We've seen vegetable tasting menus at Williamsburg's Semilla, lines around the block for By Chloe, and Instagrams gone viral of Dimes. Now AbcV takes the veg-first trend and polishes it to a shine. Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, already celebrated for lightening American and Mexican fare with ABC Kitchen and ABC Cocina, joins a growing list of New York City chefs placing vegetables at the forefront of their menu, proving that the richness and variety of plant flavors, texture, and, yes, health benefits, make them worthy of the haute cuisine treatment.
AbcV is not a vegetarian restaurant where you'll find imitation meat. "I don't believe in doing things like that," Jean-Georges Vongerichten says. "Vegetables can stand on their own." What he aims to do is change diners' relationship to food, which requires introducing many to ingredients they may be unacquainted with. His menu of tonics, called "vibrations," is studded with adaptogens, rhodiola, ashwagandha, and horsetail. His breakfast menu places nontraditional, savory items like kitchari, a warming legume stew, beside twists on familiar favorites like einkorn pancakes topped with vanilla-flecked coconut cream.
Every dish is organic, but that there aren't many hard lines at AbcV. The restaurant offers alcoholic cocktails, like a matcha blended colada and soju sweetened with sea buckthorn. They'll prepare vegan dishes but don't denote menu items as fully animal product-free. This new food is healthy, but it isn't health food, stripped of pleasure and prepared according to nutritional rules. It's creative and playful, which reflects in the neon pink and chartreuse Lucite accents around the dining room. It's a balanced approach to eating that celebrates the intersection of food and function. We can get behind that.
AbcV is open now for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday. Dinner and weekend service coming soon.
Vanilla Cardamom Chia Bowl
- 1 Cup Flaked Coconut
- 1¼ Cup Filtered Water
- 2 T. White Chia Seeds
- ¼ Fresh Vanilla Bean, seeds scraped out and hull discarded or used for another purpose
- 1 pinch Ground Cardamom (. 05g)
- ⅓ Cup of the best available seasonal market fruit cut in bit sizes
- 1 tsp. Raw Cacao Nibs
- 2 whole Brazil nuts, roughly chopped
- 2 medium-size Dates, pitted and thinly sliced
- ½ tsp. Goji Berries, wet for 10 minutes in warm water to hydrate slightly and patted dry
- ½ tsp. Hemp Seeds
- To make a homemade coconut milk, blend coconut and water as smooth as possible in a blender. Strain through a nut milk bag or other fine straining cloth, such as muslin.
- Vigorously whisk 1 cup of the homemade coconut milk with the chia seeds, fresh vanilla, and cardamom. Let set for at least 1 hour or overnight. Before using, whisk once more for texture.
- When ready to eat, place chia pudding in a bowl and evenly distribute nuts, seeds, cacao, dried fruits, and fresh fruit over the top.