Horizons 09/27/2010
 
My friend, Alyssa, emailed me to tell me about a highly acclaimed, upscale vegan restaurant called Horizons in Center City, PA.  Not a vegan herself, I asked her to check in with people who had eaten there to see what they had to say, and I also asked some friends and family in the area what they thought of it.  None of them were vegan, and all had wonderful things to say!

Horizons is owned by Kate Jacoby, Pastry Chef and General Manager, and Rich Landau, Executive Chef.  Rich became a vegetarian a number of years ago and was often disappointed in what options were available to him.  As a result, his talent in the kitchen grew, as did the reputation of his work.  In 2001, Kate developed her own approach to vegan baking, and they published their first cookbook in December 2003, a second in December 2007.

If you won’t be in Phillie anytime soon, here is a decadent dessert recipe from Horizons for you to try:

Bittersweet Chocolate Tart

Crust

1½ cups flour
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 pinch of salt
2 tbsp. softened (non-dairy) margarine
2 tbsp. softened shortening
2 tbsp. oil
½ cup of cold water

Chocolate Filling

4 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (be sure there is no dairy content)
3 cups soymilk
1 pinch of salt
2 tbsp. flour

Crust:

In a food processor, combine flour, cornstarch, salt, margarine, and shortening. While mixing, add all of the oil, but only half the cold water.  Stop the food processor and feel the dough. Add more water if necessary. Remove the dough from the food processor and roll it out on a floured surface. Transfer the dough to a 10-inch, fluted pie pan. Cover and chill the crust in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 375°F.

After the crust has cooled, place it in the oven and bake it for 12–15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove crust from oven and allow to cool.

Filling:

In a medium saucepan over very low heat, combine the chocolate chips and only two cups of soymilk, stirring occasionally until the mixture is smooth.

In a separate mixing bowl, create a roux by adding the remaining one cup of soymilk, salt, and flour, combining well and leaving no lumps.

Once the chocolate chips have melted in your saucepan, add the soymilk mixture to the pan and increase the heat to medium. Bring to a near-boil to activate the roux, while being careful to keep the chocolate from burning.

Pour the chocolate into the cooling pie shell, and allow to cool to room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Once cooled, place in your refrigerator for at least 2 hours prior to serving. Store the tart in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

If you are in the Philadelphia area, check it out and let me know how you like it!  Horizons is located at 611 S. 7th Streetand they are open Tuesday through Saturday starting at 6pm.

Their menu items include chilled cucumber avocado soup with toasted cumin oil, mint, and smoked pumpkin seeds; salt roasted golden beets with smoked tofu, avocado, capers, pumpernickel, cucumber dill sauce; grilled seitan with yukon mash, spinach, horseradish cream, roasted red pepper tapenade and Peruvian mushroom crêpe with a squash trio, giant lima beans, roasted olives, aji amarillo sauce, spicy peanuts, and avocado cream.  The truffled cauliflower risotto sounds best to me!  As you can assume from the recipe above, they have plenty of creative sweet vegan dishes as well such as a blueberry cheesecake with a preserved lemon cream and shortbread wafer, the Southern Belle ~ roasted peaches with vanilla-bourbon ice cream and crunchy pecans, and chocolate-stuffed beignets in an iced coffee float.
 

Veg and the City