Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Aug 5, 2009 01:24 PM

10th Anniversary dinner for vegetarians

We are visiting NYC for the first time between Aug. 7-9 and would like to find a romantic, trendy place for dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. It does not have to be a vegan place as we are ok with milk and dairy, just a place that can be flexible with their menu options. We eat Indian food quite a bit so would like to stay away from it, if possible.

We are staying in the Times Square area but don't mind jumping in a cab. Here are recommendations from friends and colleagues so far:

- Zen Palate
- Bubbakan
- Stanton Social
- Osteria del Circo

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. a couple of things about your list:
    - i really wouldn't consider Zen Palate to be a special occasion place.
    - it's Buddakan, not Bubbakan.

    other vegetarian & vegan places you might want to consider/research:
    - Angelica Kitchen
    - Blossom
    - Gobo
    - Pure Food & Wine
    - Candle 79
    - Hangawi

    many of the nicer, "special-occasion" restaurants in NYC offer vegetarian options and tasting menus as well, but it depends on how much you want to spend. you didn't mention your budget/price range...

    16 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      thanks! didn't have a particular budget in mind...say $75-$100 per person incl. wine would be many choices you proposed get eliminated with that budget? :)

      also, do all restaurants offer a la carte as I am told we're visiting in restaurant week?

      1. re: crazycanuck

        First off, I would stay far away from Zen Palate. Went once, and the food was awful!

        Pure Food & Wine has a beautiful garden. We went once. The lasagne was to-die for (this coming from a carnivore). Everything else was meh.

        I see you have Osteria del Circo on your list. We've never been, but I think Italian restaurants are an excellent way to go as they are usually vegetarian-friendly. I would suggest I Trulli. Their strong suit is Dora's handmade pastas. The RW menu (extended until Labor Day) includes dishes that would be perfect for you. The a la carte menu is available as well. The interior has rustic ambiance, and they also have a very lovely garden.

        1. re: RGR

          thanks for the warning on zen palate, it came highly recommended from the concierge at the hotel we are staying (the location further away from times square).

          I did check out i trulli and it looks good, a definite option!

        2. re: crazycanuck

          most restaurants still offer their regular menus during Restaurant Week, so i wouldn't worry too much about that (though you'll have to confirm with each place)...but the greater concern is getting a reservation!

          $100pp including wine will definitely eliminate some places from consideration, but it's still doable. the menus for all the places i listed above are available online, either on the restaurants' websites or on menupages. com, so you can look them up and get a sense of price ranges for each.

          the following restaurants also offer vegetarian tasting menus, and *might* be within your budget - you'll have to check on the current prices:
          Cafe Boulud
          Gramercy Tavern (they offer a "vegetable" tasting menu that contains non-vegetarian options, but they'll make it strictly vegetarian on request)

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            budget is not that big an issue, it is a special occasion, I just put it out there as a guide, if it has to be $100 pp without wine, then so be it...

            also, re. reservation, I checked on opentable and tried to get a feel of availability and it seems there were still lots of 7-8 pm options open for a party of 2 but I do realize friday is the busiest dinner night so will be looking to book tomorrow.

            what would you recommend for dessert? stay within the restaurant menu or are there niche dessert places with a more diverse selection?

            1. re: crazycanuck

              re: dessert, that will totally depend on where you end up having dinner. some places have standout dessert items on their menus, others, not so much.

              having said that, there are plenty of dessert places, but they vary in vibe & style so that also depends on what you prefer. for romantic, try Firebird on W. 46th, Edgar's Cafe on W. 84th, or Chikalicious on E. 10th.

              oh, and i forgot to say this earlier...Happy Anniversary!

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                thanks everyone for the suggestions and for your wishes goodhealthgourmet!

                here's how it's shaping up right now:
                - Fri night: anniversary dinner @ i trulli or pure food and wine followed by dessert @ edgar's or chikalicious (haven't made up my mind yet)
                - Sat. night dinner & dessert @ buddakan

                can't wait to get there!!

                1. re: crazycanuck

                  Sounds like a good plan.

                  Re: ChikaLicious. Be aware that desserts are tiny. They don't take reservations, and since it's a very small place -- about 10 counter seats and three tables -- the wait can be long. We prefer to sit at the counter so that we can watch our desserts being prepared and interact with Chika and/or her assistants.


                  Here's another option to consider for dessert. Eleven Madison Park is on the corner of Madison & 24th St., close to both Pure Food and.I Trulli. The space is grand and gorgeous. There is a large bar area with both counter and table seating. You can order just desserts, all of which are luscious. No reservations necessary.


                  Happy Anniversary and Bon Appetit!

                  1. re: RGR

                    thanks again for the advice RGR, I hadn't thought about proximity of the dinner and dessert locations, I will definitely check out 11 Madison Park...not too keen on waiting an hour or so after dinner at chicka's...

                    I am just blown away by all the responses, thanks to both RGR and goodhealthgourmet, hopefully I can return the favour if you ever visit Toronto in the near future :)

                    1. re: RGR

                      May I ask: at 11 Madison--you mean no reservation is needed for dinging or just the bar?

                      1. re: kel

                        just the bar. you really do need a reservation for the main dining area.

                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    Have you been to The Candle Cafe? I've never eaten there but have sure loved their cookbook. Would it be considered more of a casual dining spot?

                    1. re: DishDelish

                      i haven't been there in many years...but i can tell you that it's more casual than its sister restaurant, Candle 79.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        OK. =) I would love to try these restaurants if I ever go to New York.

                      2. re: DishDelish

                        Candle Cafde is totally casual. Crowded, lots of children, good food, but you can go in your shorts.

                        1. re: k1001

                          Their cookbook blew my mind. I didn't know vegan food could be so good prior to this. It was my first vegan cookbook. Now I have several.

            2. So, here's the report on our weekend trip to NYC!

              - we did end up going to Pure Food and Wine for dinner on Friday night and had a great time. The atmosphere was perfect for our special occassion and the food was delightful. This was our first vegan, raw food experience and was totally worth it. We started with the zucchini fettuccine and mache salad with berries, followed by the white corn tamales and coconut noodles. We finished with the dark choc trio...everything was amazing, tamales in particular were awesome.

              Lunch on Saturday was at Stanton Social, not many things on the menu for us but enjoyed the pizzetta, brie quesadillas were not too impressive but you can't win 'em all I guess!

              Dinner on Saturday at Buddakan, again, fantastic atmosphere and amazing food!! You rock Lisa!! :)

              Thanks to all for your help and input, it was a truly one of our more memorable trips....cheers!