Restaurant Review: Blue Sage Vegetarian Grille
With the personal charm usually found in a country bed-and-breakfast, the Blue Sage restaurant is a delight to enter, and the energetic, hospitable staff will make you want to settle in, talk with the other guests, and make yourself at home. This is an ovo-lacto-vegetarian restaurant, with well-marked vegan menu offerings, and everything we describe here is vegan.
We began with the fresh-brewed iced tea of the day ($1.75), a bright and refreshing raspberry blend which was topped off throughout the meal.
For a table of four, a perfect starter was the Plantains Pacific Rim ($8.75) : crispy pressed plantain rounds served on a sprinkling of wild arugula leaves, with a parfait of wasabi cream, mango-papaya salsa and black bean dip. We chatted for a pleasantly long interval between the plaintains and the main course. We decided to share four main dishes. A round of applause is due for the Green Curry Shepherds Pie ($18.50). The first mouthful of the whipped purple potato and you know you’re onto something really special. With plump couscous, broccolini, tiny butternut and sunburst squashes, and fancy beetroot, all served over a mild green curry coconut broth, this is a most creative homage to the traditional Shepherd’s Pie. A true work of art.
The Wild Mushroom Risotto ($18.50) comprises wild oyster and shitake mushrooms mated with firm string beans and asparagus, served over green apple-pumpkin arborio rice risotto enriched with a vegan herb mascarpone. It’s dressed in a rich, sun-dried tomato-red broth, topped off with a slightly hot, apple-shaped pepper and fresh rosemary.
“While I knew I might not be able to recreate such wonderful combinations at home, it had the hallmark of a fantastic meal: it re-awakens ones consciousness, inspires us to want to arrange a beautiful plate, try something new, and find the freshest, best ingredients.”
- Serafina, our mushroom connoisseur
We admired the balance of every plate: vegetable, carbohydrates and sauces. Everything was so satisfying, with some heavier, well-cooked and filling aspects, lifted by delightful touches that stimulated the senses, such as the succulent, yellow tomatoes of the Cubano Supper ($17.50), the artistic hub of a dish surrounded by plantain pastries. The little pockets resembled small Cornish pasties, and were stuffed with smoked red pepper and sunflower seed pesto, and complimented by an avocado salsa, chipotle jicama slaw, and mango-papaya relish.
The interior of Blue Sage is relaxed enough to allow diners their own experiences of the place; and while the restaurant went from mostly empty to completely full while we were there (do make reservations!), we didn't notice it filling up, because the mood and atmosphere were so calm throughout the evening.
The dessert was intoxicating: a Hazelnut Toffee Basket, filled with rich chocolate mousse, a biscuit of crisp toffee lace, and a split banana with a light caramel veneer, easily enough for two to share.
And we ordered one C hocolate Rasberry Truffle (vegan upon request). It was a shallow chocolate pie crust garnished with fresh mint leaves and filled with rich, warm dark chocolate and topped off with a dollop of chocolate mousse and big, fresh raspberries. Be careful about mooching a bite of this from the one who orders it; you might see peace-loving vegans suddenly turning competitive over this one.
Also available are Green Mountain organic coffees and teas.
Everything we sampled was so good, so satisfying, and gorgeous. If you appreciate the finest in vegan cuisine, you’ll be delighted with Blue Sage. It’s a symphony for the senses that we recommend to anyone looking to celebrate a special occasion -- like life.
Blue Sage V egetarian Grille is located 25 miles north of Philadelphia and 20 miles southwest of Trenton, New Jersey, at 772 Second Street Pike, Southampton, Pennsylvania 18966.
Lunch, Tuesday through Saturday: 11:30am-3:00pm
Dinner, Tuesday through Thursday: 4:30pm-9:00pm
Friday and Saturday nights: 4:30pm-10:00pm
No bar. Bring your own bottle, if desired.
Please note: Blue Sage is a dynamic restaurant and variation is to be expected from visit to visit. Prices and menu selections are offered for general guidance, and may be subject to change.