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Quintessential Quintessence

This summer, my mom and I were lucky enough to spend quite a few perfect days (and one not-so-perfect rainy day) in NYC.  One of these perfect days included a picnic in Central Park.  Then we walked all over town, soaking in the magnificence that is New York City.  But all this “sightseeing” made us hungry. Not to worry—if there’s one thing New York City has in abundance, it’s top-notch eateries!

I wasn’t brave enough to drag my poor mom to a raw restaurant for a meal, but I figured that taking her for a snack was a safe bet.  After all, desserts made out of nuts and fruits aren’t as “weird” as live lasagna or cashew-cheese tacos.  And so, we made our way into a quaint little (and I do mean little!) restaurant called Quintessence.  (For some reason, it’s not letting me link, so here’s the address: www.raw-q.com.) Twas hard to choose… Tiramisu?  Mango Creme Parfait?  Finally, this coconut-lovin’ gal decided on a slice of Quintessence’s famous Coconut Creme Pie.

coco

Above, Quintessence Coconut Creme Pie, drizzled with raw cacao sauce.

The pie was amazing—so rich and creamy, with just a *hint* of sweetness. (If you like super-sweet cakes, this one might not be up your alley.) Even the crust—made from chopped nuts and dates—was delicious.

Not the least bit intimidated by the all-raw menu, Mom happily ordered a slice of Pecan Pie:
pecan
(I tried a bite; the pie was good, but that ugly little blob of cream on the side definitely stole the show!)
Sufficiently satisfied, we rose, preparing to adventure through New York some more.  But a problem presented itself.  The Chia Seed Pudding—what I would’ve ordered had the pie not been on the menu—started to yell at me.
“Take me with you!  How can you leave me here?!”
Helpless to resist, I ordered a pudding to-go. The next morning, it made for a refreshing post-run breakfast.
chia

Question of the day:

Have you ever been to a raw restaurant?  Would you be brave enough to take a not-so-adventurous family member or friend?.

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Jessica says:

    Ohhh, I love raw desserts. This summer, I made a raw strawberry cheesecake for a friend’s birthday and everyone (omni’s included) really enjoyed it.

    I’ve been to Pure Food and Wine in NYC once. I ordered the tasting menu and got to try quite a few things — even my picky meat-eating husband liked it!

  2. Lauren says:

    yum! that coconut cream pie sounds awesome.
    i’ve been to a few all raw restaurants around philly, and i’ve really enjoyed them! in fact, my roomie, who is an omnivore, always accompanies me on my vegan and raw adventures..and always totally loves them!
    i’m glad your mom liked the dessert though! its definitely good that she enjoys going out to raw and vegan places with you even though its not something up her alley. and i love the page you made for her, so sweet! i’m really close with my mom too..yay for moms!! :)

  3. Amanda says:

    Oh man does that coconut pie look good!

    In regards to the mean comment someone left on your last post, I don’t think there was ANYthing wrong with what you did. Like you said, the person left a comment so obviously everyone was going to see it anyway.

    Plus you didn’t “out” the person because you didn’t even tell us her name or link to her blog.

    So Former CCV Reader was way out of line. It just makes me so sad that someone as sweet as you has to deal with such crap. Why do you even leave such nasty comments up? You don’t deserve them at all!

  4. Those desserts look divine! And Lovely Lunching Lady’s page is very sweet.

    I’ve never been to a raw restaurant. I would have a hard time taking some friends/family members, but I think my parents would probably be easy to convince. Like yours, they’re quite supportive.

  5. brandi says:

    those desserts look fantastic!

    i have never been to a raw restaurant, but I think it would be fun!

  6. Looks great, but wait…you don’t like crust? And I don’t like filling? I think we would make a great pair to hit up dessert places! You get bitter chocolate and I get crust. Win-win situation.

    I’ve never been to a raw restaurant because I never knew they existed when I lived in the US, and they definitely do NOT exist here. Though I had some raw veggies when I went out for lunch if that counts 😛 I would try it for a snack/dessert, but the meals don’t really appeal to me.

    Have you ever been to Quantam Leap in NY?..

  7. Teresa says:

    Aww, your Mommie dearest sounds awesome! I would love to meet the lovely lady someday. Your relationship is definitely admirable!

