We’ve taken a lot of long walks through the UWS the last few months and one thing we noticed the minute the weather turned nice was the packed patio at Thyme & Tonic. Every time we walked by this Instagrammable garden of a restaurant, it was too busy for us to squeeze in for brunch, so we just stared longingly at all the cute Upper West Siders toasting with their bellinis. While my Mom was visiting and we walked past on Saturday, my beau had the bright idea to book a reservation in advance for the following day. What a smartie. (I know this is not rocket science and exactly what normal people do…but we only ever thought of this restaurant day-of, when it was too late to book, so this felt like a real win.)
As we were seated in our little nook, dripping with [faux] flowers, we realized our one problem: this restaurant is almost entirely vegan. We are not vegan people. They do have eggs and one or two dishes with actual cheese, but for the most part, the food is vegan and anything can be made vegan if it isn’t already. Welp, we weren’t going to get up and leave. We decided we could find something on the menu we’d enjoy and it would be good to expand our horizons a bit.
Since I couldn’t partake in the Prosecco bar (which might be the best thing on the menu here), I started with a freshly pressed cucumber grapefruit mint juice. It was tart and refreshing. For the meal, we went the sharing route and ordered a fruit salad, latke tots, and coconut pancakes. The fruit salad was better than most – very fresh and included pomegranate seeds, a rarity in the fruit salad world. The latke tots were very good, but I could have used a bit more sour cream and would have liked to see them funkify them a bit…maybe with a bit of spice or saltiness or dill? The coconut pancakes were definitely the star. The texture was different than a traditional pancake (dense and almost gummy rather than fluffy) but not necessarily in a bad way. The creme anglaise and strawberry topping was great and the coconut flavor in the batter was a nice change of pace.
Since it’s Rosh Hashanah today, this is a perfect time to not that I spotted several Jewish diners when we were there. I realized this is the ideal restaurant for anyone who keeps kosher. With the only non-vegan items on the menu being parve or dairy, there is zero chance of mixing milk and meat. And yet, it doesn’t feel like a “kosher” restaurant, nor does it feel like a standard vegan spot. It’s not a deli hippy hangout – it’s got trendy millennial pink brunch vibes. There’s no reason you should have to sacrifice style to observe the rules of kashrut! Even carnivores like us enjoyed our meal and I’m sure any of your vegetarian friends would thank you for picking a place where they don’t have to scour the menu to “make something work.”