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Feb 15, 2009 07:20 AM

A "fancy" veg-friendly place on the Upper West Side?

Hi everyone,

I'm hosting a dinner for a work colleague who is visiting from California. She will be staying at a hotel on the UWS (high 70s), so I was hoping to take her out some place nearby. The catch is, she's ovo-lacto vegetarian. I've received a number of suggestions from friends, but all of these places don't have anything vegetarian on the menu. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. The place doesn't have to be upscale, but a nice atmosphere would be great.


ps: She has no other dietary restrictions and likes all kinds of "ethnic" cuisines.

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  1. Sounds as though your colleague is more a vegan than a vegetarian. That said...

    Telepan might work. There are quite a few vegetarian-friendly dishes on the menu; however, you'd have to check if eggs and/or milk are included in their preparations.

    If you're willing to go crosstown to the UES, at Cafe Boulud, one of their four menus is entirely devoted to vegetarian cuisine. Again, you'd have to check about the eggs and milk.

    3 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      If the friend eats dairy and eggs (lacto-ovo) she's probably not a vegan.

      1. re: corgette

        Oops! You're right, corgette! I mixed up the ovo-lacto part, mistakenly thinking she does not eat eggs and dairy when it means she does. In that case, both my recs would definitely work.

        1. re: RGR

          Thankfully, it's so much easier to find good veg meals when cheese is still in the picture.

    2. try Bar, trendy Vietnamese w/ loungey vibe and several veggie options...very close to her hotel (it's on 82nd at Columbus)

      4 Replies
      1. re: Simon

        Wouldn't there be problems with the profusion of fish sauce at Bar Bao?

        1. re: Dave Feldman

          hmm, that's a good point...but i think it still might be ok...for example, she could get veggie summer rolls and some of the delicious vegetable side dishes (which i don't remember tasting of fish sauce)...but the kitchen and staff are pretty accomodating there, so i think you could prob request certain things made to order...

          1. re: Simon

            summer rolls are supposed to be served with fish sauce. Do they serve them with other kind of sauce?

            1. re: kobetobiko

              i think i've only had the summer rolls there once, maybe twice, and don't remember the sauce, though i remember requesting some sriracha...

        1. I haven't been, but maybe Cesca? Italian is a good bet, and I think they have some fish on the menu.

          More casual options that might be worth exploring: Kefi, West Branch, or possibly Mermaid Inn if she's into seafood.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JMJD

            Just replying to my own post to say "whoops, no fish!" but I think you might do OK with Cesca or Kefi -- I recall Kefi having things marked as vegetarian on the menu. Ozu, mentioned by another poster, is very casual. There's also a casual vegetarian place called Blossom Cafe on Columbus I think -- haven't tried it but you could search the board.

          2. I'd consider West Branch. There are a few things on the menu that work as is and a number of items (especially a couple of pastas) that would work if ordered without the meats. And anothe option is that there are many vegetable sides which would be great as a combination plate.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Stuffed Monkey

              Several of the vegetable sides do include meat at West Branch, so if it's a serious matter to the friend of the guess is that she is used to being vigilant.

              1. re: Dave Feldman

                Thanks everyone! Based on your recommendations, I've decided to take my guest to Bar Bao. Will report back!

                kc (OP)