It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten a meal that I could honestly call motivational. But after a mind-bending lunch of macrobiotic soup, ancient grains and agave-sweetened smoothies on the garden patio at the O2 Live Food Café, I vowed to start eating more thoughtfully.
Affiliated with O2 Living, a holistic spa and wellness center in the charming cluster of rustic-chic buildings that is the Yellow Monkey Village, the cafe offers an array of dishes to eat in or take out that are colorful, inventive and mostly raw. The chef, Tom Donnelly, who previously worked in more conventional restaurants, has lost 45 pounds since taking on the challenge of feeding vegans and vegetarians.
“I hunt, I fish — I’m not a vegetarian myself,” said Mr. Donnelly, who seems to revel in the adventure of preparing food without flames, but sympathizes with eaters who stray. “Who doesn’t love French fries? But I make better choices now.”
From a tasting menu, I especially liked the smoothie made with almonds, coconut and blackberries ($4.95); a salad of Chinese black (or “forbidden”) rice, tumbled with mango, bell peppers and cilantro ($5.95); “pizza” made with Ezekiel bread, hummus, tomato paste, pesto and avocado ($7.95); and a pretty pink strawberry ice cream ($2.50).
A best seller is the cafe’s “rainbow juice cleansing protocol,” followed for three to five days. The assortment of daily juices — an antidote to the French fry lifestyle — can be picked up at the cafe or delivered to your doorstep by 8 a.m.
ALICE GABRIEL O2 Live Food Café, 6 Yellow Monkey Village, Route 35, Cross River. (914) 763-6320; O2living.me. Open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.