Sunday, December 25, 2011

Finding My Inner Peace At Prana

On my first night back in Boston for the holidays, my parents and I dined at Prana in Newton, a cafe that is attached to a yoga studio of the same name. The cafe recently reopened a few months ago under new ownership. While it was previously a raw vegan restaurant, it now serves as a vegan raw and cooked fusion cafe. The menu is very diverse and has an upscale atmosphere with white table cloths. Prana recently offered a deal on groupon for $15 for $30 worth of food and drink. Of course, we had to snatch a couple of vouchers, since the restaurant is very pricey.

We began the meal with a bowl of complimentary kale chips, brought over by our waitress.

The kale chips were very crispy and perfectly salted. They were made even better by a light coating of sesame seeds.

Next, we ordered a Naan Pizza ($10) to share as an appetizer.

The pizza was delicious and was a wonderful fusion of Indian and Italian cuisine. The bread was thin and a little tougher to chew than typical pizza crust. It was coated with Indian seasonings and spices. The   marinara sauce was sweet and spread thinly, with the melty daiya cheese mixed in. The vegetables were cooked very well and were very flavorful.

Next, our entrees came out. I had the Zucchini Lasagna ($16) warmed.

The lasagna was incredible. It tasted way better warmed than raw, which may defeat the purpose, but I didn't care. The zucchini noodles were soft and easy to chew and mimicked lasagna noodles perfectly. The tomato sauce was rich and creamy, along with the layers of heavenly ricotta cheese. The accompanying salad was very good, yet did not really go well with the lasagna. The dressing was very tangy and had a subtle citrusy flavor. It seemed more fitting for an Asian dish.

Next, I tried my dad's entree. He ordered the Grain Bowl ($14).

I had no idea what this was, but it was very delicious and healthy. The grains looked a little bland from afar, but they were actually quite tasty and were seasoned beautifully. The cream sauce on top took it over the top and had a lovely mixture of sweet and savory flavors.

Last but not least, we ordered a Cheesecake ($9) to share for dessert.

The cheesecake was very fruity, with a sorbet-like topping, which had a slightly tart flavor. The cheesecake itself had a very creamy consistency and was very rich and decadent. Prana did an excellent job at replicating the non-vegan version.

Overall, I really enjoyed the meal. I always appreciate it when restaurants have diverse and innovative food options that I cannot find elsewhere, no matter how hard I try. The naan pizza was a real winner, along with the not-so-raw lasagna. With the groupon voucher, we spent about $65 (including tax and tip). This was an expensive meal, but so worth it.

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