Sunday, March 2, 2014

Vegan Dinner - Noche Verde

I was really excited to attend another STLVegGirl vegan dinner since I had enjoyed the first one so much last year. This year’s vegan dinner was hosted by Modesto, a Spanish-style tapas restaurant, which led the name of the event: Noche Verde!

Menu
I am a little embarrassed to admit that I have never been to Modesto, but it is a beautiful restaurant on the Hill. If nothing else, I really do hope to go back so I can try their regular menu. And after the vegan experience, I can definitely say the chef is quite talented.

While waiting to be seated, we took a spot at the bar and received our first “green item” of the night, a “green fairy” cocktail if you will. (That’s what I named it!) A splash of midori gave it the green hue and it was mixed with cava and their own sweet and sour mix. Quite refreshing!


All the wines were provided by Pinnacle Imports and for the most part, the wines did their best to let the food shine through. Since there were five wines poured with each course, I only had a few sips of the wines.

The first course caught me off guard because it was a White Gazpacho with grapes. I have not had gazpacho all that many times and I’ve only seen it with a tomato base! Even though it had more of a cream base, actually almond milk, the gazpacho actually had a sweet taste to it. So creative!

White Gazpacho with Grapes
The “Sobrasda and Chevre” taco, the second course, was one of my favorite courses since I couldn’t tell for a second that it wasn’t real meat on the taco. Sobrasda is actually a pork sausage. Again, the crispy potato slices were very creative although I would have been fine without the crunch.

Sobrasada, "Chevre", and Crispy Potato Taco
Similarly with the third course, the “meatballs” had a fantastic texture and I loved the tangy red pepper-based Romesco sauce. A Spanish twist on the typical tomato-based sauce I am used to!

"Meatballs" with Romesco and Fried Leeks
Yet, the star of the evening easily was the Paella with Asparagus and Crispy Shiitake Mushrooms. I am fine without the fake proteins and I really love it when the vegetables get a chance to shine. The paella was so thick and creamy and the shiitake mushrooms gave a little kick with each bite. I really wanted seconds of this course, but was way too full at this point. (Yes, you really do get full at a vegan dinner!)
Paella with Asparagus and Crispy Shiitake Mushrooms
The last course, was a typical Spanish dessert, coconut flan, but this was not typical in the least. Instead of a spongy cake, this flan had more of a gelatin consistency. That’s because instead of any dairy products, MOFU tofu was used instead! How clever!

Coconut Flan featuring MOFU tofu
Resources:

STLVegGirl = http://www.stlveggirl.com/

Modesto = http://www.modestotapas.com/

Photos by Abby Israel and Patience Scanlon