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Fine dining options for vegetarians and vegans?

MC Slim JB Feb 7, 2008 05:28 AM

My impression of Boston is that it's still pretty difficult for vegetarians of various stripes (pesco-, ovo-, lacto-, etc.) -- and extremely difficult for vegans -- to enjoy meals in fine dining restaurants. The more animal products your diet includes, the easier it is. But I also think that many dishes that look vegetarian aren't, thanks to practices like the heavy use of meat-based stocks in many professional kitchens.

In most Western (Europe/Americas) fine-dining restaurants here, I think you're lucky if they offer a steamed vegetable platter. I remember stalking out of the Julien Room when this was all they offered my vegetarian date whose birthday we were celebrating.

So here's my question: what fine-dining restaurants have you uncovered that do more than pay lip service to vegetarians and vegans? The list I came up with is pretty short:

* L'Espalier -- does an amazing degustation of seasonal vegetables (it's billed as a five-course tasting menu, but with amuses and other freebies it's more like ten), but it's loaded with butter, cream, and cheese.

* A handful of mid-range places that clearly love and respect their vegetarian customers -- Rendezvous in Central Square, Craigie Street Bistro, The Blue Room, Ten Tables, Henrietta's Table, Oleana. Tamarind Bay (which uses a lot of ghee), Addis Red Sea (actually pretty vegan-friendly). I'd be most interested in hearing about more of these.

* A few places that are borderline fine-dining: Myers+Chang, Pho Republique. Cafe D, The Beehive, Vee Vee.

* For pesco-vegetarians, the fancier Japanese restaurants (the Oishiis, Douzo, Fugakyu, etc.) and Western seafood places (Azure, Turner Fisheries, etc.).

There are plenty of places that aren't fancy/formal enough to qualify as fine dining establishments: the other Ethiopian and Eritrean places (Fasika, Asmara). Veggie Planet. Centre Street Cafe. Mediterranean-diet cuisines, e.g., Greek (Greek Corner), Lebanese (Reef Cafe), Israeli (Rami's). Most Northeast and Southeast Asian restaurants, whether they specialize in vegetarian dishes or not. The more modest Western-style seafood places.

What else have you found that's fine dining and truly vegetarian-friendly?

(I actually went to Yelp first with this question, thinking their seemingly youngish demographic might have a higher content of vegetarians and vegans, but the response there has been underwhelming. I still haven't figured out what local Yelpers are good at, food-wise. There are few real Chowhound types there, from what I can see.)

  1. j
    jody Dec 11, 2008 06:45 AM

    I was very supprised to have a vegetarian suggest we go to KO Prime. You don't normally think of a steakhouse as an ideal target for vegetarians, but she pointed out that they have a large list of great side dishes. They always have 3-4 different types of sauted mushrooms. The current list of side dishes from their website:
    Eva's Pea Greens, Ginger, Garlic
    Frites, Ricotta Salata & Rosemary
    Potato and Roasted Garlic Gratin 8
    Creamy Spinach, Wisconsin Mascarpone 8
    Okinawa Sweet Potato Puree, Fried Shallots 9
    Fingerling Potato Puree, Aligote 10
    Twice-Baked Idaho 7
    Edamame with Shiso 9
    Jumbo Green Asparagus, Hollandaise 9
    English Pea Risotto, Mint & Ricotta 9
    Braised Swiss Chard 6
    Spaetzle, Herbs Fines, Parmesan
    plus several salad options

    1 Reply
    1. re: jody
      marilees Feb 18, 2009 08:46 AM

      I usually like ordering a couple of appetizers or sides, rather than an entree, and I agree that KO prime has a great variety. I definitely recommend the Spaetzle, which is very creamy and satisfying, and it's got a nice bite to it. I doubt any of the options are vegan, but if someone is ok with cheese and butter, there are lots of options!

    2. globalgourmand Nov 24, 2008 08:35 PM

      I dined at Grezzo earlier this summer. We both ordered prix-fixe menus however I have a nut allergy and nuts are prominent in many of the dishes. I had an unfortunate reaction (my fault, not theirs) and I hope to go back and try again when I'm not feeling so ill.

      Anyhow, as far as I know, Grezzo is the only vegan, raw, fine dining option in Boston. Hounders have mentioned other fine restaurants, but none that are strictly veg.

