Yes, Horizons is now defunct. The doors are shut and will not reopen until the building bears a new name (because this area needs another pizza place....like I need a hole in my head), so I will share the details of our "last supper" (toot, toot! here comes the Hell Train again! First stop - Blasphemy) before turning my eyes forward to anticipate the opening of the new restaurant, Vedge.
Saturday night was temperate - not too hot, but not remotely cool, and the humidity was surprisingly held at bay. We prettied ourselves up a little (I felt the occasion warranted sultry red lips and relatively minimal black-shadowed eyes) then headed to Horizons for the last time. To my surprise, the entire outdoor seating area was unoccupied, so we elected to start the trend - indeed, before we had our aperitifs, we had guests at two other tables nearby.
To be honest, I spent part of Friday and most of Saturday daydreaming about the menu at Horizons, from pre-dinner cocktails and appetizers to the last sip of espresso and bite of a sinful chocolate dessert. By the time we started our jog over there (Mister's whole family is made up of speed-walkers, whereas I have short legs and sometimes have to run to keep up), I had plotted out my entire gastronomical experience. I started with the Nightboat to Recife, which I already raved about here, which was a nice accompaniment to my Salt-Roasted Golden Beets.
There is a very sweet-n-sunny difference between your standard roasted red beets and these lighter-tasting siblings. The sweetness of the beets was appropriately matched with dense, barely-ripe and definitely chilled chunks of avocado, concealing a "surprise" center of marinated tofu. I even appreciated the charming crunch of the red onions diced within, despite my standard hatred for the allium.
Mister had a delightful looking mediterranean-influenced chopped salad that I forgot to take a picture of until he had already marred its beauty by digging in. [edit: you can see Kelly's great picture of it here] We both struggled with the desire to start out meal with the BBQ Seitan, because we knew it was unlikely to be featured at Vedge this fall, but we agreed that there was no need for that much seitan in our meal. How much, you say?
Well, like I mentioned when I recapped our previous dinner at Horizons, there were certain "old favorites" I wanted to taste once more before they were gone. I have been so busy enjoying the varied flavors and textures of some of the more esoteric entrees on the menu, it's probably been over two years since I last ordered the Grilled Seitan entree. Mister gets it every time we go there and has already expressed his concern that it might not be available at Vedge, but I've already secured his promise to go when it opens regardless of the presence or absence of seitan on the menu.
While it was certainly as delightful as I remembered it, I'm not killing myself over neglecting it for half the time the restaurant was open. One of the reasons I was able to allow myself to branch out, so to speak, was the knowledge that Whole Foods and Essene both carry the same brand of seitan that Horizons used. Somewhere in the last two years, I forgot what made their seitan special isn't the maker, but rather then preparation and presentation. Mister and I agreed that what really takes Horizons' seitan over the culinary edge is that they grill it to melt-in-your-mouth perfection, meanwhile leaving the little crispy bits on the edges for texture. Now that Horizons has closed its doors and there is not much chance the Grilled Seitan entree will be on the menu (at least initially) at Vedge, I may need to finally invest in a grill pan for the stovetop.
No meal would have been complete without the amazing Truffle Fries with white BBQ sauce. I didn't take a picture because I always forget to take a picture. I don't know - there's something about its side dish status that makes me think, "why would I take a picture of a little tin bread pan with wedge fries in it?" Regardless, they were every bit as delicious as they've always been and if Vedge doesn't think they're worthy of a place on the menu, it looks like we'll also be investing in some truffle oil of our very own.
Since I'd spent the day fantasizing about dessert, I did not require Mister's reminder to get an espresso to accompany my exquisitely rich (yet not too much so) Chocolate Tart. No matter how amazing the other desserts are, knowing that Kate Jacoby will be focusing more on fruit-centered desserts at Vedge, I knew I had to get the Tart while I could. I have very little doubt she will continue to serve her amazing cheesecake, especially since it lends itself so well to fruit accompaniments, but I thought the rich, chocolatey nature of this dessert put it on the endangered list, so it was the last bit of Horizons to pass my lips.
Or not. As we were finishing up dessert, I heard my name exclaimed from behind me. Turning, I saw Kelly, looking perfectly pixie-like, especially beside her very tall, incredibly friendly husband. A round of introductions were had on behalf of the two Misters and then Kelly and Hubby excused themselves to take a short walk before returning for the Happy Hour AfterParty held in the upstairs bar.
As previous pictures of our dinner at Horizons have shown, the dining area inside is considerably darker than the outdoor tables. Considering it was a fine dining restaurant, this makes sense, and it's nearly surprising that they even had an outdoor seating area as casual as the one on their sidewalk. There were tasty hors d'oeuvres being butlered by Kate Jacoby herself, as well as some other members of staff. I was still quite full from dinner, but could not refuse the opportunity to try a seitan-kimchee kind of roll-up...which promptly bit my face off and I had to wait for the bartender to make me a delightful daiquiri unlike any I'd had before in order to take another bite.
I had a great time getting to know Kelly and her husband a little better and after closing the bar (literally, unfortunately), we all walked out together to see the saddest sight I've seen in a while.
While I am truly excited about Vedge and very much anticipating its opening day/night, I am very sad to see Horizons go. I guess I'll just have to hone my seitan-slinging skills and up my culinary creativity (harbinger of things to come...).