At G-Zen everything is thoughtfully prepared from scratch using the most natural, organic, sustainable ingredients we can find. Everything on the menu from the Drinks to the Desserts are nourishing to the body. We pride ourselves in our ability to create amazingly fresh delicious, eco-inspired cuisine, that promises to never be boring to the palette yet soothing to the soul, bringing us back to a place of harmony or zen. Our food is made with much love and intention.
We hope you enjoy your experience.
Chef Mark Shadle & Ami Beach Shadle
2 East Main Street, Branford, CT 06405
G-Zen offers a full Vegan/Vegetarian & Raw foods menu that is entirely plant-based and sourced from the freshest ingredients available that are organic, sustainable and local whenever possible. The food is hand crafted daily from scratch, from the bottom up. Our executive Chef Mark Shadle is a world-renowned vegan chef and culinary Olympic gold winner and has more than 25 years experience in the natural foods movement and vegetarian cuisine.
G-Zen carries a vast selection of wines, beers and sakes that are organic, vegan and biodynamic.
G-Zen offers a rare opportunity for vegan and non- vegans alike to enjoy our eco-inspired, animal caring cuisine. We pride ourselves on our ability to create amazingly fresh, delicious and healthful food. We don’t stray from these ideals where saki-tini elixirs or sangria’s are concerned. “The hallmark of our signature drinks are that we use all organic ingredients-everything from the fruit to the wine and use a natural low glycemic sweeter, raw agave nectar instead of simple sugar or brandy.”
At G-Zen everything on the menu from drinks to the desserts are nourishing to the body & soul.
G-Zen is proud to be one of the few restaurants in CT to offer a high top communal dining table. Our belief is that like –minded people will gravitate to G-Zen in the quest for eco conscious cuisine and a unique dining experience. We encourage our guests to try dining at the Communal table particularly for guests dining solo. Eating & drinking is a communal activity throughout the world, an opportunity to join people, make conversation and experience the passion of life. For those that are not so adventurous, we also have booths and tables for intimate dining and for small private events we offer our guests the option of seating in the “Lotus Room” for birthdays or special events. Seasonally feel free to dine outdoors in our G-Zen garden and feast on our seasonal specials and custom infused beverages and smoothies.
G-Zen is brought to you from the creators of Gmonkey, The Nation’s First all vegan/eco mobile food truck, Chef Mark Shadle and Ami Beach Shadle.
Chef Mark Shadle is best known within the public eye from his over 22 years he spent as the executive chef and co-owner of It’s Only Natural Restaurant in Middletown CT. Under Mark’s reign for more than two decades, ION evolved into a multi award- winning restaurant and he achieved much recognition for his efforts as both a chef and as an extraordinary human being.
Over the more than twenty years of his culinary career, Mark has made a tremendous impact on the local, sustainable and natural foods movement. As a member of the American Natural Foods team, his team placed two Gold metals, Silver and Bronze in the Culinary Olympics in Germany. As a Vegetarian team battling against 60 countries and all genres of food, to bring home the gold is no small feat to say the least. In June 2010. Mark had the high honor of being invited to the White House by First-Lady Michelle Obama and is currently involved with the “Chefs Move to School” initiative that involves working directly with schools and helping to bring awareness to healthier food choices for the children. His vision is to give children and adults an interactive and thought provoking way to educate about the importance of healthy foods & sustainability. In 2011 he was named and awarded the “Local Hero award” for his achievements as a chef and restaurateur, a title he intends to live up to moving forward while at G-Zen.
In August 2011, Mark sold his share of “It’s Only Natural” to his business partner to pursue his many outside projects including the successful G monkey mobile and to bring his culinary and personal career to the next level. He is proud of the time he spent developing ION into the successful business that it is today and is thrilled to see it live on under its new ownership.
As for the future, Mark is ready to take on this next phase of his life with passion & inspiration and is ecstatic to be the leader the G-Zen culinary team.
Ami is the founder & owner of the Colonic Institute of West Hartford, Gmonkey & G-Zen restaurant and has been immersed in the world of nutrition and holistic medicine for more than two decades. Her first cookbook based on Raw/living foods recipes was released in 2011, titled “Nectar in the Raw” and she is currently writing a self- awareness book that focuses on natural beauty, holistic lifestyle and sustainable living. Ami is a licensed CHT, certified Holistic Nutritionist from I.I.N in NYC and a certified Raw foods chef. She has been recognized for her work both nationally and internationally and continues to inspire people by being a health motivator and sharing her extensive knowledge of natural healing and Nutrition. Ami is proud to be the head mixologist of the custom health elixirs, infused cocktails and the creator of the raw food inspired menu at G-Zen.
