A Lesson in Not Cooking: Elizabeth’s Gone Raw

I’ve managed to get a bit behind. Due to being out of town last weekend and eating out too much this week, I’ll be moving on to Northern Italy next week.  But first, a field trip!

Tomato told me about the raw food movement a few years ago when she decided to take some time to “go raw.” While living in L.A., she was way more up on the latest diets/trends than I was and was always on some crazy fast/diet/food restriction. For those of you who dont’ know, “raw food” has not been heated beyond 118 degrees F, the belief being that enzymes and other nutrients in foods get destroyed at this temperature, thereby reducing the nutritional quality of the food.

I like all types of food too much to subsist on any one kind or to cut any one kind out. Plus, I live in the Midwest, where the cow is king and most people kick back and relax in the summer with a beer in one hand and a burger in the other, calories and colon health be damned.  I shook my head, shrugged my shoulders and went on with my life, figuring this, too, shall pass.  It didn’t.

Fast forward a few years later to New Years’ 2012, when Tomato, Lettuce, Donut and I met up in Mammoth for some skiing. While Donut and I had to return home early, Lettuce had a few more hours in the City of Angels, and she and Tomato had what Lettuce described as one a wonderfully fresh and fantastic meal…totally raw.  Ok, at this point my interest was piqued…I want to try!  However, by the time I got home, was too lazy to trek to the one raw restaurant that is housed in Chicago. Plus, I like my food hot. Like, really hot.  Raw just didn’t sound like my thing.  My skepticism continued.

Far away on the other coast, high off of her L.A. raw revelation, Lettuce and Yam ended up discovering a little gem in their home town of D.C. that served a full raw tasting menu.  Both of them had insisted that the experience was one of the top five restaurant meals that they had had…EVER. My friends…they like to eat. A lot. So to give any meal that distinction meant that it just had to be good. This past weekend, I found out for myself.

I’m was in D.C. visiting Lettuce and Yam, a much needed girls’ trip. Months ago when I booked my flight, while figuring we’d fly by the seat of our pants as to what we wanted to do when I was here, we wasted no time in tossing out food suggestions- what did I want to eat? Given the rave about Elizabeth’s Gone Raw, I decided it was time for me to go raw, at least for a night.  In any case, I’m game for any situation where I get to sit for two hours as people bring me courses of food.

Unfortunately, Yam had been fighting a tummy bug, so their friend Gazpacho jumped in for the experience. Excited but skeptical, we all dug in.

Here was our menu.




No one really managed to get a good pic of the amuse, but here’s the rest of the meal. We were those people shamelessly taking pictures in a fancy restaurant.



Carrot and Chamomile Soup


Kale and cashew cheese chips


Wild Arugula & Fig Flatbread with a macadamia nut cheese topped with pickled fennel, figs and red onion


Celery and apple sorbet


Maryland “crab” cakes of trumpet mushrooms and lemon polenta


Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake

The flatbread was my favorite. It was sweet, savory, creamy and crunchy.  All the best things. Overall I loved the experience and the food, and I didn’t at all wish for something warm, or feel like I wasn’t full or satisfied at the end of dinner. While I’m not going to go raw for good, it was definitely worth a do.  SOLD!

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