There are certain times that I can’t help but to fall in love with New York all over again. It usually happens a few times a year, fall being one of those times. There’s just something about fall in New York that I absolutely love. The air is a little crisper. Leaves start to crunch underfoot. It’s usually a welcome break from the steamy summers. (I say usually because this summer has been unseasonably mild). So it was with this euphoria of impending fall that I hopped on the 1 train early last weekend to meet up with an old coworker-turned-friend for some serious yoga followed by a catch-up brunch in the West Village.
Sadly, I’ve never lived in the West Village. But it’s one of my absolute favorite neighborhoods in the city. And someday, if I win the lottery or happen to find a few million dollars, I’m totally moving down there. As my love affair with the West Village grows, I’ve found myself at many a restaurant, but have walked by Ellary’s Greens on my way to one of my favorite vegan restaurants quite frequently. I just have never gone in. So when my friend suggested it for brunch I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to try out a new place and drag my camera along for documentation purposes.
One of the many reasons I love dining with this friend in particular is that she’s the kind of person (like I am) that loves to share. Everything. Going over the menu was a breeze “oh I like this” “me too!” “want to split it?” Carrot ginger juice with two straws? Yes please! This way, I get to taste much more than just my order and being the lover of food that I am, it makes me oh so happy.
We decided to split the kale salad and the tofu scramble for the full effect. And while Ellary’s Greens isn’t completely vegan, there are many vegan options and many things that aren’t vegan (like the kale salad) you can just order without the cheese. The kale salad was pretty good, we opted to add avocado – because what isn’t made better by being topped with avocado? It came with eggplant and tomatoes and was topped with a hummus dressing and while it was very tasty, it wasn’t anything that particularly wowed me. I still, of course, ate every last bite because I’m a kale and avocado addict.
But what really wowed me was the tofu scramble, and I have to admit, I’m a tough sell on the scramble. Yes, I’ve made them at home from time to time and loved them, but for some reason whenever I go out to a restaurant and order a tofu scramble I seem to be disappointed. In this case, I was shocked by how delicious it was.
There was nothing fancy happening, just simple tofu, onions, tomatoes and greens. But it was so flavorful I just couldn’t get enough. Of the scramble, or of the home fries. When given the option between salad or fries, I usually go with salad. But we had already decided on the kale salad and went with fries anyway. After all, we’d just finished an hour and a half of crazy headstand and inversions yoga. There was definitely some calorie deficit happening. And then they came out and they weren’t greasy, weren’t fried fried, and were a combo of regular potatoes and sweet potatoes. Any sliver of guilt I would have had was gone instantly and I happily filled my plate with as many of those tasty morsels as I could get.
The one place we didn’t share was on desserts. I wanted the chocolate strawberry shortcake, Lauren was set on chocolate mousse. Both were vegan, and I can tell you, both were absolutely amazing. The whipped cream on both was coconut cream based and so rich but also light and fluffy. (I MUST make whipped cream…as soon as I buy myself a mixer). The strawberries were still surprisingly in-season delicious and the chocolate cookies were moist and rich and absolutely perfect.
And the mousse? Out of this world. It was raw and vegan and I had a serious case of dessert envy after I took a bite. I have no idea how they made it and how it was so creamy and light but I feel some serious kitchen experimenting happening to recreate this one. The whipped cream on top was the perfect addition and counter to the rich cacao and seriously one bite was like a little bite of heaven.
Ellary’s Greens is a super cute spot for a casual lunch or brunch and has options to please all types of brunch eaters – from egg lovers to veggie lovers. The bill was totally reasonable as far as New York brunch goes, the waiter was adorable and attentive, and the seat next to the giant open window was the perfect way to feel outdoors without actually being outdoors. If you find yourself on Carmine wandering your way to Blossom for a vegan brunch, take a chance on Ellary’s. You won’t be disappointed.