THE BUSINESS DISTRICT of tiny Pine Bush is, to say the least, compact. It also has been home to Pure City—a thriving, award-winning, vegan Asian restaurant—for 15 years. With Asian art and objects and soft lighting, the serene eatery has long been a destination for vegetarians and vegans seeking a festive place to celebrate birthdays and other special occasions. Word of mouth has done its magic in creating a loyal following.
The menu at Pure City features dishes using “mock meats” (mostly soy protein and seitan), along with traditional vegetarian Chinese tofu, vegetables and noodle specialties. As dedicated Buddhists, owners Ben and Lisa Chen practice the compassion and nonviolence at the heart of the teachings of their dharma master. Those beliefs are reflected in the menu, as well.
Many of Pure City’s entrées are Ben’s unique creations. Almost too pretty to eat, for example, mixed diced vegetables in taro is served in a crisp, edible bowl surrounded by thin ribbons of raw beet. Meat-eaters are particularly smitten with the veggie nuggets orange flavor and the Teriyaki veggie steak. Some customers become especially devoted to a particular dish. One gentleman has been continuously ordering Green Jade, a delectable combo of veggie “ham,” broccoli and enoki mushrooms, since the restaurant first opened.
Pure City’s entrees go easy on the oil, leaving diners feeling sated but not stuffed. That way, there’s always some room left for the vegan ice cream or homemade vegan cheesecake—a sweet ending to a memorable meal.
100 Main St, Pine Bush