      I will echo recommendations for The Elephant Walk. Many many veg and vegan options and with French, Cambodian, and contemporary influences, this menu is one of my favorites in Boston at VERY reasonable prices and in a comfortable atmosphere.

      Also, I have to perpetuate the echos of The Elephant Walk.

      1. i
        icedtea Nov 10, 2008 08:02 PM

        La La Rokh on Mt. Vernon Street. Many of their dishes are vegetarian and they also have several entrees that they will alter for vegetarians. The food is excellent.

        1. soxchik Jul 21, 2008 07:56 AM

          I went to L'Espalier last night and did the degustation of seasonal vegetables so I thought I'd report back. I don't remember everything we had since there were SO many courses, but I'll give some of the highlights. There was a good amount of cheese, as mentioned in MC Slim JB's original post, but the rest of tasted light, with little butter and cream (or at least they did a good job hiding it). Hopefully due to all the fresh summer ingredients. The amuse bouche(s) were a baked goat cheese ball and a tomato cous cous with olive tapenade. First course was a goat cheese omlette with heirloom tomatoes. Next courses included chilled cucumber soup, potato gnocchi with chanterelle mushrooms and peas, basil risotto with oven dried tomatoes and tomato foam, pattypan squash stuffed with black eyed peas and broccoli, summer squash ribbons surrounding a mix of spring veggies, the stellar cheese plate which has been discussed on this board, a refreshing stonefruit sorbet in a watermelon reduction with sprouted basil seeds, and for dessert a flourless chocolate cake (and petite fours that we were too stuffed to eat so they boxed up). Service was stellar, the room was beautiful, the food was everything I'd hoped for. The only downside of the evening was the gentleman at the next table wearing cargo shorts who was talking on his cell phone. My DC did the degustation that included meat, along with the vintners wine pairings, which he said was equally wonderful. A fabulous special occasion restaurant for veggies and carnivores alike IMO.

          1. l
            lgss Jul 7, 2008 04:43 AM

            As vegans (I'm also gluten-free), our definition of "fine" dining is good vegan food. Martsa on Elm (Tibetan) in Davis Square, Elephant Walk (French/Cambodian) near Porter Square, Asmara (Eritrean/Ethiopian) in Central Square have vegan options but wouldn't fit your definition of fine dining. We have not yet been to Grezzo (North End vegan, raw) or Vej Naturals (Malden). www.happycow.net lists veg-friendly places.

            1. p
              phoenixy Jul 6, 2008 08:47 PM

              Not quite fine dining, but Gargoyles in Davis has always done right by my vegan boyfriend (although the menu doesn't have anything vegan on it he's been pleased with what the chef has come up with).

              1. f
                foodperv Feb 17, 2008 03:22 PM

                i apologize in advance for what i am asking or they way i ask sometimes ,because i mean no insult
                where meat costs pound for pound 3-5 times what veg. cost
                maybe the rest. haven't figured out yet that they can rob you blind in a FINE dining place for a plateful of veggies and actually make more profit
                i love veggies too i am a border-line vegetarian myself

                1 Reply
                1. re: foodperv
                  Alica Feb 17, 2008 05:05 PM

                  That really is such a great point. We always joke that we had "expensive vegetables".

                2. s
                  shih Feb 13, 2008 09:32 PM

                  Might I ask what the pricing is like on the veggie degustation? Is it the same price as the omnivorous one, or less?

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: shih
                    shih Feb 13, 2008 09:36 PM

                    Oop, nevermind - found the info online.

                    But, another question: Has anyone had a veg version of the lunch prix fixe? Does it live up to the hype of the dinner degustation?

                    1. re: shih
                      mipiace Feb 16, 2008 11:58 AM

                      I'm headed to EVOO tonight, and was hoping someone could give me some quick info on their veg. entrees if they'd been recently, if not, that's fine and general advice would be welcome!


                      1. re: mipiace
                        enhF94 Feb 16, 2008 01:08 PM

                        All I know is that they take veg entrees seriously; it's not just "tonight's collection of sides." Maybe the samosas.

                        1. re: enhF94
                          mipiace Feb 17, 2008 10:59 AM

                          EVOO report from last night: Had the vegetarian entree of the night, which included two amazing parsnip cannolis, sweet potato cubes over apple butter with some fennel slaw. The parsnip puree was silky and rich, the cannolis perfectly crisp, and the rest of the plate was beautifully presented and delicious! I was very impressed with the veg entree and would recommend it, but overall, I cannot say all three DCs were thrilled with EVOO as the scallop entree had two scallops and about three mushrooms over mushroom 'flan'; the chinese box went over well, but other than that, they found the menu a bit too heavy on game (rabbit, red deer..) and too 'convoluted', echoing what others have said on CHound about there being too much on the plate (not in terms of portions, which were like goldilocks- some too small, some perfect, some too large) but in terms of flavors.

