A little over a week ago, I had a wonderful experience dining at my first Vegetarian restaurant, Flora (located at 307 York Road, Jenkintown PA 19046). I was invited to view their Spring menu. Their menu changes seasonally. Since this would be my first time experiencing a vegetarian dinner, I was extremely anxious to see what would be served. A little healthy food is always good for the body, right? As soon as I entered Flora, I immediately thought that it had a lovely, intimate atmosphere. It seats about 16 people and it is also a BYOB restaurant. I’m a huge fan of BYOB places, but this evening I decided to keep it simple and quench my thirst with good ol’ water. Another thing that caught my eye was the lovely logo that was painted on a wall in the dining area. Flora was spelled on the wall with vegetables surrounding its name. It was a nice touch to the decor.
To begin dinner, Brussels Sprouts Three Ways with Spicy Sriracha Vinaigrette & Sesame Seeds and Iceberg Salad with Crispy Shallots, Pickled Cauliflower, Carrots, Croutons & Creamy Herb Dressing were served. I really enjoyed the Brussels Sprouts. The presentation was great and the flavor from the sriracha vinaigrette was delicious. It wasn't spicy at all. Brussels sprouts are actually my top favorite veggies to eat. Dinner was off to a great start. The salad was colorful and also tasty. The croutons were delicious. One nice fact about Flora is that they made all their bread and croutons in house.
For the second course, Irish Potato Boxty with House-made Scallion Aioli & Caramelized Onions were ordered along with seared Tahini Carrots with Smoky Baba Ganoush with Lemon Zest and Toasted Sesame Seeds. Oh my goodness...the Irish Potato Boxty dish was excellent. I'm not sure how the potatoes were prepared. All I know for sure is that the chef did a wonderful job with the flavors of this course. It was so good that I wanted to lick my plate. But I didn't, I contained the urge. The aioli was a great touch to it as well. The seared Tahini Carrot dish was beautiful. Yet again, another dish with a great presentation. I enjoyed smelling the smoky aroma coming from the plate. The flavor of the smoky baba ganoush was delectable and the textures of this dish were lovely.
Now it was time for the third course. Spaghetti with Asparagus, Breadcrumbs & Lemon was served along with the Lasagna with Seasonal Ingredients. I'm a pasta girl so it was easy for me to love these dishes. I've never experienced eating spaghetti this way. I've always had it with meaty sauce and I always pile on the Parmesan cheese. But I actually really enjoyed eating it this way. I love lemon, so I was pleased wth the usage of citrus in the spaghetti. The asparagus was fresh and it had a nice firm texture. The breadcrumbs were a nice touch to the dish, it added texture. The lasagna included seasonal ingredients like peas and it was also made with a yummy bechamel sauce. Both of these dishes were wonderful and it also opened my eyes to a healthier and lighter way of preparing pasta dishes.
It was time for the fourth and final course. Banana Creme Brulee with Carmelized Bananas and Quinoa Pudding with Vanilla Pudding, Crispy Cinnamon Quinoa and Golden Raisins were presented. The banana creme brûlée was perfect. My favorite part was the caramelized top. It was sweet and crisp. The quinoa pudding was delightful. The texture was moist and slightly thick. It was prepared really well. I loved the golden raisins with this dessert. It added some sweetness to it.
Overall, I was blown away with my experience at Flora. I'm not a vegetarian, I love my meats. But after dining here, I have a new appreciation for vegetarian cuisine. The dishes here weren't plain or boring. They had tons of flavor, beauty and it surprisingly made me full! I would definitely dine here again, hands down. A huge thank you goes out to Dan Brightcliffe, the managing owner, for inviting me to experience their spring menu. He was extremely informative, fun to talk to and also very hospitable. I highly recommend this spot for a place to dine. It's a great place for a date night, girls night or even a family night out. They offer a prix fixe menu, a la carte and they also offer a seven course chef's tasting menu which requires reservations. For more information on Flora, please visit www.florajenkintown.com/