May 18, 2011

Green Zebra

Last night to celebrate my 30th birthday, my husband and I had dinner at Green Zebra in Chicago.  I had heard such great things about their inventive vegetarian and vegan dishes that I thought my birthday was the perfect time to visit.

It's a small plates restaurant, with different sections on their menu, going from raw and light to heavier and more intense.  They are completely vegetarian, with vegan options.

I started with the Bitter Lemon Soda, which was so light and refreshing.  Fizzy and dry with lots of lemon.
For my first course, I had the Hawaiian Hearts of Palm & Somen Noodle Salad with papaya, edamame and ginger-soy dressing.  The textures were amazing together - I love the noodles mixed with the crisp vegetables.
For my second course, I ordered the Black Bean Dumplings with chimichurri and roasted tomato puree.  These were by far my favorite.  I can't even begin to describe how good they were.  They seem so simple but the flavor was outstanding. 
And for the third course, Chow Fun Noodles, crispy lotus root, charred shishito pepper, sesame-shoyu and tempura.  This dish was spicy, salty and like the best Chinese takeout you've ever had times ten.  It's what you wished Chinese takeout tasted like.
It's all in the details...a crispy thinly sliced potato with a floating parsley leaf.
And finally for dessert I had the Lime Tapioca with Coconut Sorbet and Pineapple.  I really had no idea tapioca could be this good.  It was the perfect dessert - sweet and decadent without leaving you feeling heavy afterwards.
And for my birthday, they sent out a lovely Lemon Sorbet with a single candle.  This sorbet was unlike any I've ever had.  It was almost effervescent with hints of mint and an intense lemon flavor.
It felt like an experience at Green Zebra, not just dinner.  I really loved all of the details and the seriously beautiful presentations.

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