For our fourth wedding anniversary, we went to Horizons, THE haute vegetarian cuisine restaurant in Philadelphia. Adding to the excitement, we tried the chef’s tasting menu with the accompanying wine pairings:
The wines are: Allan Scott Sauvignon Blanc (from New Zealand) to go with the soup, Argiolas Vermentino (that’s a white wine from Italy) to go with the ravioli, Auroch Tempranillo (a smooth, mild red from Spain) to go with the tofu, Terranoble Carmenere (another red, from Chile) to go with the seitan, and Pfeiffer Muscat (from Australia) to go with dessert.
Fresh tasting, bright green, and absolutely lovely. I tried the wine before tasting the soup, and I liked the wine much better after a few spoonfuls of soup. Very nicely paired! I confess I did not really taste the golden beet relish, but it added nice texture to the smooth soup.
Well, cream and leeks will get you everywhere with me, but I also enjoyed the salty seaweed caviar and the oyster mushroom ravioli itself was yummy as well. But the best was yet to come.
The tofu course:
Oops, I started eating this before I remembered to take a picture! It started out much more elegant-looking. The heart-of-palm cake was the star, for me, of the evening. It was like a crab cake, but better! Sweet, with a little bright acidity, soft with a perfectly crispy exterior, moist and creamy on my tongue. Wow. The tofu was good too, and the fresh corn and zucchini. I think the garnish might have been pea tendrils, or at least it reminded me of that. My husband claims I ate more of this than he did, since I totally cleaned my plate and he left a few bites, “saving himself” for the additional two courses yet to come. It’s possible.
My husband loves seitan, a lot. This seitan was amazing. The texture and flavor were beyond perfect. I am not a fan of olives or capers, and I feared this dish would be spicy, but I ate every bit of it. There was a mild spicyness, and a lot of deliciousness. Probably it would have been just fine without the added “taco” with avocado and smoked tofu underneath, and certainly would have been a little less filling, but I liked how the smooth cool avocado complemented the meaty seitan. I could imagine having all the ingredients of this dish inside a burrito…mmmmmmmm!
OK, so now we were stuffed, and I was a little sloshed from having to keep up with the wines. I usually do not drink so fast, but since the wines were geared to the courses, I was making sure to maintain the pace. But there was still dessert, and muscat.
The muscat arrived first, and just a sniff made me dizzy…but then I thought maybe I was just dizzy anyway. Sweet but not syrupy like port, the flavor reminded me of the fruit candies we get with our bill from the local Thai restaurant, but also reminded me of a childhood flavor that I could not recall enough to name. Then we were presented with an array of three desserts, saffron crème brûlée, blueberry cheesecake, and peanut butter cake:
The crème brûlée was perfect, with the paper-thin caramel crust giving way to smooth and delicate custard. The blueberry cheesecake with drips of lemon-herb sauce was fantastic. I think I have not yet had enough blueberries this summer. Unfortunately, the peanut butter cake could not stand up to the magnificence of the other two desserts, and came off as a poor third, though it might have been better on its own. Comparatively dry and without the subtlety of flavors of the other two, it lost out. If it had been a rich, moist, smooth dark chocolate something, the story might have been a little different.
I would be hungry after writing this, but I am still feeling pretty full. As my husband remarked, “I remember this feeling. It’s the feeling of being completely stuffed after eating at Horizons.”
Yeah. It is.