                  2. j
                    jamaicaplain Feb 13, 2008 03:42 PM

                    Ten Tables in JP has a wonderful vegetarian tasting menu: four courses for $25 (including dessert) - all chef's choice!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: jamaicaplain
                      chowcat Jul 8, 2008 02:54 PM

                      I have to thank CHers - we finally made it to Ten Tables on Sunday and must echo the rec for the vegetarian tasting menu (note: I'm not a vegetarian and increasingly find it the more inventive option -- and both parties have to order it, so I went along for the ride).

                      It was four courses for $28 and on Sunday featured a knockout creamy celery soup, a salad with slightly sweet, crispy pistachios and wonderful dabs of a light French feta, a spaghetti amatriciana (sorry, can't remember details except no pancetta and a light topping of panko? breadcrumbs that made a nice textural contrast), and two different tiny but perfect desserts: one, a small dense chocolate cake/torte with basil ice cream, the other, a trio of tiny profiteroles containing mint ice cream and a deep, dark chocolate sauce. We enjoyed glasses of a chenin blanc/viognier with it. I am still thinking about that soup...thank you, chowhound!

                      1. re: jamaicaplain
                        soxchik Nov 10, 2008 06:28 AM

                        I tried the vegetarian tasting menu this weekend - fantastic! We sat at the chef's table overlooking the kitchen which was a great experience. I loved watching everything being prepared and chatting with the chefs a bit. My DC had the non-veg tasting and thought it was fabulous as well. The amuse bouche was a shotglass full of cold beet soup with creme fraiche and fresh herbs. First course for both of us was a butternut squash soup with croutons and herbs. REALLY good - I wanted to ask for seconds. Next course was a slice of a beet and goat cheese loaf with frisee. The DC had squid stuffed with farro on a bed of veggies. Next I had a spicy pasta dish and the DC had an applewood smoked sausage. Next was a wedge of blue cheese with pear compote. Dessert was a salted chocolate torte with thai basil ice cream and an AMAZING banana upside down cake. With a half carafe of the house red, a good tempranillo, the entire bill before tip was only about $85 which seemed like a steal for such a great experience.

                      2. e
                        esqdork Feb 11, 2008 01:50 PM

                        Uni at Clio does what appears to be a great vegan omakase. I didn't actually taste it because it was a couple sitting next to me and I also tend not to discuss food with vegans/vegetarians but that's what they ordered and the chef worked very hard to give them several beautiful items.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: esqdork
                          mipiace Feb 11, 2008 05:02 PM

                          Did anybody reply to the Grezzo question? I checked out the website and am intrigued! I would love to dine at a restaurant where I wouldn't have to tell the waiter that fish and chicken don't count as 'vegetarian entrees'! If I had a dollar for every time I got offered the grilled salmon as a vegetarian option....I'd have enough cash to open my own place by now!

                          On that note, another very veg-friendly place to check out is Kitchen on Common in Belmont. I've yet to go, but have heard wonderful things about it through my CSA providers and from fellow veggies. I'd love to get there soon! Also, T.W. Food is supposed to be wonderful. Both are on the medium to fine dining spectrums I believe...

                          1. re: mipiace
                            Bostonbob3 Feb 12, 2008 07:49 AM

                            I believe Grezzo actually opens for business tomorrow (Wednesday the 13th).

                            1. re: Bostonbob3
                              gini Feb 12, 2008 09:43 AM

                              Right you are. I'm trying to get together some friends to check it out this weekend.

                              1. re: gini
                                Alica Feb 12, 2008 01:56 PM

                                I am anxious to hear your review!!

                        2. The Chowhound Team Feb 11, 2008 06:51 AM

                          Folks - we've removed some digressions about tofu that don't have any local recommendations. If you want to discuss tofu generally, please start a thread on the General Topics board.

                          Thank you.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: The Chowhound Team
                            intheq Feb 11, 2008 01:56 PM

                            Two tapas additions: Toro and Dali both are veggie friendly. Toro maybe walks the line on "fine dining."

