Which buzzer is it? Did you ring the bell? Oh, hold on… now we have to insert the private code. OK, now we are in. Private code…? Seriously? As we all know, getting into great New York City restaurants is no easy feat, but we are not talking about dining at a 5-star, celebrity-chef venue such as Babbo anymore; these days a new crop of haute cuisine is popping up around town in the form of private loft dining with new and not-so-new chefs and a unique twist.
4-Course Vegan, a weekly private dining experience, located in what is affectionately known as "Hipster-land" Williamsburg, is the highly creative brainchild of Chef Matteo. Having studied at the Natural Gourmet Institute, his philosophy is to "bridge communities through organic, gourmet vegan fare in hopes of facilitating increased mindfulness and compassion."
Entering through the main door, you are greeted by a maze of commercial stairs/hallways leading you through a public courtyard to a warm and friendly open loft set with a 40-50 person seated "dining area" and simple residential kitchen lined with herbs and boxes of fresh food supplies. It is here that a truly unique culinary experience awaits…Once seated, you begin feasting on simple yet exotically extravagant vegan creations such as watermelon radish ravioli stuffed with nut cream and Moroccan Lentil Soup with coriander and amaranth.
Moving on, a salad of fresh Fava Bean and Sun-dried Tomato set the stage for the headliner, a slightly spicy and tangy Shitake Kofta with Tzatziki served over a Quinoa Pilaf. Chef Matteo has a way of orchestrating spice, flavor and texture that somehow entices even the most avid meat eaters through his doors. As parting is indeed such sweet sorrow, for dessert one can savor the sweetness of Apple Maple Cake with fresh vanilla/apple compote.
If you have time for something new and are up for a bit of a random adventure, check out 4-Course Vegan. If there is a way to truly change the way people view life and fine dining, Chef Matteo may just be on to it.