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Dinner with Vegetarian

a
aberkel Feb 7, 2007 05:16 AM

Any suggestions? I love meat so I have no idea where to go. This is a quasi second date so trying to make it nice but not over the top.

Thanks

  1. p
    pesto Feb 11, 2007 04:56 PM

    Zen Palate is one of the best restaurants around whether you are vegetarian or not. (Will show consideration to your date and make a BIG hit....although the tone of your query is ambiguous as to whether you want to make a big hit, but I digress.)

    1 Reply
    1. re: pesto
      rose water Feb 11, 2007 05:10 PM

      I must respectfully but very emphatically disagree. Bland, blekh. Why Zen Palate is so popular is totally beyond me.

      I second the recommendations for Otto (the cheese plate is so great!) and 'Inoteca. I also just ate at Zoma, a lovely Ethiopian place on Frederick Douglass and 113th St. Both veg and meat dishes were fantastic.

      Also uptown is Itzocan Bistro, which I prefer over their sibling in the East Village.

    2. m
      mbmcneese Feb 11, 2007 10:49 AM

      Hangawi is a peaceful spot with a very interesting Korean vegetarian menu. They have organic wines, too. You have to take your shoes off and sit down on pillows Korean-style. I've never had a bad meal there.

      1. i
        iloveguacamole Feb 10, 2007 09:59 PM

        Franchia - Vegetarian-Korean.
        Vong - I remember them having a separate vegetarian menu
        Mr. K - probably not date-friendly
        I'd also imagine most Indian restaurants are vege-friendly

        I personally do not like Zen Palate.

        2 Replies
        1. re: iloveguacamole
          x
          xtgirl Feb 11, 2007 07:48 AM

          My boyfriend is vegetarian and he has no problem finding dishes at any restaurant except a steak house or Japanese. That said, the three best cuisines for a veggie are Indian, Italian and Thai (careful of the fish oil). I'd recommend Otto, 'inoteca, Gnocco, Bread Bar or Devi. Can't recommend much in terms of Manhattan Thai. Anyone have any suggestions for a good date Thai place?

          1. re: xtgirl
            p
            piccola Feb 11, 2007 04:50 PM

            Two on 9th Ave are potentially date-worthy: Q2 Thai and Tiny Thai Café.

        2. nyufoodie Feb 8, 2007 05:13 PM

          Ali Baba turkish has good veg options and I concur with the Otto and Lupa recs as well. Gramercy Tavern and Devi has Vegetarian tasting menus and I am not vegetarian but liked all the veggie dishes at Devi when I had dinner there last week,

          1. p
            piccola Feb 7, 2007 05:02 PM

            You'll be good with pretty much everything except French and some Latin American restaurants.

            Props for effort, by the way.

            1. Wilfrid Feb 7, 2007 11:46 AM

              Not only Gusto, but Otto and Lupa work for meat-eaters and vegans, and therefore for vegetarians too.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Wilfrid
                f
                Flynn1 Feb 8, 2007 08:31 AM

                For vegetarians/vegans, one has to be careful when dining in non-vegetarian restaurants. For example, the vegetables might be sauted in butter which vegans don't eat. A vegetable loaf might have chicken broth or eggs added for flavoring. It's usually no good to ask wait staff the 'incidental' ingredients as they're not sure and usually don't want to trek over and ask the chef.

                For casual vegetarians, I suppose Wilfrid's suggestions are fine. Just my two cents about added ingredients.

                1. re: Flynn1
                  p
                  piccola Feb 8, 2007 04:45 PM

                  I never order soup in non-veg restaurants because of the stock issue. Same with dishes like risotto, which are made with stock, or refried beans (which are often made with lard).

                  That said, vegetarians won't have problems with butter or eggs. Vegans, on the other hand, need to watch out.

              2. v
                vanny Feb 7, 2007 10:18 AM

                I just ate at Blossom (on 9th Ave bwtn 22 and 23) great vegan cuisine. The decor is nice too - not 'super crunchy granola' inside. They have a fire place and although I didn't have any, they serve wine ... you can check out their menu on menupages.com

                1 Reply
                1. re: vanny
                  f
                  Flynn1 Feb 8, 2007 08:25 AM

                  I second Blossom for vegetarian. Everything I tried was delicious and ran about $30 per person with tip, although we didn't have wine or alcohol.

                  What I liked was the warm atmosphere of the room because so many veg. restaurants still seem like they're in a 60s time warp - ditto the wait staff. I wish more vegie/vegan restaurants would add a bit more ambiance to their dining rooms.

                2. n
                  nuxvomica Feb 7, 2007 07:38 AM

                  as a former vegetarian, Italian is always easy for mixed dietary groups, esp. lacto-ovo vegetarians who eat dairy & eggs. for vegans it might be harder but not impossible. Gusto in West Village has fried artichokes and focassia with apple and gorgonzola that i bet you'd love too plus a number of pastas (the gnocchi with mushrooms are wonderful). it's a sexy room too for a date ;-)

                  if you want something vegan, Gobo is nearby on 6th Ave or Zen Palate has multiple locations (esp. if she eats/likes fake meat) but i'm partial to the Union Sq one. Angelica's in East Village is hard core veg but their cornbread with miso tahini spread is delicious. and the walnut lentil pate is great too - anyone would enjoy that. and the parfaits are still my favorite dessert. main courses a little 'crunchy' though

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: nuxvomica
                    VeggieBooty Feb 8, 2007 08:32 AM

                    As a former vegetarian myself and current pescetarian I would also go with the Italian suggestion. I find that a lot of fake meat dishes like at Red Bamboo can be greasy and hard to digest which might not be the best thing for a second date!

                  2. NAtiveNewYorker Feb 7, 2007 07:11 AM

                    Red Bamboo is terrific. The fake chicken sate is fabulous.

                    1. l
                      lightboxnyc Feb 7, 2007 06:50 AM

                      ok, so does he/she like fake meat or not? that's kind of important in picking a spot. For a mix of both, I recommend gobo on 6th ave in the village. Nice ambiance.

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