                            Dali is unfailingly amazing. They have plates that should accommodate any type of vegetarian: cheese plates, olives, roasted peppers, egg/potato omelette, sauteed mushrooms. and they will make a vegetarian paella.

                            1. re: The Chowhound Team
                              jajjguy Mar 8, 2009 08:51 PM

                              Try the agedashi tofu at Bluefin in the Porter Exchange (or any other japanese restaurant) and see if it doesn't turn you around on tofu. Big blocks of soft, light tofu, battered and fried, served in a savory broth with scallions and other mix ins. Yum.

                              It's ironic that japanese cuisine does such wonderful things with tofu, seaweed, and vegetables in general, yet tends to be un-vegetarian-friendly because of the pervasive use of pork and fish broths.

                            2. Sgt Snackers Feb 8, 2008 02:25 PM

                              Coming from California, I was **shocked** to discover that some fairly good restaurants here simply don't offer decent vegetarian options. Harvest is an example - I would expect a reasonably upscale place to do better than a steamed vegetable platter.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Sgt Snackers
                                MC Slim JB Feb 8, 2008 02:36 PM

                                Harvest actually doesn't look too bad if you do dairy, and like many places, it's fine if you eat seafood: http://www.harvestcambridge.com/menu/2 . Those sides look pretty good.

                                1. re: MC Slim JB
                                  pollystyrene Feb 8, 2008 02:51 PM

                                  Harvest currently has a chestnut mushroom agnolotti, which sounds vegetarian, but you'd have to check. I may be naive, but I just assume that if a menu has only one vegetarian-sounding option, it's there for vegetarians and doesn't contain meat broth.

                                  I've only had dinner at Harvest once a few years ago for the same reason Sgt Snackers cites: the steamed vegetable platter. Thankfully, times have changed.

                              2. f
                                figg Feb 7, 2008 09:43 PM

                                Excellent topic. I moved here from San Francisco and haven't found anything comparable to Greens and Millennium. Radius has a vegetable tasting that was excellent- highly recommended. I went to Toro tonight and was impressed, especially since Spanish is often difficult for veggies. They have a vegetarian paella and several veggie tapas. It's been awhile but I remember Chez Henri having a good vegetarian plate, although they only had 1 option.

                                I would love to find a veg place with really good tofu offerings.

                                13 Replies
                                1. re: figg
                                  joebelt Feb 8, 2008 03:29 AM

                                  Try the Elephant Walk for good tofu dishes. Though keep in mind that tofu is a bland & uninteresting food. Not something I would consider for a high-end meal.

                                  1. re: joebelt
                                    jpcat Feb 8, 2008 03:46 AM

                                    Actually, lots of us love tofu. Maybe its just bland and unintersting to meat eaters who never tried the elegant preparation at the now defunct Cha Fahn. Cafe D also does an interesting tofu entree in a coconut sause. Lately, I'm addicted to the black mushrooms, Chinese broccoli and soft tofu dish at Bernard's. Does anyone else love the golden sesame tofu at Whole Foods?

                                    1. re: jpcat
                                      figg Feb 8, 2008 07:49 AM

                                      I'm with jpcat. I love tofu. You probably just haven't tried any that was well prepared.

                                      1. re: galleygirl
                                        hiddenboston Feb 8, 2008 08:44 AM

                                        If someone could make tofu taste like a pepperoni pizza, I'd eat more of it.

                                        I do like tofu in Thai and Chinese soups, though, and I'll occasionally do tofu-based entrees at Thai restaurants. By the way, I did notice last weekend that Great Thai Chef in Somerville has about 10 vegetarian entrees on their menu, as well as several vegetarian apps. Thai places generally seem like good places for vegetarian options, though few of them would qualify as fine dining (which is what MC posted about originally). Khao Sarn in Brookline might come close, though.

                                        1. re: hiddenboston
                                          figg Feb 8, 2008 02:00 PM

                                          Thai is actually really tough for vegetarians because they cook everything in fish oil. I always ask for no fish oil but I am suspicious as to whether they follow that. When I was in Thailand I had to learn to say "no fish oil" in Thai, which was all the Thai I learned.

                                          1. re: figg
                                            galleygirl Feb 8, 2008 05:51 PM

                                            Isn't that fish sauce?

