From Choosingraw.com with love to Elizabeth's

On Friday night, I had the pleasure of a unique DC dining experience: dinner at Elizabeth’s Gone Raw.
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It is an unbelievable fact that, in the many months I’ve now lived in DC, I have not yet had a chance to try DC’s only raw, vegan restaurant. I blame this on a few things: school, budget, timing, negligence. Fortunately for me, Elizabeth Petty, the elegant and gracious founder of Elizabeth’s Gone Raw, invited me to the restaurant for a raw dinner on Friday night. With the enthusiasm of a raw foodie who hasn’t eaten so much as a bite of raw restaurant food in months, I said yes.
I’ll be honest: when you’ve lived in NYC for a while—thus had Pure Food and Wine,Bonobos, Quintessence, and a host of other raw restaurants at your fingertips—you become a little immune to the wonder of raw restaurant dining. You forget that the chefs have been dehydrating things for days. You forget that they’re relying on such simple and delicate ingredients that they—more than any other chefs, perhaps—must labor to get flavors just right. You forget that these restaurants are almost always organic, and primarily local, which means that they’re paying premium so that you, the diner, can eat with a sense of assurance about the origins of your food. And you forget how much sheer creativity raw food demands.
Eating at Elizabeth’s on Friday reminded me of all that. I’d go so far as to say that it reminded me of why I love raw food in the first place.
When I arrived at Elizabeth’s, I was immediately greeted by the restaurateur herself, who was busy seating guests. Elizabeth’s interest in raw food goes beyond mere culinary inclination: several years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and her raw foods journey has been a part of her healing process.
For Elizabeth (as for many of us), raw foods are about so much more than pretty skin or bright eyes: they’re also a means of learning to appreciate good health, vibrant energy, and a reinvented relationship with food. I love that Elizabeth has invested this dining space with personal passion. Beyond that, Elizabeth has studied at Hippocrates and comes from a restaurant background, so EGR is a natural marriage of her history and talents.
As I waited to be seated, I munched on some of the best kale chips I’ve ever had:
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I may or may not have gotten an order of seconds when I was seated at my table.
The ambiance at EGR—which is situated in a lovely, restored townhouse—is very elegant. I haven’t had a meal that declares “fine dining” so clearly in a long time.
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Elizabeth’s is only open on Friday nights, and they serve patrons only with a five course tasting menu that is designed around local produce each week. As a diner, an experience at EGR means putting yourself in the hands of the chef. This is not something that’s easy for me: picky eater that I am, I like to have control over what my dinner will be, and this is never more true than when I eat raw, because I happen to know my own raw palate so very well. With that said, I couldn’t have picked out a lovelier—or more Gena-ppropriate—menu for dinner on Friday. It was fresh, elegant, and the portion sizes were spot on.
We started with a cream of celeriac soup, warmed in the Vitamix, and served up with an orange relish and black sesame seeds.