    Although there a quite a few raw restaurants here in Southern Cali (although all at least 30 min. from my house), the only RAW restaurant I have ever dined at was in Buenos Aires. I ate there alone and it was Delicious! I think that one of the reasons I have never eaten at a raw restaurant here at home is because I don’t think my family would be comfortable eating there. I’m not a huge fan of “forcing” my family to go to all veggie restaurants, because I want them take part in picking the restaurant also.

    Your desserts look delicious- I want to recreate that pudding!

  8. Jenny says:

    I would LOVE to try a raw restaurant, and would be brave enough to do so on my own.

    I’ve tried to bring family and friends to various ethnic food restaurants, most importantly Indian, and based on their reactions can’t see them at a raw restaurant unfortunately
    :(

  9. Is it not a tragedy that I live right here and have not yet tried Quintessence? It’s high on my list, though, ever since I started eating higher raw. I positively live and die for my one experience at Pure Food & Wine! Your coconut cake looks like a divine choice. I’ll have to remember that one. :)

  10. Deb says:

    I can’t even get my friends or family to go to my favorite VEGAN restaurant (I’m not vegan but I LOVE tempeh, seitan, etc). So sadly, no Raw restaurant in my future for lunching with others!

  11. Those desserts look to die for!!! Can’t wait to try to make one on my own.

  12. Deb says:

    Am I the only one who thinks that Katie looks way too thin and borderline sick?

  13. Claudia says:

    I would absolutely love to try a raw restaurant! I’ve (obv) never been to one. If I could I would definitely drag the rest of my family with me.

  14. jcd says:

    Deb – Katie is a healthy person who happens to be naturally thin. Read the rest of her blog, starting with the FAQ, before you make comments like this.

  15. leslie says:

    hi katie! i don’t know how i’m just stumbling on your blog – clearly i’ve been missing out on a lot of deliciousness.

    on your question of the day – i have and i did! i dragged my mom and sister to pure food and wine in new york, and all three of us adored it. i’m lucky to have an open-minded family in terms of eating – although the real challenge would be getting my dad there. your choices look amazing!

  16. Kat says:

    My fiancee has gone with me to a raw restaurant and liked it, and he is always open to trying my raw recipes (I’m experimenting with it — I still eat meat occasionally, but I’m finding I like it, and dairy, less and less) — but he still wants his meat!

  17. I would totally drag a unenthusiastic friend/fam member to a raw restaurant. From what Ive seen raw restaurants make everything look so pretty and taste so awesome that you would never know you’re eating raw, healthy, etc. It could overturn their negative thinking, ya know? That said, I’ve never been to an exclusive raw restaurant b/c I’ve never had the opportunity, not b/c I havent tried to find one or wanted to!

    Those slices of pie, partic the pecan, look awesome. And Im betting that’s cashew cream straight outta da vitamix. So good…

  18. Kiersten says:

    Those pies look heavely! I wish I could try a piece of that coconut one.

    I have never been to a raw restaurant. Apparently they just opened one in my area though, so I’ll be checking it out soon. I hope they have desserts like the ones you had!

  19. Oh my! That coconut pie needs to be on my desk right now. What was in it? Could you tell? I’d love to try and recreate a raw coconut pie on my next raw day.

    In Memphis, we have a small raw burger cafe…but all they have are raw burgers and a few seaweed-y salads. Good, but not gourmet!

  20. I’ve converted Chris to vegan joints, but haven’t yet ventured to raw. I want him to try it so badly!!! Maybe I’ll just won’t tell him…what he doesn’t know won’t kill him.

    You make it look gorgeous though!

  21. Emma says:

    All those desserts look sooooo good, I can only dream of going to a raw restaurant though, I’ve tried looking for one online in the UK but there doesn’t look to be any. I’m hoping to visit NYC next year though so who knows… Although the next hurdle would be getting my omni boyfriend to eat at one!

  22. tabitha says:

    you look beautiful in black, white and blue–and yes there was a glow :)

    mmm–i’d take anyone to a raw restaurant…but alas, there are none in nowhere, midwest

    i made a raw mango dessert a couple times and it was SOO good!
    i also did a chocolate tofu pie that was raw, cept for the tofu..not sure if that counts as raw?

  23. ~Jessica~ says:

    I don’t know which looks more beautiful: the raw desserts or you! (I really, really hope that didn’t sound too creepy…)

    There are no raw restaurants in the rural areas of the UK…I can only dream of dining in one…

    xoxox

  24. Gena says:

    I LOVE Quintessence! It’s one of my fave spots. Glad you liked it so much :)

  25. Sarah says:

    Deb, are we looking at the same girl? Because the only girl I see is one who looks absolutely beautiful and healthy despite how skinny she is.