                                      2. re: jpcat
                                        joebelt Feb 8, 2008 08:44 AM

                                        I'm a longtime vegetarian and I can't say that tofu has ever won me over. I wouldn't dare compare it to meat. It's a bland protein supplement with a rather uninteresting texture. When it's well prepared (like the Elephant Walk that I mentioned), it's fine but it in no ways defines or makes the dish. While I would eat good pasta plain with butter, I don't know anyone that salivates at the thought of good tofu with butter.

                                        1. re: joebelt
                                          lisa13 Jul 7, 2008 05:22 AM

                                          While I don't salivate at the thought of plain tofu, if I have a nibble when preparing it, I find I have a weird need to scarf it down straight out of the package. I have the same issue with soy milk - I have a sip, and suddenly I am chugging the glass and reaching for the container again.

                                          Note I am a meat eater - this is not a nutritional craving or something - its just odd.

                                      3. re: limster
                                        gini Feb 11, 2008 05:43 AM

                                        That reminds me: this weekend I had the loveliest dou fu fa (豆腐花) at China Pearl. That's silky tofu served with a sweet ginger-flavored syrup, often seen at dim sum. The texture of the tofu was just gorgous.

                                      4. re: figg
                                        heathermb Feb 8, 2008 05:06 AM

                                        Re: Chez Henri - a vegetarian friend of mine LOVES the vegetarian version of their Cubano sandwich. Not fine dining, for sure, but delicious.

                                        1. re: heathermb
                                          raddoc Feb 8, 2008 05:11 AM

                                          One that doesn't seem to get mentioned on the veggie threads is the East Coast Grill. Great options for the pesca, excuse me, AQUAtarians, and the All Vegetable Experience of the day is a huge platter of various grilled veggies. You'll be the envy of the meat eaters.

                                          1. re: raddoc
                                            heathermb Feb 8, 2008 05:16 AM

                                            So funny that you mention that. The friend who loves the veggie cubano just had that platter when we went to ECG earlier this week. Her comment was "no one should be given this much food at once" but did enjoy it very much. She is a seafood eater so had them add some jumbo grilled shrimp for protein, but the platter itself was amazing and her bf and I both helped ourselves to generous tastes!

                                            1. re: raddoc
                                              galleygirl Feb 8, 2008 05:43 AM

                                              This aquatarian LOVES ECG...but I go for the black and blue tuna, everytime...

                                        2. p
                                          pollystyrene Feb 7, 2008 07:26 PM

                                          Mamma Maria, Prezza, Icarus, Helmand, Sel de la Terre, Hamersley's, La Campania, Taranta. Helmand isn't really fine dining, but is certainly vegetarian-friendly. Italian restaurants are a vegetarian's best friend, and I find it especially easy to order at Prezza. If you don't like whatever the night's vegetarian option at Icarus is, they'll put together something fantastic for you, at least they used to; I haven't been in a while. Some of these do only pay lip service to vegetarians if you consider offering only one (maybe two) app and entree options lip service; but, the quality of these offerings is high--no mere veggie platters.

                                          As someone else wrote, just about all upscale restaurants offer one veg app and entree, and it often seems to be my plate that's the envy of all the carnivores around me, so I can't complain, especially when I think of how it was just a decade ago. And with the ubiquitous cheese plate, I can dine finely almost anywhere. A beautiful salad, cheese plate, and delicious dessert: who wouldn't love that? Other than a vegan....

                                          A couple more that I'm looking forward to trying, EVOO and Pigalle, always seem to have at least one veg app and entree on the menu, too. And if my tax rebate arrives before their move, it might end up in L'Espalier's coffers.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: pollystyrene
                                            tamerlanenj Feb 8, 2008 05:41 AM

                                            I would tihnk that 90% of the pasta sauces in most Italian restaurants contain chicken stock or something like.

                                            1. re: tamerlanenj
                                              galleygirl Feb 8, 2008 05:47 AM

                                              I wouldn't, unless they're cooking meat in them...marinara, puttanesca, vodka, arrabiata; all trac=ditionally meatless. Bolognese and Ameritriciana (sp?), definitely meatful..;)

                                              1. re: galleygirl
                                                tamerlanenj Feb 8, 2008 07:23 AM

                                                doesn't a traditional penne vodka start with some rendered prosciutto.? Many other recipes call for adding chicken stock. Guess I could be wrong.

                                                1. re: tamerlanenj
                                                  soxchik Feb 8, 2008 09:27 AM

                                                  Most italian restaurants have a marinara (at least) on the menu that has no meat or meat stock. If they don't, there is sometimes a meatless wine or cheese sauce of some kind. It hasn't really been a problem for me to find something. Vegan might be a different story. I usually just ask.

