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highish-end vegetarian-friendly restaurant

my friend is seeking a nice romantic place to take her veg. hubby to for their anniversary. she is not a veg. and is looking for somewhere that has both options but more than just a bowl of pasta for him.
i sugggested aureole as they do a great veg. tasting menu but that was a little too upscale and too upper east side-ish.
any suggestions i can pass on?
thanks much!

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  1. Josies or josephina on upperwest?

    2 Replies
    1. re: csw

      the food and ambience at Josie's is nothing special. I'd try the Candle Cafe restaurant on the UES. Not the actual cafe, but the restaurant. Very tasty.

      1. re: ssamantha

        Yes I do know there can be better options, but if you re-read the originators' post, she did specify vegetarian FRIENDLY because she herself is not a vegetarian, her husband is. I dont think she was looking for a vegan place.

    2. perhaps lupa? the vegetable starters and sides i've had have been amazingly well-prepared, and the pastas are superb - all far from the sad afterthought veg options are at other restaurants.

      1. I suggest Hangawi or Craft
        Lovely atmosphere, and a wonderful menu.
        I also suggest your friend studies the menu ahead of time,
        it is the type of place where your meal can range from
        exceptional to average, depending on what you order.
        I haven't been there recently, so I hesitate to make menu
        suggstions. enjoy!

        Craft is veg-friendly. If you get a reservation, you can
        call and discuss veg options available. yummy.

        1. how about pure food and wine on irving place? not totally veg, uses great fresh ingredients and is pretty as well.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ida

            You are not correct about Pure Food & Wine. The fact is they are strictly vegan.

            My suggestion would be Devi. The superb Indian cuisine is perfect for both carnivores and vegetarians. In addition to the a la carte menu, they offer two tasting menus, one of which is vegetarian. Service is friendly and efficient. The space on two levels has unusual, elegant decor. Sitting in one of the two small curtained alcoves at the rear of the main level adds a feeling of romance.


            1. re: RGR

              Devi is perfect if they want Indian. Upscale, romantic, and good for meat/veggie eaters alike.

          2. oops, forgot to mention that they did craft last year...
            also pure food is in fact strictly vegan and only raw foods.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cheflauren

              Truthe is, alot of high end restaurants cater to both carnivores and herbivores

            2. even though their menu is strictly vegan, candle 79 on 79th and lexington is UNBELIEVABLE. everything i've eaten there has been so tasty and elegant...yes they are healthy and organic, but the restaurant, staff and food is really upscale and delicious. i reccomend the chimichurri seitan and pumpkin seed crusted tempeh--both amazing.

              1. def check out CANDLE 79 (upscale vegan, not your typical UES crowd), or BLOSSOM (candlelit upscale vegan in chelsea), also HANGAWI (beautiful upscale korean vegan)

                1. Since the request was NOT for vegetarian or vegan restaurants, and I'd hate to see the non-veg stuck with vegetables, I'd go with Devi too.

                  Another cuisine that lends itself to both is Turkish, and Turkish Kitchen might be a bet too. If I remember the decor correctly it might be romantic enough.

                  I will say, though, that besides Indian vegetarian restaurants or kosher dairy, Hangawi is one of the few strictly vegetarian places I'll go to without kicking & screaming.


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Peter Cherches

                    Peter, Even though I'm a huge fan of Turkish Kitchen, I really don't think it's quite right for this oaccsion. You are correct that the very red decor is attractive, and the lighting gives the place a lot of atmosphere. But there's something missing that keeps it from feeling really romantic, at least to me. Maybe it's because we've been there so many times for casual lunches and dinners that I think of it just another one of our regular neighborhood spots.

                    1. re: Peter Cherches

                      also, I disagree about the Turkish being good for vegetarians. I've never seen a Turkish menu that wasn't chock full of lamb and beef, and skimpy on vegetarian offerings.

                      1. re: ssamantha

                        I have some out-of-town cousins who are vegetarians and, in the past, we've them to Turkish Kitchen. Lots of veg-friendly mezzes + an excellent shepherd's salad. There used to be a couple of main course vegetarian options, but those seem to have disappeared. So, in that category, you'd be correct.

                    2. I agree with Candle Cafe...nice atmosphere and the food is good that a non-veggie might not even notice the lack of meat!