Searching for vegetarian birthday dinner for two
My fiance and I have both become vegetarian this past year and are still exploring vegetarian cuisine. I am an ex-chef and we a both foodies, very often we are disappointed in the lack of well done vegetarian food that is sold. I tend to make dinners at home 95% of the time experimenting with homemade seitan and other products. And making re-worked versions of some old favorite recipes.
My fiance's birthday will be in October and I would really like to bring him to a great vegetarian restaurant to celebrate. Does anyone know of one that they really enjoy personally. It can almost any sort of cuisine so long as it is vegetarian. We do eat milk and eggs. Sushi would not work for this since we do not eat fish (unless it was some very high end sushi to indulge in!)
Thanks for help!
Karen, yay for becoming vegetarian! I am a veg, love to cook but love to eat out in NYC too. New York is a great place for us. For special occasions, I have had great meals as a veg at Blue Hill. Just let them know beforehand that you two are veg. Everything farm fresh and different and wonderful.
Other places I love for other not as special occasions are Saravanaas for Indian, Franchia for Korean, I like Pam Real Thai for cheaper more casual Thai--so many tasty fresh ingredients, Kuma Inn has some excellent veg dishes and it's byob, Dim Sum Go-go has some lovely veg dim sum dishes, El Paso Tacqueria has such wonderful mexican food just talk to the waitress about what is veg, Turkish Kitchen for their weekday lunch or sunday brunch.
I'm a carnivore (though I respect the veggies' commitment to ethics and health) and I adore Gobo. Ironically, right next to a McDonald's on kind of a loud and garish block of 6th Ave @ 8th St. But indoors, it's got a very calm (though not hippy-cheesy) decor, and it's the rare vegetarian restaurant that's got beautifully-presented food, and an actual wine list (i.e., no honey wine!). Mostly asian-influenced (i.e., Beijing-style smoked seitan; wasabi/avocado terrine) but not exclusively. The veg friends I've taken there are always thrilled.
Of course there are also lots of Italian options...but those are much easier to find, and the vegetarian choices are more limited unless you want pasta.
Gobo is okay, but for ambiance and the high end treatment sitting in the back garden at Pure Food and Wine is fun (food quality is variable - sometimes appalling - and it's expensive, however, so be warned). If you're willing to make the trip, Broadway East down near Seward Park way at the tip of Manhattan is probably a better bet. The food is better than Gobo, the dining room is swank, and it's almost always empty so getting a reservation should be a snap.
That said, you'll be getting better food if you try any of the following options:
- Tabla: vegetarian tasting. It used to be really good, but I looked at it recently and it seems a little boring. I'd still take it over Pure or Gobo.
- Per Se: they do a vegetable tasting that's super expensive, but I bet it's good.
- Bouley: does a veggie tasting if you call in advance. It's really good, although they tend to be from the "vegetables cooked in butter school."
- Hangawi: in midtown, and moderately priced, does really good Korean/Asian veggie food. I'd take it over Broadway East, Pure or Gobo.
Word of warning: the veggie tasting at Gramercy Tavern is very lame. Just plates of veggies, not very interesting nor is it very filling.
Also, check these posts out for more info: