Eat and Let Live


Well, I am finally getting around to my Grezzo review — from almost two weeks ago!!! I am very ashamed that it took me so long… especially considering how my dining partner had her review up the day after we ate out.

In any case, I’m here now and I’m ready to report back on the whole raw movement and what it’s like to eat “raw” for one night.

Grezzo, which is is pronounced “Gray-zo“, means “raw” in Italian. Everything served at Grezzo is either raw and/or living. All foods are kept below 112 degrees and are vegan. What does this mean? No dairy, no eggs, no meat, no bread, no tofu (yes it’s cooked), no baked goods, no animal products what so ever (honey, marshmallows, nutritional yeast, etc.) and no cooked or processed ingredients (maple syrup, canned food, cooked vinegar, etc.). If you’re like me, you’re asking “well, what the hell is there then?” Which is what I was thinking on the drive in.

Grezzo is tucked away in the North End, in the tine space formerly occupied by Sage (which is now in the South End). Kind of a unique place to put Boston’s first — and only — raw restaurant. The North End, in my opinion, is kind of an ‘old school’ place. And clearly eating raw is a new and more forward thinking way of being. I was very curious to see how this place was doing.

We arrived a little late, as we got stuck in both Red Sox and Celtics traffic. Even though there were many people waiting, we were seated right away at the only available table. Granted, I had called ahead to say we were stuck… but many places would not have held our spot.

Each table is presented with a [slightly limited] menu encased in Lucite. One side displays the Soups, Appetizers and Salads (for which there are two of each) and the backside displays the four available Entrees. There are also 3 Desserts and a Chef’s Tasting Menu. The restaurant has a liquor license, but they only sell two wines by the glass: a Chardonnay and a Cabernet; both are vegan and biodynamic.

Both T. and I decided to go with the Chef’s Tasting Menu ($59). I got a class of the Bonterra Chardonnay ($9) and T. got a glass of the Cabernet ($12). Both wines were very nice.

The first course to arrive was a portion of both soups. A Sweet Potato and Pink Grapefruit Soup (normally $8) –with a base of coconut milk and avocado and garnished with a small citrus fruit salad, Thai basil and red chile. The second was a Sweet White Corn Soup (normally $8) — with a base of white corn, almond milk, shallots and celery and garnished with jicama, avocado, cayenne, cilantro and dehydrated eggplant.

The corn soup was unbelievably delicious. I wanted to lick the bowl clean and almost did. This was the first soup we tried, so I think our expectations were set very high after this. The sweet potato soup was good, but did not come close to the corn soup. I think because the corn soup was SO dynamic and creamy and yummy that the sweet potato soup (remember, raw potato) seemed very mild… almost watery, with only a slight citrus flavor. If the soups had been served in reverse order… starting with the lighter and leading up to the heavier, it would probably have made a difference in our opinions.

The next course was a serving of each appetizer (also served at the same time). We started with the Gnocchi Carbonara (normally $11) — hand-rolled “dumplings” made with cashews, pine nuts, garlic, lemon, cumin and nama shoyu, served in a creamy “rawmesan” sauce, which was made with cashews, pine nuts, almond milk and garlic. The dish was garnished with pea shoots, fresh English peas (again, raw) and sweet and spicy dehydrated eggplant. Wow… was this dish GOOD. The flavors are difficult to describe because they are so different than anything you have experienced. Our palates are so accustomed to eating cooked food, that this combination of raw flavors was a very new and unique experience.

The second appetizer served was the Grezzo Sliders (normally $12) — house-made “burger” patties made of Indian spices, sunflower seeds, carrot, celery and red pepper served on vine-ripened tomatoes. They came with Pomme Frites (dehydrated potato slices) and house ripened pickles with a mustard vinaigrette. There was also a watercress salad that was dressed in a creamy “blue cheese” dressing. Most ‘cheese-like’ menu items are made with fermented and/or cultured nuts. The flavors are savory, reminiscent of Greek-style yogurt and pretty darn good.

For the salad course, I opted for the House Salad (normally $11) — comprised of baby greens, croutons made of almond pulp, garlic and spices (all blended together, formed into cubes and the dehydrated) and dressed with a Green Goddess Vinaigrette. The dressing was made of avocado, cilantro, almond milk, cucumber and tahini sauce. There was also dollop of house-made “cheese” — created with whipped rejuvelac and almond “goat” cheese (cultured nuts).

