Thursday, April 22, 2010

Counter 04-21-2010

Location: 105 1st Ave.
Time: 7pm
People: MA and myself

Feelings: It is rather difficult for us busy gals to take a break and enjoy a relaxing dinner nowadays, but I managed to catch up with my friend MA at my favorite vegetarian bistro & wine bar in East Village, Counter. Since we are both vegetarians and tend to have the similar taste for restaurants (and movies!), picking Counter was no brainer. I'd never tried their dinner menu before, but I knew I could count on them for their seasonal and organic ingredients and vast drink menu.

While MA enjoyed her glass of wine, I tried a preggers friendly cocktail, Cranberry Slush ($8, cranberry, ginger, lime, agave nectar, and soda float), which was extremely refreshing, and the citrus flavor was exactly what I needed. It was pretty to look at, and I could only taste the sweetness from the fruit.

They have "small plates"and "large plates" to choose from, so if you want to have a tapas style dinner, you can order several small plates to nibble and share over your organic wine. We shared Brussels Sprout salad from the small plate menu as an appetizer. It had a full of lemon flavor without too much salt, which was a nice change. Many vegetarian restaurants tend to oversalt their salad dishes, and I am glad to see Counter is not one of them.

For entree, I ordered East Side Burger ($14, house-made mushroom seitan burger on potato buns, fresh herbs, and pomme frites) from the large plate. The mushroom seitan burger was flavorful and well cooked without excessive grease or salt. The bun was a little on the dry side, but the delicious pomme frites compensated the carb balance on the plate. They were fresh and well seasoned without a hint of sogginess.

While I enjoyed my burger, I regretted not ordering MA's Seitan with Polenta! The seitan was incredibly juicy with a hint of smokiness. The mixture of the seitan and the creamy polenta created a bold flavor while maintaining a sensible and delicate look. This dish was the definitely winner of the night.

MA mentioned that she liked their food better than Gobo, and I have to agree with her. It is a bit more reasonable than Gobo, and I prefer their cozy atmosphere. It is a perfect place for a date or outing with the girls when you actually want to hear what they are saying. Gobo tends to be loud with all the open space with high ceilings, but Counter is dimly lit and perfect for more intimate conversations.


Anonymous said...

I haven't tried Counter yet, but heard mixed reviews on their brunch dishes. For some reasons, I'm still not a big fan of tofu scramble.

Yosh. O said...

I'm not a fan of tofu scramble either! I feel like it's such a waste of tofu.