abcV - A Celebrated Plant-Based Eatery

Posted by OmarTarakiNiodeFoundation
02 June 2017 | blogpost

Never in the history of plant-based business has there been a restaurant highly anticipated by many in the years of its planning and making as the abcV, a place where vegetables stand on their own.

A new undertaking of culinary giant Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten with 35 restaurants worldwide on his portfolio and Paulette Cole of the ABC Carpet and Home stores of luxury items, abcV is their third trendy food business collaboration after ABC Kitchen and ABC Cocina.

No Veggie Burgers

“What you will not find on the menu are veggie burgers upholstered with nut cheese, or vegetable protein masquerading as meat. I don’t believe in doing things like that. Vegetables can stand on their own,” Vongerichten said as quoted by New York Times. Cole, as reported by Vogue, envisioned abcV as a sacred space, with tables serving as altars to wellness, and where commerce, beauty, and deliciousness, are tools in how to affect change in the world.

It is Neal Harden, abcV’s Chef de Cuisine who with his team perfectly translated the concept developed by Vongerichten and Cole into day-to-day service at the eatery. Interestingly, Chef Harden who has been a vegetarian since he was a teenager used to work in Indonesia where he was a consulting a restaurant at a health spa of a luxury resort in Bali and gained experience in experimenting with local ingredients such as chocolate, cashew, bracken shoots, rice, wild long pepper, and lemongrass.

Powerful People

Talia Pollack interviewed Neal Harden for her Party in My Plants Podcast where he shared the auditioning process for the position at abcV. He had to prepare three dishes in three hours, receiving direct critiques through taste and conversation.

Two months after its opening, patrons who are eager to eat at abcV either for breakfast, lunch, or dinner have to be a little bit patient as the place is always full. Celebrities, food critics, chefs, and powerful people come to abcV where once on a Friday it continually prepared breakfast serving 200 people.

 Image: abcV

Much to our delight, a surprise brunch invitation came from Chef Ochi Latjuba Vongerichten to celebrate Maira Niode’s graduation from Columbia University in New York.

We entered abcV at 38 East 19th Street in the Flatiron District of Manhattan, New York. It was pact with guests with a sophisticated décor that made us feel welcome right away. Haute Living perfectly describes the white and sunset shades ambience where the banquette seating is made with striped orange, pink, and red hand-woven rugs and blankets crafted by Aymara women in the Andean highlands. A variety of antique, vintage, and contemporary LED chandeliers and sconces also decorate the space.

Sustainable and Artisanal

The menu at abcV, showing global influence, is categorized into light & fresh, warm & hot, noodles & rice, legumes and grains, and dosa & sandwich. Additions include egg fried or soft pouched and half avocado Serrano and lime. There is also a mystery twist on the menu, an option of beauty and wellness menu, chosen by the kitchen to be shared with the entire table.

All food ingredients at abcV are plant based, non GMO, sustainable, artisanal and organic whenever possible. They are also locally and globally sourced from small and family farms.

We relied on Ochi to select the dishes for brunch, and she suggested a myriad of cuisines. The following dish after dish came, served in elegant tableware.

Green chickpea hummus, Thai basil, crudités.

Shallot labneh, fava, Lebanese mint & nigella, cucumber, fingerling chips.

Stems and sprouts, garlic, basil, sunflower, lemon.

Wood roasted beets, dijon, avocado puree, chili aioli, pickles, lovage.

Market carrots, stone ground nut and seed butter, chilies, lime.

Steamed broccoli, farmer’s cheese, cardamom crumbs at abcV.

Whole roasted cauliflower with turmeric-tahini, pistachio and pomegranate.

Fresh spinach spaghetti, broccoli, kale, preserved lemon, fermented garlic, parmigiano, and saffron crumbs.

Wild mushroom burdock noodles, tempeh, pickles.

The 5 choices for desserts are vegan chocolate mousse, mint chocolate crumble; vegan matcha crème brulee; apple confit, pound cake; pink grapefruit gelee and granite; and vegan coconut custard. We had the chocolate mousse, decorated with a word “congratulations” by the pastry team, and vegan matcha crème brulee that some called epic after tasting it.

Plant-based Intelligence

Brunch at abcV for us was the ultimate plant-based dining experience with immaculate combination of flavors, colors and textures. Trus to its promotional lines, the abcV offers high vibration foods, embracing balance with beauty wellness wisdom and love to nurture our personal and planetary ecosystems. Our experience and others are certainly testaments that abcV fulfills its mission to serve, inform and inspire a cultural shift towards plant based intelligence, through creativity and deliciousness.


All images by Omar Niode Foundation unless otherwise noted.