Shadle Farm located in historic Durham CT is a 270-year old historic farm & farmhouse that was purchased by Chef Mark Shadle in 2008. Boasting its very own full-scale commercial kitchen that was completed in March 2011, Mark & Ami Shadle have been working hard to restore the property and slowly turn it back into active farmland by planting wide array of organic fruits, herbs, medicinal plants & vegetables. Aside from being Gmonkey headquarters, Shadle Farm is both their home & sanctuary and as of Spring 2011, the farmhouse, commercial kitchen & entire property are running exclusively on Solar powered energy, something the couple is extremely proud about. Shadle Farm also provides many of the organic ingredients that are used both on the truck as well as G-Zen seasonally inspired menu & cocktails.
To read more about Shadle Farm visit Shadlefarm.com.
G-Zen is an organic, vegan, sustainable restaurant designed to meet the discriminating tastes of both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. The food is thoughtfully prepared and hand crafted from scratch daily with mindful intention and much love from our incredible G-Zen culinary team.
We use the highest quality natural ingredients and support local farmers and small green- sustainable businesses. Our ingredients are grown Locally, Organic and Fair-Trade whenever possible. We refrain from using excess ingredients and absolutely NO refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, table salt and NO GMO corn or soy products of any kind. We cater to people who are dairy intolerant and have gluten sensitivities. We support businesses that believe in the same integrity and standards of excellence that we strive for.
We are passionate about serving foods that we ourselves love to eat and feel good about eating. Our menu combines a variety of gourmet vegetarian culinary delights and Live & Raw dishes with a focus on local, seasonal ingredients. We are determined to change what people think about vegetarian food and to create sensual, tantalizing dishes that will never be boring to the taste buds while being caring to the environment & animal friendly at the same time.
We strive to make G-Zen a total sensory experience that not only will please your palate but create a Zen, peaceful state on mind in your body & soul.
Our wines are organic, biodynamic or sustainable (which simply means the vineyard practices organic farming techniques but has not become certified).
Our fresh cocktails are custom infused from fresh organic fruits, fresh herbs & exotic essential oils. The sangrias and sake-elixirs are made from organic wine or sake and custom blended by our G-ZEN mixologist using only raw agave nectar to sweeten with versus most traditional cocktails that use refined sugars, hard liquors & syrups and non-organic juices and fruits usually from a can.
We want you to feel alive, nourished and rejuvenated when you are sipping on one of our “cocktail tonics”, not with a hang over the next morning.
We love the phrase “treat your body as a temple” nurturing it with the freshest, purest & healthiest ingredients available, that’s what we are all about at G-Zen.
We strive to make the G-Zen as low impact on the environment as humanly possible by using recycled materials, biodegradable paper products, utensils and composting all of waste products at Shadle Farm in Durham CT. The Vegware food containers, paper products and utensils are made from a mix of natural fibers, including reed, bagasse (waste fiber from pressing sugar cane), straw, wood pulp and natural starches that are made from non-GM corn or potatoes sources. All to go packaging is 100% compostable, which means we can feel good about the minimal footprint we leave on the environment.
All plates, glass wares and utensils are all recycled. We feel better about buying vintage or recycled whenever possible. All of our custom built table-tops and interior shelving are also made from reclaimed and recycled wood along with the old fashioned wash basins in the bathrooms which are vintage porcelain. Reduce and reuse is our mantra at G-Zen. By reusing items rather than buying all new we feel we make a positive impact on our precious environment and cut down on unnecessary waste.
Mandalas are a timeless master-piece, rich with traditions and symbolism. Each mandala is completely unique and conveys different meanings depending on the intention of the artist and also on the philosophies or beliefs of the individual looking at it. Mandalas are considered sacred objects with important teachings for those of us that gaze at their memorizing beauty. Found in many different cultures and religions from Buddhism, Hindu, Celtic, Native American and many others, the mandala has become a major symbol of balance, serenity, bliss and deep contemplation.
The meaning of mandala comes from Sanskrit meaning circle and the goal of each piece is to serve as a tool on our spiritual journey and to deepen our sense of connection to the universe as well as bring beauty to our surroundings.
Our selection of Sacred Mandalas were handpicked from the collection of PAUL HEUSSENSTAMM, a world-renowned mandala master whom we had the pleasure of meeting at the Deepak Chopra Center in San Diego several years ago. His artwork has found homes with some of the most influential people in the world included, Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, Jai Uttal, Shiva Rae, Sting, Annie Lenox, Doreen Virtue, to name only a few and we are proud to have his profound work available for sale at G-Zen.
Each mandala is a giclee print that is hand painted, hand embellished with hundreds of Swarovski® Crystals and then gold leafed for added beauty. Each piece is signed by the artist and comes in a tasteful gold leafed frame. We can order them in a vast array of colors and sizes. Our collection of mandalas is spectacular and moves the hearts of most every person who looks at them. Please contact 860-989-5020 for more information.
PARKING There is free 2 hour on street parking on Main Street and on Chestnut Street as well as a few public lots in downtown Branford. If you have booked a reservation please allow time to park, as we only will hold a table for 10 minutes after your reserved time slot.