Saturday, October 06, 2007

Cafe Sunflower

I have some great home-cooked food photos to share with you soon, but tonight I have to review my experience at Cafe Sunflower, the closest I've ever come to vegan fine dining.

There are two Cafe Sunflower locations in Atlanta; we visited the Buckhead location. The atmosphere was several steps above that of The Grit or any other vegetarian place we have visited--which are mostly great places, but have that rough, laid back, anything goes kind of feeling. At Cafe Sunflower, the lighting is dim and each table is illuminated by its own little hanging lantern. There are large pieces of abstract artwork on the walls, and it's all very attractive.

Cafe Sunflower is a vegetarian, almost-vegan establishment, which serves a couple of entrées that contain cheese, but is otherwise egg- and dairy-free. All of the desserts are vegan--and all look absolutely heavenly.


For his entrée, Bob chose the Garden Loaf: A soy and nut loaf served with mushroom gravy, roasted asparagus, spring rolls, and a tower of herbed mashed potatoes whose presentation was elegant enough for a classy French bistro. The loaf was very flavorful and had a satisfying firm texture.


I went with one of the dinner specials, the Stuffed Acorn Squash. This autumn gem was served with a stuffing of navy beans, corn, wild rice, cranberries, walnuts, and mushrooms, and sat on a nest of garlicky kale and mung bean sprouts. The filling had a smoky flavor and was singing with savory herbs like rosemary and tarragon. And I love the purple hue that the cranberries lent to the filling--see how beautifully it contrasts with the orange-gold of the squash and the vibrant green kale? A work of art, to be sure.

After dinner our server brought out not a dessert menu, but a tray showcasing each of the luscious desserts. Bob and I had intended to split something, but we could not agree on one thing so we each decided to order something and bring the leftovers home.


Bob chose this Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cake--one of the lightest, fluffiest mousses I've ever put in my mouth.


As for me, my chocoholic side showed through as I ordered a slice of the Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake. The cake was dark and rich, and was riddled with chunks of chocolate. Wow.

So, there you have Cafe Sunflower. It's a bit on the pricey side, but completely worth it for a special treat.

By the way, what was the reason for this special treat? Well, I finally got all my scores in from taking the CPA exams, and I passed them all!! Woot! Maybe I'll never have to take another test in my life...

19 comments:

The Little Vegan said...

The squash dish looks fabulous. And the cakes? That ALONE is making me think really hard about jumping in my car right now and taking the next plane to Atlanta!

Can't they bring ONE of their locations to Texas???

The Little Vegan said...

Oh and congratulations!!!

Vivacious Vegan said...

Atlanta is only 4 hours away from here. I'm thinking Cafe Sunflower, Cosmo's, and Trader Joe's, and Ikea are enough to warrant an overnight trip for sure!

reiskeks said...

Hi Laura, I didn't make your comment visible, the blog-addresses are really almost identical :-) I was afraid that Veg*n Spirit would disappear, I am glad she will at least post again, even if the rest was deleted...

Your chocolate cake looks better than any non-vegan cake i have ever seen! You are really lucky to get to eat such delicious desserts *sob*

Jackie said...

Congrats on your results :)

The food looks really great. Wish we had more restaurants like that here.

Dr. Melissa West, Lifestyle Coach said...

Wow Laura that food looks amazing. I don't think sharing dessert would have been an option in our marriage either! LOL! The dinner and dessert looks amazing. Congrats on your exam results!

VeggieGirl said...

ooh, the Garden Loaf and the Stuffed Acorn Squash look incredible; however, I'm completely mesmerized by that Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Cake (yum!!) and your Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake. wow!! send me some, please? :0D

congratulations on passing ALL of your CPA exams!!! that's terrific!!!

By the way, I saw you comment on my blog: Yes, I'm SO excited to try Dreena's newly posted recipe for the tamari chickpeas (and I'll definitely make it again, when I finally receive my pre-ordered copy of ED&BV!!)

aTxVegn said...

A well deserved dinner treat for you, Laura!

Johanna3 said...

The food looks great!

congrats!!!!!!!

Monika K said...

Um, I can't remember what I was going to say - I'm still stuck on those desserts!

Vicki's Vegan Vice said...

Yeaah, Congratulations, LAURA! awesome accomplishment & great way to celebrate - each dish looks so decadent, & the atmosphere sounds romantic! :)

scottishvegan said...

Congratulations on your exam results! That meal looks like a perfect way to celebrate! I love the squash, but nothing beats chocolate cake and that one looks gorgeous!!

Courtney said...

I just wanted to add my congratulations to the bunch--congrats on passing those exams!

Courtney

urban vegan said...

Presentation looks amazing! I will put this on my list if I am ever in your hood!

Lesley said...

I love Cafe Sunflower! I wish there were one here in Nashville, though I'd probably go broke visiting at least once a week. A fellow Nashvillian visted there recently and has video posted on her myspace page (as well as a couple of other Atlanta restaurants): http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=174010238. The Cafe Sunflower visit was really cool.

bazu said...

This meal does look like heaven. The last time I was in Atlanta was 2002- it's about time I make another trip, don't you think??

Village Vegan said...

Congratulations on passing your exams!! You definately deserved that dinner, and it must feel great to know you'll never have to take an exam again.

(Those deserts look amazing.)

Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm not a blogger, but I look at a few of the vegan blogs every once in a while for ideas.

You should try the other Cafe Sunflower location. I think it's even better than the Buckhead location. A couple owns the two restaurants; the husband runs the Buckhead one and the wife runs the one off of Roswell Rd. The two locations have different menus, with a little bit of overlap.

I live in Atlanta and go to Veggieland as much as I can. It's so good and they have great prices. It's nothing fancy, but it's all vegan and delicious. It'd off of Pharr Rd across from Cafe Tu Tu Tango. You should definitely try it out sometime!

Meghan

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