Jean-Georges Vongerichten was just giving the healthy food scene time to heat up. After three years, he’s finally opened his ode to all things green and sustainable, ABCV, his third restaurant inside the interior design store ABC Carpet & Home.
After making his name in the fine dining realm, Vongerichten pivoted in 2010 to quietly champion vegetables at ABC Kitchen. Being located right up the street from the Union Square Greenmarket made farm-to-table a natural concept. And maybe the message was only subliminal but the restaurant’s location seemed to imply that greens should have a place in New Yorkers’ daily lives, too.
ABCV brings that ethos forward to be all about living your best meat-free life.
The ingredients are non-GMO, sustainable and “organic whenever possible,” sourced from small and family farms around the world.It’s about making food as nourishing as possible, but also keeping out what doesn’t belong on our plates, Paulette Cole, co-owner of ABCV, tells Vogue: chemical and inhumane farming practices that “inherently jeopardize our wellbeing and our planet’s.”
Cheers to that
ABCV retains the bright, white palette of its predecessor, the decor reflecting its nothing-to-hide attitude, which extends to what goes in your glass, too. The full bar boasts organic local spirits, biodynamic wines, housemade sodas and “restorative tonics,” juice blends with names like Joy and Brain.
Green is good
There are two kinds of vegetarians: those that try to replicate animal products, and those that are devising new ways to make plant products just as tasty as their competition. Vongerichten is of the second school, with the restaurant’s own page describing its ethos as “to serve, inform and inspire a cultural shift towards plant-based intelligence, through creativity and deliciousness.”
Another take on breakfast
Vongerichten and his chef de cuisine Neal Harden (Pure Food and Wine) have their own ideas for the trendiest meal of the day. At ABCV, the day can start with a sea buckthorn and persimmon bowl ($11), or a hearty plate of poached eggs with wild mushrooms ($15). Instead of crepes, the menu features three kinds of dosa, the paper-thin Indian crepe made with fermented lentils and rice, eaten savory (avocado, sprouts, yogurt, $14) or sweet (maple syrup, butter, $11).
Save room for dessert
At lunch, the menu has plenty of hot and cold takes, perfect for our increasingly unpredictable climate: chickpea hummus with Thai basil, a housemade sauerkraut that got theNYTimes excited, carrots with nut butter and a whole artichoke with Sicilian olive oil. A handful of noodle and rice dishes round out your options until the pleasantly broad dessert menu, where you’ll find vegan chocolate mousse, pound cake with apple confit and vegan coconut custard, among others.
ABCV is open at 38 E. 19th St. for counter and dine-in breakfast and lunch service Monday to Friday. Dinner is coming soon.