I'm taking a quick detour from my very active participation in this year's Cookbook Challenge. Over the winter holidays I visited friends and family in my Florida hometown, Fort Lauderdale. In addition to sleeping in for an entire week (!!), I wined and dined at one of the finest vegan dining establishments on the east coast. Sublime Restaurant and Bar is located in downtown Fort Lauderdale and features an all-vegan fancy-foods menu! The owner, Nanci Alexander, is also the founder of ARFF (Animal Rights Foundation of Florida) and 100% of the restaurant's profits are donated to organizations set on reducing animal cruelty and promoting a vegan lifestyle. It also doesn't hurt that all of their food is absolutely delicious.
Matt and I started with two appetizers (they were having an anniversary special - all appetizers were only $4!). The Crispy Eggplant Rollatini was perfectly proportioned and the vegan ricotta couldn't have been creamier. I'm usually skeptical about ordering dairy analogues at restaurants, especially ones that are house-made, but I'm glad I did in this instance. Below, our second appetizer is one that can't be missed. I've ordered it every time I went to Sublime and it keeps getting better and better. The Frito Misto consists of battered and lightly fried cauliflower florets covered in a sweet chili sauce and topped with black-and-white sesame seeds and a spring onion garnish. M-O-U-T-H-P-A-R-T-Y. Just writing about this dish has me yearning to recreate it. I know what my weekend project will be...
If you are intrigued at all by the appetizers, you must stay for dinner. The menu at Sublime is really diverse, featuring salads, sushi, brick oven pizza, an array of entrees and mouthwatering desserts. Matt ordered the Mushroom Ravioli for dinner and I was utterly speechless after my first bite. The pasta was made in-house and if that was any indication of fresh pasta, I'm seriously missing out. It was soft, silky, creamy,
sexy yummy goodness. The filling was excellent as well, but they could have served just me plain noodles and I wouldn't have complained.
My entree was almost as delicious (maybe if it had been wrapped in ravioli noodles...) but still very enjoyable. The Sublime Picatta consisted of Gardein cutlets, mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus and a lemon caper sauce. I've only ever tried the chicken-style Crispy Tenders, but I've heard really good things about Gardein brand meat analogues so I decided to give it a whirl. The taste and texture were pleasurable, but anything covered in lemon caper sauce would taste good to me. I was mostly surprised by how they found such thick asparagus!
Let the verdict show that vegan gourmet is entirely possible, and insanely delicious. If you're ever in south Florida, support this vegan establishment!