  26. Christina says:

    I love that picture of you, you look gorgeous – I see a glow!

    I would love to go to a raw restaurant. The problem is that I’m not brave enough to take anyone I know!

  27. Shelby says:

    I LOVE this one raw restarant about 30 minutes away from me. It has the best food ever. I always make sure to leave with dessert and a fully happy belly.

    I actually took a date there last month! He LOVED it!

  28. Maria says:

    That coconut dessert sounds like my kind of thing! Tons of coconut, just enough sweetness, and bitter chocolate??? Yummm

    I haven’t been to a raw restaurant, but I’ve been to a raw stand at a food festival. It was good, but even my adventurous family was not a huge fan (it’s meh/ok). So nope, not brave enough =P

  29. Gloria says:

    Where I lived has no raw restaurant or even vegan restaurant
    so I am really excited to move to Toronto where they got couple raw restaurants. But unfortunately my family is so anti-veg. They would not even eat beans or whole grain bread. And I don’t have any veg friends. Oh well I guess I just have to go on my own.

  30. broccolihut says:

    I don’t really care for crust either, but I bet I could down one made of dates and nuts! I’ve never eaten at a raw restaurant, but I would be more than willing to trick an unsuspecting family member to go with me.

  31. I’ve never been to a raw restaurant, but I would love to visit one soon. Have a great Labor Day weekend.

  32. mihl says:

    All those raw desserts look so amazing. Raw restaurants are very rare here in Germany. I think there is a partly raw vegan restaurant in Berlin. I would love to eat there on day.

  33. CaSaundra says:

    Your mom is clearly as lovely as you! I had the same love/hate relationship with mine back in the rebel days–now there is no one more meaningful to me!! :-)

  34. We don’t have any raw rest. where I live, so I have never been to one. I would LOVE to though! I am eating mostly raw and have a VERY hard time finding places to eat. I know there is always salad, but something different would be super nice:) Both of those pies look fabulous!!! Pecan pie used to be one of my favorites! I don’t know if I would be brave enough to take my mom to a raw rest. :)

  35. Emily says:

    That pie looks so delicious! I can’t even believe it’s all raw. Raw chefs are seriously some of the most creative people ever.

    I would definitely go to a raw restaurant and drag family and friends with me. I think they’d end up being pleasantly surprised. :-)

    Have a great day, Katie!

  36. Meredith says:

    I’ve never been to a raw restaurant, but I would totally give it a try :)

  37. Tyler says:

    wow your coconut dessert looks divine! i just tried a coconut lara bar for the first time today (OMG it was good!), and i’m imagining your dessert tasting like that :)

    p.s. i just read the comment section on your last post, and i just wanted to let you know that you never fail to amaze me with how gracefully you handle rude commenters. i bet you never thought your innocent, chocolate-covered blog would attract so much drama!

  38. Tyler says:

    wow your coconut dessert looks divine! i just tried a coconut lara bar for the first time today (OMG it was good!), and i’m imagining your dessert tasting like that :)

    p.s. i just read the comment section on your last post, and i just wanted to let you know that you never fail to amaze me with how gracefully you handle rude commenters. i bet you never thought your innocent, chocolate-covered blog would attract so much drama!

  39. Diann says:

    I’ve taken two omnis and Chase to our new raw cafe and everybody loved the food. I would say if you like fresh organic food, you will like raw food meals. I plan to keep going back until I work my way through the menu!

    PS – Happy Birthday!

  40. Marianne says:

    I would consider taking my mom or sister, but definitely not my dad – he’s waaaaay to unadventuresome for that! My mom & sister would probably think it’s weird though, that’s for sure.

    Feel free to take me the next time you go though – hello, that coconut pie? Heaven.

  41. jcd says:

    I want to try to re-create this coconut cake you feature. What did it taste like? What was the texture? Was it like the typical coconut cream pie that is made with custard and coconut stirred into it?

  42. Molly says:

    I too, find it easy to introduce friends and family to my raw foods in a desert or a snack. They usually don’t freak out too much.. and some don’t even notice it’s “my” type of food! They seem to like it pretty well.. Kudos. Good luck with Thanksgiving!

    -Molly

  43. Julene says:

    Awww, I saw the photo & thought you had made raw coconut cream pie! Definitely one for the “should try” list. Hope you’re having a great time in NYC!