Eating to Live on the Outside: Pure Food and Wine

I’ve got to thank The King of All Media for the inspiration behind this week’s installment of Eating to Live on the Outside. Now, a lot of people don’t know this, but Howard Stern is a real health nut. Despite his constant self-deprecation, Howard, who turned 53 last month, manages to keep himself fit, trim, and youthful. He’s an avid work-out-aholic and keeps a close watch on what he consumes, in fact, check out the lambasting he gave trans-fat.

Earlier this week Howard talked about an amazing dinner he had at a New York City restaurant called Pure Food and Wine (We Like It Raw has more on that). So, as a card-carrying member of The Stern Nation, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Pure Food and Wine’s menu. As you’ll see, this place is a real winner; innovative, creative, and extremely Fuhrman-friendly!

Okay, now I know what you’re thinking, “Um, Pure Food and WINE? But Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t recommend alcohol as part of a healthy diet.” You’re right, just take a gander at Alcohol and Your Health, and you’ll see that Dr. Fuhrman believes that the detrimental effects of alcohol outweigh the supposed benefits. So, I’ve got an easy solution to this problem, no wine for me. There we go, issue resolved, now onto Pure Food and Wine’s all raw chewables.

If you’ve been following this series you know that every once and while a restaurant comes along that looks totally A-okay, take Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant for example. Alright, since Pure Food and Wine is far from a standard American restaurant, I won’t knit pick about finding the best food choices (they’re all good), instead, here are the dishes that really caught my eye.

First up, from the First Course section of the menu, is the Marinated Shiitake and Avocado Sushi Rolls, an obvious choice, given my love affair with avocados. The sushi rolls are served with pickled pink ginger, dulse, and sesame. Personally pickled ginger isn’t really my thing, so I’d leave that on my plate, but I’d devour everything else—me love avocado! I’m also digging the Napoleon of Black Trumpet Mushrooms and Bosc Pear; which comes with herbed cashew cheese, caramelized shallots, and apricot reisling sauce. So far so good, right? I can practically feel the phytonutrients surging through my body—tingly.

As for the Second Course, I really like the Zucchini and Heirloom Tomato Lasagna; prepared with basil-pistachio pesto, sun-dried tomato sauce, and pignoli ricotta. Now my Italian bones are leery about this creation being called lasagna, but Howard Stern is half Italian and he ordered and loved it, so I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt. The Truffled Parsnip Pasta with Lemon Sage Cream also got my mojo going. It comes with black truffles, haricots vert (green beans), and arugula apricot salad. Okay, I’m sure the mention of pasta spooked you, but Howard talked about this on the air and explained that it’s called pasta, but it really isn’t. Of course it can’t hurt to ask the wait staff for further clarification. Again, can’t you just feel the phytonutrients?

Now the Third Course of the menu is all desserts. Desserts are a tricky thing for an Eat to Liver. More often than not I just skip over that section of the menu—it’s usually loaded with sugar and dairy products—Dr. Fuhrman would surely hit me over the head with a large melon if I suggested eating something like that. But, Pure Food and Wine states that refined sugar and dairy products are omitted from their food preparation. So, I’m eyeballing the Apple Napoleon. It’s made with spiced apple wafers, apple compote, lemon pineapple sauce, Asian pears, and yuzu (Asian citrus fruits). How about you, which dessert would you order?

What really intrigued me about Pure Food and Wine is when Howard mentioned that after eating there he didn’t have the heavy full feeling you often get at other restaurants. Anyone who’s ever eaten at a Friday’s or Houlihan's can relate. Speaking of heavy and full feeling, Howard really needs to get Artie eating better and exercising. Because continuous trips to the vending machine for Famous Amos cookies isn’t cutting it. Take a look at the sad state of Howard Stern’s sidekick Artie Lange—get help Artie, we don’t want you to die.

As always, you know the drill, we want your feedback! Scope out Pure Food and Wine’s menu and let us know how you Eat to Live on the Outside? Leave a comment or email us at
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Vicki Stevens - February 19, 2007 8:50 PM

My husband Richard and I discovered Pure Food & Wine in the fall of 2005 when I was experimenting with raw food. It is absolutely our favorite restaurant, period. It's pretty pricey, but seriously--worth every penny. My favorite First Course item are the samosas-mmm! Delicious flavor, with none of the greasy, calorie-laden heaviness of its non-raw namesake. I never, ever thought I'd say this, but--I agree with Howard Stern ("gasp!"), that the Second Course lasagna is excellent. (My husband is half Italian, and he concurs.) As for Third Course--I've tried the "ice creams," the chocolate cake, a pear compote--all super delicious and satisfying. However, my husband has proclaimed Pure Food and Wine's tiramisu as "THE BEST DESSERT IN THE WORLD!" I'm so excited to see Pure Food and Wine reviewed here--it is a unique, exquisite, gourmet experience--and it's good for you! (You might also see some celebs while you're there--we waited in line with Woody Harrelson once at Pure Food and Wine's carryout around the corner, and another time Ann Curry popped in the carryout as well.)

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