Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge 2013 -- Tower Bridge Bistro

I always look forward to dining at Tower Bridge Bistro during the Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge because Chef Clay Purcell creates such wonderful dishes for this event. Instead of preparing just one appetizer, main course, and dessert for the challenge, he offers a three-course prix fixe menu with two different choices for each course. Last night, I had dinner there with two non-vegan friends who decided to order from the vegan menu. Among the three of us, we tried all six dishes.

The appetizer course featured either Purple Peruvian Potato Bisque with Leeks and Smokey Chipotle, or Moroccan Style Carrot and Parsnip Salad with Buckwheat Crêpes. I chose the bisque, which was spicy and very flavorful, a great dish for this cooling fall weather.

I had a bite of the carrot and parsnip salad ordered by one of my friends and thought it was very good too. I don't think I've ever had parsnips in a salad before, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well they worked with the carrots and Moroccan spices. The salad was ordered without the buckwheat crêpes, which is why they don't appear in the picture below.

For the main course, I ordered the delicious Thai Coconut Curry Tofu, Roasted Cauliflower, Jasmine Rice, Spaghetti Squash and Sunflower Seeds. I love an entrée that combines so many of my favorite ingredients into one dish. So far, this is my favorite main course of the challenge.

The other entrée was Rainbow Stuffed Swiss Chard with Quinoa, Tofu, Peppers, Scallions and Squash topped with Creole Sauce and Chervil. I didn't personally try this dish, but I'm told it was very good and quite spicy.

Choices for dessert were either Cappuccino Mousse with Almond Milk Foam or Italian Pear Tart with Apricot Essence. I'm not much of a coffee fan, so I went with the pear tart, which turned out to be an excellent choice.

The cappuccino mousse was cleverly presented to look like an actual cup of cappuccino. The friend who ordered it said the texture wasn't as firm as it would be for a traditional mousse -- it seemed a little more liquid -- but she liked it very much.

Tower Bridge Bistro is located inside the Embassy Suites Hotel at 100 Capitol Mall, and their phone number is 916-326-5050. Their website address is http://www.towerbridgebistro.com/ and their Facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/towerbridgebistro. Tower Bridge Bistro's Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge menu will be available for dinner through October 20th.

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