Vegan MoFo Day 23: The Belmonte Raw Report

October 23rd, 2011 · Lisa · restaurant review, Review, vegan mofo · Comments
Most of life’s great moments are first lived through our own eager anticipation.

When we’re forced to wait for something we long for, we find ways to play it out in our minds and build our expectations for what will be.

Often that build up leads to utter disappointment when you finally get a copy of that new book, buy a ticket to that blockbuster film, or take that first bite at a new restaurant. But, when the experience lives up to all you have imagined it makes for a truly spectacular and memorable moment.

Yesterday, Belmonte Raw finally opened. After one meal, I can truly say, the wait was worth it.

Belmonte Raw has long existed as a delivery service for lunches and juice cleanses in Toronto. The rave reviews from dedicated customers and increasing demand for Carol’s healthful, delicious fare led her to search out a storefront. Now, after months of building and beautifying, Belmonte Raw is a cozy cafe in the heart of Leslieville.

The thoughtfully edited menu provides selections of juices, smoothies, elixirs, salads, wraps and desserts. The options will change regularly to highlight the foods and flavours of the seasons.

With just a week to go before I leave the country for three months, I was excited to find time to fit in a lunch visit with Dani and Ashley. We admired the modern decor, the stunning artwork and the enticing entrees.

But before we selected our main dishes we were presented with two juice blends. First, Wealth, a brilliant orange combination filled with the bright flavours of ginger, lemon, yam and apple.
 Second, Happiness, a sweet concoction of grapefruit and grapes.

While we sat around sipping our juices and chatting about how dazzled we were by the delightful combinations, our mains arrived. Dani ordered the Sun Burger and Fries. She raved about the jicama fries, the walnut and sunflower patty and the tomato aioli.

I was envious until I looked at the beautiful bowl set down in front of me. The Beet Slaw with Sesame Nuggetswas full of fresh flavours, a great blend of textures and the subtle spiciness I love, provided by a healthy dose of ginger.

Ashley settled on the collard wrapped Burrito served with cashew nacho cheese, guacamole, salsa and dehydrated corn chips. She encouraged me to try the nacho cheese which was spicy, creamy and absolutely delicious.
Although we all felt satiated and satisfied, we couldn’t resist a sweet indulgence to end the meal. Months ago I tasted one of Carol’s chocolate thimbles. Somehow it found a little tiny space in my heart – and it moved right in. I was in love. Carol has discovered the secret alchemy to transform cacao and cashews into the most divine dessert I have ever experienced.
 This time we tasted the chocolate peanut butter version of her classic thimble. I actually swooned.

Belmonte Raw offers something that is often very hard to find at a restaurant, carefully selected ingredients, refined recipes and attention to the health and wellness of every patron.

The menu is consciously crafted to deliver on flavour, pleasure and nutrients, but not weigh you down with rich nut-based dishes and difficult to digest superfoods. I left feeling full of energy and awe.

I plan to spend many hours, with friends and fantastic food in a cozy corner at Belmonte Raw. Hope to see you there. xo

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