Thursday, August 26, 2010

Gobo and the Empire State Building's Lights

By West Village Bill

Yesterday evening, my squeeze Tony, my buddy Lou, and I had a terrific dinner at the West Village outpost of Gobo, a mostly vegan restaurant at which I relished almost every dish. And my dining companions enjoyed everything they had.

To begin, we shared a plate of Avocado Tartare with Taro Chips. I asked our waiter why it wasn't vegan; this dish was the only one I saw on the menu with a note indicating that it wasn't. He said it was because there was honey in it. I imagine that was in the fruity sauce beneath the pile of avocado.

For our main course, we shared three of the items the menu indicated were gluten free or could be made gluten free with minor adjustments: Grilled Oyster Mushrooms with Asparagus, Vietnamese Stir-Fried Rice Noodles, and Butternut Squash Risotto with Toasted Almonds. (Tony can't eat gluten or dairy. *sigh* He's still a keeper, though. :-) ) I'm not a huge fan of mushrooms in general, so I tried one of the 'shrooms and focused on the asparagus and the other two dishes. I especially enjoyed the risotto even though it seems early in the year for something winter squashy. Which leads me to believe Gobo doesn't use locally grown produce. Which is mildly disappointing.

We all very much liked the 2006 Tohu Sauvignon Blanc we drank with our meal. As I wrote here back in March, SBs from New Zealand's Marlborough region are among the safest bets in the wine world. This one tasted of passion fruit to me.

I wish I'd gotten the fruity dessert that Tony and Lou both got: Tapioca Pudding with Mango and Coconut. The spoonful I had was out of this world. I ordered the thing I reflexively go with all too often when I see it on a menu: the chocolate cake. This one had green tea powder on top but not enough to really come through. And I wasn't digging the texture, which can be an issue with vegan desserts. My decaf coffee came in its own little French-press pot, which was a nice touch.


Later, out on the deck of Tony's apartment, I snapped a photo of the Empire State Building with my old-school, original-version iPhone. (Buddy Bob has been bugging me to get the iPhone 4, and I will soon. It'll be much better for taking photos of dinner plates and things at a distance.) The lights on the ESB were the standard white.

I learned from Tony a little while ago that there's a Web site you can go to if you're curious why the Empire State Building is lit up with different colors. Tonight, the lights will be red, white, and blue in celebration of Women's Equality Day. And, I'd like to believe, for my nephews' birthday.

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