somewhere around 1am and hungry, I assumed that starvation was eminent. The drink menu at Tillman's gives you the sense that you have just died and gone to libation heaven. No matter what your poison: vodka, tequila, rum, gin, etc. they have a full list of unique flavor combinations to go with each. My only complaint on the bar menu was a particular drink called the Matador ( a tequila inspired creation). All my friends raved about it and it was my first choice on the bar menu but when the bar tender refused to substitute out the honey, I was left with a sour taste in my mouth. Fortunately that was quickly remedied by taking a quick tour of the vodka drink menu. As you know from my post on Izze, vodka is my first love anyway and it was partly my fault for betraying it.
Drinks in hand and the perfect mix of R&B, Neo-Soul and Hip-Hop playing in the background we finally sat down to eat. Browsing through the appetizers my expectations were low, I could omit a couple things from a salad and make it vegan but salad and vodka aren't the ideal combination. Then there was a robust grilled cheese sandwich menu. At first I just put the menu down, knowing full well that there would be nothing for me on a grilled cheese menu. But I decided to pick it up and look over the ingredients one more time to see if I could get some inspiration to create my own vegan goodness at home. Low and behold, 2 items down there was a Vegan Mozzarella Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Nothing could have prepared me for the culinary masterpiece that was placed in front of me. I felt like I was on "Top Chef" vegan edition. The grilled cheese was more like a panini, layered with basil pesto, roasted red peppers and sliced portabello mushrooms with a side of sweet black eyed peas and homemade potato chips dusted brown sugar.
When I arrived back home in Atlanta on Monday I immediately ran to my vegetarian co-op, and bought vegan mozzarella, pesto, fresh sourdough bread and roasted red peppers to recreate this masterpiece at home. But nothing beats the perfect combination of good friends, good food, good drinks and good ambiance to make a night complete.