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The soup might have been a tiny bit thicker, but then, I appreciated that I was not dipping into a giant bowl of cashew cream, which is how a lot of raw soup feels. Moreover, the flavors were fantastic: I loved how the sweet and bitter bite of orange peel brought life to the creamy, calm celeriac. And the contrast in texture was also great: it’s key in raw, blended soups!
Next was our salad course: sunflower seeds, avocado, and a raw cracker.
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Because I’m me, this was probably my favorite course of the night. Avocado? A gingery dressing? Sunflower sprouts?! Be still my heart. Sunflower sprouts are the queens of sproutland—so dense, filling, and rich in protein—and I cannot find them anywhere in DC. Anywhere! Elizabeth grows her own, and uses them at the restaurant, which gave my enjoyment of this dish a personal touch.
We were served a small refresher sorbet:
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And then it was time for our entrĂ©e. Remember what I made for dinner a few nights ago?
This would be the all raw version:
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Beet Carpaccio with garlicky cashew cheese and fresh dill. Along with a green sauce that blew my mind, whatever it was. (I should know what it was. EGR prints every single ingredient on the back of the menu—a transparency that I absolutely love.)
So many raw entrees err on the side of excess: too much fat, too much spice, too much stuff. I realize that these dishes may be trying to compensate for a lack of animal protein, and that this is a good thing for mainstream diners, but I’ll always feel that the best raw food is also the most minimalist. This dish was bursting with flavor, but it was also light, bright, and simple, so that I enjoyed every note of fresh dill and ever sweet bite of beet. Delicious.
Thankfully, I saved room for dessert:
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Raw, vegan pumpkin pie. Having glanced at the ingredients, I will tell you that it contains no pumpkin (thank goodness, because raw pumpkin, in my experience, is a little too raw) and I will also tell you that I plan on trying to imitate it. Soon. It was spectacular: spicy, and very sweet.
I thanked Elizabeth for a great meal:
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…and for bringing a slice of the raw community to me. Here in DC, I don’t have the support of DhruPhilip, and the WLIR meet up folks; I don’t have a thriving juice scene, or a restaurant and takeaway around the corner from work that exceeds my wildest dreams (Sarma, I heart you). The vegan scene in DC is small, and the raw scene far smaller. Eating at EGR reminded me that we raw foods lovers have strength in numbers, wherever we may be, and that we’re always thrilled to connect over kale.
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Over dinner, I was asked “what is it you love so much about raw food?” I’ve been writing about the semi-raw life for so long that I actually paused to consider that answer.
“They’re light and bright,” I said. “They’re simple. You have to season everything perfectly, because you can’t hide under heat and and processing and fat. They’re healthy. And they’re so, so, creative—to make raw food great, you have to bring so much ingenuity to what you do.”
Thanks to Elizabeth and Ares and the EGR staff for reminding me why I happen to be a raw foods lover. Thanks, too, for your hospitality and kindness. In general, I love to have some choice in the matter of what I eat, so prefix tasting menus really aren’t my ideal. But if they always taste this good, I’ll stand corrected. Anytime.