                                                  1. re: soxchik
                                                    lgss Mar 8, 2009 03:29 PM

                                                    And for vegan, lots of pasta itself contains egg.

                                          2. kelly001 Feb 7, 2008 06:49 PM

                                            As a vegetarian who grew up in Europe, I can tell you Boston is a piece of cake for vegetarians. I have run into very few places that didn't have or couldn't accommodate a vegetarian request. As for standout vegetarian options, I would second recommendations for Oleana & L'Espalier but many other and diverse restaurants offer very viable options as well.

                                            1. mipiace Feb 7, 2008 04:39 PM

                                              As a veggie foodie, I've also been frustrated with the lack of dining options here, so hoorah for this board! I will second your recommendation for Om, as well as Henrietta's Table. I wasn't thrilled with Addis Red Sea because of their tendency to serve veggie foods on the same injera as meat products (make SURE to ask for a seperate plate!). I've yet to find many other 'fine dining' places for veg eaters that offer more than a pasta of the day, but here are my contributions!

                                              Affordable and veg-friendly:
                                              Sapporo Ramen in Porter Exchange (delicious veggie-broth noodle soups!)
                                              Namaskar in Davis Sq. (Indian)
                                              Mr. Crepe in Davis Sq.
                                              Za in Arlington
                                              Baraka Cafe in Cambridge

                                              A bit more upscale would be Lumiere in West Newton-the chef is great and very accomodating!

                                              Keep up the investigative reporting and hopefully we'll uncover some more places who can whip up creative veggie meals!

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: mipiace
                                                Alica Feb 7, 2008 06:31 PM

                                                Thanks for this thread, I am a vegetarian also. I am anxious to try Grezzo, has any one been yet?

                                                1. re: Alica
                                                  globalgourmand Dec 10, 2008 12:13 PM

                                                  I have been and did a chef's tasting menu as did my boyfriend. Entrees were beautiful but selecting was a difficult task for me seeing as I have nut allergies and it is a VERY nut-heavy menu. They rely a lot on the nut-cheeses and sauces. I'm sure I would be raving more if I had had more options. A small, thoughtful selection of biodynamic, sustainably harvest and/or organic wines. Fantastic service when we went late summer '08. An all-around ETHICAL restaurant.

                                                  1. re: globalgourmand
                                                    lgss Mar 8, 2009 03:04 PM

                                                    We finally got around to trying Grezzo. I'm gf so had the only GF option, Bistro Burger. My husband had the gnocchi and we both had hemp brownies. We went at 2 pm, so no wait for a table (but we certainly weren't the only ones there) but we were hungry (no breakfast for various reasons) and it seemed they weren't in any hurry to wait on us or bring the food. The person who waited on us did know which items were GF, didn't have to ask. He also worked in the kitchen. My husband plans to try to replicate the virgin bloody Mary.

                                              2. m
                                                mr mangia Feb 7, 2008 10:29 AM

                                                I think Oleanna has great options for vegetarians.

                                                1. e
                                                  EllenMM Feb 7, 2008 10:29 AM

                                                  My pescatarian daughter was very happy with her meal recently at Flora in Cambridge.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: EllenMM
                                                    kate used to be 50 Feb 7, 2008 10:55 AM

                                                    Do you mean Flora in Arlington?

                                                    1. re: kate used to be 50
                                                      EllenMM Feb 8, 2008 05:36 AM

                                                      Yes. That's the one.

                                                  2. sailormouth Feb 7, 2008 09:58 AM

                                                    I know Radius has a vegetarian tasting menu but I couldn't speak for how good it is.

                                                    For another borderline or mid-range place (your list is a little confusing to me as to your definitions), DBar's chef Chris Coombs is amazing with vegetables and some of the vegetarian dishes on the menu are outstanding. While I'm typically happy with most of his food, I'm usually at least very impressed with his vegetables.

                                                    1. p
                                                      Pegmeister Feb 7, 2008 08:06 AM

                                                      OM generally has a vegetarian entree on their menu each evening. Tthey also do a monthly vegetarian dinner with wine pairings. It's a great atmosphere and I really enjoy the food, although I know it's not a favorite of some posters.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Pegmeister
                                                        jpcat Feb 7, 2008 08:49 AM

                                                        For a 'fine dining' option, Hamersley's has vegetarian appetizers that are vegan-friendly plus a seasonal veggie entree. Currently, they are serving a mushroom Wellington which is delicious. Aquitaine does a vegetarian frites entree (ask for it if not on the menu). In the past year or so, Washington Square added a good bean-burger along with thier seasonal veggie option.

