There is a new fine dining option on Vashon Island: Nirvana (recently revamped with new decor and a new global menu to replace its previous Indian menu). I had the recent pleasure of dining out here with two lovely family members who live on the island. We began with drinks. The two ordered white wine and I ordered a rose mojito, which was a beautiful shade of pink and had the not-too-sweet flavor of a cocktail made with fresh lime juice and real mint. Also on the table was this unusual appetizer of hard bread sticks in a small stemmed glass of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
True to my standard tendency, I ordered contrary to every instinct I had and ultimately chose poorly. The reason for this poor choice was that, while there were many tasty sounding vegetarian dishes on the menu (pasta with fresh tomato sauce and mozzarella, curries, veggie burger, tabbouleh, salads), the vegan, gluten-free, roasted vegetable tamale with homemade mole just sounded like the vegetarian pièce de résistance. And even though I wasn't in the mood, and I often don't like restaurant mole, and every ounce of my being protested, I ordered it.
And it was not so great. Unfortunately, the tamale itself was a rather large and dense role of polenta that, rather than encasing a delicious interior filling, was simply speckled with small bits of what I presume to have been the roasted vegetables. The mole itself spared itself my usual complaint of "too sweet," and had a rich and relatively balanced flavor (though a bit heavy on the salt). The salsa on top was tasty, but the avocado promised on the menu was absent. For the price of this meal ($14), I would have really appreciated a small pile of beans (also for a little added protein), and maybe some sauteed greens or veggies or something to break up the monotony of the polenta log.
All that said, both of my dining companions ordered the Tandoori chicken, and graciously shared the vegetarian bits (roasted potatoes, broccolini) with me and they were deliciously roasted and spiced. I suffered felt meal envy throughout the entire meal, and suspect that the rest of the menu at Nirvana is actually quite delicious.
The new decor was classy, and the entire staff was beautiful and entirely friendly. I am excited for new and varied dining options on the island, and I hope that these guys work out the kinks and thrive!
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