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...