Tudor House Gives Damn Good Vegan
Celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian's Tudor House, which opened less than five months ago in the lobby of the Dream Hotel in South Beach, has already gotten rave reviews from many a satisfied foodie. But if you take all the animal products out of the kitchen, can executive chef Jamie DeRosa still put together a five-star plate?
The answer: hell to the yeah. Read on to find out what he whipped up to steal my herbivorous little heart.
|The gazpacho amuse-bouche at Tudor House|
Then came our English pea soup ($9). The servers brought out beaming white shallow bowls strewn with organic pea greens and pink peppercorns. They poured small carafes of vivid green liquid slowly into the terrines, resulting in a simply beautiful presentation. The flavor was vibrant, clean, and salty (I liked the saltiness). Biting into the peppercorns gave certain mouthfuls a spicy twist.
In crafting the soup, the chef modified the restaurant's "normal" pea soup only by doing away with the lime marshmallows that usually accent the dish. I was somewhat impressed that the chefs were so well versed in veganism as to know that the innocuous seeming fluffy little candies contain animal bone-derived gelatin.
For the main course, I selected the vegan lasagne ($18): delicate flat noodles layered with pungent fresh garden vegetables, such as baby zucchini, spinach, asparagus, yellow squash, garlic, sweet peas, and zesty, juicy chunks of tomato, all topped with crushed toasted almonds. The rich nutty breadcrumb-like topping served to pull the natural flavors from the fresh veggies in every bite. The dish actually got better-tasting as it cooled closer to room temperature.
|Tudor House's vegan lasagne, topped with toasted almond "breadcrumbs"|
|The vegan "calamari" starred shiitakes instead of sea critters.|
Once I was done hijacking my friend's plate and my own, we were ready for our final course.
|The sorbet was made better by the faultless berries on all sides of it.|
Prior to this review, I'd walked past Tudor House many times, but dismissed it for its tourist trap location and on the hunch that the menu would offer me little. I admit it; I made a mistake. Between the outrageously fresh and decadent vegan menu they were able to come up with on an hour's notice, the thoughtful and attentive service, and the feel-good Bill Withers music and candlelit ambiance to brighten up a rainy day, Tudor House is a new South Beach spot I'm eager to visit again soon.
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