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“Tiny space, worth the squeeze.”
Review of Quintessence

Ranked #3,905 of 13,754 Restaurants in New York City
Price range: $21 - $30
Neighborhood: East Village
Restaurant details
Neighborhood: East Village
Victoria, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Tiny space, worth the squeeze.”
Reviewed August 13, 2012

Bought a Groupon that inspired this visit and I'm happy it did. The menu is totally vegan and totally delicious. The restaurant is teeny, but worth a wait or a squeeze. Also gluten-free menu options.

Try the root coffee with cashew milk! If I could make this at home I'd be in herbal heaven.

Visited August 2012
Thank H W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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49 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Lynnfield, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
95 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“One more raw restaurant tried”
Reviewed June 27, 2012

I am trying to eat at all the raw restaurants that exist and unfortunately so many close without notice. I was happy to find Quintessence still opened after 12 years. Other branches of Quintessence have closed however.
The place is small, giving us enough room for about 18 people total and then there is a small L-shaped bench outside to sit on in case you need to wait for room. I waited outside for my friends to arrive 1/2 hour or more. The second showed up and the waitstaff was kind enough to let us begin without the third which took another 1/2 hour. Starving, we did what few people do and that was to order dessert first. It was a platter of choices and we chose 2 raw pies, a coconut cream and a pecan pie along with the chia seed pudding and a blueberry ice"cream". The two pies were so-so, but the pudding and ice"cream" made up for what was missing in the pies (both pies were too dry and had little flavor for me). The chia pudding was phenomenal as was the ice"cream".
Then we taste-tested 3 dishes, one each, the Indian platter, the California pizza, the warm veggie salad with miso tahini dressing and various drinks. We thought we were going to order more, but we got full before we could do so. It is so nice to realize that you haven't done any damage to your body while eating like this. I'd rather spend my money on good organic food such as this than any place else that does not carry fresh organic produce that we should be eating raw.
I felt that the Indian platter was a tad too sweet (maybe because of the mango?)) but the California pizza was so scrumptious. I did not taste the veggie salad. We talked to everyone in the restaurant as we all wanted to know what each person had and we had samples from others' plates to think about next time. It was so much fun. One non-raw person had the lasagna, thought it delicious, but small and then thought otherwise when he got very full.
I would go again to try more choices.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Carfash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Favorite Raw Restaurant in New York City”
Reviewed September 4, 2011

I love this place. I have dragged just about everyone I know and is willing to experiment with food to go with me. Mostly everyone has loved it. The food is delicious if a bit too heavy with nuts, the service is great and very chill, the ambiance has that hippy vegan feel that I love so much. People that come into this place are as non-judgemental as they get. They may be a little bit too crazy about their food (like I am) but overall they just love healthy stuff.

The few things that I don´t like about this place is that their concoctions are too nut heavy. I feel that there are other ways to make some of the dishes using vegetables instead of nuts like cashews that leave a lump in your stomach for hours on end. When I go I try to stay away from some of the heavy entrees like the taco platter and the pies that are basically all nuts as they are just too difficult to digest. If you have them once every 3 months or so it can´t hurt though.

Plan on spending about 40 or more if you want a full meal. These plates are expensive and if you add drinks to boot you´re looking at even more. To me the prices are reasonable given the care that they have put into their food and the time it takes to prepare each dish. Since nothing is cooked it takes hours and hours to make just one dish. That kind of time costs money. Either way if you want a full meal you will leave there super heavy so I recommend skipping either appetizers or desert. If you have to have a coffee afterwards I would recommend skipping both since the milk used is cashew based and is very heavy though delicious. In itself it would take away your hunger so...

On a side note, please keep in mind that this is a super tiny restaurant. It´s great if you´re eating there alone or meeting one or two friends. If you´re planning a big party I wouldn´t recommend this place as they do not take reservations and you have to wait until one of their two bigger tables is available for sitting.

  • Visited July 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Sazzu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“tastes delicious but...”
Reviewed August 12, 2010

I'm into vegan/healthy eating, so I was quite excited to try raw food at this reknown restaurant. My friend and I shared the mexican and indian platters. we were both impressed, we couldn't believe that raw food could be so saucy, juicy, rich, nutritious and delicious. we were expecting no more than "undercover" vegetables and yet we found very tasty, spicy, delicious dishes. The only problem was that it was even too much. we could hardly finish our plates because we felt full after the first few bites. we thought the sauces were too rich and heavy (although they weren't oily or greasy nor tasted nutty or anything) even for my friend who's used to eating junk greasy food. for a moment we both felt a bit of nausea which however then dissolved. Atmosphere was nice, somewhat alternative, peculiar. So in general I like the idea of raw food but I would reduce the sauces or at least I would offer more delicate flavors and lighter, less rich alternatives for healthy eaters who like me are used to more simple, easy-to-digest food.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank alanis333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Green and Yummy”
Reviewed February 8, 2010

Quintessence is a delicious raw food eatery that is located in the lower east side of NYC. A friend and I were visiting and stopped to have lunch at this establishment. It was fantastic. A lot of raw food restaurants are rather pricey but this place had a delicious lunch menu with reasonable prices. I ordered the
"Combo 7 – Spinach Onion Ravioli with Pasta
A rich creamy spinach, onion, walnut and pine nut pate folded in paper thin turnip skins topped with pesto sauce served with yellow squash pasta. "
Also I had a bowl of their green soup. My friend and I split their Tiramisu dessert.
The Green Soup was a puree of the fallowing, Kale, Spinach, Celery, Olive Oil, salt, Lemon Juice, and Avocado. It was thick and tasty. I def. would recommend it especially if you are traveling because all the green food will give your immune system a boost.
Combo 7 was equally awesome. You get a choice of beverage with the combo and I selected fresh apple cider. It was totally amazing and spicy tasting. I had to stop myself from chugging the mug full. The side of greens was super fresh and their house dressing complemented them well. I have had "noodles" before and these were by far the best with the right amount of pesto sauce on them.
The ravioli was plentiful and very filling. The wraps of the ravioli were made out of turnps and I expected a stronger flavor but there wasn't.
The dessert was to die for. I have never had anything ever that was as fluffy and rich as the Tiramisu, I highly suggest this especially if you are not familiar with raw desserts this one is a keeper.
During our meal our waiter was nice and kept our glasses full and made sure everything was great. It was a small place but big heart. I would go there again and if I lived in NYC I would go there on a weekly basis.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank legbullet996
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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