At last, Long Island vegans and raw foods enthusiasts have a place to call their own, now that Live Island Cafe is up and cooking (oops, make that assembling) in Huntington. If you're resourceful enough to spot the little storefront (set back from the road next to a barber shop), you'll find a menu that's heat, meat and dairy-free.
Running the “compassionate” kitchen is chef-owner Okima Wilcox-Hitt, assisted by a crew of three. “The only animal product we use is a little honey,” Wilcox-Hitt said, adding that her repertoire is almost entirely gluten-free. Also notable in their absence: artificial ingredients and refined sugars.
I stopped in, thinking I’d have lunch. I ended up taking out, since there weren’t any tables. Come summer, Wilcox-Hitt said, she’s hoping to have outdoor seating.
What I loved was a gorgeous green salad ($5) made with beet greens, collard, rainbow chard, baby Heirloom tomatoes, kale and asparagus dressed with a blend of olive oil, Bragg liquid aminos (a soy-based protein product), agave and Italian seasonings.
Part of a big "gourmet sampler" ($15) was a faux tuna salad (called “toona”) made with sunflower seeds, celery, red onion, nori and cashew mayo. Not bad. What I found objectionable was a tomato basil soup with harsh garlicky overtones. Raw “pizza” had a walnut crust and was topped with cashew cheese. A more appropriate name would have been "walnut cashew cheese wedge," since the term "pizza" implies a savory pie baked in a very hot oven. To conclude, there was a sweet pear and apple tart made with dried fruit (which had a somewhat flabby texture) on a sticky pecan and hazelnut crust. Adapting to alternative textures seems part of the raw foods lifestyle.
The places is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday.
Wilcox-Hitt has started some cooking classes as well as children’s activities. Call to find out the schedule.
Live Island Cafe is at 201 E. Main St., Suite C., Huntington, 631-923-1831.