Sprig & Vine, Modern Vegan in New Hope, Pennsylvania

Sprig & Vine is 100 percent vegan; in fact, it’s considered gourmet vegan. There are no animal products used to create the food that comes out of Executive Chef/Owner Ross Olchvary’s kitchen. His aim is to create meals that appeal to all eaters – even meat-eaters.

The chef and his team source local ingredients from farms in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The focus is on organic and sustainable practices when selecting ingredients for Sprig & Vine. Chef Olchvary’s inspiration comes from the seasons, produce, wild mushrooms, and herbs that are found nearby.

With the trend toward eating more plant-based, I became curious about the vegetable-focused restaurant and spent an afternoon sampling the cuisine at Sprig & Vine. I am not vegan, but the freshness and quality of the food were impressive. The relaxed vibe of the dining room and the approachable menu, have led to the popularity of this tiny spot. It is best to call for a reservation to ensure a table.

Location: Sprig & Vine is located at 450 Union Square Drive, New Hope, Pennsylvania.

Menu: The daily soup and small plates change with the seasons. You will see marinated olives, pickled local vegetables, as well as inventive dishes like the edamame falafel and chickpea- sweet potato cakes as snacks to start.

There are a couple of salads like Little Gem lettuce and cauliflower. Inventive sandwiches like a cauliflower Banh Mi (as well as a few others) showcase flavors from around the world. Sides like gold potato salad and broccoli rabe with red chile-coconut sauce with roasted cashews and cilantro, complete the diverse luncheon menu.

Thoughts: The restaurant is located within a small strip mall in New Hope, and can be a bit difficult to find. The glass store-front has a minimalist interior comprised of some cozy booths and dark wood tables lit by soft white ceiling fixtures. There are ceramic vases along the bar filled with tall wooden branches that provide natural decor. The simple interior belies the intricate and diverse flavor combinations on the menu.

Before deciding on an entree, I asked my server a lot of questions about unique ingredients, some of which I had never heard of before. She was well-informed, and it was a pleasure to interact with a server that could convey the flavors and components to the diners.

I settled on a salad to start. The Little Gem lettuce salad was dressed in a smoked paprika-lime dressing and topped with cauliflower, avocado, chickpeas, cucumber, pickled red onion, and oven-dried black olives. I didn’t know what to expect from an oven-dried olive, and I was pleasantly surprised by the deep olive flavor that drying enhances. I adored the crispy texture of the reimagined ingredient. The entire salad was fresh, crunchy, wholly satisfying and the portion was large enough to share.

Next, I ordered the edamame falafel wrap. The whole wheat wrap, stuffed with veggie goodness like tomatoes, baby greens, and cucumber was deliciously satisfying. The flavor of the tart pickled red onion and lemon kosho tahini dressing took the sandwich up to a flavor-filled level. I have eaten falafel before, but not edamame falafel. It was a unique take on the Mediterranean classic. It was so filling, that I took half of it home.

The desserts at Sprig & Vine have a reputation all their own. Pastry Chef Linda Monastra makes the most tantalizing concoctions without the traditional use of butter and dairy.

Her version of Tiramisu is just as delicious as the “classic” Italian dessert created with mascarpone cheese. Monastra’s version takes a white chocolate cream, olive oil cake soaked in coffee and served with coconut-coffee bean ice cream. The plate is topped with a bourbon chocolate sauce and is a winner. The whole list of desserts is sure to please anyone who is used to non-vegan ingredients.

Price Range: High-quality ingredients and organic products tend to cost a bit more, but the prices are affordable. The small plates range from $5-11, and salads or sandwiches range from $11-13. The delectable desserts are $8.

Jeanine Consoli
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