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Sep 4, 2008 11:02 AM

Classy restaurant for vegeterians?

Need to impress some friends from out of town who do not eat meat/fish/poultry. Need to take them to an awesome restaurant with good ambience. Any suggestions?

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  1. Hangawi (Korean Vegetarian) is really impressive as is Vatan (Indian). Blossom is good as well.

    4 Replies
    1. re: amorvi

      Also COUNTER in the East Village is pretty nice with a good organic wine selection.

      1. re: amorvi

        I second the Hangawi recommendation. Vatan is a lot of fun, and it's vegetarian, but the last I heard it was closed for renovations. Has it re-opened?

        Pure Food and Wine is super-expensive and not very filling, but it is unique and the garden out back is gorgeous. Plus the food gives you something to talk about.

        Broadway East is going through chefs faster than David Duchovny goes through actresses, but it is a relatively pretty room and has some seafood on the menu in case someone in the group wants something besides veggies. The dishes are inventive, but they fail as often as they succeed (the veggie burger is good, though).

        Candle 79 is old school Moosewood cookbook vegetarian food, but at least the setting is fancy. Not good, but it does a good imitation of delivering a fine dining experience.

        Blossom is alright, but I don't think the ambience is so great at its Upper West Side location.

        1. re: LES_Crawler

          I forgot Vatan is closed right now. I went to the same owners new spot called GAAM and the food is as good but the atmosphere is just ordinary.

          The Chelsea Blossom has a nice ambience with a fireplace and lots of candlelight.

          1. re: LES_Crawler

            Anyone who says that Pure Food and Wine is not filling, did not eat the lagsana. I couldn't finish it and it was delicous.

      2. I liked Counter but you have to order carefully to get good food. Liked the atmosphere of Blossom but the food less. Liked atm and food at Gobo. Same goes for Candle.
        My favorite at the moment is Franchia.

        1. Candle 79 definitly has the ambiance of a nice restaurant, including a veggie amuse bouche to start out the meal, but they don't do anything very inventive with the food. Just decent renditions of typical meaty dishes using seitan and tempeh. Their sister restaurant, Candle Cafe, is located at 75th and 3rd and serves many of the same dishes in a much more casual, diner setting. There are more salads and sandwichs on the menu, and a juice/smoothie bar up front.

            1. Saravaanas for vegetarian indian
              Angelica Kitchen for above average vegetarian fare.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Spends Rent on Food

                as much as i like the food at saravaanas, it's not very "classy" in terms of decor. more like a cafeteria, really.

                1. re: cimui

                  Hmmm, I guess you're right but the food is so good that it does overcome the decor.

                  I'd say 'cafeteria' is pushing it, but I don't know anyone who after eating there would have said - "gee, I'd prefer to have eaten somewhere with better carpeting..."

                  In a way I found my first trip to Saravaanas to be a very cool experience and was impressed with my friend's knowledge of the area. Here's a place that looks like every other restaurant on the block, yet blows you away with the food.

                  Since then I've been taking people there when they recommend other spots in the area, and have a 100% success rate of 1. impressing them regardless of decor and 2. converting them to regulars.

                  As it relates to the OP, cimui is right, it's probably not the 'classiest' joint in the world, but it will definitely impress a vegetarian/