Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tulip Noir

Christy and I, after a week of a lot of heavy duty working out, decided that Friday was a day worth celebrating and relaxing a bit at lunch. There is a little cafe called Tulip Noir close to the office- we've been wanting to try it for a while now. If you click over to the website and then click on "Media," you will find pics of the restaurant. We came in and sat at the counter. Our server approached right away and offered us menus and a sample of black mango tea. Yes, please!! Next, she brought us water- with a lovely little slice of cucumber in it. I'd never had cucumber in my water and I really enjoyed it! Added a really clean, fresh twist to the water. This is a pic of the work area behind the counter- I just love the clean lines and lighting. This place is very serious about tea and coffee! First thing we ordered were the broccoli-cauliflower fritters. They were delicious. Light, tasty. Served on a bed of baby spinach- the heat from the fritters slightly wilted the spinach. So yummy! created with broccoli, cauliflower, onion and herbs served with gorgonzola crème fraiche I ordered a pot of tea for 1- I decided to try the organic herbal Spring (lily, forget me not, hibiscus, stevia). Loved the service on the tea! Little glass pot and a timer so you know how long to let the tea steep. They also serve flowering teas- if you've never tried a flowering tea, you should try it sometime! These pictures show the tea when first served, after about 30 seconds, and a view from the top of the pot. For my lunch, I had the 1/2 sandwich, 1/2 salad. I opted for the mushroom salad and spinach melt. The food was delicious. Eating fresh, real food is such a different experience than the canned, bagged, processed stuff from other restaurants. spinach melt: sauteed spinach, kale and onion with pesto and feta cheese on a slice of whole grain baguette topped with walnuts mushroom salad: fresh baby greens, sauteed mushrooms, walnuts and parmesan topped with asparagus and arugala, with honey mustard dressing Christy ordered soup and salad. She also chose the mushroom salad. For her soup, she had a roasted pepper sweet potato soup. I had a taste- it was delicious. Nice amount of zing and heat and fantastically complex flavors. The salads came with asparagus that was incredible. The honey mustard dressing was more of a light honey mustard vinaigrette. The flavors in the dressing really complimented the salad ingredients. The parmesan- real parmesan and not that powdered stuff- had fantastic depth. My sandwich was a piece of baguette with pesto, then spinach and kale, carmelized onions piled on top. It was a definite knife and fork thing and was delicious. We could have walked out happy at that point but had heard about how fantastic the desserts are. Tulip Noir is famous for their scones... but we couldn't resist the blueberry crumble. Real blueberries, the crumble was more like granola, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream (that came from Trader Joe's). We couldn't finish it... but it was delicious! Did you notice that the entire meal was vegetarian? Did you see how many servings of veggies we had? This is the kind of place that makes it easy to eat healthy! There were also gluten free / casein free offerings. You can visit the Tulip Noir Facebook Fan Page and read about meals others have enjoyed. I especially love hearing about the other soups people have enjoyed since the soups change daily. When we were there, Christy got one of the last servings of the roasted pepper sweet potato soup. Glancing down the Facebook page, I wouldn't be able to resist the tomato, basil, artichoke soup or the curried fennel cauliflower soup! I think they could use the fan page to promote themselves a bit more- for example, posting the daily specials and soups. Eating at Scotty's Lakehouse and Tulip Noir in the past week gives me hope in the restuarant industry. Knowing that there are still food people out there who are concerned with quality... not just serving a dish that looks like the picture and meets the company's standards... but creating and serving dishes that are fresh, organic, healthy. Serving food that nourishes the body instead of just stuffing the belly. Getting back to the real, intense, flavors. I wish these kinds of places were more prevalent and easily accesible. How about you? Do you have restaurants in your area that you know serve wholesome, good, real food? Photobucket

8 comments:

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Garret of Jim and Garret said...

Fantastic review. The spinach melt sounded delicious.

michelle said...

Yum. Love the veggi-ness of it. I always feel better after I eat a meal like that. Not the same as eating a McD's extra-value meal!

I'm Grace said...

Yum! Everything look so good. Made me hungry, I LOVE spinach.

Teacher Tom said...

You are what you eat! And you're a vege . . . Wait, that's not right. =)

It looks terrific. I too definitely notice a difference in how I feel when I'm eating my fruits and veggies in large quantities.

MommyLovesStilettos said...

I adore cucumbers and eat them ALL the time. I've never once thought to put it in my water. I'll be trying that tomorrow :)

Flartus said...

Yes!! You GET it! So many restaurant goers are only concerned about price, or quantity, or getting what they want, not what the season or region has to offer.

If there were more eaters like you and Christy, there would be more restaurants like these. Keep spreading the message!

Karen said...

I could never go vegan, but I love the idea of eating more vegetarian dishes. I like meat a lot, but I could do with less of it.

And those dishes sounded delicious!