Greenhouse Café

Diners can rest assured that the green in Greenhouse Café isnot a marketing ploy. Indeed, vegetarians, vegans and devotedmeat-eaters alike can sit in any one of their four casually elegantdining rooms – two with natural light through a wall of windows toa back garden, two inside for a more intimate eating experience -and feel at ease.

Greenhouse has built its reputation on its classic-contemporaryAmerican menu combinations and its ability to appeal to locals whowant to splurge without having to trek into the city. Now, the caféon 7717 Third Avenue hopes to expand that appeal with live musicand weekly karaoke.

On a recent weekday afternoon, our party of two was greeted byNicole, Greenhouse’s bubbly hostess and assistant manager. To testthe range of Executive Chef Robert Joseph’s skills, we orderedseveral vegan and seafood dishes to share, and sat down to awaitour orders with a basket of hot rolls and butter, and a carafe ofwater infused with lemon slices.

Our appetizer-sized orders of Zuppa de Mussels (mussel soup)arrived together: two plates of perfectly cooked mussels, onebathed in garlic butter broth and the other in a light tomato-basedsauce. Of the two, we preferred the latter for its comfort-foodeffect, but both were delicious.

A sampler platter of vegetarian lasagna, stuffed mushrooms andfried zucchini came next. Alone or dipped in tomato sauce, thezucchini were crisp yet fresh. The baby mushroom caps were notoverly chewy and were moistened by the bread and vegetablestuffing. And the vegetable lasagna shone, somehow managing to besavory, light and filling all at the same time.

By this time, we were getting fairly stuffed, but we made sureto take a few bites each of the linguini with tomato sauce andgrated vegan cheese, and the chik’n parmigiana, a light yettextured dish of two soy-based patties covered with creamy Daiyacheese slices. The pasta was perfect, the sauce chunky, thechik’n pleasantly dense and the soy cheese intriguing; moresavory than creamy, it may be an acquired taste.

At first sight, the Cold Water Salmon Grilled with Citrus ChiveSauce and the Tuna Steak on Yucca Pie not only look lovely, butalso come in clearly hearty portion sizes. The salmon was a perfectexample of the four F’s: firm, flaky, fresh and not at allfishy-tasting. The citrus chive sauce complemented it well,bringing out the natural flavors, although you could easily devourthe whole fish without using it. A side of broccoli also stood outas being crisp, but not raw.

As for the tuna steak, it was thick and meaty, and even betterwith the mashed potato-like orange yucca pie.

As amazing as all the food was, though, the pièce de résistancewas dessert, chocolate mousse cheesecake. The contrasting texturesworked perfectly together and the different types of sweetness werepure bliss.

Greenhouse Café offers such mouthwatering, aestheticallypleasing dishes that you’d want to continue eating, even afteryou’re full.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.