Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Bonobos - 18 E. 23rd (Vegan/Raw Food)
I've been experimenting with raw food as of late. The natural, unprocessed food philosophy seems to make sense (as long as you leave the enzyme talk out of it.) I had previously given Quintessance a try - and liked it. On the other hand, I'd stuck my nose into Pure Food and Wine, found it too snooty/upscale - and left*. (Did the same with their quik-stop boutique located around the corner from the restaurant.) But a friend had praised Bonobos, and so I went. I'm glad I did.

Longer than it is wide, Bonobos make you think of an old fashioned ice cream shoppe. The space is clean and brightly lit, with tubs of food on display under glass. The staff is friendly, and wonderfully free with the samples - an assortment of nut pates, soups, banana ice creams, salads and juices. Though everything is raw and natural, there's good variation to be found - from durian "ice cream" (take that, Chinatown Ice Cream!) to faux sushi.

The only downside is the cost ($8.00 or so for a meal) - admittedly reasonable for the Chelsea area. But try Bobonos, and you'll leave with a happy belly - and maybe a new interest in raw food. And that 's the most important thing.

* 4/21/07 Update - okay, I've since broken down and actually gone to Pure Food and Wine. And folks, it's really good. Too rich for my blood (except on really special occasions), but I apologize for the initial snub. I really, really do...!

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