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Equinox Now Offering White Truffle Buffet Brunch + Truffled Calypso Bean Soup Recipe

It should be quite obvious by now that none of the writers for EDC are vegan. We’re not even vegetarian or pescatarian. So, when we were alerted of Chef Todd Gray’s new White Truffle VEGAN brunch at the 15.5 year old Equinox restaurant our emotions ranged from curiosity to flat out fear. However, knowing of Gray’s strong culinary background, his dedication to using local, seasonal, and sustainable ingredients, and his upcoming participating in DCCK’s Capital Food Fight fundraiser (one of DC’s best events of the year) – we figured there must be a reason why Equinox has been able to stick around for so long in DC’s ever changing restaurant scene.

The offering of a vegan brunch started with a simple request from his charismatic wife, and co-owner, Ellen K. Gray. Not quite convinced the new concept would work, their vegan brunch was held once a month. It was a hit. So they upped the ante and offered it every other weekend – which proved a little confusing for guests. Now, every Sunday is vegan brunch day. Equinox’s vegan offerings are so successful that they’ve had guests hug-it-out and cry in gratitude. Apparently finding quality vegan options in the area is not as easy as one might think. “The vegans are some of our best customers.”

Gray’s newest vegan brunch menu incorporates those special, elusive, and notoriously expensive fungi…the white truffle. Although the buffet is small with a little more than a hand-full of options, the food is filling, and the cocktails delicious. A little off the wall, one can expect the Gray’s to always be changing things up. They like to keep people guessing, and having fun. With white table cloths and crystal clear glassware gracing their tables, one might expect a stuffy restaurant experience, yet the Grays are anything but.

The first white truffle brunch buffet included  Truffled Risotto Fritters (served with Garlic Chive Veganaise), Truffled Calypso Bean Soup (Path Valley Parsnips, Celeriac, and Shaved Truffles) – and we have the recipe below graciously provided by Chef Gray himself, Toasted Couscous Salad (Burgundy Poached Forbidden Apple, Spiced Pumpkin Seeds and Hazelnut Vinaigrette) Baby Spinach and Radicchio Salad (Shaved Young Fennel, Pomegranate and Tangerine Vinaigrette) Truffled Lentil “Cassoulet” (Slow Cooked Golden Beets, Caramelized Brussels Sprouts and Panko Crumbs) Spiced Bartlett Pear Stuffed French Toast (Granola Crust and Maple Syrup), A Selection of Vegan Pastries (served with White Truffle Vanilla Anglaise), and a vegan version of a design your own Omelette Station.

After making our way through the new menu, we realized that it’s not difficult to eat vegan, and vegan food can still be absolutely delicious – like those truffled risotto fritters and the truffled calypso bean soup (plus those salads were great). Likely, there are many meals we’ve concocted at home that are actually vegan, it just depends on what you use. Substitute butter for olive oil, or milk for almond milk. However, there is ONE thing that we still stand firm on. We don’t like “faux” meats. Sorry guys, but eggs are eggs and there’s no substitute that will work for us. No more vegan scrambles for us.

In addition to the vegan brunch, Equinox also offers a vegan tasting menu. After browsing the rest of their menus we’re most curious to see what their non-vegan dinner menu offers. We still love our meats and we have to say the Bacon Wrapped Rabbit “Porchetta” is calling our name – along with a huge helping of those risotto fritters.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Truffled Calypso Bean Soup Recipe
Recipe type: Soup
  • 4 Cups shelled fresh Calypso beans or white beans
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks , diced
  • ½ Cup celery root, peeled and diced
  • 1 Quart vegetable broth
  • 1 Quart home made almond milk or store bought
  • 1 TBS fresh chopped thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Truffle melange/ oil to taste
  1. Soak beans in water overnight
  2. Heat an 8 qt sauce pot to med temp
  3. Add oil, onions and garlic
  4. Cook 4 minutes till shiny and
  5. Translucent
  6. Add all other vegetables and drained beans
  7. Add milk, stock, thyme and
  8. Salt and pepper
  9. Gently simmer till beans are tender, approx 30 To. 40 min
  10. Remove 2 cups of soup and puree
  11. Add back to soup and incorporate
  12. This will give the soup body and texture.
  13. Finish soup with truffle melange and serve with crusty bread

818 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 331-8118

Equinox on Urbanspoon

Rebekah (Editor)

About Rebekah (Editor)

Rebekah spent much of her childhood on the coast of Maine where she cultivated her affinity for local seafood. Her lust for traveling extended beyond her New England borders and so she spent time traveling to Nepal, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, and various parts of the U.S. before taking up blogging and spawn rearing as her full time gig. A transplant into the DC Metro Area, she has a newfound enthusiasm for gastronomy, and finding the best indulgences in the District. Rebekah's photographs and writing have been published by various media outlets, however her love of adventure would find her constantly on the go exploring new places and cuisine.

20 thoughts on “Equinox Now Offering White Truffle Buffet Brunch + Truffled Calypso Bean Soup Recipe

  1. I love bean soup, especially when the weather gets colder. Since I won’t be getting to Equinox anytime soon, I’ll definitely have to try the recipe at home. It sounds delicious.

  2. My husband loves bean soup. No one else in the house will eat it so may make this for his birthday this coming up weekend.

  3. Wow, it is rare to find restaurants that offer full vegan options, let along an entire brunch buffet. Would love the chance to experience this restaurant one day.

  4. I love trying out new recipes, and I do like bean soups. I have a great group of guinea’s too. They are always waiting for me to concoct a new creation. This is great for this time of year!

  5. I am not vegan but do love some vegan dishes. There is a vegan restaurant in Miami that I like very much. They use walnuts to create a “meat flavor”. The walnuts are mashed a certain way and they even look like meat. I will have to try your recipe, I like trying new foods : )

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