I found the vegan restaurant Cafe Green (Dupont Circle area) on the internet, and I’m so glad I did. I went in alone on my first night in town (it was a short 5-minute walk from my hotel). What a great decision! The staff wasn’t just friendly, they were downright conversational and fun. I ordered the Mac & Cheese Platter (pictured above). The noodles were made of quinoa, and the vegan cheese sauce was creamy and delicious. It was served up with the corn bread, steamed kale (doused in lemon juice, which was incredible), and candied yams. It was really, really good. You really have to go here if you’re in town! It was so good I grabbed a mint chocolate cupcake (pictured below) to take back to my hotel room. This was by far the best dining experience I had in Washington, DC. I’ll be back next time I’m in town!
I recently ended up at Dragonfly for brunch. Dragonfly is Columbus’ favorite all-vegan restaurant, and with good reason, too. Our waiter, who was friendly and attentive, told us about the garden in back of the restaurant where most of the fresh fruits and vegetables found in the dishes are grown. On our way out, we swung by the garden only to find Chef and co-owner Magdiale Wolmark tending to the plants. He warmly invited us in to look around, and talked to us about his biodynamic farming methods (for more on this, see Wolfgang Steiner’s book Agriculture Course, which Magdiale recommended to us). We chatted about his lifelong love of plants, how inspired he is by the produce they grow behind the restaurant, and his philosophies on food and agriculture. He was generous with his time, and when the conversation was over I was so inspired I wanted to eat another meal and go play in my own garden.
I ordered the Pancakes of the Day, which turned out to be blackberry & chocolate chip lying in a pool of wonderfully thin syrup. The pancakes were light and fluffy, with a perfect crispiness to them. The berries sprinkled on top of the pancakes were both sweet and tart, and complemented the blackberries very nicely. Even though I was full after finishing the pancakes, I couldn’t help but order dessert.
I got the Fruit Bisque, which is essentially fresh sliced nectarines, black currant sorbet, vanilla sorbet, and a sprig of pineapple mint in a chilled vanilla soup. It’s a colorful blast of flavor that I ate in less than 15 minutes. Everything about this meal was fresh and adventurous. If you are in Columbus, you have to visit Dragonfly. It’s culinary magic, and the ethos behind the food is refreshing.