New York City is a sprawling metropolis that’s overflowing with frenetic energy, and sometimes it can get overwhelming. I like to de-stress and make the city seem a bit more manageable by relaxing at Caravan of Dreams, an organic and kosher vegan restaurant in the East Village. Venturing into this dimly lit restaurant when a live band is playing can seem like a breath of fresh air, forcing me to focus on the present moment and enjoy a meal while forgetting all of that craziness outside.
The name of this vegan restaurant is perfect for the setting; Caravan of Dreams does feel a bit dream-like, as if you’re escaping into a caravan when you first open the door. It has an oasis feel for sure, making it one of my favorite spots for unwinding after a hard week. They also offer live music, raw entrees, and yummy drinks. The cherry on top? All of the food is organic and kosher!
A couple of weeks ago, my boyfriend and I had a wonderful date night dinner at this East Village restaurant. First, we ordered an appetizer: the Raw Squash Manicotta — Zucchini pasta stuffed with herb cashew kefir and kefir cheese, then topped with olive oil, herbs, salt, lemon juice and garlic. It was a light and refreshing way to start the meal.
We shared two entrees. My choice was the Miso and Maple Glazed Squash Platter — Squash stuffed with pine nuts, cranberries, onion mix, spices, and 7 grain rice, then served with house coconut tomato sauce and sauteed spinach, and topped with smoked tempeh. The combination of all these flavors was intense and delicious. I would definitely order this entree again!
My boyfriend’s pick was the Tri Color Pasta — Sauteed asparagus, mushrooms, olives, green peas, broccoli, and baby shallots in a tomato-cashew cream sauce with quinoa pasta, and finished with sliced avocado. I’ve never eaten pasta with avocado before, but it definitely worked in this dish. The tomato-cashew cream sauce was creamy and flavorful. We both loved it! When non-vegetarians love the vegan entrees, you know they’re delicious! I appreciate that the Caravan of Dreams food isn’t pretending to be meat; the chefs work with so many flavors and textures of plants to create interesting dishes rather than mimicking meat and cheese food items.
For dessert, we ordered the Carrot Cake with nuts, strawberries and buttercream frosting, along with some hot apple cider. The cake was a bit dry, but it tasted good with the apple cider.
Overall, our dinner was a very delicious, relaxing, and pleasant experience. My boyfriend, who is a meat-eater and often feels like vegan food isn’t satisfying and filling enough on its own, says he loves the food here, so it’s a perfect place for us to go on a Friday night. The combination of the dim lights, calm ambience, live music, and delicious, healthy food makes this restaurant and amazing place for a date.
This place is one of my favorite vegan restaurants in the city, offering a relaxing place to get delicious vegan food that is also kosher and organic.
Top image via meetup.com