                                                        As a vegetarian, I've learned that usually I'll have one choice only on a menu. Since I've gone mostly vegan, it has gotten harder as most options involve cheese, so love this thread!

                                                        1. re: Pegmeister
                                                          admiralackbar Feb 8, 2008 05:47 PM

                                                          Om does not do vegan or vegetarian monthly dinners anymore since the chef left.

                                                        2. soxchik Feb 7, 2008 07:07 AM

                                                          The only other places I can think of that fit the bill of upscale and veggie friendly, and aren't already mentioned, are Upstairs on the Square and Om (though not sure of Om since Rachel Klein left - I haven't been to know if the menu or vibe has changed). I don't eat fish (I'm lacto-ovo) but have had very good vegetarian (no fish sauce) Udon at Fugakyu as well.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: soxchik
                                                            heathermb Feb 7, 2008 07:09 AM

                                                            Om does have their General Om's Tofu back on the menu, but that *might* be the only vegetarian option.

                                                            1. re: soxchik
                                                              yarm Mar 9, 2009 09:39 PM

                                                              Upstairs on the Square's vegan tasting menu (with wine pairings!!) is an amazing meal. I think they're doing it around once a month or so (used to be less frequent). I believe the next one is March 31st.

                                                            2. j
                                                              joebelt Feb 7, 2008 06:20 AM

                                                              Sorry the mods deleted the recommendation for Elephant Walk as a great vegetarian/vegan option. Are we not supposed to mention this place here or something?

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: joebelt
                                                                The Chowhound Team Feb 7, 2008 06:51 AM

                                                                It's fine to mention Elephant Walk. it's not fine to use this board to debate what it means to be a vegan/vegetarian. Please stick to recommending chow options. Thanks.

                                                              2. galleygirl Feb 7, 2008 05:37 AM

                                                                I took an aquatarian client to Lineage, and she raved about it...Actually, i should have posted, but I haven't had time...Some of our dishes involved fish, some were vegetarian. i don't think any were vegan, but I wasn'tr eally checking.. An amazing gnocchi with chestnut fondue was the most impressive...

                                                                There was also a veggie dish of eggplant roulades, with jerusalem couscous (they called it pearled pasta; puh-leeze!) and an excellent tomato sauce...
                                                                But nothing could touch their spicy lobster tacos!

                                                                I think aquatarian (my new word; works better than pescatarian, because it denotes everything from the water...) is easy. You can find it anywhere for fine dining. What place DOESN'T do a great fish dish??

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: galleygirl
                                                                  Bluebell Feb 8, 2008 06:56 AM

                                                                  As a pescatarian (do eat fish, don't eat calamari, clamsetc), I find Chez Henri frustrating b/c the fish stuff almost always has shellfish thrown in. I do think Oleana's veg tasting menu is amazing, and I think Rendezvous has more than one option.
                                                                  I still remember the days of Cena by Symphony Hall - yum!

                                                                  1. re: Bluebell
                                                                    soxchik Mar 9, 2009 05:58 AM

                                                                    I went to Rendezvous last weekend, and they had some great veggie options. The vegetable antipasto platter was excellent - varied and well balanced flavors. I can't wait to go back and try it again. For the entree I had the "Bollito misto" with braised winter vegetables and creamy truffled polenta. The veggies included mushrooms, baby brussels sprouts, and carrots, and the broth was so good I asked for more bread to get every last drop. Dessert was the warm chocolate cake with cinnamon cream - yum. The cake was standard, but the cream was delicious. My carniverous DC was also really impressed with the charcuterie and lamb shank. A wonderful, special feeling place for veg and non-veg.

                                                                2. hiddenboston Feb 7, 2008 05:35 AM

                                                                  MC, I haven't been yet, as they just opened, but I walked by Grezzo (in the old Sage spot in the North End) while walking back from Bova's the other night. The place looked pretty nice inside. According to their Web site, the menu is 100% vegan.


                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: hiddenboston
                                                                    Bostonbob3 Feb 7, 2008 06:33 AM

                                                                    Not just vegan --- raw, too.

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