Meg Wolff's Profile

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Souen Restaurant Macrobiotic in NYC

I had lunch this week at Souen Restaurant Macrobiotic, on 28 East 13th St. in New York City (212-627-7150), not far from my husband Tom's office.

I got there before the crowd (and Tom) and got a table on the first floor by the window to the left, as you walk in. Such a treat on a mostly dry, slightly overcast, but 75-degree day, when the window/door is open onto a small garden and the street beyond. A great spot to people-watch while waiting, too.

Souen Tom walked in almost immediately. Since he works in NYC a lot, this is one of his favorite places to eat. I ordered pickles, the natto, a bowl of brown rice and the carrot and leek soup, as you see in the photos above. And not to forget, I ordered some scones to go, one for each of us to take home to Maine for tomorrow's breakfast!

First came the pickles, a small and colorful assortment of cucumber, radish and Takuan pickles. The cucumber pickles were the long, Japanese type of cucumber and tasted deliciously mild. We decided that they were probably lightly pickled in soy sauce and water. The radish pickle was equally tasty. If we hadn't known it was a radish, we may not have guessed by the red color. We decided that it was probably dyed in beet juice. It was cut thinly in one continuous ribbon slice and beautifully done. The third pickle was what looked like was rectangularly cut pieces of a longer fermented "takuan" pickle (made with daikon radish).

The "Natto" was made traditionally cooked with mustard and scallion and served on a bed of fresh greens. I'm a natto lover, but don't make it very often, so this was a treat.

The "Leek and Carrot Soup" was served hot (as I like my soups) in an earthenware dish which made it as appealing to look at as well as warm and soothing. The carrots and leeks were pureed together. A great combination that I'd like to try at home.

The rice was cooked well and a very grounding and satisfying complement to the soup and natto.

I've had the Souen scones before and they are great if you like subtly sweet desserts, as I do. I don't eat much sugar (if something has white sugar or cane sugar, I can tell right away as I get a sugar high immediately). I don't feel this way with Souen's scones, which look more like big muffins. The outside of the muffins usually taste lightly sweet and I believe they may have some brown rice syrup or a combination of brown rice and maple syrup brushed on top.

We took a menu with us which says, "For over 30 years (30 years!) Souen has been offering macrobiotic food for New York diners with foremost priority to serve delicious meals in keeping with good health. We prepare our food naturally using the best quality organic grains, beans and produce. No sugar, preservatives, meat or dairy products are used in our kitchen. We also employ traditional methods of preparation whenever possible to enhance the healthful quality and natural flavor of our food. We continue our consistent effort to maintain and improve upon our high standards and macrobiotic principles and respect the order of our universe."

As we sat and enjoyed our lunch, we watched as a large delivery of good-quality shitake mushrooms, soy sauces, brown rice and many other such staples were wheeled in the door past us. I think they definitely walk the talk at Souen.

Jun 07, 2009
Meg Wolff in Manhattan

Best food when you're sick

Hot and sour soup sounds like a very good food when you're sick. When I felt sick from chemo I craved Tom Young Gu, is this similar?

Now when I'm feeling tired and want something nourishing I crave squash & carrot soup with ginger.

Feb 14, 2008
Meg Wolff in General Topics

Taking a Fish Home with You

I think this is a very true and hilarious post!

Feb 14, 2008
Meg Wolff in Features

Little Known Hideaway Out of This World...

Great! I liked that place a lot. I go when I'm at The Maine Photographic Workshops in Rockport ... it's really close. Yes, it is my first choice of resturants when I'm eating out in that area!

Jan 25, 2008
Meg Wolff in All New England Archive

Vegans Aren't Misanthropes

I enjoyed reading this interview. Thank you.

Jan 08, 2008
Meg Wolff in Features

Chickpea Cutlets

I think it sounds good, I would definitely try this recipe!

Jan 08, 2008
Meg Wolff in Recipes

Little Known Hideaway Out of This World...

Is this the restaurant on the second floor?

Jan 08, 2008
Meg Wolff in All New England Archive

French Lentil Soup with Tarragon and Thyme

I think this soup recipe sounds delicious!

Jan 08, 2008
Meg Wolff in Recipes

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I tried Primo last fall while visiting that area and it is wonderful. I agree.

Dec 16, 2007
Meg Wolff in Features

Take Out Thanksgiving Dinner?

It's kind of late, but I just heard that Whole Foods does a Thanksgiving "take-out". Glad you found something you were happy with.

Nov 26, 2007
Meg Wolff in Greater Boston Area

Spinach with Raisins and Pine Nuts

I think this is a definite YES!

Nov 26, 2007
Meg Wolff in Recipes

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This sounds great!

Nov 26, 2007
Meg Wolff in Recipes

Our Maine Man

I think Fore Street is fantastic, probably Portland's best. I was there with my family last evening. It was a rare occasion that we could get a reservation a day in advance (though it was very early). I eat macrobiotic (a diet based on whole grains, beans, vegetables & some fish). This is one place that I can get non-farm raised fish, fresh and at least one local option. Also, fresh local vegetables. Last night they had broccoli rabbe, carrots, and beets. They will cook them steamed or with olive oil upon request (they are usually cooked with butter).

Nov 26, 2007
Meg Wolff in Features