It's Raw Friday yet?

After debuting last July, the reviews are in, and Washington DC is ready for raw!  Elizabeth's will now make the five-course dinners available every Friday.  This means a great deal to all foodies in Washington, as what Elizabeth's Gone Raw offers is a completely unique Raw fine dining experience in an exquisite downtown setting.   And stay tuned for more exciting news.

That being said, the next reservations are available for:
Friday, December 16th.
Friday, December 30th
For reservations, please call 202 347 8349  or email us at reservations@elizabethsgoneraw.com

Elizabeth's Gone International Media


Elizabeth's Gone Green.

Meat and dairy are incredibly energy intensive to produce and process. By offering a menu that is entirely raw and vegan, Elizabeth’s Gone Raw avoids all the greenhouse gas emissions associated with raising animals as well as the cooking and processing necessary for animal products.  To complement our 100% raw gourmet living powerful food, We as well  offer an amazing selection of organic and biodynamic wines & cocktails.  Even our Menus are made with Certified Eco  lemon & mango fiber paper.
Elizabeth's Gone Raw & Live Green are working together to bring you this Amazing deal & double the “green” 2 x 1 dinner reservations, Twice a year (Once every six months). Must be equal or lesser to $75 and not applicable to speaker events.


Food Preparation & Demonstration with Elizabeth Petty at the Smith Center, November 8th

Attendance open to everyone, but please note that this class will have a focus on the experience of living with cancer.
Elizabeth Petty was propelled into the world of raw eating when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2009. So it began with an inordinate amount of doctor's visits and at first, she felt helpless, a bit at the mercy of doctors and the wonders of modern medicine. After much time spent contemplating the disease and hours of research, she chose an integrative approach to medicine and discovered that eating raw can be healthy and delicious.
After treatment, with her newfound joy and energy she felt compelled to merge her lifestyle with her career. Having spent 25 years in the food industry, it seemed only natural to open a raw-vegan restaurant.
In this class, Elizabeth will share her story as well as her skills as she demonstrates how we can incorporate eating raw foods into our daily lives. Participants will have the opportunity to observe Elizabeth at work in our kitchen as well as try her creations. The evening’s recipe(s) will be available to take home.
If you enjoy new culinary experiences and would like being in the supportive company of others affected by cancer, please join us. We hope it will widen your stride and brighten your smile, and the food will surprise you with its inventive tastes and textures, offering you a bit of solace in our hectic world. 

SMITH CENTER FOR HEALING AND THE ARTS : community. creativity. cancer support.
1632 U Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009 | P 202.483.8600 


Elizabeth's Favorites: Sprouts!

Ask Elizabeth

What is your diet like?

My diet consist primarily of raw vegetables, nuts, dulse and seeds.  I drink 2 oz. of wheatgrass juice every morning after plenty of water.  I then drink 16 oz. of green juice which consists of cucumber for hydration, celery for natural sodium, kale for the antioxidants, sauerkraut as a natural probiotic and lemon to assist with the absorption of iron. Often, I throw in some flat leaf parsley, mint or any other dark leafy  green vegetable I have available.  My lunch generally consists of leafy greens, three or four types of sprouts, all of which my husband grows or soaks for me, avocado, cucumber and dulse.  I use olive oil and lemon as a dressing.  My dinner is generally the same with the exception of, on occasion, a baked sweet potato, quinoa or spelt pasta.  I eat very little fruit because of the natural sugars which can slow down the healing process.  I eat all  nuts except peanuts.  The nuts must be soaked to release the enzyme inhibitors. I make a daily effort  to eat either avocado or nuts, but not on the same day.  It puts stress on your body to try to digest fruits and nuts in a 24 hour period. My favorite snack is the Crispy Kale Chips prepared at Elizabeth's Gone Raw.  I will have a glass of red wine occasionally for enjoyment and to remind myself not to be too strident in thought.  Healing is a multifaceted task which includes the power of positive thinking, laughter, exercise and healthy eating.  For my personal healing, it becomes imperative that I gently remind myself that
life is a wonderful process in which the mistakes we make are actually lessons learned; we are not perfect.  

Where can I find high quality foods in my area?
It is extremely important to buy as much organic produce as you can afford.  I purchase much of the food I eat on line.  The seeds I use to sprout are from Country Life, the dulse is from East Coast Sea Vegetables and the nuts are from Natural Zing.  All of the produce I eat is purchased either at Whole Foods, the local market or Tuscarora Farm.  If organic food is prohibitive for economic reasons, try peeling your fruits and vegetables to lessen the amount of pesticides in your diet.

I want to eat more consciously, but my family still eats a highly-processed diet full of pesticides. How do I make the connection?
If your children are old enough to use logic, there are some wonderful documentaries that may help support your argument, Food Inc., interviews with Dr. Gerson's wife, Fat Sick and Nearly Dead.  You may want to watch them first to ensure that the message is appropriate for your child.  Some of these documentaries may include uncomfortable subject matter and photographs that could upset a young child. Kris Carr's documentary,  Crazy Sexy Cancer, is also wonderful but not suitable for children.    I often find that it is not very effective to proselytize when trying to change other's eating habits.  I would focus on your own diet and hope that, by setting a wonderful example, your family will engage in healthful options.  As you continue to feel better and look better, those who love you will becomes intrigued by your efforts.

Do you offer personal coaching & raw food preparing  classes?
I am not currently offering personal coaching, however, I can recommend several professionals for you to consider hiring. Please know, though, that I am always available to answer any questions you might have.  I may not have the answer, but I can share other sources that may help you.     

We hope to offer raw cooking classes in the near future.  Currently, all my energy is going towards the restaurant.