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LA CHer visiting Manhattan - Need veg/nonveg friendly restaurant - East Village-ish

DrBruin Apr 5, 2010 10:15 PM

So, I used to live in NY (Westchester County) while in school and would go down to Manhattan quite a bit.... I used to be able to find tasty joints on a college student's budget.... but that was 8 years ago and I now live in LA. I have no idea where to go since I'm more or less out of the loop and because two of our guests that we're meeting are vegetarians (but not vegan).

They live near East 14th and 2nd Ave so I suppose our best bet is a place in the East Village or maybe Little Italy.

We'll be meeting them for dinner on a Tuesday night. Any recommendations?

The place should have vegetarian and nonvegetarian dishes, most entrees for under $25, and not require reservations.

If you need any more info, let me know if your post and I'll try to answer it.

Thank you for your help.

  1. DrBruin Apr 10, 2010 12:17 PM

    Thank you all for your recommendations. I am definitely salivating.

    I am in Manhattan for the night (thus my request for a dinner place) and I'm not looking for a vegetarian only restaurant, I'm looking for a restaurant with nonvegetarian and vegetarian offerings. I am not happy with just having a salad for dinner and I don't find non-animal protein offerings like tofu nearly as satisfying. The nonvegetarian request was basically for me. ;) A place with fish, chicken, lamb, or beef offerings makes me happy.

    By the way, I'm not a college student anymore and make a decent living... so it doesn't have to be on- the-cheap. However, the people we're meeting would probably appreciate it if we kept it under 25 per entree.

    1. h
      hungrycomposer Apr 9, 2010 12:04 PM

      Motorino - great pizza, good location for you. Lunch special is the best way to go - cheaper, smaller crowds - but dinner is worth it too.

      349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

      1. b
        boccalupo Apr 9, 2010 11:32 AM

        Most Italian places have tasty salads and vegetarian pastas that would easily satisfy all in your group.

        There are a lot of moderately priced Italian places in the EV. In Vino, Lavagna, Gnocco, Barbone, Perbacco, Cacio e Vino come to mind. Plus a bunch of sit-down pizzerias of different styles such as Motorino, Luzzo's, No. 28, Veloce and Gruppo.

        Based on your description, you don't really need to limit yourself places that specicalize in vegetarian and/or "healthier" fare unless you want to. The places I listed have good choices for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike.

        186 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

        211 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

        234 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10009

        186 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

        545 E. 5th St., New York, NY 10009

        In Vino
        215 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10009

        Cacio e Vino
        80 2nd Avenue, New York, NY 10003

        337 E 10th St Frnt 1, New York, NY 10009

        349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

        1. visciole Apr 9, 2010 05:48 AM

          I agree with Mogador. Really nice old East Village place with a fun (sometimes a bit too loud) atmosphere. They have an assortment of Middle Eastern veg appetizers, a few good veg combo plates, usually another vegetarian entree, and good meat dishes as well.

          If you like Japanese one of the East Village soba restaurants might work, Soba-Ya or Soba-Koh. Both have many veg and non-veg options. In fact Japanese in general might work for you and there are many choices.

          1. k
            kathryn Apr 9, 2010 12:35 AM

            East Village vegetarian friendly...on a college student's budget. I have a vegetarian friend who is a writer and we've hit up these places:

            Kate's Joint (assuming the meat eaters are OK with being vegetarian for one night)
            Motorino (I believe 3 of the pies are vegetarian)
            Grand Sichuan (some of the dishes that contain pork can be made vegetarian like the mapo tofu or the garlic eggplant, and I think they offer brown rice in addition to white rice)
            Dumpling Man (there are both veggie and non-veggie dumplings)
            Veselka (potato pierogi, other veggie periogi options)
            Cafe Mogador
            Hearth (surprisingly! I called a while ago and they said a lot of their dishes could be made vegetarian, call again to confirm, but I took my veggie friend here who loved one of the soups of the day and their gnocchi as well as dessert)

            Cafe Mogador
            101 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003

            144 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

            Kate's Joint
            58 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009

            Dumpling Man
            100 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009

            349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

            1. prdct Apr 8, 2010 11:29 AM

              your response to Peter Cherches's post above makes me a bit afraid of giving you my opinion of Quartino, but since this a public board with a lot of people reading who are interested in various opinions, I have to say I agree with him. I have tried the pizza and pastas at Quartino and found both not very tasty.

