The former New York vegan restaurant, Pure Food and Wine, which appears in the new Netflix documentary series Bad Vegan, will return the restaurant's most popular dishes to New York fans for the last time. Pure Food and Wine was a raw vegan restaurant in Gramercy that opened in 2004, a time before anyone had ever heard of Impossible Burgers or the phrase “plant-based”. The strange story of Sarma Melngailis, who ran the vegan and raw food restaurant Pure Food and Wine, has been turned into a four-part documentary for Netflix. The documentary series shows how Sarma Melngailis, owner of the vegan restaurant Pure Food and Wine and the related vegan raw product brand One Lucky Duck, met and married Anthony Strangis, a fraudster who, according to Melngailis, forced her to steal money from her own business and then flee from the authorities.
The tabloid press had a field day with the story of a vegan scammer who was arrested in that way, and the headline of The Daily Mail website stated: Former fugitive owner of a vegan restaurant in New York popular with celebrities was finally arrested after months on the run when she ordered a PIZZA with cheese at a Domino's in Tennessee. According to Grub Street (opens in a new tab), the restaurant became known as vegan and glamorous, in a time before Impossible Burgers and all plant-based. A three-course meal from The Bad Vegan Kitchen (opens in a new tab) prepared by chef Nikki Bennett, the former head chef, and chef Missy Maidana, the former pastry chef, will be available for order on Postmates for one weekend only, from March 25 to 27.Melngailis owed Chodorow money because he had taken out loans to buy half of Kenney's restaurant, but the restaurant was profitable. The raw vegan restaurant Pure Food And Wine was founded in 2004 as a collaboration between Melngailis and her then boyfriend, chef Matthew Kenney, with funding from restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow.
Although the possibility of a future restaurant run by Melngailis is still up in the air, Bad Vegan fans will have the opportunity to try the food of two former Pure Food and Wine chefs. In the late 1940s, Sarma Melngailis became one of the best restaurateurs in New York thanks to Pure Food and Wine, her vegan restaurant whose famous clientele included Owen Wilson and Alec Baldwin, and their derivative cookbooks.