T. had the Seaweed Salad (normally $13) — a savory combination of kelp noodles, sea beans and nori with baby corn, cucumber, scallions, black sesame, maroon carrots and passion fruit “caviar” and dressed with a spicy Japanese horseradish vinaigrette. This dressing was a combination of wasabi, green onion and apple cider vinegar. Both salads were great; and, at this point in our meal, we were both very happy and pleasantly surprised by how good everything was and by how beautiful the presentation of the food was.

For our main courses, I went with the Spring Vegetable Lasagna (normally $22) — layer upon layer of fresh (raw) spring vegetables, including dehydrated and fresh zucchini, tomato, mushroom, peppers, onions, arugula, asparagus shoots, fresh oregano, etc. –all served in a “Béchamel” sauce of almond milk, “ricotta” cheese (rejuvelac and cultured almonds), cashews and nutmeg. The dish also contained a fresh Pomodoro sauce — made of fresh and dehydrated tomatoes and sangria. I liked this dish, but it was really my least favorite of the evening. It was sort of boring… I can over simplify it by saying it was just a bunch of raw vegetables in a raw tomato sauce and that’s sort of what it tasted like. I was a little disappointed… but not discouraged.

T. went with the Star Anise Crusted Papaya Steak (normally $21) — papaya encrusted in star anise and Szechuan peppercorn and served in an agave, nama and “teriyaki” sauce. It had a radish, cucumber and onion salad on the side, which was dressed in a mustard seed and caraway vinaigrette. There was also a small pile of creamy dill “vermicelli” — shredded zucchini and squash dressed in a cashew, dill, garlic and salt dressing. T. LOVED this dish and I was highly enviable. This dish would have been my first choice as well, but I wanted us to try different things. The presentation was beautiful… it looked like a piece of rare salmon.

Last but not least were the desserts. I had the Rich Brownie Sundae (normally $11) — house-made pure vanilla bean “ice cream” (nuts) with a chocolate truffle sauce and a Brazil nut crumble (shaved nuts). The brownie was made from cacao, dates, walnuts and pecans. The ice cream and the chocolate sauce were really good. The actual brownie tasted like and had the texture of a breakfast bar that my son eats every day, so I wasn’t as impressed. It was good though… and it can’t be that easy to make a brownie dessert without cooking it!

T. finished her meal with the Apple Pave a la Mode (normally $11) — very thinly sliced and layered Granny Smith and Macintosh apples marinated in orange, lemon and lime with a vanilla bean and clove-infused ice cream. The dish was fresh and light with an almost floral overtone. The ice cream was very flavorful… so if you don’t like cloves, this dish is not for you. Overall, a yummy ending.

There’s not much more to say. The place was crowded, the food was surprising and unique, the staff was knowledgeable and I left feeling full but not disgusting. Oh yeah, and it’s healthy. I really enjoyed the experience and will definitely go back again!

——————————————————————————–

In honor of Grezzo — a little diddy set to the tune of the Banana Boat Song:

Grezz-o, it is Greeyeyzzo
Vegans come, carnivores go home
Grey, me say grey, me say grey, me say grey
Me say grey, me say Greeyeyzzo
Vegans come, carnivores go home

Uncooked raw and living foods
Vegans come, carnivores go home
House-made patties, seeds and fresh pea shoots
Vegans come, carnivores go home

Fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds and sprouted grains
Vegans come, carnivores go home
Decrease in disease, acne and migraines
Vegans come, carnivores go home

It’s Burgers, pizza, pasta, cookies, cakes and pie!
Vegans come, carnivores go home
It’s Burgers, pizza, pasta, cookies, cakes and pie!
Vegans come, carnivores go home

Grey! It is Greeyeyzzo
Vegans come, carnivores go home
Grey, me say grey, me say grey, me say grey
Me say grey, me say Greeyeyzzo

Some fermented nuts, a grilled papaya
Vegans come, carnivores go home
Sweet corn soup that will make you die-ya
Vegans come, carnivores go home

It’s cheese cake with banana, lavender and agave!
Vegans come, carnivores go home
House made “ice cream” with a chocolate brownie sundae!
Vegans come, carnivores go home

Grezz-o, Greeyeyzzo
Vegans come, carnivores go home
Grezz, me say grey, me say grey, me say grey
Me say grey, me say Greeyeyzzo
Vegans come, carnivores go home

Grezzo Restaurant on Urbanspoon

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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