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May 25, 2011

NYC Day 3: Kate's Joint, Engagement Photoshoot, and 4 Course Vegan

Thanks for following along on days 1 and 2, on to our final day in NYC!

Our last day in NYC was our engagement photo shoot day! It was only appropriate to start this big day with a big breakfast. We dined on Kate's Benedict at Kate's Joint in the East Village. This dish starts with a thick slice of toast and is topped with vegan sausage, mushrooms, greens, scrambled tofu, and vegan hollandaise. Perfect!

After breakfast we started getting ready for the shoot. A friend in Brooklyn set me up with her hair stylist who fixed me up with some beautiful curls.

Thanks for the 'do, Dena!

Then it was time to head down the road to the Dan Mims' apartment, where we joined by the rest of the team. Pictured above on the far left is Christopher Drummond of Christopher Drummond Beauty, my makeup artist for the day. Next to Christopher is Leanne Mai-ly Hilgart of Vaute Couture, my stylist for the day. All the way to the right is Dan Mims of The Ethical Man, our host and Steve's stylist for the day. The lovely lady behind the camera is Erin Nicole of Erin Nicole Brown Photography.

Christopher did an amazing job with my makeup, using his own vegan makeup line. I love his products! Leanne helped me decide what to wear for the shoot. It was so much fun to work with her and to get to know her--turns out she is from a neighboring suburb of Chicago! So fun!

Dan was a most gracious host as we were made up and styled at his apartment, and he did an awesome job styling Steve. The tie Steve wore for the shoot is from his collection.

Once we were all styled it was time to hit the streets of Brooklyn for our photo shoot. Featured below are a few of my favorite shots. To see more pictures hop over to Rose Pedals to see the video that they put together which covers our entire weekend in NYC, including some video footage we shot.

Thanks again to Dan, Leanne, and Christopher, it was such a joy and privilege to work with all of you! A big thanks also to our photographer, Erin Nicole...

Erin is such a great photographer, she made us feel so comfortable in front of the camera and truly brought out the best in us! Thank you again!

After the shoot we had one more prize to redeem, dinner at 4 Course Vegan in Williamsburg. This was our first experience with underground dining. Underground restaurants, also referred to as supper clubs or closed door restaurants, are set menu dinners held in a private space. Chef Matteo hosts his Saturday night dinners right in his apartment. We had a little trouble figuring out how to get in when we arrived--we stood with a few other newbies at the main door trying to buzz in. Soon someone more experienced spotted us and led us over to a gated courtyard which gave direct access to the apartment. The chef's assistant recognized that our group was not sure if we should wait or seat ourselves, and welcomed us to have a seat anywhere there were empty seats. All of the tables were communal, averaging 10 seats per, with total seating for about 40. It was a full house, so we took the last two seats at a 10-top. From our seats we had a good view of the kitchen where Chef Matteo was busy plating the first dish. At each place setting there was a small card describing the 4 courses for the night. Soon the assistant began serving the first dish.

We were given an amuse-bouche of watermelon radish ravioli, before the official four courses began being served. This raw ravioli consisted of two paper thin slices of watermelon radish filled with some type of nut cheese and drizzled with basil puree. I loved this! I would love to recreate this and have been on the lookout for watermelon radishes ever since.

The first course for the night was yellow spilt pea soup with chile oil and chive sour cream. This was a very unique split pea soup, with a distinct sesame flavor as well as some heat from the chile oil. The bowls emptied quickly around our table!

The second course was a baby arugula Caesar with cornmeal croutons and miso-celery dressing. This was a great combination of flavors, though not the most "Caesar-y" vegan Caesar salad I've ever had. Honestly though, I'd take this over the more traditional Caesar flavors any day.

The third course, and star of the evening, was the spring vegetable quiche with smokey mushrooms and wild ramps. The crust was rich and perfect, as was the creamy filling. The smokey mushroom topping pushed this quiche over the edge, crunchy and reminiscent of bacon. What I wouldn't give for this recipe! Steve remarked that this was the best quiche he has ever had, and I agree.

Just when I thought I couldn't eat another bite the final course was served, pine nut and fennel biscuit with meyer lemon and chocolate mousse. The delicately flavored biscuits were a perfect pairing for the super rich chocolate mousse, which was very thick and heavy. I loved the meyer lemon sauce which brightened and rounded out the flavors.

Our first underground dining experience was a success! We had a chat with Chef Matteo before heading out, and thanked him for the fantastic evening. He sent us home with some of his packaged goodies, including an amazing hazelnut toffee brittle and chocolate dipped coconut macaroons. Please do not miss out on dining at 4 Course Vegan if you have the opportunity to!

Thanks to one of our tablemates, Dan, for allowing me to use his photos from the night. It had been raining heavily earlier in the day so we decided not to bring out the camera. Dan owns his own underground restaurant in Buenos Aires! Check out his blog post about 4 Course Vegan, and his resource page with information about underground restaurants all over the world.

Steve and I had the best time in NYC, we were very tempted to "miss" our flight home! I cannot thank Rose Pedals Vegan Weddings enough for hosting this amazing contest, as well as all of the wonderful vendors that participated, and everyone that voted for us to win. We will always treasure this experience!

Don't forget to check out the feature on Rose Pedals to see the video that she put together, including more of our engagement photos.


  1. So glad you two had such a great time. We were thrilled with the outcome of the contest and couldn't be happier for you!! All the best!! xoxo - Kristin, Rose Pedals Vegan Weddings :)

  2. Ohmygoshgirl - What a fabulous trip! You guys hit up more restaurants in 3 days than I have in 9 months of living here! I need to get on the 4 Course Vegan train asap. Love the pic of you two on the bridge - so cute!

  3. What an amazing experience! You both look gorgeous in that photo shoot! I would love to try one of the "supper clubs" The Discerning Brute hosts one, I think. Need to check that out!

  4. I just found your blog and have absolutely loved reading your posts and looking at your pictures! That raw ravioli looks great. I will definitely be back to visit soon!

  5. What an amazing trip!! The photo shoot sounds like so much fun, and the pictures are great!

    That underground supper club is such a cool idea! The food looks delish.

  6. Looks like a super fun trip! The photos turn out great, love the black and white ones! :-)

  7. great to see your photos - love the black and white ones especially - and that meal looks delicious - smoky mushrooms on quiche - yummmm!

  8. I love the photos of you 2! So cute. :) That food looks amazing. I'm really intrigued by the watermelon radish ravioli!


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