              On the same block as Quartino and in the same price range, I do really enjoy Bianca.

              11 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012

              1 Reply
              1. re: prdct
                DrBruin Apr 8, 2010 11:24 PM

                Well, I would just like some recommendations not the "don't go here because they're terrible." Certainly, if you're not going there, you must be going somewhere else... so, tell me those places.

                Do you enjoy whole wheat pastas to begin with? I really felt strongly that whole wheat pastas were awful but having been forced to eat them to be healthier, I've developed an appreciation for them when they're done right (and they are rarely done right).

                I'll be looking into Bianca's too! Thank you for that rec.

              2. DrBruin Apr 6, 2010 11:25 PM

                Thank you for your suggestions. I showed my wife the menu at Quartino and she got excited by all the whole wheat offerings.

                11 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012

                1 Reply
                1. re: DrBruin
                  Simon Apr 7, 2010 06:15 AM

                  Glad she liked the menu...the whole-wheat ravioli w/ walnut sauce is rich but very delicious...

                2. e
                  eeee Apr 6, 2010 10:05 AM

                  Northern Spy Food Company is a great choice for you. It is very nearby and has good localvore choices for vegetarians. It's affordably priced - and they don't take reservations. 12th between A and B.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: eeee
                    egit Apr 7, 2010 09:47 AM

                    I love Northern Spy, but as I recall it has very few vegetarian options. Quartino is a great choice. I went there a couple of weeks ago and it only dawned on me the next day that it's mostly vegetarian.

                    11 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012

                    1. re: egit
                      DrBruin Apr 7, 2010 06:01 PM

                      Thank you eeeee and eeeegit.

                      1. re: egit
                        eeee Apr 9, 2010 07:01 AM

                        Hmm - at least two of the entrees are vegetarian and there are several salads and sides that are two. The menu does change frequently so is worth a look.

                    2. s
                      Simon Apr 6, 2010 04:29 AM

                      Quartino, on Bleecker near Elizabeth...delicious whole-wheat pastas and pizzas w/ organic olive oil, salads, etc, plus a fish of the day (but no other non-veg dishes besides that fish and a couple salads with tuna or anchovies)...nice wines too...

                      11 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Simon
                        _emilie_ Apr 6, 2010 10:41 AM

                        I also enjoy Quartino's pastas and it has a nice atmosphere.

                        If you are willing to go as far as Little Italy, and you're feeling adventurous, you might consider going in the other direction and hitting something in Curry Hill (Murray Hill). There are several well-regarded South Indian places up there (I like Saravanas, but you'll find many more options here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/496647 ), all very inexpensive. It's become my need-to-take-out-the-vegan-friend-but-also-please-everyone-else destination (I'm a meat eater, but don't miss it there).

                        I assume you know you are near Angelica Kitchen. Some love it, some hate it -- you've probably done it. Westville is close by too (they specialize in veg, but should have some meat options).

                        210 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014

                        11 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012

                        Angelica Kitchen
                        300 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                        1. re: Simon
                          Peter Cherches Apr 7, 2010 12:14 PM

                          I found Quartino's whole-wheat pizza crust totally unpalatable. It tasted like something that was supposed to be good for you and completely killed the flavor of any toppings.


                          11 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012

                          1. re: Peter Cherches
                            DrBruin Apr 7, 2010 05:52 PM

                            Did you try anything else on the menu that was tasty? Or do you, have any suggestions rather than criticisms? Or are you just plugging your blog since I don't see a formal review of Quartino on it. I'm looking for places to go, not places to not go to, if you get my drift... the world is already full of those places.

                            Personally, if I had my druthers, I'd go to Katz's or Sammy's or Mesa or Lombardi's or just go walk-a-bout until my nose and stomach finds a place.... but I have to keep in mind that I'm not dining alone and my time is limited.

                            1. re: DrBruin
                              _emilie_ Apr 8, 2010 04:51 PM

                              To answer your question, stick to the pastas and skip the flatbreads. For some weird reason they've gotten hype elsewhere, but he's right, they aren't very good and taste like diet food. HOWEVER, the pastas are great, and so are the other specials. Its a good place to go when you (or your companions) are wanting "light and fresh."

                              1. re: _emilie_
                                DrBruin Apr 8, 2010 11:25 PM

                                Thank you... will do. I'm not a big flatbread fan.... I'm basically looking for a place that is friendly for the vegetarians that I'm meeting.... without forcing me to eat at a salad bar.... ya know?

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